Baltimore wedding

Kate and Josh // AVAM Baltimore, MD Wedding // MD Wedding Coordinator

Photo by KristineAnn Photography

Tarra's been super-busy this year (yay!) - so here's another one of her weddings at the always-hip American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore. Take it away, Tarra!
I knew Kate and Josh were super cool right away simply because of their reception venue choice - The American Visionary Art Museum.  Call me biased, as it was also my wedding venue, I don't mind! It was so nice to be back and enjoy all that AVAM has to offer to the world whether you are a museum goer,  event guest, bride or groom!   Did I mention I got to work with the same rad venue coordinator who help me with my wedding nearly 4 years ago?!
AVAM really is such a chameleon of a space - it accommodates any and every couple's wedding day dreams.  Kate and Josh brought in stunning, handcrafted farm tables (Barnes Handcrafted Farmhouse Tables), some mismatched charger plates, mason jars, and bright florals to accomplish a homey, eclectic vibe. The food was top notch as expected, with Josh being a chef himself. 
Let's not forget about their gorgeous ceremony held at the Holy Cross Catholic Church in Baltimore. I love and completely support weddings outside of church walls, but it is always a nice treat to witness a couple marry in a church especially when it is a beautiful and historic as Holy Cross. 
It was so wonderful to work with this sweet couple.  They were classifiably busy in the months leading up to their wedding, but they never let it show.  Kate's work landed her a new opportunity in Berlin, Germany! I wish them all the best in their newly-wed life overseas!

Photo by KristineAnn Photography

Photo by KristineAnn Photography

Photo by KristineAnn Photography

Photo by KristineAnn Photography

Photo by KristineAnn Photography

Photo by KristineAnn Photography

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Tarra and Jessy's Baltimore AVAM wedding

Hey folks! This is the last post from our awesome new associate coordinator, Tarra. When I first met her she mentioned she'd gotten married at AVAM and I asked to see a pic. I was blown away and thought you all would be, too! So enjoy this beautiful Baltimore wedding, and the lessons Tarra learned - hurricane and all! **The final photo took my breathe away. Officially convinced the best wedding photos are rainy day photos

**Also, can we talk about how gorgeous these two ladies are?? Ok, I'm done now

I cannot recall dreaming about my wedding day as a child. I do, however, remembering orchestrating countless marriages between my Barbie and Ken, so at the very least I understood the concept weddings and how involved they can be. I also remember really enjoying the coordination aspect of it all, so much that I would literally try to assume every character there was in the “Barbie and Ken Wed” play –mother of the bride, bride, planner, limo driver, officiant, florist, caterer, cake baker, and DJ. It’s no wonder my sisters never liked to play with me! But there was no other way to do it. Things had to be right. I knew Barbie and Ken needed me to be detailed and meticulous…and I delivered!

So even though I initially headed in a different career path (Criminal Justice to be specific), this story shows that the planner has always been in me. When the time came for my very own wedding, that planner finally showed herself again!

The Venue

Jessy and I were married on October 28, 2012 at the American Visionary Art Museum (AVAM) in Baltimore, MD. It was a pretty easy venue choice for us. Baltimore Inner Harbor – check! Non-traditional/unique – check! Artsy/quirky – check! AVAM provided indoor and outdoor options, which we really liked. Yes, we hoped for a freakishly warm fall day so we could have an outdoor ceremony, but that was totally not the case. It was all good in the end, because the gorgeous staircase inside the museum made the perfect ceremony stage for us!

Richard Veytsman Photography

Richard Veytsman Photography

The ‘fits

One of the most important things for Jessy was our outfits…specifically the dress choices. While we did not want to see each other’s selection before the wedding, we just had to. She was adamant about us not clashing with each other as many bride-bride couple tend to do. Since I picked my dress out first, I thought maybe we could get away with me shopping with her and her trusting me that I would not steer us wrong. NOPE! I ended up describing my dress which was very unique and the sales consultant said, “I have something like that, let me bring it out and we will go from there”. What does she come walking in with….yup, you guessed it…my exact dress! She slapped that bad boy on a mannequin and Jessy tried on dresses and stood next to my dress until she found the perfect bride-bride match!

