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Bride and Groom
July can be steamy on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. "It rained the morning of the wedding," recalls Stephanie Fejes. "Then, just as I was getting ready, the sun came out! It was a brand-new day." The thermometer crawled toward 85 degrees as nearly 130 loved ones sat in the sun, cooling themselves with their programs (printed on paper fans), and watched Stephanie and Philip Cohen exchange traditional Jewish vows on the lawn of the Inn at Perry Cabin. After the couple's triumphant recessional—to, of course, "Here Comes the Sun"—the party got started with chilled cocktails, and it became clear that it would take more than heat to dampen spirits on this day. "In our photos, everybody looks so nice at the beginning, and by the end of the night, everyone is soaking wet," Stephanie says, laughing.
The pair met in Philadelphia in 2011, when he was in veterinary school and she was working as an intimate-apparel designer. They soon knew they were a match, but logistics posed a challenge: Stephanie got a job in New York City and spent two long years commuting from Philly. When Phil graduated in 2014, he suggested a vacation to the Bahamas, where he popped the question. Of both the trip and the proposal, he says: "They were overdue."
The couple moved to Manhattan soon afterward, and the bride's mother took the wedding-planning reins, working with the event and floral designers to throw a big garden party by the water on July 11, 2015. "My parents live on the shore, and we wanted a formal wedding that still felt almost like it was being held in their backyard," says Stephanie. They accomplished that through homey details—from cheerful illustrations on their save-the-date and signage to Teddy, the couple's pup, who romped his way through the ceremony.
As night fell, however, a surprise planned by the bride's father raised the party's profile. "He had arranged fireworks, and apparently it was the talk of the town," says Phil. "People were waiting outside, boats were coming by, but we hadn't heard about it." The show was spectacular, Stephanie says, "better than the Fourth of July." A fitting end to a party with so much sizzle.
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As guests arrived at their hotels, they were greeted with monogrammed totes filled with a mix of local and imported treats and essentials. Flake chocolate bars are a favorite of the bride and groom, so they made the mix, as did "Chesapeake Crab" flavored potato chips, Dolle's salt water taffy, and bottles of water. The couple included a welcome pamphlet with information on local attractions, such as a brewery, maritime museum, shops, and parks. "We wanted to make sure people knew what to do after traveling so far," says Phil.
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Not surprisingly, choosing clothes was apparel-designer Stephanie's favorite part of the wedding planning. She chose a cream jacket and polka dot tie for Phil, who didn't want a typical navy suit, and worked with a consultant at the Mark Ingram Atelier on her perfect dress: "We found one—Mira Zwillinger's 'Beatrice'—that fit the garden party theme, but it was strapless and I didn't want that," she recalls. "The designer customized it with illusion neckline and embroidered tulle, and people loved it so much in the salon that they sell it that way now!"
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Fairy Tale Hairstyle
Stephanie is devoted to her longtime hair stylist, Jason Sparks, owner of the Jason Matthew Salon in Philadelphia. He traveled to the wedding as a guest, and created this ethereal hairstyle for her while there. The braids kept her hair out of her face on the hot day, while still letting her curls fall romantically down her back. As the party went on, he pinned it up in a low bun, "which definitely saved it from becoming a crazy wet mess by the end of the night!" she remembers.
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The couple's beloved pup Teddy was a guest of honor at the ceremony. "Steph even handmade yarmulke for him!" laughs Phil. She hot-glued a suction cup to it, and added a hair tie so it would stay on his head. "He didn't like it very much," Stephanie says.
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Phil gave Stephanie an engagement ring featuring his mother's own original engagement stone, which she had re-set in a halo setting. "It has a unique shape. I love how different—and sentimental—it is," Stephanie says.
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Vows were exchanged waterside, under a chuppah that included birch branches, eucalyptus, and 'White Lady' spray roses, topped by the Cohen family tallit.
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Stephanie's attendants, carried loose bundles of alabaster garden roses and lisianthus, supported by beautiful local foliage including summer clematis, lambs ear, and variegated hosta leaf. Amaryllis, Inc. Floral & Event Design wrapped the stems in ivory grosgrain ribbon.
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In lieu of a traditional guest book, stickers shaped like Champagne labels were inscribed with toasts to the bride and groom.
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A romantic palette of pale blush and navy blended beautifully with the natural setting.
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Iced cutout-cookies, calligraphed with the bride and groom's initials and wedding date, were baked by Kendall's Cakes and bundled in cellophane as favors. Brief thank-you notes reading "Thank you for sharing in our day! Xoxo, Steph and Phil" were tied to each package.
A fireworks show, a surprise for bride and groom planned by Stephanie's dad, was an explosive finish for the party. The couple and their guests watched the light show then moved indoors shortly after a 10 p.m. curfew on outdoor celebrating didn't damper anyone's spirits, they simply moved inside for more mingling, drinks, and late-night snacks.
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Location, catering, and cake, Inn at Perry Cabin
Event planning and design, Pineapple Productions
Photography, Katie Stoops Photography
Videography, Naz Films
Officiant, Rabbi Joshua Stanton
Stationery, Cheree Berry Paper
Calligraphy, Arney Walker Calligraphy
Bride's engagement ring, and bride's and groom's wedding rings, Klim Jewelry
Bride's and bridesmaids' bracelets, Nicole Alexis
Bride's shoes, Charlotte Olympia
Hair and makeup, Jason Matthew Salon
Bridesmaids' dresses, Marchesa Notte
Bridesmaids' shoes, Valentino
Flower-girl dresses, Watters
Ring bearer's attire, J.Crew
Groom's vest, shirt, and pants, and menswear, Alton Lane
Groom's shoes, Cole Haan
Groom's bow tie, Suitsupply
Tent and lighting, Sugarplum Tent Company
Transportation, Bayside Limousines
Cookie favors, Kendall's Cakes
Fireworks, Digital Lightning
Ketubah, Woodland Papercuts
Yarmulkes, A1 Skullcaps