Mercedes + Davide | Traditional Mexican-Italian Baltimore Wedding

Mercedes and Davide, both first-generation Americans, incorporated many family traditions into their wedding day to create a unique celebration of culture and festivity. 

Their respect and love for the dignity of the marriage sacrament is evident in their story, as they learn to listen to God’s will and find harmony in their different temperaments. In the end, Mercedes reflects that they are not isolated in their vocation; they are surrounded by the love of family, friends, and the eternal communion of saints.

From the Groom: Mercedes and I met in June 2015 as we walked with our young adult group to a pub in downtown Baltimore. It was after evening Mass on a Sunday. Our first glance was filled with charm, and our first chat was intriguing, because an introspective and cautious introvert (me) was attracted to an outgoing, enthusiastic extrovert (Mercedes). 

On our first few dates, I learned we had both been brought up as first-generation Americans, and we shared a similar family structure. We both lived lives that spanned two cultures, and that helped us feel uniquely and mutually attracted.

I began to realize, however, that we communicated in very different ways. I started to feel the first fire of attraction die down within me, especially when I felt confused and unable to express myself adequately. But in empathy, true love, and hope, we listened to the voice of God and found ways to understand each other in communication. We came to appreciate each other's humanity and unique traits, and from the day we met, our appreciation and admiration of one another has steadily grown.

I tell Mercedes all the time that I was ready to marry her in October of 2017 when I was in search of a ring. Instead, I proposed in March of 2018 on the grounds of Frank Lloyd Wright’s famous Fallingwater, after five months of preparation and prayer. That day, we declared our love for each other and our willingness to pursue marriage.

We were overjoyed to call and notify family about our engagement, and they have certainly helped support our relationship. Yet our relationship with God, the author of marriage, was always very important. Through prayer and the sacraments, Gold keeps our marriage holy and stable. In addition, our love and empathy for each other provides fuel for us as we move forward in Christ.

Mercedes and I believe deeply in the sacramental institution of marriage. This was clear as we recited our vows during our nuptial Mass, which closely reflect the "three matrimonial goods" described by St. Thomas Aquinas: to be open to children and raising them in the Catholic Church, to be faithful and always act in the best interest of our spouse, and to create a new spiritual unity with each other through God's grace.

From the Bride: Dave showed me he was a thoughtful, patient, generous, and dedicated man from the moment we met. When I knew he was the one I wanted to marry, I also knew I would most likely have to move wherever he got a job. Along with two friends, we started to pray for the intercession of St. Joseph in our lives. We were all discerning marriage in addition to career changes in order to be closer to our future spouses. While things didn’t move terribly fast, we are all happily married now and in good jobs. 

Dave proposed on March 10, the day the novena to St. Joseph began (unbeknownst to him), and my women’s bible study hosted a surprise engagement party for us on his feast day. Even though we don’t have a special devotion to St Joseph in our marriage, I know he is a steadfast guide and counselor in our vocation, and I have a special place for him in my heart.

Living in Baltimore, we found community and spiritual nourishment at the local parish, Saints Philip and James Catholic Church, which is run by the Dominican friars. We were blessed to have attended multiple weddings for dear friends there, and knew that once we moved to Philadelphia, Baltimore would still be the place we wanted to get married. 

The lovely mosaics, tall stained glass windows, and high-arched ceilings made the church breathtakingly beautiful and helped make Mass the focal point of the day. Elizabeth, our photographer, captured some of my favorite elements, such as the large crucifix by the Marian shrine and the dome over the altar. It was special to share this church with so many friends and family who traveled for our wedding day.

Looking back, the nuptial Mass was my favorite part. It felt like it was just Dave, myself, and the priest for most of the ceremony, especially during the consecration, because we had kneelers facing the altar directly.

We recently attended another wedding at Saints Philip and James parish, and hearing them make the same vows on the same altar was a powerful reminder that our marriage is supported by the whole Church. We made our vows along with thousands of other Catholics striving for holiness in this vocation.

