Happy Monday everyone!  Today we’re kicking the week off with a stunning fall wedding in Maryland from Laura Ashbrook Photography.  Kate and Sajid were married last fall at Kentlands Mansion in Gaithersburg, Maryland, with a beautiful outdoor ceremony and indoor reception that incorporated both American and Indian traditions (along with some seriously great food).  Kate and Sajid also honored their family histories, displaying family photos at the reception and using the love letters that Kate’s grandfather wrote to her grandmother as part of their wedding vows.  Such a sweet idea!

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From Kate: We wanted our wedding to feel like home, so we found a big house (it’s called a mansion but is more like a colonial brick house) for our wedding venue.  Our color palette was comprised of white, burlap, and spring green. It was a picture perfect day: 70 degrees with no wind and clear skies in the middle of October (so you could still smell the autumn leaves).  I work as the executive producer of Fox45 morning news in Baltimore, so I had a team of meteorologists giving me accurate minute-by minute forecasts right up until the morning of!

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We didn’t have “flowers” in the traditional sense – just bouquets of herbs and baby’s breath.

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Kate’s bridesmaids wore light green saris – so pretty!

One of my favorite details from our wedding day were the mums that were on display on haybales at the end of the ceremony aisle. We planted them at our home and now they’re a daily reminder of our wedding day!

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The Kentlands mansion has a beautiful lawn and we held the ceremony there.  We wanted the wedding to be casual while still feeling important, so we had a bluegrass band perform classic ceremony music (canon in d, etc), but I walked down the aisle to “The Way I Am” by Ingrid Michaelson.

We are Christian and Muslim, so we had Rabbi Kenneth Block officiate our ceremony to continue the theme of our love story, which is that it knows no boundaries.  It doesn’t matter what culture you’re from; love is love.  We wanted to unite our families by having a neutral party marry us in a civil ceremony.  We also used the love letters that my grandfather wrote to my grandmother as part of our vows.  They were married for 60 years before she died, and we want to have a lifetime of love like they did.   It really made our ceremony unique and meaningful and gave all of our guests a little peek into our family history.

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Everything was very personal.  I made pillows that guests sat on at the reception.  We had family favorites as our food (both Indian and American).  We displayed family wedding photos and momentos on a piano in the foyer.  I also wore my mother’s veil during the ceremony.

Our first dance was to the song “The Real Thing” by Gwen Stefani, but we had a bluegrass band play it and make it country.  The recorded version is too ’80s for a first dance but we love the lyrics.  The bluegrass band stuck around for the first dances, after which the DJ took over and kept the dance floor going all night long.

The wedding was intimate but still felt grand, with about 125 guests.  We didn’t cut the cake or do any garter or bouquet tosses.  We didn’t want it to feel like a wedding once guests were inside the mansion, just a big family party.  My husband’s culture was woven in throughout the ceremony, reception, food, music, etc.  It was about inviting our guests to become a part of our family, if even for a day, and share the love and close bond we all have.

Food was out for guests to help themselves; we decided against assigned seating, so guests mingled and got seconds and thirds (not surprising since rasika was rated in the list of top 100 restaurants in the Country!).  Our “signature cocktail” was a gin and tonic with Hendricks gin and a sprig of rosemary.  We didn’t want anything too gender-specific and thought it was a good mixed drink that appeals to girls and guys that goes well with Indian food.  My husband’s brother and our fathers all gave toasts (my sister was too emotional!).  Most of the guests stayed and closed the party down after the last dance.

The following Washington, DC area wedding vendors contributed to Kate and Sajid’s wedding:

Venue: Kentlands Mansion
Wedding Planner: Encounters Events
Photography: Laura Ashbrook
Catering: Ridgewells and Rasika
Dress: David’s Bridal
Floral Design: Stephanie’s Secret Garden
Cake: Gift from a family friend
Invitations:  Printable Press
DJ: Santana Entertainment
Ceremony Musicians: The Honeybirds
Groom and Groomsmen Attire: Jos. A Banks
Hair: Salon Red
Officiant:  Rabbi Kenneth Block
Favors: Dog treats and a donation to the Maryland SPCA

Don’t forget to visit our vendor guide for more fabulous Washington, DC area wedding professionals or our real wedding gallery for more beautiful Washington, DC area weddings!

Photo Credits: Laura Ashbrook Photography

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