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What's Up Weddings

Courtney McCarthy 
& Jacob McQuay

Jan 13, 2014 11:17PM ● By Anonymous

Popping the Question. Coutney McCarthy, a 23-year-old payroll administrator, and Jacob McQuay, a 25-year-old farmer and waterman, met through mutual friends in high school, where they hit it off. Fast forward a few years later and Courtney was heading home from a stressful chemistry test when she walked into a beautifully prepared dinner by candlelight. “I kissed Jake hello and sat down to enjoy our dinner,” Courtney recalls. “As I went to pull out the utensils to eat dinner, the napkin unraveled and I was shocked to see ‘Will you marry me?’ written on it. Jacob immediately pulled out a gorgeous diamond ring and I started crying and of course said ‘Yes!’”

The Venue. Dreaming of rustic elements with an elegant touch, Courtney and Jacob chose Bridges in Grasonville for their reception. “Bridges is known for excellent food and service,” Courtney says. And its sunsets didn’t hurt. A unique location, Bridges faces the water to the west, providing “incredible sunsets,” Courtney says.

The Fashion. With five maids and men flanking the bride and groom, Courtney chose olive green chiffon dresses by Bill Levkoff for the ladies, and a ruched mermaid gown with a beaded belt for herself. “As soon as I tried it on, I knew it was my dress,” she says. The men wore charcoal pants with matching vests, white button-up shirts, and silver ties, with simple boutonnieres of greenery to complement the ladies’ dresses.

The Décor. After a simple yet stunning ceremony, Courtney and Jacob kicked things off with a cocktail hour that took place inside Bridges and on the adjoining patio and gazebo. During the cocktail hour, photos of the couple from childhood through their engagement were on display. Following the cocktail hour, the 250 guests joined Courtney and Jacob for a tented reception on the lawn between the restaurant and the water. “The tent was professionally decorated by my sister, Katie McCarthy, who works as an interior designer in D.C.,” Courtney says. The theme, she says, was upscale country rustic, with long wooden farm tables, each accented with an Irish Lace center runner and white flower centerpieces. The wedding party table was adorned with the same lace runners, but also featured custom-made steel candelabras, which were wrapped in vines and simple flowers and held about 10 candles each. From the ceiling, draped sheer material covered bistro-type bulbs for backlighting. Meanwhile, the tent’s entrance featured a “large and wonderfully conceived rustic arch” of brown tree branches supported by a steel frame. A candy bar—a nod to Jacob’s sweet tooth—served as not only an interesting visual, but the wedding favors. “It’s hard to describe how truly beautiful the entire facility was that day,” Courtney says.

The Ever After.Following their big day, Courtney and Jacob jetted off to Livingston, Montana, where they stayed at Blue Moon Cabin nestled in the woods. “We explored Yellowstone and the gorgeous views of Montana,” Courtney says. “We’re both nature lovers so it was the perfect escape!” Now, she says, married life in Bozman is “amazing.” The two welcomed their first baby—a girl—in September. “I see a long and happy marriage in our future,” she says, “with my high school sweetheart and our little girl!”
Bridges on Kent Narrows,

Robin’s Nest, Easton

Peace of Cake, Stevensville

Bridges on Kent Narrows,

Venus Bridal Collections,
Ellicott City

Bridesmaid dresses:
Bill Levkoff

Men’s attire:
Men’s Warehouse

Natalie Franke Photography, Annapolis

Wedding Planner & Coordinator:
Inspired Events, Stevensville

Hair for a Special Affair, Onester

First Dance:
“Into the Mystic” by Van Morrison

Father/Daughter Dance:
“Dweller on the Threshold” by Van Morrison