Real Wedding: Karen and Andrew

This couple’s intimate celebration came together with a little help from their friends.

Karen and Andrew on their wedding day on April 27, 2013. Photographs by Jenna Shriver Photography and OAPD.

It wasn’t love at first sight for Karen Hoobler and Andrew Myers. In fact, they met through Andrew’s close friend, who Karen ironically then had a crush on. Andrew and Karen quickly formed a strong friendship, even though the groom’s initial reaction was, “Why is she hanging out with him and not me?” It took the couple two years to discover their mutual attraction, and Andrew finally asked Karen on an official first date to the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.

Two years later, when Andrew, an occupational therapist, was getting ready to propose, he planned one for the books with the help of several friends. The day started with Karen’s best friend Erica showing up at her office with a letter from Andrew. “At first I thought she was just dropping off an old letter that I had forgotten in her car. But when I opened it, I immediately knew that today was the day!” says Karen, who currently works with middle school students at Fourth Presbyterian Church in Bethesda. Per Andrew’s instructions, Erica drove Karen to several places that were significant to the couple, starting from the cafe where they first met. At each location, a close friend was stationed to greet Karen and pre-congratulate her before sending her on to the next site.

With anticipation at an all-time high, Karen got to the National Cathedral—the final stop and the site of the couple’s Sunday afternoon picnics. Andrew’s best man was waiting there to escort Karen to the gazebo in the gardens, where the groom was anxiously waiting to propose. “He hid a photographer in the gardens, and not only did she capture the sweet moment when he asked me to marry him, but she also took engagement shots around the garden after I said yes,” says the bride. “Afterward, we shared Champagne toasts on a picnic blanket with our two closest friends.”

It was only natural for the couple to enlist their friends to help to create invitations and paper decorations, and even sing the first-dance song for their wedding, which followed seven months later.


Photographer: Jenna Shriver Photography and OAPD

Wedding Ceremony Venue: Fourth Presbyterian Church, Bethesda

Wedding Reception Venue: Rocklands Farm, Poolesville, MD

Event Coordinator: Rex & Regina

Bride’s Gown: David’s Bridal

Jewelry: The Jewel’s Nest

Hair: Adria Hanley, Scalped Salon & Spa

Makeup: Primrose & Co.

Groom’s Tux: Brooks Brothers

Caterer: Urban BBQ Company

Cake: Gloria Kenyon

Wedding Cake Flavors: Almond buttercream

Florist: Terri Miller

Wedding Flowers: Lavender, baby’s breath, white orchids, and lisianthus

Music/Entertainment: Grant Dunbar 

First Dance Song: “All the Right Reasons” by the Jayhawks, covered by cousin of the bride Kylie Dailey and her husband Kevin. “Kylie was my matron of honor, but couldn’t travel because she was too far along in her pregnancy. She and her husband recorded our first dance song. It was amazing and so special since they couldn’t be there in person,” says Karen.

Invitations: Courtney Sager 

Decor Details: Hand-lettered table numbers and banners by Courtney Johnson, Lovely Lettering

Bride’s Favorite Wedding Detail: A bouquet with fresh lavender

Groom’s Favorite Wedding Detail: Craft beer selection

Biggest Surprise of the Wedding: “We had invited the whole youth group from the church where I work  to our cake reception before the family dinner on the farm. We estimated 400 people for the ceremony and reception, but easily topped 450. It was overwhelming—in a good way—to be surrounded by so many who love us. Thankfully, we had plenty of cake!” says the bride.

Wedding Favors: Burn Beeswax candles made by a friend’s family and wrapped in burlap and lace

Wedding Theme: Outdoor, spring, budget, rustic

Four Words That Describe the Wedding: God’s goodness to us. “We felt so loved by our family and friends—it was incredible!”

Honeymoon Spot: “Andy booked a dreamy cabin in the mountains of Asheville, North Carolina.”

Where They Currently Live: Kensington, Maryland