Viewing entries tagged

Patrick & Vanessa

Patrick & Vanessa

Engagement Story

Patrick and I met at an Eagles Bar in Baltimore while I was on a travel nursing assignment and he was stationed nearby with the Navy. It is safe to say that we did not like each other during the initial meeting. However, Patrick was persistent. We ended up going on this impromptu date that started with dinner and ended with finding ourselves in some very unusual bar situations. After that, we sort of parted ways because of the demands of our jobs until I was headed to Houston, Texas. Patrick knew that my friend bailed as my road trip buddy and since he has family down there, he asked if he could ride along. Let me tell you, if you can spend three days in a car with a stranger and talk the entire time about everything under the sun (including heavy topics) and not feel embarrassed or judged, he’s the one. We were engaged a year and a half later at the same sushi restaurant we ate on our first date before the crazy bar escapade. Patrick planned to propose to me on a bridge as I was leaving work but I ended up taking a different walkway. When we finally found each other, I was exhausted from working long hours and I just wanted to eat and get home. I was so tired, in fact, that I was kind of mean to him during dinner and I was oblivious to his nervousness. It ended up being perfect. I had no idea, it was snowing, we were seated all alone right in the window, and our favorite waitress was in on it to help take pictures. We officially got married in Colorado at Garden of the Gods where you can solemnize your own marriage. It was the best thing we have ever done. So peaceful and meaningful. We had this celebration of marriage in the Outer Banks partially because my mom’s ashes were released there but also because the Outer Banks has always been a place of meaningful, relaxing family time for us. Although we were already legally married, we wanted to share our love story with our families and create a memorable gathering of both our families together as one. (p.s. I may have also always dreamt of wearing a wedding gown down an aisle and seeing the look on my groom’s face)

Why Did You Choose The Outer Banks and The Black Stallion

Spending an entire week in a house at the beach with friends and family and ending it with a perfect wedding was a dream come true for both of us. Because we opted for a small DIY wedding, we felt everything was so intimate. We could focus on each other and our commitment.

Description of Wedding

The song we chose for our introduction was the Philadelphia Eagles fight song which was so much fun! We loved that after dinner, everyone was up out of their seats and we got to spend time with everyone.

The cake stand was an old chandelier I dismantled, painted and attached crystal plates to. The kissing bells on the tables were also thrift store finds. Souvenir bells from places we have either been to or places that our families traveled from. The oil lamps were a small fraction of my mom’s collection. The bars were decorated with some really GREAT decanters that I stumbled upon here and there. Some of the doilies and crocheted table clothes were things my mom had made. I could go on and on about all the little vintage details we included. There is just something about vintage and antique items that makes life feel so much more romantic and simple.

Everything we used to decorate and the place settings came from countless thrift stores or was borrowed from friends and family. We snuck in a few personal touches that were between Patrick and I just to make it our own. 

Some stories from the wedding

The funniest part of our day was when I sent my brother to pick up the cake and he kept insisting that it did not look like something that I ordered. I was insisting he just bring it anyway and we would fix it somehow. When I saw the picture I died laughing. It was a cake with hot pink and yellow birthday flowers. It looked like a 80’s theme birthday cake and it was missing the cake topper and sugar lace I had supplied. Harris Teeter ended up making a whole new cake for us in an hour and this time it was perfect. 


Plan early, stay overly organized, focus on yourself and your lover, pick Revival as your photographer, and remember, on the day of your wedding, things will go wrong.

List of Vendors

Daniel & Danielle

Daniel & Danielle

From New York City

Our engagement story

We both quit our careers in finance at the same time and traveled to Southeast Asia for 3 weeks.  Daniel had watched a movie about magic tricks on the plane ride over and decided to propose using a card trick.  We were in an incredibly beautiful place called HaLong Bay on an overnight boat and the passengers were going on an excursion.  Daniel convinced me to stay behind, saying that he'd rather read (he "inceptioned" me by planting the seed that it would be awesome to relax and read and then I ultimately made the decision for us to stay behind).  As we were lounging on the deck, he pulled out a deck of cards.  He had me pick a card and then proceeded to spend 5 minutes shuffling the cards in different ways.  He then showed me a card that wasn't mine and said, "well, if that's not your card, then your card is under your chair".  Under my chair was the 7 of diamonds (my favorite number and my last name) with "will you marry me" written on it.

Why we chose The Black Stallion

We had a few ceremony locations in mind, but we fell in love with the spot on the golf course when we visited in 2015.  It was beautiful and so close to our reception site!  We didn't want a "traditional" wedding in a ballroom.  We wanted to have as much of the reception outside as possible.  The Black Stallion is the largest house in the Outer Banks and has a lot of outdoor space, which was amazing because we could have the entire reception outside!

Why we chose the outer banks

We wanted a destination that was exotic and fun, but not too far for the majority of our guests that are mostly from the Northeast.  Our wedding was only our second time in the Outer Banks! We are now planning to vacation there regularly.  

Some unique touches

We wrote our own vows for the ceremony and really made sure that the entire thing was about us.  Daniel's uncle officiated the wedding and one of my best friends did a reading.  We really optimized our reception for fun - we didn't have a sit-down dinner, had a bourbon bar during the cocktail hour, had the biggest dance floor that we could and played so much fun dance music.  

We decided early on that we were going to make everything in our ceremony and reception fit our personality and not include anything we didn't want. We didn't do a wedding cake or toss the bouquet, it didn't feel very "us".  Daniel did a dance with his three sisters, which was really special - and at the end they pulled his dad onto the dance floor. It was a very touching moment and definitely honored his mom's memory. 

Some stories from the wedding

On the morning of our wedding, Daniel went to breakfast with his dad.  It wasn't planned.  Daniel was kicked out of our room pretty early so that the girls could get ready and they made an impromptu decision to have a father-son moment.  The morning after our wedding, we woke up around 8am - so excited to be married!  So, the two of us went to breakfast together (at the same place).  Thinking back on it, Dan had breakfast with his closest living relative both mornings and it just happened to be two different people!

When we woke up the morning after the wedding.  We quickly realized that Zoe was not in the room with us.  Panicked, we ran outside screaming her name and then into the main house calling out to her.  We were on the verge of tears when my mom told us that she slept with her the night before!  

Advice for other engaged couples planning a wedding

Definitely hire Kerri!  She was truly amazing and a life saver!  At the very least hire a day-of-coordinator, you want to enjoy your day and soak in every moment!  

Don't sweat the small stuff - at the end of the day, it doesn't matter what the flowers look like, how your bridesmaids style their hair or where people sit - it is about surrounding yourselves with your closest friends and family to celebrate your love.

Buy a pair of wedge sneakers!  My feet were killing me by the end of the cocktail hour (even though I broke in my shoes).  I didn't have to worry about my dress dragging on the ground because I had a pair of Nike wedge sneakers.  No one even noticed and I was able to dance the night away!

I wish that we hired our photographers until the end of the night.  They did an AMAZING job, but there were some great moments at the end of the reception that weren't captured in our professional photos.

List of Vendors