Dave and I chose to incorporate a variety of traditions into our wedding. In addition to wearing my mom’s wedding gown and veil, which my aunt helped modify, I wore jewelry that belonged to my grandmother and carried my great-grandmother’s rosary around my bouquet. My matron-of-honor carried this same rosary around her bouquet at her wedding as her “something borrowed”. 

During the wedding Mass, we were joined under a wedding lazo (lasso), a traditional practice in Mexico and many other Spanish-speaking countries. It symbolizes the unity of husband and wife under the protection of the Church and their joint responsibility in living out their vows. We were blessed to use the same lazo my parents had at their wedding almost thirty years ago.

At our reception, we served Italian confetti at the dessert table, which is sugar or chocolate-coated almonds with various flavors. On a recent trip to visit family in Italy, Dave and I picked out bomboniere (wedding favors) with his mother. We selected wooden trivets that looked like potted flowers which can be displayed on a small stand. There were so many that it almost filled an entire room in their basement! My aunt also brought traditional papel picado (decorative tissue paper) from Mexico, which she customized with our names and other expressions of love. Altogether, they made our reception venue beautiful.

Looking back, our entire wedding day was filled with the love and support of so many people. Many of our family members flew in from abroad, and we know our grandmothers who live abroad (two who are 93 and one who is 88) made the greatest effort to be present that day. My mother and mother-in-law dedicated themselves for many months to make the wedding beautiful and helped with every aspect of planning. My father gave a beautiful speech in three languages that made several guests cry! My cousins helped as day-of coordinators and brought fun accessories for the dance floor. 

Our group of Catholic friends from Baltimore curated a prayer calendar for us, which now hangs in our kitchen as a reminder that we have people praying for us. They offered us sage advice, joyful encouragement, and gladly partook in the ceremony as readers and ushers. Our florist, Emma, is a close family friend who owns an amazing floral design company in the city. She was able to source giant coral peonies for my bouquet, and the colorful bouquets and centerpieces were everything I dreamed they would be. Elizabeth, our photographer, was a connection through the Catholic community in Baltimore and has captured meaningful moments for many close friends. 

In some way or another, loved ones gave of their time and talent, and it moved us deeply. We had so many guests that we struggled to make our way to every table during the reception. Everywhere I turned, there was another face who was there not just for the wedding day, but to give us love and support for our future as a married couple. I ran around giving hugs and high-fives and dragging people to the dance floor, and I still feel the joy to this day.

I knew I could never marry someone who didn’t love the movie “My Big Fat Greek Wedding.” The main character, Toula, comes from a loud, crazy family that yells over each other, cooks big meals, and throws great parties. In many ways her Greek immigrant family resembled my Mexican family and the group of friends I grew up with. Additionally, Dave’s Italian family certainly knows how to feed large amounts of people and bring family together for big celebrations. 

Growing up, I loved this movie, and I always imagined my wedding day would be something like it: a dizzying day full of tradition, love, big families, and intense emotions. It is safe to say our wedding was very much like that. And even now, some nights before bed, I look at our wedding photos framed on the wall, turn to Dave, and quote one of the last lines Toula says in the movie: “Sometimes I’m afraid that it didn’t happen…but it did happen! It did!”

Likewise, the greatest takeaway from our wedding is that we did not enter into this sacrament in isolation. 

Just as we were able to incorporate family, cultural traditions, and heirlooms into our celebration, the nuptial Mass itself included readings and vows that are used by many other Catholic couples. We were blessed to enter into marriage surrounded by family and friends, and we are reminded through their love and support that we are supported by the universal Church and the community of saints, who desire fruitfulness and holiness in our marriage.

