We are back with part two of Carolyn and Thomas’ French inspired wedding in Baltimore from Jennfer McMenamin Photography! (Did you miss part one of their outdoor wedding ceremony?) Transporting their guests from Maryland to Paris for the night with lush florals and a beautiful antique key logo, Carolyn and Thomas treated their guests to games on the castle’s lawn and delicious French food and drink inside. Instead of a wedding cake, I loved their ceremonial creme bruleeing! They also treated their guests toFrench macaroons and home made apple pies!


From Jill:  Our top priorities were ambiance and guest comfort. The Castle at Maryvale provided a beautiful and private setting, with a covered porch veranda that would allow us to have an outdoor reception regardless of the weather. We splurged on lighting, renting several chandeliers that were installed along the Castle’s wrap-around porch.

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Our dinner reception was my favorite element, because it provided a moment of rest and the chance to absorb the immensity of the occasion. It began with a pepperoni hot pocket being elegantly served to the groom, a cheeky prank pulled off by a college friend and complicit caterer! I was also moved by the toasts given by my father and step-father. We served French foods, with a menu featuring a font based on Cezanne’s handwriting. Our cocktails were inspired by the Left and Right Banks of Paris, and we asked our guests to write their advice on paper squares based on a 19th century reproduced map of Paris.


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I have never been a huge fan of cake, so instead of the traditional cake-cutting, we did a “Creme-Bruleeing.” We had a ceremonial creme brulee that we torched together, while our caterers passed out ceramic spoonfuls of creme brulee for a toast with our guests. 



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In a nod to our Franco-American theme, a close friend baked over 120 miniature apple pies as favors–totally from scratch, using his grandmother’s recipe. It was one of the kindest gifts we could have received, and a year later, people still remember them.





Carolyn and Thomas’ advice to other DC-area couples:

Some of the best planning advice we received was to invest in a good photographer, as our wedding photos would be one of the most important remembrances we would have. High-stress situations bring out unexpected sides of people. As you prepare for your wedding, try to accept the fact that the high-stress situation can and WILL bring out all of your family’s oddest quirks. The day of your wedding, delegate a trusted bridesmaid to hold on to your phone and act as your personal secretary–deciding which calls you should take, and which you shouldn’t. Despite it being your big day, people will still call you asking for you to troubleshoot their issues.


Thank you so much Carolyn and Thomas for sharing your special day with us! The following Washington, DC area wedding vendors contributed to Caroline and Thomas’ wedding:

Photography: Jennifer McMenamin Photography
Ceremony & Reception Venue: The Castle at Maryvale
Officiant: The Rev. Susan LaMer
Ceremony musicians: St. Charles String Quartet
Florist: Spot Floral Design
Caterer: Linwoods
Bridal Attire: BHLDN
Hair & Makeup: Behind the Veil
Groom attire: Men’s Wearhouse
Wedding Programs: Betsy White
Invitations & Menus: Minted
DJ: Laura Young
Lighting & Decor: Event Dynamics
Transportation: Her Majesty’s Service
Miniature apple pies: Family friend – from his grandmother’s closely guarded recipe!
Macarons: Tout de Sweet Pastry Shop

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: Jennifer McMenamin Photography

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