There’s nothing like a good museum wedding. And we’re seriously smitten with the Jewish wedding of Melissa, a personal stylist, and Evan, who works for the U.S. government as an outdoor recreation planner and project coordinator. These two held their celebration at Baltimore’s Maryland Historical Society, which is chock full of cool history displays and art galleries – and it made the absolute perfect setting for their black-tie festivities. Have a scroll through the couple’s incredible photos by The Oberports and we bet you’ll agree!
We adore Melissa and Evan’s gorgeous ketubah, created by Nava Shoham of Smashing The Glass Recommended Vendor 1-800-Ketubah. The couple chose her “Royal Claddagh” design, in honor of their Scottish and Irish ancestry, and we’re in love with the bold, beautiful, colorful ketubah. In the bride’s words, it’s a real statement piece!
Now over to Melissa, who looked radiant in Essense of Australia…
How we Met
Melissa, the bride: We met in college where we were both involved with the marching band. Although, we weren’t in the band at the same time, we attended the same band parties and hit it off there. That was 15 years ago!
A Venue with History
We were married at the Maryland Historical Society in Baltimore, Maryland, which is now named the Maryland Centre for History and Culture. We chose the venue for many reasons: its indoor and outdoor spaces; history displays and art galleries; many vendors to choose from and also the ability to bring in our own vendors; an affordable price; and, a great location in the city that was easily accessible for our wedding guests.
We agreed that we did not want a theme for our wedding, but that we wanted it to be as elegant and as fun as possible; black tie formal attire was required. Our colour scheme was grey and gold, with touches of navy-blue, white, and teal. We wanted fun colours that reflected our personalities to be the focus, but didn’t want any colours to be overpowering. Our focus was really creating a fun environment for us, our families, and our guests with great food and great music.
Invitations / stationery
We ordered invitations from Basic Invite, an online stationary vendor. Basic Invite had a beautiful template that we customized. Our invites were also a new form of RSVP card, where the guest tears off the invite card and places the RSVP portion in the mail. It definitely made sending the RSVPs easier by not having to stuff almost 150 envelopes!
Hair + Make-up
I definitely had a vision of how I wanted my hair and makeup done – I am a perfectionist which made putting these tasks in someone else’s hands extremely difficult. I wanted a timeless and elegant look to match the feel of the wedding, and I knew red lips were a MUST. My hair was done by Wedlocks, and my makeup was done by a co-worker from my store! Funny fact: even though I need control over everything, I was her 1st bridal look she had ever done. We had about four trials before the wedding day, so we both felt the look was perfect and we were both comfortable.
An Essense of Australia Dress
My dress was from a local bridal boutique that carried the designer, Essense of Australia, I had been eyeing for months. I knew I wanted a mermaid silhouette, but I still wanted to try all styles to have the whole dress shopping experience and to be certain the mermaid silhouette would look best. When I put on the dress, I felt perfect! It was fitted, sexy, classy, and made me feel like a bride.
I had a cathedral length veil because a fingertip length veil just didn’t give the drama I wanted. The veil came from the same shop that my dress did, so I knew they would look good together. I added a jewelled hairpiece (from an Etsy shop) on the side of my head. I also wore simple teardrop earrings and a bracelet by Badgley Mischka, and both of those were purchased from the store where I work.
I LOVED my shoes. I had my heart set on teal shoes for a pop of colour. I found the perfect pump with a great heel height at my store! They were faux suede and I customized them with gorgeous crystal appliqués onto the back of the shoe to make them one of a kind.
The handsome groom
Both Evan and I wanted him in a dark navy-blue tuxedo. We rented Evan’s and the groomsmen’s tuxedos from The Black Tux, a mostly online store. However, some shopping malls have a physical The Black Tux location where associates can measure you, and then the rental tux is mailed to you a week before the occasion – this made things extremely easy. We did our first look before the wedding ceremony and I was so nervous! However, when I saw Evan, I felt so calm and ready to go marry him! He was so handsome! Tuxedo, glasses, hair and beard done nicely, and he was smiling from ear to ear.
I had six bridesmaids. They all were significant friends of mine and Evan’s from the time he and I met in college. They all wore the same colour dress, charcoal grey, but the styles of their dresses were all different to suit their personality. The designer of my dress also had a bridesmaid line that I loved and was sold at the same shop from where I purchased my dress. The bridesmaids’ dresses ranged from a halter silhouette with head-to-toe sequins, to an elegant chiffon style that could be tied multiple ways.
We wanted a few special touches to our ceremony but nothing crazy. Afterall, we were already married according to our Ketubah! We had a candle lighting ceremony with our mothers to symbolize the joining of our families, a few readings from friends, and since we had a Jewish ceremony, we said prayers and incorporated a few aspects of more traditional Jewish weddings. I remember crying and laughing during the ceremony which is how we both wanted it. A loving exchange of vows yet light-hearted and fun!