Photography: Elizabeth M. Photo | Church: SS. Philip an James Catholic Church, Baltimore MD | Reception Venue: The American Visionary Art Museum, Baltimore MD | Flowers: Steelcut Flower Co. | Catering: Zeffert and Gold | Cake: Sugar Bakers Cakes | Stationary: Printed with Catprint | Hair and Makeup: Heather from Brushed Beauty LLC | Bridesmaids Dresses: Revelry | Necklace: The Little Catholic | Rings: Brilliant Earth and Robbin’s Diamonds  | Suit: Men’s Warehouse (Calvin Klein) | Ties and Pocket Squares: The Tie Bar | Bride's Dress: mother's dress

Beth + Nick | Ethical Fair Trade Wedding

The date is set, church arrangements have been made, and you are about begin deciding the particulars of your wedding with your fiancé. While taking steps to make it a truly Catholic ceremony, consider using the occasion not only to serve your guests, but a larger community of people in need.

Beth and Nick’s inspirational nuptials proves that a Catholic wedding can be beautiful, ethical, and respect the dignity of the human person through every step of the planning process.

Discover how they combined both the sacramental beauty of their wedding day with their passion for Catholic social teaching.

From the Photographer (An Endless Pursuit): “We knew when we got engaged that we wanted to live out our faith in a really special way. Not only did we want a Catholic ceremony, but we wanted to choose vendors and services that were ethical and/or local, when possible,” said the bride.

It is no surprise that Beth and Nick would plan their wedding to reflect their passion for Catholic social teaching. Serving the community and supporting those in need has always been a priority for this couple. Committed to living the faith through helping the poor and disadvantaged, both bride and groom held roles in homeless and prison ministries even before they met and were engaged.

Beth is co-founder and current co-director of the The StarFish Foundation, which provides education and support services for at-risk youth in Guayaquil, Ecuador.

“We realized that we would feel a little better about spending so much money on various wedding costs if we could feel confident that the people who made our items and delivered our services were paid and treated fairly,” she explained.

After quite a bit of research, the couple was able to find companies and vendors that fed their zeal for social justice with missions that stressed the dignity of the human person. The bridesmaids’ dresses and the mother of the bride’s dress were all made by Mata Traders, a company that partners with fair trade organizations in India and Nepal.

“The Mata Traders team worked with everyone’s sizes and my color preferences to recommend different options for dresses, helping me to determine quantities, availability and more,” Beth said. As for her own dress, the bride chose to work with bridal dress shop Celia Grace and was able to know exactly who made her dress: a father of four living in India. The Celia Grace team also helped Nick to find ties for himself, his groomsmen, and the father of the bride through their network of ethical fair trade vendors.

Beth and her bridesmaids were covered in fair trade goodness from head to toe. The bride, mother of the bride, and bridesmaids all sported Rothy’s: comfortable, classy shoes made from recycled water bottles. “If you’re not familiar with Rothy’s, you should be! I literally wear mine everyday—to work, on hikes, out with friends—everywhere” Beth gushed.

The couple chose their rings from Brilliant Earth and Aide-mémoire Jewelry. “When it comes to jewelry, taking an ethical path was so important. Many diamonds are made in conflict zones in Africa,” said Beth. “Having worked on many social justice issues over the years as a way to live my Catholic faith, I knew that [a traditional diamond] wasn’t an option.”

Beth also gifted her bridesmaids with jewelry steeped in meaning from The Starfish Project. The jewelry designer is changing lives of exploited women by educating and training them in sustainable, positive careers. Likewise, before the ceremony, Nick gifted Beth with a beautiful bracelet from Purpose Jewelry, an organization that gives hope to women who have been subjected to human trafficking.

Beth and Nick also made sure to shop local for many of their vendors as a way to support the Baltimore community they love. Their cupcakes were made by Flavor Cupcakery, which Beth encountered in one her many service roles.

“Years ago, when I worked at a homeless shelter in Baltimore, the owner reached out and offered to bring enough cupcakes for all 500 residents the day before Christmas Eve. It was such a special experience. We knew we wanted to support this local business on our wedding day.”

