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What's Up Weddings

Real Weddings: Allyson McKaughan & Zach Forkey

Dec 16, 2015 11:55AM ● By Cate Reynolds
By Tina Byland

May 30, 2015 // Chesapeake Beach Resort and Spa // Photography by Brea

The Couple. Allyson, 29, and Zach, 31, are both contractors with the State Department living in Arlington, Virginia. They met through friends when Zach was stationed at the Pentagon years back.

The Proposal. Zach had planned a trip to the JW Marriott Ranch in Hume, Virginia for cattle herding. He was planning on proposing at the ranch, but chose to wait as the cattle herding was a bit more intense than they were expecting! They then decided to head to a winery for a little post-cattle herding rest and relaxation. Once at Pearmund Cellars, Zach told Allyson that he wanted to get some “nice pictures” in front of a wine barrel that they had blended themselves. During the photos, Zach put down his glass and asked if Allyson was having a good day, to which she replied “Of course!“ He then said, “Do you know what would make this day even better?” and got down on his knee to propose.

The Venue. Allyson grew up in Maryland and the couple loves the beach and outdoors. They figured that a venue on the Chesapeake Bay would be perfect for their wedding. After looking at many venues, they found that Chesapeake Beach Resort and Spa fit the bill. They loved everyone who worked there and also loved the gazebo on the dock.

The Dress. “I fell in love with the dress,” Allyson shares when discussing her Casablanca gown. “It wasn’t anything like what I was looking for, or the style that I originally wanted, but the bridal consultant at the boutique asked if I would be open to try it on. As soon as I put it on everyone loved it and I felt that it had something special to it that I hadn’t felt in other dresses.”
The Ceremony. Allyson had a piece of fuzz on her dress during the ceremony. Zach picked it off right in the middle of the ceremony for her. “It was just something that was a very Zach thing to do and reminded me that it was just him and I, and nothing else mattered that day,” remembers Allyson.

The Theme. The couple decorated their wedding in a nautical/ beach theme. Centerpieces were short round vases with nautical rope tied around the base. Inside the vases you could find sand, shells, sea glass, and a candle. They also had a replica lobster trap as the card holder. They made place cards look like little miniature docks out of wine corks. And, just to make it even more nautical, their colors were navy and pink.

The Honeymoon. They went to Sandals La Toc in St. Lucia and only have amazing things to report back. “We would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a honeymoon resort. The food, staff, activities, friends we made. Everything was great,” Allyson and Zach tell us. “Also, definitely check out the Joe Knows Tour if you ever go!”

Chesapeake Floral

DJ/Band & Photobooth:
Crow Entertainment

Chesapeake Beach Salon and Spa

Blondie’s Baking Company

Casablanca, The Bridal Boutique in Columbia

Bride’s Shoes:
Blue by Betsey Johnson

Bridesmaid Dresses:
Jasmine Bridal, The Bridal Boutique in Columbia

Men’s Attire:
Vera Wang, Men’s Warehouse

Engagement Ring:
Nova Gold LLC

Wedding Bands:
Kay Jewelers

A La Mode Bride

Alice Breault (Allyson’s Aunt)

Old Bay Labels and Cozies designed by Katie Petty, labels printed by Cards & Pockets Print Shop, and Cozies by CustomInk

Photography By Brea (Brea Shaw and 2nd Shooter: Jennifer Smutek)

Le Mariee’ (Lori Nansi) (makeup)
Chesapeake Beach Salon (Hair)

St. Charles String Quartet