Richard Veytsman Photography

Richard Veytsman Photography

Richard Veytsman Photography

Richard Veytsman Photography

Catering vs. Coordinating

We used Absolutely Perfect Catering (APC). I have only great things to say about the delicious food, presentation and service in general. One of the major selling points about APC was the fact that our point of contact would act not only as a lead caterer, but also as a day-of coordinator for no additional cost. I felt this too good to be true, so the thought to hire a separate wedding coordinator absolutely crossed my mind. APC, however, insisted that it would not be necessary. I should mention that I was not at a wedding planner/coordinator at the time…not even close…so I was a new to the process as most other brides. With that said, I trusted that our contact could act as both a lead caterer and coordinator. Again, while I have nothing but great things to say about APC including our contact’s services…going with a great catering company that offers coordination services definitely has its limitations. Typically, such coordination services extend only to the reception, falling short on the ceremony and all pre-ceremony preparation.   In other words, catering coordinators are not going to review all your vendor contracts before the wedding, make sure you and the rest of your wedding party are dressed in time, confirm transportation services for your guests, cue the ceremony, or make sure you don’t spend too long taking pictures during cocktail hour. Needless to say, I learned the hard way!

Richard Veytsman Photography

Sandy, oh Sandy!

They say rain on your wedding day is good luck! Well Jessy and I must be the luckiest people in the world because Hurricane Sandy brought on boatloads of rain the night of our wedding. As the storm was approaching the East Coast, I was in complete denial. It wasn’t until the phone calls started to come in from various guests apologizing because they were going to make it that I began to FREAK OUT. I knew the threat was very serious when the AVAM venue manager called to discuss potential flooding of the harbor and how we would be forced to cancel. [Editor's Note: Hey remember that post I wrote about having to cancel your wedding and insurance?] Around 7:00 AM the morning of the wedding, we were able to make the final decision that the show would go on!! Sandy was not scheduled to hit the Baltimore area until after midnight, well after our wedding send off. The rain started as we arrived to the venue and continued throughout the night. The air was pretty chilly and boy was it windy. The saddest part of it all (next to absent family/friends) was the lack of outdoor wedding photos…but our AMAZING photographers, Richard & Tara Veytsman, had such a great eye and awesome idea to drag us outside for some INCREDIBLE shots.

Richard Veytsman Photography

There is nothing I would change about our wedding. I consider all of the minor oversights/mistakes and misfortunes as invaluable lessons. Everything that was stressful and challenging about wedding planning was exactly what I loved about it. Strange, maybe? But that is me. I love worrying about everything and thinking through the solutions! And I really love seeing it all come together as perfectly as it was supposed to. Not even Sandy could hold us back…and the way I see it nothing can stop me from working hard to make others’ weddings just as remarkable as ours!

Linn and Dave's DIY Outdoor Wedding, Patterson Park Baltimore

Linn and Dave got married in Patterson Park, Baltimore this summer. I worked with them as their Month-Of Coordinator to help their beautiful outdoor celebration go off as planned. I have to say, I adored this wedding. It was a perfect example of an easy, breezy, budget-friendly celebration. They worked with the parks department to rent one of the park pavilions - got married  under a tree in the park, with a reception catered by Blacksauce Kitchen and beautiful (seriously... BEAUTIFUL) photography by Debi Parker.

Now, don’t get me wrong. This wedding was a serious labor of love for these two, their friends, and their family. It was a hot day in June, and they thoughtfully supplied personalized water bottles to all the guests as their favors. They provided their own lace linens, DIYed beautiful bunting, and created lovely floral arrangements themselves. They lugged a generator to the park (which stopped unexpectedly in the middle of the party - thanks to a log provided by the caterer from their wood oven, we propped the generator back into position and it worked like a charm the rest of the evening). They provided their own kegs of beer, chalkboard menus, and stunning placemats (designed by Bmore Papercuts).

This is the kind of work you need to be prepared for when DIYing a wedding. For example, one’s day-of coordinator might have to run around cleaning up knocked-over flower arrangements before the guests arrive because the wind was too strong. And she might have to re-clip all of the arrangements to a lower height so they stay put the rest of the night. Hypothetically, of course.

But.

It’s worth it. Cause with all that hard work, come amazing moments like these:

A gorgeous ceremony

A tasty, family-style meal

An evening of drinking, dancing, and laughing with family and friends

And beautiful flower arrangements one would (hopefully!) never notice had been cut 2 inches shorter than originally intended.

Worth. It.

And p.s. Reason you should have a day-of coordinator? She'll have the parks permit on hand when the cops roll in