Local Color Flowers is a florist in Baltimore that sources local and seasonal flowers and gives their clients a unique experience. They guarantee the color and style of your flowers, but the exact type will be a surprise on your wedding day. “The team guided us in the process, learning all about our wedding so they could select flowers that really fit our personality and the vision of the wedding,” Beth said. “They did a fantastic job, and the surprise element was really fun for us.” As a bonus, the centerpieces provided were herbs that guests could take home and cultivate.

Beth and Nick’s wedding is a witness of how the love between two people can expand to love of their fellow man. Using your wedding budget to support ethical treatment of workers and honest business practices is something to consider. It elevates the worth of those who are working to ensure your wedding day is nothing less than incredible.

“Overall, we wanted to ensure our guests had a great time, but we hope they also shared in the joy of supporting ethical, local, and fair trade organizations,” said the bride.

Beth and Nick’s passion for upholding the dignity of the human person has made me wonder if ethical and fair trade weddings should be more of a trend in the world of Catholic nuptials.

They hope to inspire brides to consider where they source their decorations and vendors, because even a wedding budget can affect change in the lives of so many people.

Photography: An Endless Pursuit | Videography: Laurentina Photo & Video | Church: Catholic Community of South Baltimore | Wedding Reception Venue : Rusty Scupper | Day of Coordination: Kaitlyn Harrison, coordinationco.com | | DJ: Kevin Remaley, Rockin' Remaley, rockinremaley.com | Hair & Makeup: Down the Aisle in Style, baltimoreweddinghair.com | Flowers: Local Color Flowers, locoflo.com | Cupcakes: Flavor Cupcakery, flavorcupcakery.com | Bride's Dress: Celia Grace, celia-grace.com
Bridesmaid's Dresses: Mata Traders, 
matatraders.com | Bridemaid's Jewelry: The Starfish Project, thestarfishproject.com
Bride's Gift from Groom: Purpose Jewelry, 
purposejewelry.org | Bridal Party Shoes: Rothy's, rothys.com | Rings: Brilliant Earth, brilliantearth.com, Aide-memoire Jewelry, aidememoirejewelry.com

Jessica + Brian | Classic Winter Manor Wedding

Jessica and Brian met at college in 2010. At that moment, they had no idea that seven years later they would walk down the aisle and enter together into the sacrament of matrimony.

It only took a couple months of dating to realize their mutual desire for marriage, but different career paths and an uncertain military schedule kept Jessica and Brian apart. This only grew their desire to be united in marriage, and Brian finally proposed to Jessica in March 2017.

On a magical, snowy day in a beautiful chapel, the happy couple celebrated a winter wedding.

From the Bride: Brian and I both attended Mount Saint Mary’s University and were both business majors. We were in some of the same classes during our freshman year, but we didn’t meet until sophomore year in September 2010.

Brian introduced himself after my presentation during one of our business classes, and we spent some time together that weekend. We became quick friends, but he wasn’t looking for anything more than friendship at that time. As for me, I was open to the possibility of a relationship! So we continued to spend time together as Brian prayed and reflected about our future.

Three months after we met, he gave me a letter conveying all he had reflected on and asked me to be in a relationship with him. After only two months of dating, we knew one day we’d be husband and wife.

Over the next six and a half years, our love steadily grew through attending weekly Mass, praying together, and sharing countless memories.

We also identified our lay vocations and began our careers. As Brian started his time in the Marine Corps and I pursued a career in finance, we were separated for months at a time. This transition was extremely challenging, and I leaned heavily on prayer as I learned to trust in God’s plan.

Being separated by geography and Brian’s irregular schedule taught us not to take our relationship for granted. In March 2017, he proposed to me on the front steps of Mount de Sales Academy, my alma mater.

As we began planning, Brian and I wanted our wedding day to be centered on our love for God and each other. And we wanted each of our guests to feel this love coming through every detail.

