Posts Tagged ‘Willow Oak Flower and Herb Farm’

Congratulations Nicole and Carl!

Thursday, December 30th, 2010

::Post imported from our old website::

Nicole and Carl probably the most unique wedding I’ve ever done. From the order of things, to the herbs used in place of flowers to the non-traditional ceremony, everything about this wedding screamed “Nicole and Carl,” especially the location, the AMAZING Patapsco Female Institute.


(All photos, unless otherwise noted, by photographer Nat Wongsaroj)

The Patapsco Female Institute is a former girls’ finishing school in Ellicott City, MD which was later a hospital for wounded World War I soldiers. What remains of the school are the gorgeous stone ruins and blue steel beams that made up the beautiful building. The lower level has “rooms” with gravel floors, which were perfect for Nicole and Carl’s cocktail hour, which started off the evening


Yep, that’s right, the cocktail hour STARTED the event, not the ceremony! I actually loved this, as Nicole and Carl got to mingle with their guests and have a relaxed day.


The “flowers” (which were mainly herbs) were provided by Willow Oak Flower and Herb Farm. They smelled AMAZING!! And I’m dying to visit their farm, which is supposed to have these amazing gardens, and a drying barn with tons of dried herb decorations.


This photo of the bride’s pomander (which she carried in place of a bouquet) is by the sister-in-law of the groom, Emily Smith. Emily is AMAZING with detail shots — I was so grateful to have her there for her help and for all of her amazing detail shots! If anyone needs a “2nd shooter” to do some detail stuff, let me know and I’ll pass along her info!


After the cocktail hour, we invited guests upstairs to the “dining room” for dinner. They found their seats on these “luggage tag” cards, which were hand stamped and typewritten by Nicole and Carl.


Photo by Emily:


The symbols on each card were the “table names” — Wood, Sheep, Bricks and Grain — anyone know what that’s from? It’s from this great board game called Settlers of Catan! I LOVE this game — it was so funny when I realized what they were doing — I knew we were a good fit :)


See the centerpieces behind the table pictures? More fragrant herbs, in lots of cute jelly and mason jars!


Dinner was catered by the delicious Beefalo Bob’s! YUM! I love a BBQ wedding, and I’ve had quite a few this year!


OMG, that’s making me so hungry! It was SO YUMMY!!! This place is the real deal — they brought this awesome smoker right out to PFI and smoked the pit beef right there on the grounds! I even watched as they shucked the corn right there — LOVE fresh food catering! It’s amazing what these guys did with no electricity or water!


Check out the adorable bib! Nicole and Carl provided these AWESOME bags as favors — I’ve used mine a few times already for groceries! They screenprinted them themselves — without a screen printing machine! They had a roller, a laser cut stencil (made by a Baltimore Etsy seller!) and a group of friends to help — I need to get some friends like that! Inside the bags were a timeline/program for the evening (which was so sweet, as it thanked all the vendors!) and a dinner “emergency kit” with a bib, handi-wipes, and a mint. Too cute :) (Photo by Emily)


I LOVED how we did the tables! We had plain white linens on them, but then they were covered with Duck Cloth (cut by Nicole and Carl), then topped with a cute runner, which was hand sewn by Carl’s mom, and then adorable rustic cloth napkins, which they found at Ikea! Carl’s mom tied EACH NAPKIN with raffia — how sweet! They were all delivered to us in a huge suitcase!


Also on each table was bug repellant — THAT NICOLE MADE HERSELF!!! Talk about DIY! What a crafty bride, I love it! (And it smelled WAY better than any commercial bug spray out there!) (Photo by Emily)


Nicole and Carl snuck away with Nat during dinner for a few photos of just the two of them:



After dinner, guests made their way to the ceremony site, which had a chuppah that was made by Carl and set up by the couple’s brothers and sisters in law.


Friends of the couple played the guitar and banjo for the processional and recessional (my favorite part was their recessional — Queen’s “Another One Bites the Dust.” — I told you I loved these guys!!)


And the ceremony was officiated by two family friends


After the ceremony, we made our way to the AMAZING front of the house for champagne toasts.


Nat 3

Then it was back to the cocktail area to cut the DELICIOUS cake by one of my favorites, Heidelberg Bakery!


Oh, that’s right — they had photo cakes instead of a traditional wedding cake! They also had cookies by Pastries by Randolph (also dangerously close to my house) and macarons from Patissierie Poupon, which has locations in Georgetown and Baltimore (but, strangely, no web site)


Guests mingled for a little while longer as the sun set, lit by rope lighting strung by Grand Rental Events (photos by Emily)



Then it was back to DC, where guests continued to party at the Omni Shoreham and Open City across the street, which also hosted brunch the next day.


Congratulations, Nicole and Carl! We definitely need to hang out in Baltimore soon!


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