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What's Up Weddings

Maria Avery & 
William Michael Russ

Dec 06, 2013 08:24PM ● By Anonymous
“Bill walked into our leasing office looking for an apartment,” Maria recalls. “I was working late that day in my office and I heard this gentleman’s voice coming from the front office—confident, knew what he wanted—I listened to the conversation for a while and then said to my son Alex, “that’s the man I want to marry.”” But after that night, Maria didn’t hear from or see Bill again for a year when he lease was up. Wanting to speak to a manager about his renewal, Bill called Maria persistently for two weeks while she was very ill. When she finally called him back and explained her delayed response, he felt bad for the unrelenting phone calls and emails, and dropped off a box of green tea with a hand-written note that read, “Tea always makes me feel better when I’m sick, I hope it helps you too.”

“I thought that was the most amazing thing someone has ever done for me,” Maria recalls. Still having not met in person yet, Maria invited Bill to a resident happy hour. Fortuitously, the only chair left at dinner when Bill arrived was the one next to Maria. “It was love at first sight, we have been together ever since,” she says. Once in a while right in the middle of an ordinary life, loves give us a fairy tale.” Bill proposed about 19 months later at that same restaurant.

The Venue. Maria and Bill chose Loews Annapolis hotel as their venue because they wanted to hold the ceremony, cocktail hour, and the reception in one location, and they also wanted their 115 guests to be comfortable and not have to drive after the wedding; with an after-party at Stan and Joe’s, walking distance to Loews, it was easy to get everything they wanted.

The Details. Bill and Maria incorporated several very carefully-chosen touches throughout their big day, including a signature drink called “batide de Coco,” that Maria says was a bit hit among the guests, and a Brazillian Samba dancer that opened the dance floor. With pink as the color of choice, the bridesmaids wore pink chiffon dresses in a variety of styles, and their half-chocolate-half-carrot-cake grey and pink cake was set among a bar of pink candy. And the atmosphere? A party. “We are happy people,” Maria says, “and all we wanted was to have a big celebration on our special day.”
A Favorite Moment. During the ceremony, Bill and Maria incorporated a sand ceremony, for which they also included Maria’s son, Alex. The three of them mixed sand together in a glass jar to symbolize unity.

The ever after. Currently living in Clayton, New Jersey, Maria and Bill say married life is great. “We waited a long time to find each other and now that we did, we want to build a great life together, travel, have lots of parties, raise our children and grow old together,” Maria says. “We know it is not going to be happy moments all the time but the good times and good memories will help us get through the tough times when they come.”
Loews Annapolis Hotel, Annapolis

Intrigue Design & Decor, Annapolis

Palate Pleasers, Annapolis

Loews Hotel Annapolis, Annapolis

Dress (designer and store):
Lusan Mandongus/Unveiled Boutique, Philadelphia

Bridesmaid dresses:
Chiffon Dress, Fashion
Design Store, Hammonton, NJ

Men’s attire:
Men’s Warehouse

Kenneth Cole

Hamilton Photography, Annapolis

Up Do’s for I Do’s, Annapolis

Steve Moody Entertainment, Ridgley

After Party:
Stan and Joe’s, Annapolis

Guitar Player/Singer:
Just Dave

First Dance:
Wanted by Hunter Hayes