Our celebrant, Father Thomas Haan, had been Brian’s college lacrosse team chaplain, a close friend and spiritual guide throughout our relationship. He celebrated our nuptial Mass on a beautiful, snowy December day at Mount St. Mary’s in the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception.

This was our favorite part of the day: the nuptial Mass and exchange of vows. As Catholics, making a commitment to God and each other in front of our families and friends was very important to us.

We also felt blessed to have our families involved in our wedding day in big ways. Brian’s aunt made the invitations, and my loving godparents provided my entire wedding ensemble. My godfather bought my veil, headband, and dress, and my godmother made my faux fur shawl.

Everything put together made me feel truly beautiful as I married Brian.

From Elizabeth, the Photographer: Shooting a lot of Catholic weddings, I hear a lot of homilies. But every now and then one of them forces me to stop and listen instead of moving around the church wondering what shot I should capture next.

Father Haan nailed it for Brian and Jessica! There was something so personal about his sermon. It was evident that he knew the couple well, and that he and Brian had a great relationship.

He highlighted how the Lord favors their union, specifically through the Blessed Mother's constant intercession for them.

Brian was born in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, and Jessica developed a strong devotion to Our Lady in high school at Mount de Sales Academy. Both Jessica and Brian chose to attend Mount Saint Mary's University. Then on December 9, one day after the feast of the Immaculate Conception, they were married in the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception at Mount Saint Mary's.

Father explained that it wasn't a coincidence their faithfulness to the Lord and his Blessed Mother was made visible in their union as husband and wife.

It was beautiful.

Photography: Elizabeth M Photography | Church: Chapel of the Immaculate Conception at Mount Saint Mary's University (Emmitsburg, MD) | Reception: Springfield Manor (Thurmont, MD) | Make-up: Autumn Estelle | Hair: Erica Noccolino Thorowgood | Bride’s Veil: Mon Cheri, purchased at The Bridal Boutique | Bride’s Headband: Morilee, purchased at The Bridal Boutique | Bride’s Dress: Stella York, purchased at The Bridal Boutique | Rings: King’s Jewelry, Alexandria, VA | Bride’s Shoes: Tieks by Gavrieli | Bridesmaids Dresses: Dessy, purchased at The Bridal Boutique | Caterer: The Carriage House | Cake/cupcake baker: Kupcakes &; Co. | DJ: Jack Seghetti | Planning: Ida Rose | Flowers: Shelly Black Custom Floral | Videographer: Jon Sham

Becca + Phil | Christmas Picnic Wedding

In the past, Becca and Phil had both discerned religious vocations. By the time they both felt ready to date and pursue marriage, they met online. Becca shared in her profile that her dream man wouldn’t be unlike Ebeneezer Scrooge’s nephew, Fred, in A Christmas Carol.

A few days later, she received a message from Phil, sharing that he was an actor currently playing the role of Fred. Their conversations began flowing nonstop. One week later, they met face to face, and began officially dating the following month on the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, who has since become their patroness.

From the Bride: We both knew pretty quickly that this was serious and we began to talk about marriage and family a few months in. During our courtship, we, who are both teachers, were both directing theatre shows at the same time that I was working and in grad school. Through all of the hectic scheduling and stress, we were still able to support each other through prayer and were able to attend every one of each other’s events.

After our engagement, things were crazy: I got a new job, Phil took on summer work to help with our expenses, and we decided to do all of the wedding planning ourselves. Yet through it all, there was so much growth and so many insecurities in us uncovered, so many new steps taken in our faith and so much joy shared in the chaos. With every step, we were extremely blessed. So many times we thanked the Lord for someone who was willing to help us or do something for the wedding for manageable rates. God continued to pull people out of the woodwork that consistently blessed us with financial gifts, emotional support or practical help. The Lord was so present there with us, and our celebrant and Pastor, Fr. Dan Leary, was a vital part of showing us or leading us into God's presence.

