Engagement Story

Andrew and I grew up in the same zip code and first met in middle school where we dated for a week of barely talking and just holding hands. Fast forward to college, Andrew went to McDaniel College in MD and Emily went to University of Maryland, College Park. We had remained acquaintances through middle and high school but the extent of our connection after that was social media, until we both decided to get dogs our junior year. Going into senior year, Emily posted a picture of her dog to Facebook for his first birthday and Andrew quickly commented saying that he had a dog the same age. We exchanged phone numbers to "get our dogs together for a play date" but it quickly became apparent that we had much more in common than just our dogs. After 5 years of dating, Andrew and Emily went on a family vacation to the Outer Banks with Emily's family where Andrew surprised Emily by proposing to her during what she thought was just an obligatory family picture session on the beach. We celebrated with family we love, on the beach we love, with champagne :)  

Why did you choose the Outer Banks & The Black Stallion?

We chose the Outer Banks because we both have been vacationing here since we were little. We love the calming atmosphere Outer Banks offers and we thoroughly look forward to when we can get away from the rush of the DMV area to be there. We went with The Black Stallion because we are both very family oriented and we wanted a place where both our families could spend time getting to know each other before we joined our families on our big day. We loved that we could have everything (rehearsal dinner, ceremony, cocktail hour, dinner, reception) in one central location and we really fell in love with the beautiful details and backdrop that the house provided.

Description of wedding

We got extremely lucky as our wedding was the week of Hurricane Irma. I remember driving down the week before the wedding and hearing about the storm and having a close to mental breakdown, all I could hear was the reiterated warnings we had heard when we booked for September, "you're booking during hurricane season?!?" We watched as they predicted the hurricane to hit the Outer Banks the weekend of my wedding and then were overwhelmed with relief as mid-week the forecast predicted it to stay in Florida. We had planned for most of the events to be outdoors, including ceremony and dinner. Needless to say, we were blessed! 

Our wedding day was absolutely beautiful with weather in the 70's and only a few clouds! We had our ceremony in the backyard with guests seated in chairs in the grass with the gorgeous trees as our natural backdrop. We wanted to keep with the beauty of the greenery the house already offered so we chose to use rustic, natural tones with white flowers and lush greenery on the dinner tables. We separated our ceremony and dinner with a cocktail hour in the event room, then proceeded to dinner outside around the pool, followed with dancing back in the event room.

We featured a bourbon and cigar bar in the "man cave" on the first floor of the cabana and my dad custom built a donut wall where we served Duck Donuts for dessert instead of cake. They were delicious! We ended the evening with a sparkler send off in the backyard where we had just said our "I do's".

Any advice to couples currently planning a wedding?

I would recommend hiring your photographer for the whole night. We thought that not much would happen after a certain point, but a lot of great moments ended up being missed that I wish we had captured.

I would also definitely recommend The Black Stallion as your wedding venue. We really enjoyed the integration it provided for our families leading up to the wedding and the size of the house provides many different areas to set up and utilize. We love this house!

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