Bride Carrye shares her toile and monogrammed wedding on the Eastern Shore!
While we love to ask brides what was Southern about their wedding (and Carrye’s response was spot on: “Hospitality was a top priority during the planning of our wedding, making sure our guests were taken care of from the moment they arrived on the Eastern Shore throughout the entire weekend.”), some celebrations need no explanation. Today’s wedding is a classic Southern belle’s dream, complete with a white-columned plantation, a bourbon bar, toile tablecloths, a silhouette artist, mint julep cups, and monogrammed everything from the cocktail hour cornhole boards to the traditional china to the wax-sealed escort cards. While I was still marveling at how Carrye and her wedding planner, Elle, tied these universally-beloved Southern details together so seamlessly, I noticed that Maryland’s unique flair was was also sprinkled throughout. You know there were crab cakes, an oyster bar, and those beautiful Chesapeake Bay views.
If I may point out one more thing before you feast your eyes on these photos, please don’t miss the proposal story told from the groom’s perspective! I love it when a groom chimes in with interview responses. If you want to see even more details from this gorgeous day, pick up a copy of our tenth-anniversary issue here!
Big hugs to Caitlin Joyce Photography for sending along these photos!
They say pick your church first, and now we know why. For as long as I can remember, I have dreamed of my wedding at a big white plantation house on a hill, something Tara-esque (Scarlett O’Hara, anyone?), and while Kirkland Manor wasn’t on a hill, I wouldn’t trade those water views for anything in the world.
What advice would you give to someone currently planning his or her wedding? Go with your instinct. I feel like I have had my wedding planned out in my head my entire life, but there is so much inspiration out there it can become overwhelming at times. Also, I got a text message first thing on wedding morning from a long time family friend, saying “deep breaths, and slow down.” It really does happen in the blink of an eye, and the morning of you can get so caught up making sure everything is going to be perfect and wanting to get to the ceremony to get to the reception etc. It was such a small, but mighty reminder to slow down and take in each moment of the day.
Tell us a bit about the wedding ceremony. We got married by our Priest who has been a close friend of the family for years. He has such a beautiful way with words, so we had been looking forward to his homily. He spoke of creating a solid foundation for our marriage and gifted us a cornerstone for our new house. It was a beautiful gift and is wonderful reminder seeing it outside our home every day.
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. It only took eight bridal salons to find the one, but once I did, I am so thankful I did not settle. My favorite part of my dress is the lace. It is a larger embroidered-style lace I had not seen before, and it just had a very heirloom feel to it that spoke to me!
What was the design inspiration for your wedding? I think our monogram, because it became the inspiration for so many other elements of the wedding. It’s so special, because it depicts the coming together of us.
What was your favorite detail of the wedding? Our silhouette artist! In a corner of the tent, we had a wonderful silhouette artist creating cameos for each of our guests! The best part was that she would cut 2 pieces of paper at a time so they not only were favors for the guests to take home, but the second was placed into a notebook where guests could write us a note! (Jason’s favorite detail of the wedding: The bourbon bar.)
Before entering the tent for the reception, while finding their table number, guests were greeted with a glass of champagne poured from a 9 Liter bottle of our favorite, Perrier Jouet. Guests then sat down for dinner. Once finished, the band began to pick up tempo and everyone rushed the dance floor! We all danced the night away, with a wonderful surprise of passed cool towels! After cake cutting, Jason’s bourbon bar filled with some of his proud collection opened up, and of course, we lost a few on the dance floor to that!
Our planner, Elle, had toile linens made for our head table that matched the toile pillows in the lounge and sashes on the cocktail tables at Cocktail Hour. She had a white fabric lined tent with 9 brass chandeliers and floral hanging simply in between the chandeliers over the black and white, classic, dance floor. Our monogram was placed everywhere from the escort board to the menus.
Our tent reveal will be something I will remember for the rest of my days. Elle, our planner, escorted us to the tent during cocktail hour and we had a few minutes to take it all in alone! Years of dreaming, months of planning, and here it was! It was better than we could have ever imagined! I squealed, then cried the happiest tears, and Jason spun me a few times around our dance floor to let it all soak in.
Did you have a cocktail hour? If so, what was it like? We had a two-hour cocktail hour to allow guests time to freshen up or check-in to their hotels. Guests arrived by shuttle to the front of Kirkland Manor and walked through the house to the backyard overlooking the Tred Avon where they were greeted with Mint Juleps. Guests could walk the grounds, sit in the most gorgeous oversized dusty blue velvet sofas along the water, play a game or two of cornhole, enjoy passed hors d’ourves including artichoke beignets and an oyster bar.