We got engaged at the Seton Shrine in Emmitsburg, Maryland, a place rich with meaning for us. We both feel very devoted to St. Elizabeth Ann Seton and still visit the Shrine often. During our dating and courtship, we prayed the St. Andrew Novena and Fr. Michael Gaitley’s 33 Days to Morning Glory Consecration to Mary. We followed that with Fr. Gaitley’s Consecration to Merciful Love. Right before our wedding, we wrote a novena that included all of our patrons.

The Mass was the most important part of planning for us. Though we were frequently told we needed to focus more on reception items, attire, or favors, both of us felt strongly that the Mass shouldn’t be on the back burner. We wanted the day to be focused on the sacrament and desired that the Mass would draw our friends and family closer to the Lord and the Church.

As musicians ourselves, the music for the liturgy was very important to us. We were blessed by eight of our close friends singing as a choir and by 3 priests who concelebrated the Mass. The liturgy opened with "Jesus, All for Jesus" and ended with "God, We Praise You," because this was the reason we decided to get married: to offer ourselves as a gift to God, to do His will, love Him and love each other.

The readings were from Song of Solomon 2:8-10, 14, 16; Psalm 34, Romans 12 and John 17. Fr. Dan's homily was focused on the reality of the sacrament, not just the symbolic gesture. His theme was 1+1=1, which quickly became our wedding hashtag. He focused "this body, broken for you" and our sacrifice for one another, in flesh and spirit. One of the most moving moments of the Mass was during the Communion meditation, set to the song "Even Unto Death" by Audrey Assad. It was, and is, our continued commitment to God and each other. There was a great witness during that moment that has been echoed by several of our guests, some of whom are not even Christians. We are confident that their testimony is the fruit of prioritizing the liturgy above everything else.

The day was full of trust and peace. We both took the morning pretty slowly and enjoyed some quality time with friends and in prayer. The celebration itself was also pretty simple. Because we paid for most things ourselves, we kept expenses to a minimum.

We used the December Christmas season to our advantage, calling our reception our "Christmas Picnic". We used chalkboards, biodegradable snow, white lights, curtains, pine and holly to decorate. We used pine and cedar disks as centerpieces, with lanterns on top. Phil even built a s'mores bar where guests could roast marshmallows. The meal featured picnic items: sandwiches, salads, lemonade, and chips, followed by hot chocolate, tea, hot cider and coffee. The casual theme allowed for a peaceful and fun atmosphere, where everyone could really relax and celebrate.

My dress was a beautifully unexpected choice. I went shopping with ideas in my head, but ended up with something totally different than I’d originally imagined.

At the reception, people continually came up to us raving about the ceremony. That was so wonderful after our frequent prayers that our Mass would be the focus of the day.

Despite cake getting on both of us (Phil had asked me not to, but some seminarians sitting by the cake pressured me into it at the last minute!), we were both overjoyed. We made lots of rounds to see everyone and remember the reception flying by. It truly was everything we thought it would be.

It was truly so meaningful as Catholics. The Mass was a milestone and because I'm a convert, it was so beautiful putting the whole thing together and seeing every part's meaning; the intention behind every word and motion. Our day was so special because the highlight, truly the "source and summit" was the Mass, the Eucharist and the sacrament of Matrimony. Having almost 200 people there to share this amazing occasion was so overwhelmingly beautiful and moving. We feel so blessed by Fr. Dan, by our family and what our wedding was and is for us now.

