You guys, this wedding is all of our vintage-inspired, rustic-loving, DIY dreams wrapped up in one! Ben and Kristina completely made this day their own from the handmade ceremony arch (made by her arborist uncle) to the diamond rope engagement ring designed by the groom. To top it off? Real, live wedding ALPACAS. Does it get any better than that?? Wait until you see this gallery from Haley Rae Photography.
From the bride: We are both from the Eastern Shore of MD–I am from Chestertown and he is from Salisbury. We attended Washington College, and despite being in the same major, having similar friend groups, and being members of the same clubs, we never met as students. It wasn’t until long after we graduated that we met for the first time. I have been photographing the Eastern Shore since I was in high school, and after working for my alma mater for three years, I decided to pursue a Master’s Degree in Fine Art in Philadelphia. The month before I left, I was hired by my alma mater to photograph Alumni Weekend. He was finishing his first year of his Masters at the University of Iowa, and was in town to attend his 5-year college reunion. At the reunion, I walked into a room with my camera and began taking photos when I recognized a friend of mine (an Easton native). He introduced me to his best friend, Ben. It was love at first sight! We started corresponding everyday and visited each other multiple times.
On one such visit, I took him to my favorite spot, the dock overlooking the river in Cliff City, MD. It was a beautiful August night, and we drank wine that he brought from a vineyard in Iowa (we later drank this same wine at our wedding) as we laid on the dock and gazed at the stars. He popped the question with a ring he had made from rope featuring a diamond knot. As an artist, this was the perfect ring for me.
We decided to wait until we had both completed graduate school to get married, which allowed us plenty of time to plan. We knew we wanted to have a wedding that reflected who we are as a couple, but also made for a very memorable day for our guests. We wanted to have some unique aspects to our wedding. Once we were ready to begin, our first step was to find a venue. We knew that we wanted to get married on the Eastern Shore close to both of our hometowns, and that our wedding should be outdoors. Just days after we started planning, a friend forwarded us an advertisement for an alpaca farm in Marydel, MD. We visited the venue, Dragonfly Alpacas, and fell in love with the beautiful farm. We didn’t even look at other venues before we set a date with them for late September. The venue provided a scenic outdoor backdrop to our special day and was unique in that the farm had alpacas and other wonderful animals that we incorporated into our wedding. After we chose the venue, everything else fell into place.
We chose our favorite Italian restaurant, Luisa’s Cucina in Chestertown, to cater appetizers and dinner. Our best man’s wife is an owner of The Ugly Pie who catered dessert. Next we booked our rentals with Price Rentals and Events of Chestertown. The folks at Price introduced us to our wedding band, Dell Foxx Company, and our bartending service, Oh My Gahs from Cambridge. Our fantastic photographers, Hailey Rae Photography, were friends of mine from Temple University.
Our theme was a wonderful combination of rustic and woodland, and our colors were maroon, sage, peach, and champagne. I am an artist, DIY-er, and lover of all things vintage, so all of our decorations (including florals) were either handmade by myself and my mother, or vintage finds from my favorite shop, Treasures Refound in Chestertown. I even made our invitations on my Silhouette Cameo and hand-made my wedding jewelry. My uncle, an arborist, provided wood slices and stumps for our decor and crafted a beautiful branch wedding arch for our ceremony.
Our wedding day was perfect, complete with adorable photoshoots with alpacas and chickens. Our advice to couples planning their wedding is to follow your heart. We made sure that each and every detail of our wedding reflected us as a couple, and because of this, our wedding day was exactly what we wanted. We achieved our goals-our guests have told us over and over again that it was the best wedding ever!
Photography | Haley Rae Photography
Venue | Dragonfly Alpacas, LLC
Tent/Rentals | Price Rentals and Events
Dessert | The Ugly Pie
Catering | Luisa’s Cucina
Band | Dell Foxx Company
Bar | Oh My Gahs
Hair | Upstyles for the Aisles
Makeup | Changing Facez Makeup Artistry
Dress: David’s Bridal
Groom & Groomsmen Attire: Vera Wang Black by Men’s Wearhouse