A Family-Focused Wedding at Home in Maryland
Cameron and Jake
As Cameron Pastrick and Jake Ruppert sat hand in hand at their ceremony, a torrential rain began to beat down on the church's stained glass windows. "I thought, 'There aren't enough umbrellas in the world to keep this dress dry!'" recalls Cameron. But the weather couldn't dampen her enthusiasm as she and Jake exchanged vows, with 300 loved ones—including six of their grandparents—watching on September 13, 2014.
For the Bethesda, Maryland, couple, who met on a blind date in August 2012, planning came down to one thing: family. "Jake and I have always said that we aspire to have a marriage like our parents and grandparents do," says Cameron, an interior designer. "We both have big families," adds Jake, an equities broker. "A small wedding was out of the question." After weighing in on the guest list, Jake let his fiancée run the show. "Cameron had worked in event design, and her mother had recently spent a year planning her sister's wedding," he says. "I just got out of their way."
Within weeks of the couple's July 4, 2013, engagement, Cameron and her mom, with the help of a planner, got the ball rolling. The early start left the bride time to focus on the more personal details, like writing Jake letters to open at milestones during their marriage, and having cuff links made for her dad with lace from her mother's wedding gown.
On that cloudy September Saturday, the storm stopped just before the ceremony ended, and a 1930s London taxi whisked the newlyweds to Sunnyside Farm, the bride's maternal grandparents' home on the Miles River. Inside two clear tents draped with lanterns and leafy chandeliers, guests sipped French 75s and Moscow Mules, tucked into a dinner of steak frites, and sampled goods from a cigar bar and, later, a crème brûlée station. "Through it all, we never lost sight of what the day was about," says Cameron. When the pair saw their grandparents, with almost three centuries of marriage among them, swapping stories, "I found myself thinking, 'I hope that will be us in 70 years,'" she says. If their wedding is any indication, it will be, come rain or come shine.
The colors of the coastal location inspired the letterpressed, foil-stamped invitations by Cheree Berry Paper. The night of the pair's wedding, the sunset painted the sky in the same soft pinks and grays.
The Welcome Bags
Upon checking in, each guest received a cocktail-hour themed welcome bag, complete with the makings of the bride's favorite cocktail, a French 75, Old Bay-seasoned popcorn, wasabi peas, dark-chocolate sea-salt caramels, and a schedule of events for the welcome party, wedding, and day-after brunch.
Cameron spied her Marchesa gown in a magazine the day after Jake proposed (her sister, who had gotten married a few weeks prior, rushed out to get a few). To cover her shoulders for the Catholic ceremony, she had a custom lace bolero fashioned so it looked like one piece with the dress.
The Bridal Bouquet
"I wanted it to look like I went out into a field and picked my own flowers—but had a florist artfully arrange them," says Cameron of her desire for natural and somewhat untamed greenery. Her bouquet, tied with a piece of lace from her mother's wedding dress, included gardenias, white ranunculus, lysmachia, snowberries, and white and blush garden roses.
A Very Special Moment
Once Cameron was dressed and ready, she shared a moment alone with her ailing grandfather. "It was so emotional," she says, "but it makes you realize what the day is about."
Cameron's bridesmaids wore metallic gray dresses by LulaKate.
The Attendants' Bouquets
The bridesmaids carried 'Café au Lait' dahlias, gardenias and gardenia foliage, porcelain vine, white ranunculus, and olive sage, in bouquets made by Beehive Events.
For cocktails, there was a special his-and-hers drink selection: "Hers" was a French 75 and "His" was a Moscow mule, inspired by Jake's favorite drink and an homage to the couple's first date at Bourbon, a D.C. bar that's known for its Moscow mules. In addition, caterers came through the tent with old-school bar carts equipped with Champagne and various fruit juices and purées for made-to-order bubbles.
The Reception Layout
Piecing together a seating chart for 310 guests was no easy task. In the end, Cameron settled on a few long farmhouse tables, plus round and square dinner tables, and a mix of woven linen and ghost chairs. The tent opened up to a view of the water, and after the reception, the couple made their exit by boat.
The Reception Décor
Dahlias, gardenias, garden roses, mint, and burnished persimmons were arranged in ceramic urns and handblown glass vases.
The duo's monogram was foil-stamped onto booklets of fun stats about the pair, and their initials appeared on cigars, too.
Oyster shells were calligraphed with guests' names and table numbers. Each place was set with china edged in a Venetian lace pattern, topped with a graceful menu.
Wrought-iron chandeliers wrapped with hop vines were suspended from the tent ceiling.
A 30-Year-Old Tradition
The very same London cab used by Cameron and Jake also escorted the bride's parents at their wedding 30 years earlier.
Dancing the Night Away
Guests cheered on the newlyweds during their first dance, to Nat King Cole's "L-O-V-E."
A Clear Top Tent
Early in the planning process, Cameron decided she wanted a clear tent and a black-and-white dance floor, which she took to for a dance with her father. Says the bride: "A classic, elegant coastal scene kind of emerged," she says. "I wanted our wedding to be subtle and timeless."
Ceremony location, Saints Peter & Paul Catholic Church
Event planning and design, Pineapple Productions
Flowers, Décor, and furniture and linen rentals, Beehive Events
Catering, Susan Gage Caterers
Photography, Kate Headley
Stationery, Cheree Berry Paper
Calligraphy, Arney Walker Calligraphy
Tent rental, Sugarplum Tent Company
Bride's gown, Marchesa
Groom's tuxedo, Jos. A. Bank
Videography, Hart to Heart Media
Cake, Maggie Austin Cake
Rentals, DC Rental
Hair, Ismail Tekin of George at the Four Seasons Salon
Makeup, Carlos Gallegos of Salon L'eau
Bridesmaids's dresses, LulaKate
Lighting, Frost Lighting Company of DC
Transportation, Linder Global Events
Valet, MJ Valet
Rings, Boone & Sons Jewelers