Photography: Amy Leigh Horan Photography http://www.amyleighhoran.com/ Church: St. Joseph's Catholic Church, Emmitsburg, Maryland | Reception Venue: Thurmont American Legion, Thurmont, Maryland | Engagement ring by Wholesale Diamond Consultants: http://www.wdc14k.com/, Flowers by Freesia & Vine: https://favflowers.com/, Invitations designed by the Bride and printed by Vistaprint: https://www.vistaprint.com/?rd=1, Decor Rental by I Do, You Do Wedding Decor Rentals: http://www.facebook.com/idoyoudo.wedding.rentals and Freesia & Vine: https://favflowers.com, Catering by Wegman's: https://www.wegmans.com/, Bride's dress from I Do I Do: https://www.idoidoweddinggowns.com/, Bride's veil from Your Heirloom Veil: https://www.etsy.com/shop/YourHeirloomVeil, Bride's shoes from Cinderollies: https://www.cinderollies.com/, Bride's jewelry from Lizardi Bridal: https://www.etsy.com/shop/LizardiBridal, Bride's fur bolero from Meshka Bridal: https://www.etsy.com/shop/MeshkaBridal, Groom and Groomsmen tie clips from SiBelle Jewelry: https://www.etsy.com/shop/SiBelleJewelry, Bride's Ring from Pompeii3: https://www.etsy.com/shop/Pompeii3, Groom's Ring from Manly Bands: https://manlybands.com/, Groom's suit, tie and shoe, and groomsmen ties by JcPenney: https://www.jcpenney.com/, Cake baked by Kelly Clabaugh, Fairfield, PA; Bride's makeup by Kim Sykes, Mary Kay Rep; DJ by Greffen Audio Visual: https://www.facebook.com/Greffen-Audio-Visual-232231706827995/; Reception Coordinator: Linda O'Brien, Mass Music provided by local musician friends, Cake Topper by Momo Rad Rose: https://www.etsy.com/shop/MomoRadRose

Elise's Wedding | The Big Day!

Our Social Media Coordinator, Elise Crawford, married her college sweetheart Hunter, on August 12! We're overjoyed for them and are thrilled to share their wedding day with you today as Elise concludes her series of wedding reflections. Join us in congratulating and praying for Elise and Hunter as they begin their life together!


I know it seems cliche, but Hunter's and my wedding day was a taste of heaven! As stressful as the weeks and days leading up to the wedding were, I was so blessed to feel calm and present on our big day. There was so much preparation and effort on both sides of our family to make this day happen: we had an aunt who hosted family from out of town, my mom and sister were with me running errands and ticking of my to-do list and friends flew in to town early to help with preparations. We felt so completely surrounded with love and support!

We were told in the months leading up to our wedding that the day goes by in a blur and that it's easy to let it go by without taking a moment to soak it all in. With that in mind, Hunter and I made sure to take small moments during our wedding day to pause, pray and just be with one another. I remember several times throughout the day taking in the scene in front of me and committing it to memory thinking, "Lord, You are SO good!". After so many years of waiting, I can not describe the joy that comes with being united with your love in the Holy Sacrament of Marriage in front of your family and friends. Our wedding day is truly a testament to the fact that the Lord provides and is faithful to His promises. 

I hope you enjoy the photographs below taken by the beautiful Sarah Price. Thank you for journeying with Hunter and I over the last year as we prepared for this moment in our lives. Your prayers have been fruitful and meant so much to us! I will leave you with the quote that we placed in our wedding mass program:

"Beloved, you do not know how deeply you are mine, how much you belong to my love and my suffering-because to love means to give life through death; to love means to let gush a spring of water of life into the depths of the soul, which burns and smolders, and cannot burn out." -Karol Wojtyla (Pope Saint John Paul II), "The Jeweler's Shop"

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Photography: Sarah Price Photography | Church: St. Augustine- Elkridge, MD | Wedding Reception Venue: Cattail Creek Country ClubFlorist: Corner Florist | Signs + Table Numbers: Custom Crafted Calligraphy  | Caterer: Cattail Creek Country Club | Bridal Gown: BHLDN | Bridesmaid Dresses: Global Bridal Gallery | Partial Wedding Planner: Cedar and Lime Co | Cake: Graul's Market | Hairstylist + Make Up Artists: Up-Dos for I-Dos | Music: Chris Laich Music Services | Groomsmen Tuxes: Cys

Jamie + Seth | Astronomy-Inspired Wedding

 

Jamie and Seth reconnected at the perfect time in Jamie's life: as she was returning to the Church and rediscovering her relationship with Christ. Through the instantaneous peace she felt on their first date, to the tranquil joy of their wedding day, Jamie experienced, through Seth, the peace that only God can give. 