What kind of food did you serve at your reception? Fresh Summer salad topped with a crabcake (because that’s what Maryland does…) to start, followed by a beef entrée and petit chocolates and bites for tables to share.
Tell us a bit about your first dance. Both of us, being a bit shy, did not want the big announcement and entrance. Once guests took their seats, the band began to play Van Morrison’s “Crazy Love” as we made our way to the dance floor to dance as husband and wife, and whisper cheesy jokes to keep our minds off all these people staring at us!
Tell us your love story. Our story begins in the summer of 2008 while tubing down the Gunpowder. With mutual friends dating, we ran into each other often. Perhaps there were a few sparks, but it wasn’t love at first sight. As the weather cooled and summer came to an end, our “coincidental” run-ins at parties and bonfires did too. Looking back now, we can say it’s all in God’s timing. Depending on who you ask, our first date came sometime years later. He says it was that rainy February night at the National Aquarium. I think it was that spring afternoon at an Orioles game. Nevertheless, it was the summer of 2012 we become inseparable (and Facebook official).
Describe the proposal! (From Jason:) It was the day before we were leaving for a vacation in France. There were bets on when and where it was going to happen while on our trip, and I couldn’t let anyone win, so I had to pop the question before we left! We were getting ready for dinner at Carrye’s favorite restaurant in Philadelphia and it just felt right. I got down on one knee in her apartment, and it was intimate and perfect.
Tell us about your beautiful engagement ring. The diamond is from Jason’s Grandma, which is so special! He took the diamond to their family jeweler, and they created the most beautiful ring!
What was the biggest challenge you faced while planning your wedding? I’d say the biggest challenge was being long distance for most of the planning- being away from each other had its own challenges, and also making plans to be in town to meet with our planner and vendors.
Tell us about your wedding flowers. We wanted a mix of large loose flowers and greenery flowing from tall silver candelabras and small arrangements all over in mint julep cups! We loved everything about them, and the colors tied in perfectly with the other décor! I wanted a flowing, organic bouquet, as if you were in a field of flowers and bent down to grab an armful. Hues of soft green, whites and hints of blue and tied up with dusty blue silk ribbons. And of course, a few of my favorite- anemones!
Who was one of the most special guests at your wedding? I am inclined to say everyone. It is a truly indescribable feeling to be surrounded by so many people you love and admire. But looking back now, it would be my Granny, who unexpectedly passed a couple months later. My wedding photos are the last photos we have with her and I have clung tight to those happy images and know I will for many years.
What were some of the highlights of the reception? “River of Dreams” by Billy Joel has become our family theme song, so we asked if they band could learn it and play it as our last song- and boy did they! What felt like a never-ending version finished off the dance floor as guests left the tent to line up for a sparkler exit, but to everyone’s surprise, fireworks exploded over the water as we ran past all our family and friends.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? We just finished completely gutting a house, Jason’s childhood home, actually. So, after being long distance for years, planning a wedding, moving in with my parents while renovating, I think we are most excited to settle in our new home and keep things low key for a little while!
Who was your favorite vendor and why? Hands down, our Wedding Planner, Elle Ellinghaus. She’s in my phone as ‘Fairy God Mother’, because that’s exactly what she is and this dream would not have come to life without her.
Photographer: Caitlin Joyce Photography | Videographer: Clickspark Films | Planner and Designer: Elle Ellinghaus Designs | Ceremony Venue: Our Mother of Sorrows | Reception Venue: Kirkland Manor | Florals: My Flower Box Events | Catering: Linwoods | Wedding Cake: Patisserie Poupon | Bride’s Gown: Style 9818 by Justin Alexander Signature | Bridal Salon: Ellie’s Bridal Boutique | Bride’s Veil: Justin Alexander Signature | Bridesmaid Dresses: “Annabelle” in Ciel Blue by Jenny Yoo | Hair Stylist: NV Salon Collective | Makeup Artist: Makeup by Nancy Degan | Groom’s Fashion: Christopher Schafer Clothier | Groomsmen Fashion: Tuxedo House | Monogram: Empress Stationery | Stationery and Printing: Just Ink on Paper | Tent: Eastern Shore Tents | Rentals: White Glove Rentals | Flatware: Party Plus Baltimore | Linens: La Tavola Linen | Transportation: American Limousines | Fireworks: Serpico Pyrotechnics | Lighting and Drapery: Event Pro | Silhouette Artist: Paper Portraits