Heavy rain couldn’t stop Melissa and Ed from pulling off a grand Swan Harbor Farm wedding in Havre de Grace, Maryland.
We arrived at the farm and found Melissa getting her makeup done in the charming, restored 1740’s farmhouse. We met with CeCe of Cecile Davis Films who we had the pleasure of working closely with for the day. We collected her dress and other details and went to find a good spot to shoot them in. We found the perfect room upstairs with just enough light. We hung Melissa’s dress in the window and the light shining through the lace was just gorgeous. Melissa also had tons of beautiful accessories for her big day. We used two vintage serving trays to shoot her details, including shoes, jewelry, perfume and invitations. Once Blondeez Salon finished Melissa’s hair, we asked her to open her gift from Ed. He showed his impeccable taste with a diamond earrings and necklace set. We then left Melissa and her bridesmaids to relax while we went to meet the guys.
Ed and his groomsmen were hanging out downstairs in the farmhouse. They looked sharp in their tuxes with white jackets and black bowties. I heard someone say that Ed looked like James Bond! The maid of honor came with us and delivered Melissa’s gift to Ed. Traditionally the bride will have something old, new, borrowed and blue, but Melissa wanted Ed to have those things also. Her gift was presented in an old wooden box with a new watch and cufflinks imprinted with the lyrics she borrowed from their first dance song. She changed it up a bit and opted for something green…tickets to The Masters! Ed was obviously thrilled with all of her choices. We took Ed off to a separate room to grab some portraits before heading back up to the bride.
The bridesmaids were ready in their gold sequin dresses and it was time for Melissa to put on her gown. The strapless bodice of the mermaid style gown was lavishly clad with Schiffli lace appliques and fit her flawlessly. The lace edged cathedral veil was the perfect complement. We grabbed her bouquet of peonies and got started on bridal portraits. Melissa’s mom and bridesmaids watched with smiles the whole time. Once we completed Melissa’s portraits, it was time for her dad to see her. This is always an emotional moment and I’m so happy when I get to capture it. We then set off to get ready for the ceremony.
Melissa and Ed exchanged vows under an amazing tree on the lawn in front of the house facing the Chesapeake Bay. They were married by Pastor Craig, but the ceremony included a special blessing by Melissa’s brother who is also a pastor. After the ceremony, we did wedding party and family formals on the lawn. Guests headed into the farmhouse for cocktail hour and enjoyed amazing hors d’oeuvres by Rogue Catering. The chicken and waffles looked so good! The bubbly bar was very cool and I loved the floral tablecloths and gold geometric centerpieces on the high-top tables.
Melissa and Ed hopped into the Swan Harbor golf cart and we headed off for photos. Our first stop was to dig up a bottle of Blanton’s Bourbon that the couple had buried weeks before. This is an old Southern tradition for good luck and perfect weather; we joked that they should have dug that bottle up the day before! It was late in the day, so we had to move quickly to catch the last minutes of light. The farm had tons of beautiful areas to photograph Melissa and Ed. I especially loved the paved walkway leading to the bay. It was perfectly lit by lamp posts in the setting sun. We then head to the tent where dinner would be held.
The large tent had dinner seating as well as a few lounge areas with couches, big comfy chairs and lots of pillows from White Glove Rentals. The band leader announced parents, the wedding party and then the bride and groom. Melissa and Ed made their way in to cheers and applause from their family and friends. Their sweetheart table was just beautiful with magnolia garland and the coolest cream leather hood chairs with rhinestone tufting and gold carved frames. Toasts were given during dinner. Melissa’s dad called himself ATB, Assistant to the Bride and gushed over his happiness for the couple. The best man called the couple kind and determined and the maid of honor said that God made she and Melissa best friends because their moms couldn’t handle them as sisters. The bride and groom thanked everyone for coming and Ed summed the day up in one word…blessed. While guests finished their dinners, I photographed some of the details of the reception. The amazing cake featured a damask pattern in light gold with a monogram C and peonies cascading down the side. It stood on a table in front of an incredible floral wall, built by Ed, which was a hot spot for guest selfies all night. A full service bar featured the couples monogram and a bourbon bar included an array of fine bourbon choices.
After dinner Melissa and Ed enjoyed their first dance to Thomas Rhett’s Die a Happy Man and then Melissa surprised her parents by dancing with her father to her parent’s wedding song as well as a song of his choice. Ed enjoyed a dance with his mom before the band opened the dance floor to everyone. Reign had the floor packed with their unending energy! They even played a very special song for Melissa; Uptown Girl by Billy Joel which is one of her favorites. Melissa and Ed danced all night, only stopping to cut their cake. I did manage to coax them away for a few night shots before we headed out. And we were sure to grab a cookie from the milk and cookies bar!
Melissa and Ed’s wedding day started off a bit crazy because of the rain, but ended up crazy fun because of the love, laughter and delight that persisted throughout the day. I really enjoyed getting to know Melissa and Ed and thank them for choosing me to capture their wedding day. I know that they will spend their lives together making the most of any situation…especially a rainy day. Please enjoy the highlights and slideshow below.