Goodness do I have such a soft spot for this couple. Their love story, the backdrop to their big day can’t do anything but remind me of my own. It doesn’t hurt that they chose to tie the knot where I was married almost 4 years exactly to the day. Back then, Black Ankle was a new vineyard in Maryland’s country side that hardly anyone had heard of. Now it has won the Maryland’s Governor’s Cup and is a favorite local spot for a picturesque picnic. Natalie and Mark’s big day was uniquely their own and it was such a privilege to capture it for them.
Natalie chose to get ready on the vineyard property. She was such a trooper when we suggested that we use the old barn as a backdrop. This shouldn’t come as a surprise. Natalie comes from a family of all boys. Her brothers were her “best men” and though her closest friends weren’t officially in the wedding, they surrounded her as she prepared for her day.
As soon as Natalie was ready, she was eager to see Mark. We shuffled her off to the top of the vineyard where Mark stood amongst the vines waiting for her. Their first embrace said it all. I myself struggled to hold it together. It was such a perfectly private moment.
As family members arrived and were greeted with a sunny afternoon and Maryland’s beautiful country side, we took time out for portraits.
When the time came for the ceremony, Natalie and Mark held back for their own portraits. It was the perfect few moments as they danced to the music they had selected for their guests playing in the distance.
The ceremony started just as the sun started to set. Guests were given warm picnic blankets to wrap up in as the moon rose and the temperatures dropped. By the time they had said I do, the sun had faded and the fires were crackling inviting guests to their reception.
What better way to start married life then snuggling under a picnic blanket by the fire. Their quiet moments were disrupted as the party immediately got started. Natalie and Mark had a fun-filled evening planned for guests. On top of barrels of wonderful wine, they had local barbecue brought in to add to the Maryland flavor. While some took to cozying under the stars, other took the dance floor. It was quite an event to remember.
Natalie and Mark, your big day was beautiful and downright fun! It is certainly one I will never forget…the familiar setting…the fun food…the crazy dancing…the starry night! Cheers to a lifetime of fun memories ahead. xoxo