Our ketubah was created by Nava Shoham from 1-800-Ketubah. We chose the “Royal Claddagh” design since we both (but mostly Evan) have Scottish and Irish ancestry. Our ketubah is bold and beautiful – certainly a statement piece of artwork.
I wanted something simple and elegant. The chuppah was draped in white fabric with floral tiebacks of the same flowers as in the reception centre pieces & bouquets. Simple, but very romantic.
Our Music Choice
The deejay we hired is friends with my brother, and we curated the playlist with the deejay to really set the tone for the ceremony and the reception – we did not want the cheesy wedding line-dances and the usual, over-played wedding songs at the reception. The ceremony processional song for the bridal party and our parents was Edward Elgar’s Enigma Variation ‘Nimrod’. I walked down the aisle with my parents to an instrumental version of ‘A Thousand Years’, by Christina Perri (Piano/Cello Cover).
And Evan chose ‘This Girl’ by the Punch Brothers as our recessional song. We shared our First Dance to ‘When I Get My Hands On You’ by The New Basement Tapes. We let our parents choose the songs we danced to with them – Evan danced with his mom to ‘Blessed’ by Sir Elton John, and I danced with her dad to ‘My Little Girl’ by Tim McGraw.
I knew I wanted roses and hydrangeas, but that was it… I worked with a florist who was highly recommended by our caterer. The florist, J J Cummings Floral, was great at helping me pick the other flowers that went into the bouquets and centre pieces, and he created exactly what I had wanted. The flowers were set up with candelabras on the head table, tall centre pieces on the guest tables, and several shorter centre pieces at other guest tables to add variety in the space. The bridal and bridesmaids’ bouquets were smaller versions of the centre pieces, but my bouquet was slightly larger and included more hydrangeas.
Choosing our photographers, The Oberports, was probably the easiest decision to make after choosing to marry each other! Evan has known the wife of the amazing photography team for decades, so we were familiar with them and their style. Their style is gorgeous – bold colours, great lighting, and they are able to capture the best moments. Everyone always looks amazing in their shots. We did not have a videographer; although, looking back I wish we had chosen to also have a videographer.
Food and Cake
Our caterer, Zeffert and Gold, was on the venue’s list of preferred vendors. The owner of the catering business was fabulous and very easy to work with. For cocktail hour, we chose to have passed hors d’oeuvres, a buffet, and an open bar. For dinner, we chose to have several stations of various cuisines set up throughout the venue so our guests were afforded plenty of options regardless of their dietary needs, restrictions, or pickiness.
Our cake was constructed of four tiers, covered in fondant, with moulded chocolate flowers and edible gold gems. The cake topper was a silhouette that resembled Evan and I perfectly.
Our deejay, My Deejay, provided all of the entertainment. He definitely knew how to keep the party going by picking the best transition of songs from our playlist. My brother also guest deejayed a set of songs as a gift to us, and the dance floor cleared and Evan and I danced our butts off!
Our wedding favors were metal bottle openers, about the shape of a credit card, that fit into a wallet, and they had our names and the wedding date stamped into the metal along with a moustache and lips. Most of our friends are craft beer geeks so we knew these would be useful.
Both the best man and maid of honour gave speeches which were lovely and hilarious. They both knew us in college and of course had MANY stories to dish. My father did a blessing over the challah before the guests were dismissed to get dinner, and of course both my mom and dad did not miss an opportunity to tell everyone some embarrassing stories about me! One thing that was a bit upsetting, but didn’t make it any less of an amazing day, was that it rained lightly for most of the day prior to the ceremony. It actually created the best lighting for our outdoor photos!
We did not take a honeymoon, and instead purchased our first home within a year of the wedding. We both still want to take a honeymoon, but we also just had our first child last September, so we aren’t sure when we will have the time for just the two of us to travel!
Advice to couples currently planning their wedding
Definitely plan your day to what you and your partner want! Do NOT let family and friends complicate your wedding, because it is not their day and they should be respectful of that fact.
MELISSA & EVAN’S LITTLE WHITE BOOK
Photography – The Oberports
Ketubah – Nava Shoham – 1-800-Ketubah
Venue – Maryland Historical Society
Bride’s dress – Essense of Australia found at Couture Bridal
Bride’s shoes – Macys
Bride’s accessories – Macys, Etsy
Groom’s attire – The Black Tux
Bridesmaids – Essense Designs
Hair + Makeup – Wedlocks
Flowers – J J Cummings Floral
DJ – My Deejay
Catering – Zeffert and Gold
Cake – Zeffert and Gold
Stationery/Invitation – Basic Invite
Rabbi – Rabbi Tova Dodi