Game. Set. Match—This Tennis Racquet-Inspired Escort Display Is a Must-See

Kate Whatley & Ben Smith married at a private residence in Easton, Maryland.

Photographs by Perry Vaile

Kate and Ben met at an unlikely place—Ben’s parents’ house on the Eastern Shore—when Kate agreed to join a mutual friend for a weekend of water-skiing, wake-boarding, and, in true summertime-in-Maryland fashion, blue-crab-eating. A goofy joke Ben made about a skunk got Kate (and everyone else) laughing—“Have you heard it?” asks Kate. “It stinks.” And Ben quickly became enamored of Kate’s equally fun side. A week later they ended up on the same party bus headed to a Temptations concert at Wolf Trap, then planned an official first date at Luke’s Lobster in Penn Quarter. Six years later, Ben proposed on a Thanksgiving Day hike, and for nine months they planned a wedding at the spot where they met.

The waterfront affair was a celebration of cherished things—from the drawings of Ben’s family’s house on the save-the-dates to the starring role of the couple’s yellow lab, Maggie, who trotted down the aisle and inspired both the Mag-a-rita signature drinks and the men’s selection of Bird Dog Bay ties. The tennis-racquet escort display read “Game. Set. Match. Kate and Ben Are Married,” a reflection of the sports that fill much of their time at the shore. The couple chose a tabletop palette of pink, white, and blue, including Vietri planters that Kate found. “I loved the idea of having these beautiful planters to remind us of the wedding for years to come,” she says. After a colorful sunset followed by dinner, guests chose scoops from an ice-cream cart from Scottish Highland Creamery to complement almond and marble wedding cakes from Sweethaus.

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Ben’s cousin, Courtland Stevens of Courtland & Co., designed custom monograms for the linen napkins. “Each table had its own design,” Kate says, which added a special touch, and gave the newlyweds a variety of napkins to keep and use later.

The Details:

Photography: Perry Vaile | Planning & Design: Kari Rider Events | Florist: Monteray Farms | Paper: Creative Parties (invitations); Surcee Calligraphy | Caterer: Gourmet by the Bay | Hairstylist: Amie Decker Beauty | Makeup Artist: Natural Makeup Chic | Attire: Carolina Herrera, Carine’s Bridal Atelier (bride); Paul Stuart blazer, Suitsupply pants, Bonobos shirt (groom); J. McLaughlin (bridesmaids); Charles Tyrwhitt blazer, Suitsupply pants, Bonobos shirt (groomsmen) | Music: Nation, Élan Artists | Decor: White Glove Rentals | Tent: Eastern Shore Tents

Assistant Editor, Washingtonian Weddings

Jacqueline comes to Washingtonian with close to five years of digital content experience and SEO best practices. She previously was a senior editorial associate at WeddingWire, specializing in wedding fashion, and before that, an assistant at Vow Bride. Originally from Norfolk, Virginia, she now lives in Columbia Heights.