From the Bride: Peace and calmness. These are not words my friends and family use to describe me, and it was not how my heart felt--until I met Seth.

Christ's plan is always bigger than ourselves, and this is easy for us to forget. In 2013, the Lord began stirring my heart and was slowly guiding me back to the Catholic Church. At the same time I moved back to Maryland and was reunited with an old theatre friend from five years prior. Spending time with him was joyful and encouraging. He made me feel safe and loved from the start. I remember getting ready for our first date and thinking, "Why am I so calm?" Little did I know that God was foreshadowing my wedding day, when my bridesmaid said, "You are the most calm bride I have ever seen."

It wasn't easy getting from that first date to the wedding day, but like any journey that follows Jesus, it made us stronger. I was dating my future husband and re-converting to the church simultaneously, and the processes were surprisingly similar. The confusion and frustration that can be part of a relationship with Christ also comes with a relationship with a spouse. The happiness, enrichment, and goodness that comes as a result of loving the Lord is also a result of loving your spouse. Understanding what loving another person meant helped me to fall deeply in love with Jesus Christ, as well. 

Seth and I began going to Mass every week together, provoking wonderful conversations about the Church. He shed light on so many parts of being Catholic that I struggled with. It is one of the many ways our left brain and right brain balance works so well. Planning for the sacrament of marriage was unbelievably fruitful in learning even more about Christ's love for us and about the Catholic traditions.

When planning our wedding Mass, it was important to us that the entire congregation felt loved. We wanted our love for one another to be a clear reflection of Christ's love for His people. Having many religious backgrounds present at our wedding, we wanted to minimize the confusion of the Mass and enhance the importance of the Mass parts. Upon entering the stunning St. Alphonsus Church, each guest was taken aback by its beauty. I like to think that it is only a reflection of our wonder and awe of Jesus.

Our wedding program was designed in a way that people would feel comfortable with what was happening next. It also had short explanations about the presentation of flowers to Mary and of the Eucharist. Father John truly captured Christ's love for each person in that church during his homily. It wasn't until the reception that we learned how many guests had never been to a Mass before, and truly enjoyed the service. 

The reception began with touching speeches, beautiful dances, and even a special rendition of a Spice Girls song from the Maids of Honor! The rest of the night was vibrant with dancing. Seth loves astronomy; I love art. Those merged together created the constellation theme of our wedding. The fact that God created the planets and stars is a pretty wild thing to think about, and causes us to be continually in awe of Him.

We still pinch ourselves every day when we hear the words "husband" and "wife." Our hearts are fuller after entering into this sacrament together, and each day we continue striving to be more Christ like to one another. 

Photographer's Business Name : Lindsey Plevayak | Nupital Mass or Engagement Location: St. Alphonsus Church, Baltimore | Wedding Reception Venue: Rolling Road Golf Club | Videographer: Frankie Cerquetti | DJ: Glassroom Pro | Photobooth: Charm City Photo Booths | Cake: Bakery Express | Flowers: Blue Iris Flowers | Hair: Brooke St. Martin | Make-Up: Andrea Munk | Dress: BHLDN | Groom Suit: Mens Wearhouse | Groomsmen Ties & Groom Tie Clip: The Tie Bar | Engagement Ring: Helzburg Diamonds | Bride Wedding Band: Zales Outlet | Groom Wedding Band: Northern Royal | Bride Bracelets: Francescas | Bride Hair Piece & Earrings: Amazon