“One man’s loss is another man’s gain” couldn’t ring more true for the love story of Rachel Cording and Bradley Hopkins, who met in 2011, following a Baltimore Ravens game. “The Ravens lost, but I won—it was love at first sight,” says the bride, an elementary school teacher.
Bradley also felt the instantaneous connection, and proposed less than a year later. He picked up the ring from the jeweler on Monday and was planning to wait until the weekend to pop the question—but he quickly dismissed that plan, finding that he couldn’t wait another day to ask Rachel to be his wife. After inviting Rachel over, Bradley surprised her with flowers and a wrapped box. But it wasn’t the ring the bride saw first. “When I opened the box there was a key on top of the tissue paper. He told me that he wanted me to have a key to his house,” says Rachel. “I remember thinking it was such a thoughtful and romantic gesture. I still had no idea he was proposing to me!”
Bradley prompted her to dig deeper, and she found the engagement ring as Bradley got on one knee. “He said the key was to his house and the ring was the key to his heart,” says the bride. “What made the engagement ring extra-special was that the center stone belonged to his grandmother.” On August 4, 2012, the couple were married at Maryland’s Corsica River Yacht Club.
Photographer: Amy Raab
Wedding Ceremony Venue: St. Paul’s Parish
Wedding Reception Venue: The Corsica River Yacht Club
Event Coordinator: Amy Eaton
Groom’s Tux: Jos. A. Bank
Hair: Katie McGuire
Makeup: Amber Kwong, Makeup Memories
Caterer: Gourmet by the Bay
Wedding Cocktail: Orange Crush
Cake: Ashley LaClair
Wedding Cake Flavors: Yellow cake with strawberries and buttercream icing. “Brad and I are not big cake people, so in addition to cake we also had ice cream! The Scottish Highland Creamery provided homemade ice cream—it was the perfect cold treat on a hot August night,” says the bride.
Florist: Murdoch’s Florists
Wedding Flowers: Several varieties of roses
Music/Entertainment: Millennium, Washington Talent Agency
First Dance Song: “God Gave Me You” by Blake Shelton
Invitations: The Paper Trousseau
Favorite Wedding Detail: “Taking a boat, along with our wedding party, from the church to the reception site, and our nieces and nephews shooting confetti guns as we made our grand entrance at the reception,” says the bride.
Biggest Surprise of the Wedding: “As we were getting ready for the wedding at my parent’s home, my soon-to-be mother-in-law gave me a bracelet. It was a beautiful—it had a monogrammed plate with my new initials,” says Rachel.
Wedding Theme: Eastern Shore elegance
Four Words That Describe the Wedding: We are so blessed!
Honeymoon Spot: Kauai and Maui, Hawaii
Where They Currently Live: Chestertown, MD