Wedding Aces Bridal Buds

How Early Should You Shop For Your Wedding Dress?

Posted by Caitlin on Mar 03, 2015


Photo: Natalie Franke Photography

The most-asked question our Fashion Editor receives: “How early should I shop for my wedding dress?” Well, she answered: “Anywhere from seven to nine months before the actual date.” Don’t be surprised. At bridal salons, you will be trying on samples that can’t be purchased right off the racks. Hence, once your order is into the designer, it will be created from scratch. Bonus: You can make as many or as little alterations as you need to fit your figure. Read more reasons here.


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Kirsten and Jesse were married at the Chesapeake Bay Beach Club in Stevensville, Md. on July 12.  “Jesse and I love the water and spend a lot of time boating, fishing, and crabbing,” Kirsten said. “When we walked out onto the Beach House lawn and looked out to see the Bay Bridge, we knew it was the one! The view was just stunning. We loved how the Tavern also overlooked the Chesapeake Bay with huge sliding glass windows. Even the reception ballroom too.” The bride wore a strapless mermaid Vera Wang wedding gown, accessorized with her hair in an updo, floor-length veil, sash, and a pair of Jimmy Choo peep-toe wedges, while the groom wore a tan suit, accessorized with a matching bow tie and pocket square. Bridesmaids wore short navy blue Lily Pulitzer dresses and carried bouquets of roses and hydrangeas. Guests were greeted with aisles lined with the letters K and J as well as pomanders. “The ceremony decorations were a favorite detail, done by 2hands studio, with ivory draping and three gold chandeliers hanging from various heights underneath the trellis,” she said. Once the exchanging of vows were sealed with a kiss, it was official, only 165 witnessing. Cocktail hour began with lawn games such as corn hole followed by the reception shortly thereafter. Tables were decorated with sequin chevron linens, tall centerpieces, floating votive candles, gold numbers, and menu cards at each place setting, surrounded by chiavari chairs. “The moment when I first walked into the venue the day of the wedding, I couldn’t believe how gorgeous everything was and how it had all come together,” Kirsten said. Dinner featured a mixed baby field greens salad with red and yellow teardrop tomatoes and micro flowers dressed with a balsamic vinaigrette, filet mignon paired with a jumbo lump crab cake and fresh vegetables. A four-tiered fondant-frosted cake was cut and served for dessert. But that’s not all — boxes of chocolates were also passed out as favors. “We had a flip flop station with navy blue flip flops wrapped in pink ribbon,” she said. “It was a huge hit. I would recommend a flip flop station at every wedding!” The sign in front of it even said, “A little treat for those dancing feet and for you to keep.” The newlyweds’ best advice? “To remember that the most important part of a wedding is getting to spend the rest of your life with your best friend,” Kirsten said. At the end of the night, they jetted off to their honeymoon in St. Lucia.

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Photography: Natalie Franke Photography | Venue/Caterer: Chesapeake Bay Beach Club | Event Planner: Erin James | Event Designer: Cathleen Moeller | Dress Designer: Vera Wang from Saks Jandel | Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Bridesmaid Dresses: Lily Pulitzer | Jewelry: Kyle Edwards Jewelry | Hair and Makeup Artist: Up Do’s For I Do’s | Groom and Groomsmen Attire: Men’s Wearhouse | Officiant: Randy Miller | Ceremony Musicians: Chesapeake Strings | Invitations: J. Pink and Company | Floral Designer: Cache Fleur | Linens: La Tavola Linen Rental | Rentals: 2hands studio | Cake: Fiona’s Cakes | DJ: Michael Bell of MyDeejay | Dance Instructor: Winged It! | Favors: Chesapeake Chocolates | Transportation: Towne Transport

What To Do When The Invitation Has No Dress Code?

Posted by Caitlin on Nov 12, 2014


Photo: Natalie Franke Photography

You’re stuck in a sticky situation: there’s no specific attire information anywhere to be found. What’s a plus one supposed to wear with his/her significant other? Before you go shopping for this shindig, resort to our Fashion Editor’s checklist on how to crack the dress code.

23 Welcome Bags Your Guests Will Adore

Posted by Caitlin on Aug 28, 2014


Photo: Natalie Franke Photography

Booking that block of hotel rooms for out-of-town wedding guests may be the most challenging task during the entire planning process. But it’s the discounted rates they will appreciate! Upon arrival, be sure to provide them with a bag filled with hometown memorabilia. The example, pictured above, is from Maryland. It includes: Utz crab chips, Fisher’s popcorn, Candy Kitchen taffy, Bergers cookies, visitor guides and maps. Get more inspiration here.

Classic Silver Winter Hotel Wedding in Maryland

Posted by Caitlin on Dec 27, 2013


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Veronica and Doyin were married in downtown Annapolis, Md. with harbor views of the Chesapeake Bay on March 2. The bride wore a Cinderella ball gown, accessorized with a jeweled embellishments, a black faux fur stole, and a vibrant bouquet of ruby red ranunculuses and garden roses, while bridesmaids wore long luminescent silver taffeta dresses, accessorized with bouquets of white ranunculuses and blush garden roses. You won’t believe Doyin’s facial expression as Veronica walks down the aisle of the church! Priceless. The reception was decorated with hundreds of floating candles to create a romantic ambience with blue uplighting, and family and friends were surprised at the end of the night when the newlyweds changed into traditional Nigerian attire.

You might also love these real weddings:


Photography:  Natalie Franke Photography | Second Shooter: Krista A. Jones Photography | Videography: Jeremy Mitchell Cinema | Venue: Loews Annapolis Hotel | Event Planner: Charlotte Jarrett Events | Lighting: Event Dynamics | Floral Designer: Intrigue — Flowers & Lighting | DJ: Delray Gooch | Bridesmaid Dresses: Watters | Bridesmaid Dress Store: Annapolis Formal & Tuxedo | Makeup Artist: Lauren Gehrig 

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