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What's Up Weddings

Real Weddings: Julia Riddle & Michael Clark

Jul 26, 2017 04:48PM ● By Cate Reynolds
May 14, 2016 // Brittland Manor // Michael and Carina Photography

The Beginning

Julia, a med student at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, kept putting off a first date with Michael, a Registered Nurse, because of her research for school. Luckily, Michael was persistent and they eventually met up. Their first date was a late night bike right and set the tone for their relationship moving forward. Since day one, their life together has always been an adventure!

The Proposal

Michael’s main concern when he proposed wasn’t whether Julia would say yes or not. She had her hopes set on a unique, antique ring and Michael was worried his pick wouldn’t live up to her dreams. Fortunately for Michael, he received good vibes as Julia proposed right back to him! After the proposals, Michael surprised Julia with drinks and dinner with her best friend who had come to town for the occasion.

The Planning Process

“I loved everything about planning our wedding,” Julia remembers. “We were getting a chance to throw a party for our best friends and family.” They also kept everything personal by hiring a family friend as their wedding planner, a high school friend for their DJ, and having their mothers make their desserts.

The Venue

Brittland Manor was the first place they toured for a venue on a friend’s recommendation. “I knew that Brittland was perfect! It was on the water, gave us our own space, and we could sleep 30-plus people on site!” Bridesmaids and groomsmen (and spouses) along with siblings could stay with them for the entire wedding weekend. “I dream of all of us being back there one day.”

The Ceremony

Michael’s father married the couple, they wrote their own vows, and their dog was the ring bearer. Due to rain, they had to scramble last minute to move everything inside, but that didn’t stop it from being a meaningful ceremony. “Our closest friends and family mobilized to move everything indoors,” recalls Julia. “From the groomsmen and husbands packing up the chairs to the bridesmaids making the space beautiful. Because of that, I was standing in the dining room all dressed up, but unable to help for about an hour. It was the most still I had been in months. When the time came to walk down the aisle, I got about ten feet before I had to stop to wipe away happy tears. I was so overwhelmed by seeing all the people that we love from all over the world stuffed together in one room for us. It wasn’t as planned but it was even more special because it was so intimate and powerful. The icing on top was that the skies cleared right after we said ‘I do’ and we had the most gorgeous evening light.”

The Dance

The couple was gifted dance lessons by Julia’s father and stepmother. They chose to have their first dance to “Brand New” by Pharrell and Justin Timberlake. “We had so much fun putting together our big dance. It was upbeat and fun – the way we wanted to kick off our marriage,” shares Julia.

The Advice

“Keep it local! The eastern shore is so rich with beauty that it works better to work with it than to try to transform it into something else.”

The Details:

Planner/ Designer: Lori McGrogan | Décor and Styling: Mostly Bride, rentals from Eastern Shore Rentals | Florist: Crimson and Clover | DJ: Amanda Schmidt | Caterer: Clementine | Cake/ Baker: Momofuku | Bridal gown store: Betsy Robinson (corset) and BHLDN (skirt) | Gown designer: Watters | Bride’s makeup & hair: Flow Spa Salon | Engagement ring store: Trumpet & Horn | Wedding bands store: Radcliffe | Bride’s other jewelry store: Neimen Marcu | Bride’s other jewelry designer: Oscar de la Renta | Bride’s shoes: Jimmy Choo | Bridesmaid dresses store: Vow to be Chic | Bridesmaid dress designer: Jenny Yoo and Donna Morgan | Men’s attire store: The QG | Stationer: Minted | Favors/ Gifts: Custom Woodberry Kitchen hot sauce, Utz Crab Chips, Champagne, Custom M&Ms | Photobooth: Carina and Michael Photography | Wedding hashtag: #riddlemeclark | Registry: Zola