Photo Caption: Grace Culley

Photo Caption: Grace Culley

Gaithersburg, Maryland—Erin  married Kevin  in the presence of their friends and family after a year-long engagement. Outdoor lovers, Erin and Kevin both knew they wanted their wedding reception to be outside. After some discussion as to logistics, the couple opted to keep the ceremony and the reception on one site: a stretch of country space belonging to a family friend.

Photo Credit: Grace Culley

With guests assembled in the heated, enclosed tent space the couple said their vows under a rustic wooden archway adorned with twinkling white lights. The wedding ceremony included a reading by the couple’s mutual friend and ordained minister Mitch Duncan, who drew language from sources ranging from Kahlil Gibran’s the Prophet to Ralph Waldo Emerson.

wedding foods 2The bride wore a vintage wedding gown from “I Do” wedding consignment and her late mother’s re-sized wedding ring, a three-stone set with am azure blue sapphire flanked by two diamonds in a ban of white gold.

The wedding fare was a balance between yoga-loving, vegetarian Erin’s tastes and Kevin’s meat and spices family palate. Guests enjoyed a mix of seasonal greens and locally sourced fruit including squash and apple along with a carving station featuring carne asada and grilled shrimp.

For dessert, Erin and Kevin cut and exchanged bites from a three-tiered, vegan white cake decorated with Erin’s chosen colors of red and magenta roses and gerber daisies. The cake was provided by Washington, DC’s Sticky Fingers Sweets bakery.

Photo Credit: Grace Culley

Photo Credit: Grace Culley

The guests danced into the night to music played by the couple’s friend’s band – a bluegrass and world beat mix composed of steel pedal guitar, acoustic guitar, stand-up percussion and an electric piano. They had their first dance as man and wife to a bluesy version of “The Way You Look Tonight.”

The ceremony did include a bittersweet element, Erin had lost her mother two years prior and her father had passed more than a decade before. With this in mind, the couple chose to forgo many of the traditional wedding ceremony and reception elements, including eliminating the “aisle” by having their ceremony on the dance floor under their special archway. They also did away with the mother-groom, father-bride dances and sweetheart table. The seating plan was open with guests serving themselves from a buffet.

Erin and Kevin encouraged their guests to help document the event with their camera phones and use a hashtag to collect the photos. A good friend also took some formal shots of the bridal party – this was one of the many ways that Erin and Kevin kept their costs low since they were paying the total wedding costs out of pocket.

One of the ways that the couple stayed within their budget was to utilize consignment boutiques for everything from the wedding gown to cufflinks gifts to the groomsmen to the lights used to decorate the tent. Bridal Veil Dreams helps couples find the pieces that they need while staying within their budgets.

First Dance

First Dance

Erin and Kevin’s wedding was an occasion to celebrate the joining of two families and start a new chapter. Their story is one of balance struck between two seemingly different people and how they forged a common bond of trust and love.

Feature image by  Grace Culley

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