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Gold Nina Shoes | Bridal Accessories from BHLDN | Vintage Ring Dish from The Mustard Dandelion | Photo by Amber Kay Photography | Colorful Historic Mansion Wedding on heartlovealways.com

HOW THEY MET

Dan and Samantha grew up in neighboring towns and went to rival high schools, but didn’t meet until after college in the winter of 2010. Samantha’s childhood girlfriend invited her out to a local bar to meet her college friend who also brought along his childhood friend (Dan).

She thought he was cute and super fun. He thought she was pretty and way out of his league! But she was casually dating someone, he had just moved back to Maryland, and neither were looking for anything serious at the time.

Stunning ring shot on vintage ring dish from The Mustard Dandelion | Photo by Amber Kay Photography | Colorful Historic Mansion Wedding on heartlovealways.com

They began as friends and spent a lot of time together in group settings. Samantha started to have feelings for Dan and finally told him one night while they were out bowling with friends.

For their first date, Dan took Samantha to her favorite restaurant, a little pizza place in his hometown of Bethesda.

BHLDN Bracelet | Photo by Amber Kay Photography | Colorful Historic Mansion Wedding on heartlovealways.com

Beautiful bridal portrait | BHLDN Persiphone Gown | Photo by Amber Kay Photography | Colorful Historic Mansion Wedding on heartlovealways.com

SWEET SOMETHINGS

One of Samantha’s all-time favorite dates was when they went to Sugarloaf Mountain on a cool, fall day. They hiked to the top and sat on a rock overlooking the beautiful landscape below. Samantha thinks this is when she realized she was in love with him.

Colorful Bouquet by Elegance & Simplicity | Photo by Amber Kay Photography | Colorful Historic Mansion Wedding on heartlovealways.com

Other favorite memories include going to summer concerts together, especially the time Dan surprised her with tickets to see Zac Brown Band (their favorite), training for their first big race together along the C&O canal, going to Orioles baseball games in Baltimore, exploring every ethnic restaurant in and around their town, and spending time with their furry rabbit, Cappuccino (otherwise known as Bunny).

Beautiful bridal party | Jenny Yoo bridesmaid dresses in navy from BHLDN | Colorful bouquets by Elegance & Simplicity | Photo by Amber Kay Photography | Colorful Historic Mansion Wedding on heartlovealways.com

Beautiful bridal party | Jenny Yoo bridesmaid dresses in navy from BHLDN | Colorful bouquets by Elegance & Simplicity | Photo by Amber Kay Photography | Colorful Historic Mansion Wedding on heartlovealways.com

THE PROPOSAL

Dan popped the question last summer in the place Samantha always dreamed it would happen—Sugarloaf Mountain. At the very top, Dan led her to a private area among the trees, and told her to check her phone. She found a picture of Bunny sitting next to a beautiful ring. When she looked up, Dan was down on one knee holding out the ring!

Colorful bouquets by Elegance & Simplicity | Photo by Amber Kay Photography | Colorful Historic Mansion Wedding on heartlovealways.com

Colorful bouquets by Elegance & Simplicity | Photo by Amber Kay Photography | Colorful Historic Mansion Wedding on heartlovealways.com

THE WEDDING

We had the MOST perfect weather for our wedding day. We got married outside in the side garden of the mansion under a white birch Chuppah. We worked closely with our Rabbi to create a personal and unique wedding ceremony, which included excerpts from a poem and our Ketubah.

Groom and Groomsmen Ties from The Tie Bar | Photo by Amber Kay Photography | Colorful Historic Mansion Wedding on heartlovealways.com

Fancy socks for the groom and groomsmen | Photo by Amber Kay Photography | Colorful Historic Mansion Wedding on heartlovealways.com

For cocktail hour, the live trio continued to play outside while guests enjoyed craft beer, a signature drink named after Bunny (Cappuccino’s Cocktail — a spiced apple cider), and appetizers. The reception was held inside the mansion and guests were free to walk through all the rooms (including the art gallery upstairs). We had a station style buffet, dancing in the marble great room, and a rustic, naked cake with alternating layers of pumpkin and spice flavors.

Handsome groom | Groom's Suit from JoS. A. Bank | Photo by Amber Kay Photography | Colorful Historic Mansion Wedding on heartlovealways.com

Thistle boutonniere | Photo by Amber Kay Photography | Colorful Historic Mansion Wedding on heartlovealways.com

The whole day went by in a blur. (People did warn us it would fly by and they weren’t kidding!!) But I do remember specific points throughout the night. My favorite moments were our first look, walking down the aisle with my dad, and dancing with friends and family. Dan’s favorite moments were the first look as well, the ceremony, walking down the main stairs of the mansion as we were introduced, and dancing with his mom for the mother-son dance.

Colorful Bouquet by Elegance & Simplicity | Photo by Amber Kay Photography | Colorful Historic Mansion Wedding on heartlovealways.com

Bridal Party Portraits | Photo by Amber Kay Photography | Colorful Historic Mansion Wedding on heartlovealways.com

Since we handcrafted and provided a lot of the decor ourselves, it was amazing to see it all come together!

White Birch Chuppah from Annie's Creek | Photo by Amber Kay Photography | Colorful Historic Mansion Wedding on heartlovealways.com

White Birch Chuppah from Annie's Creek | White pumpkin wedding decor | Photo by Amber Kay Photography | Colorful Historic Mansion Wedding on heartlovealways.com

HOW THEY BALANCED LIFE, LOVE, WORK & WEDDING PLANNING

We balanced it all by staying organized and dedicating specific chunks of time to wedding planning. We reserved the weekends for bigger tasks that required both of our input and separately got things accomplished (i.e. answering wedding-related emails) during the week before and after work. We also had the unwavering support of our parents, my best friend and Maid of Honor, our wedding party, and our wedding planners.

Fancy drink stations | Photo by Amber Kay Photography | Colorful Historic Mansion Wedding on heartlovealways.com

Fancy drink stations | Photo by Amber Kay Photography | Colorful Historic Mansion Wedding on heartlovealways.com

What worked — delegating tasks and asking for help!

What didn’t work — trying to do everything myself at first.

My best advice — don’t forget to make time for yourselves during the whole process!

Drinks and appetizers reception | Photo by Amber Kay Photography | Colorful Historic Mansion Wedding on heartlovealways.com

Naked Wedding Cake from Fancy Cakes by Leslie | Photo by Amber Kay Photography | Colorful Historic Mansion Wedding on heartlovealways.com

ADVICE FOR COUPLES

Be authentic and genuine. Be honest and caring. The rest will fall into place!

Couple portraits | Photo by Amber Kay Photography | Colorful Historic Mansion Wedding on heartlovealways.com

Stunning couple portraits | Photo by Amber Kay Photography | Colorful Historic Mansion Wedding on heartlovealways.com

Congratulations, Dan and Samantha, and thank you so much for sharing your love story with us!! Wishing you both much love and laughter in the many years you’ll share together!! So many thanks to Amber Kay Photography for sharing their very special day with us today!!

xoxo

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