Would you believe us if we told you that this stunning wedding at The Winery at Elk Manor was actually the backup plan?! With such a sweet story, a gallery full of heartwarming photos, and so many personal touches, Danielle & Jared’s day is everything we love about an Eastern Shore wedding!
From Brittany of Brittany Thomas Photography: When Danielle and Jared got engaged two and a half years ago, I knew their wedding would be special. They’ve been together for-ev-er, they got engaged at a Justin Timberlake concert, her ring boasts a blue sapphire instead of a traditional diamond, and I just knew her trendy sense of style and love for the classic Disney princess would somehow collide on her wedding day.
When they set a date for May of 2015, I thought dang, that is a long engagement. But Danielle and Jared live and work in Baltimore, and they love their city, and their celebration was to be at the Baltimore Museum of Industry. Being the popular venue that it is, a date over 2 years away was the first one available. In that time, they booked their favorite band from Rehoboth Beach, Danielle had a stunning custom pink gown made by Jill Andrews, they ordered Old Bay fondue and Natty Boh, and reserved a boutique hotel near the harbor where the girls would get ready.
But with less than a week to go, there were riots in Baltimore. Everything was happening so close to the venue and I was furiously texting the wedding planner to find out what we needed to do. A curfew had been set that affected the entire reception and after some back and forth, they decided to look for a different venue. People, it was Tuesday. The wedding was supposed to be in 4 days. FOUR DAYS. It seemed impossible and I didn’t want to add to Danielle’s worry by asking her what we were going to do.
The next day, Danielle called to say they’d found another venue but it was a bit farther away and they wanted to make sure all their vendors could make it. HELLO–yes of course! She sounded so calm, and a little disappointed, but Danielle is also grit and grace and and if anyone was going to make this happen, I knew she could. She sent me information on the new venue, The Winery at Elk Manor, and I skimmed over their website images and found a light and airy beach house right on the Chesapeake with a white tent and rows and rows of vineyards.
When we first arrived, I stepped out of the car and was surprised at how quiet it was. All this time I’d been preparing for the hustle and bustle of a city wedding; to be competing with tourists in downtown Baltimore. But here we were right on the water, the salty air breezing through and nothing but the sound of the water lapping at the shoreline. It couldn’t have been more different! When Danielle arrived in her white sundress with her beautiful (and so helpful!) bridesmaids, she was cool as a cucumber. I thought she might be frazzled, or still sad about losing her original wedding in Baltimore, but she smiled and said, “Can you believe this place? Can you believe how gorgeous it is?” And she was so, so right. The beach house was bathed in light, the weather never broke 75 degrees and puffy white clouds rolled in. It was absolutely glorious! I started photographing her details and when I got to her perfume bottle, she said, “I read somewhere that sense of smell is the strongest trigger for memory, so I wanted to wear this scent so I’ll always remember these moments on my wedding day!” And her details didn’t stop there – she had a custom ring box, they brewed their own beer for favors, Jared’s family brought black and white cookies from New York. Even their chuppa was made by Danielle’s stepdad and they topped their “sprinkle” cake with two cats because they’re weird and crazy.
But the dress. THE DRESS. When I first asked Danielle about her gown, she said she was having it handmade by Jill Andrews, a gown designer right down the street from her house in Baltimore. I asked her what it looked like and she said, “It makes me feel like a rock star and a princess at the same time, and you know how important that is to me.” It was two pieces, layers and layers of fabric, and when she spun in circles to show it off, I started humming “Hail to the Princess Aurora” in my head. She was so beautiful and calm and lovely, it was a joy to photograph her.
This entire day went off without a hitch – Danielle and Jared took it all in stride, knowing they would be married at the end of the day and together forever. It was an honor to be part of their special day and I’m grateful to all the vendors who worked so hard to pull it off.
Venue | The Winery at Elk Manor
Photographer | Brittany Thomas Photography
Wedding Planner | Sara Reynolds Events
Florist | Sharon Smith (Aunt of Bride)
Band | Electric Velvet
Videography | Karly Forsyth Films
Catering | Zeffert & Gold
Wedding Gown | Jill Andrews Gowns
Bridesmaids | Maeve from Anthropologie
Groomsman | Men’s Wearhouse
Invitations | Ilene Benowitz
Photo Booth | Pixelated Photo Booth
Hair | All About Me Day Spa
Makeup | About Face Cosmetics by Daniela Koch (Bride and MOH); Emme Y Makeup Artistry (Bridesmaids)
Wedding Signs | The Lovebird Press
Beer Favors | The Flying Barrel