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Carolyn & Tom — The Castle at Maryvale — Baltimore wedding photography

Carolyn sent me one of my most favorite photography inquiries ever. “I’m having my wedding at the Castle at Maryvale,” she wrote in her very first e-mail. “Every time I share photos of the venue with friends, I always end up forwarding along your link with the wedding you shot there — so I thought that’s as good a sign as any that I should contact you!” (For the record, that would be Casey & Jeremy‘s gorgeous wedding, which ended up in The Knot magazine!) She went on to write, “I’m more interested in capturing the energy and feel of the wedding and guests, as opposed to focusing on posed photos. I also think that there is something stately and magical about Maryvale, and I’d like to capture that feel.” Magical, indeed. Carolyn and Tom planned one of the most stylish weddings that I have ever had the pleasure of photographing. The menu cards, depicting drippy black and cream chandeliers, echoed the actual chandeliers brought in to add a little glittery elegance to the terrace where dinner was served. A photo from their engagement session in Paris — yes, that Paris! — graced the cover of their wedding program. A custom logo was used in not only their invitations, placecards and programs but also on pillows that were tossed on the lawn furniture during cocktail hour. A gorgeous mix of tall and short floral arrangements as well as luxe cream linens, terrariums and mercury glass candles bedecked dinner tables that were round, square and rectangular, making for a simply stunning dining area. There were lawn games. Signature French cocktails. Homemade apple pies and French macarons. And a ceremonial torching of crème brulee by the newlyweds — rather than a cake cutting — as guests raised small ceramic spoons filled with crème brulee in a sweet, non-traditional toast.

Lest I focus only on the things at their wedding, I should also mention that Carolyn and Tom have just as sweet of a love story. They have known each other for more than 15 years — the groom is the older brother of the bride’s best friend. They met during Carolyn’s freshman year in high school, just after Tom’s family had returned to the US after spending four years in Paris. “He was always just the older brother,” Carolyn told me during our initial consultation. “He was just Tommy.” Years later, after college, she was working at the Corcoran Gallery in DC and he at the White House — close enough to have lunch together — when they really hit it off. They dated for five years before planning their wedding, which they contemplated holding at a chateau in France before deciding to turn the grand European-style Castle at Maryvale into their French chateau for the day. Tom’s sister Katie, of course, served as Carolyn’s maid of honor. I positively love the images of her getting all emotional during the ceremony and Carolyn reaching back to comfort her. Without further ado, here are some of my favorites from Carolyn & Tom’s gorgeous wedding.

A few getting ready details.

The bride, looking gorgeous.

Carolyn & Tom chose to see each other before the ceremony and we made the most of some spectacular light for their photos.

A few groom details.

After a little lemonade, it was time to get married.

This next photo was shot by my assistant, Lucas.

StewartCulligan_01276-0348

Lucas shot this great photo of their program during the ceremony, too.

Married!

Carolyn & Katie!

After family photos, we were off to cocktail hour, where guests were invited to write a note to the newlyweds on tiny little historical maps of Paris!

The signature drinks. Leaving no detail unfinished, Carolyn found a font based on Cezanne’s actual handwriting and used it in creating the bar signs.

A few reception details. And more gorgeous food by Linwoods Catering.

As a nod to an inside joke with the groom, one of Tom’s friends arranged for the caterers to serve him a HotPocket alongside his fancy dinner.

The castle at dusk.

A few toasts.

I absolutely love this next photo: the emotion on Carolyn’s face, the way Tom is looking at his wife. Just a wonderful moment.

The creme brulee!

A first dance.

In this next photo, I love the expression not only on Tom’s face but also on his mother’s face in the background as she looks on. So wonderful!

And lots of merriment.

Capping the gorgeous affair, Carolyn and Tom left amidst a shower of bubbles and hopped into a waiting 1962 Silver Cloud Rolls-Royce. What a night! 

Congratulations, Carolyn & Tom. It was an absolute joy to work with you and your families!

Credits:

Photography: Jennifer McMenamin Photography

Ceremony & reception location: The Castle at Maryvale

Event planner: Kerrine “Kay” Fraser of Prestigious Occasions

Officiant: The Rev. Susan LaMer

Ceremony musicians: St. Charles String Quartet

 Florist: Spot Floral Design

Caterer: Linwoods

Bridal attire: BHLDN

Hair & makeup: Behind the Veil

Groom attire: Men’s Wearhouse

Wedding programs: Betsy White

Invitations and menus: Minted

Ceremonial creme brulee for torching: Linwoods

Lighting and decor: Event Dynamics

Wedding transportation: A 1962 Rolls Royce from Her Majesty’s Service

Miniature apple pies: Made by a friend of the bride from his grandmother’s closely guarded recipe

Macarons: Tout de Sweet bakery

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