This Couple's Intimate Baltimore, Maryland, Wedding Took Place in Two Different Venues
Even before she met Emmanuel, Daniela had chosen their wedding venue—a 19th-century church in Baltimore. Never mind that it was more than two thousand miles from the couple's home in Chandler, Arizona. "It wasn't the most practical choice, but I loved the idea of getting married in this beautiful old church," says Daniela, who had attended services there while living in the city years before. "I wanted to walk down the aisle past the pews where I'd once prayed—sometimes for my future husband."
Daniela and Emmanuel—she works at a law firm; he's a fitness coach and former pro football player—first met, auspiciously, on Valentine's Day a few years ago. Each was out with friends at a local restaurant, and they exchanged glances across the room all night until Emmanuel (emboldened by encouragement from one of Daniela's companions) approached her table. "When I finally walked up to her, she had the biggest smile on her face, and I knew right then what a joyful, special woman she was," he remembers. A year and a half later, in a rose petal-strewn room with a GoPro set up in the corner to record the event, Emmanuel asked Daniela to marry him.
In planning their May 17, 2017, wedding, the couple felt it was important to celebrate not just their love, but also their families and their shared Christian faith. "We both come from deeply religious backgrounds, and we wanted the day to honor that," says Emmanuel. "A big, crazy party wasn't us." They kept the guest list to just 30 family members and close friends. In lieu of a traditional wedding party, the bride and groom's parents stood nearby during the ceremony, and Daniela's brother, a Roman Catholic deacon, officiated.
For the reception, everyone gathered in a private wing of the Baltimore Museum of Art that was decorated in tones of blush and gold for the occasion. ("I'm an unapologetic romantic," says Daniela.) A rsting trio played as the couple took to the center of the room for their first dance. "We were nervous, but we nailed it," says Emmanuel, who had surprised Daniela with private dance lessons a few months before their wedding. "It was just another confirmation of what a good team we are."
Instead of a maid of honor, Daniela's mom helped her get ready and held her bouquet during the ceremony. "My mother was the only person I wanted to share this moment with," she says. The bride customized a Martina Liana ball gown with a lace top, based on a photo of a similar dress she'd saved on her phone for years.
Sparkle in Her Step
The Bridal Bouquet
Ready to Wed
Daniela had a vintage pocket Bible personalized for Emmanuel to read as he was getting ready for the wedding. The groom opted for rings in both platinum and yellow gold, to alternate as he likes.
Dating back to the late 1800s, the Georgian-style St. Vincent de Paul Roman Church was worth the headache of coordinating a wedding from across the country, says Daniela. "We just don't have churches like that in Arizona."
"To have and to hold" was handwritten by a calligrapher on each of the ceremony programs. On the day of the wedding, Daniela had a rosary on hand that her mother had given her on her 30th birthday.
The wedding was officiated by Daniela's brother, who wove personal stories into the scripture.
Please Be Seated
A light-filled neoclassical room at the Baltimore Museum of Art was the backdrop for dinner, where an extra-long silk-draped table fit all 30 guests.
After passed appetizers, including crab cakes and lobster po'boys, guests sat down to the main course—rockfish and filet of beef—by Sascha's Catering. "Emmanuel let me take charge on the style, but this man knows food," says Daniela. "So, I sent him all the options and he chose the menu."
A string trio played during both the reception and the ceremony, lending a dreamy soundtrack. "The music really put the icing on the cake, in terms of atmosphere," says Emmanuel.
A Petite Wedding Cake
Raspberry Chambord macarons were served alongside the cake on a marble-and-gold tray that Daniela purchased. "I wound up buying some of the tableware instead of renting because I liked the options in stores better," she says. "And now we have reminders of our wedding in our everyday life!"
Event planning, design, and styling, East Made Event Company
Catering, Sascha's Catering
Flowers, Blossom + Vine
Photography, Winsome + Wright
Cinematography, Josh Gooden Cinema
Stationery and calligraphy, Surcee Calligraphy
Cake and desserts, Buttercream Bake Shop
Music, Chesapeake Strings
Hair and makeup, Caitlyn Meyer
Groom's custom tuxedo, JPJ Empire
Groom's bow tie and shoes, Calvin Klein
Transportation, Presidential Limo
Getting-ready location, Cylburn Arboretum Association mansion