Weddings

The Couple’s Waterfront Elopement Included a Private Sunset Boat Cruise

Meg and Matt tied the knot at her family's home in Annapolis.

Photographs by E. Losinio Photography

“Meg and Matt’s intimate summer elopement in Annapolis wasn’t initially the wedding they had planned,” says Erinne Sitz, their photographer of E. Losinio Photography. But after cancelling their plans amidst the Covid pandemic, the Texas couple decided instead to marry in a super intimate ceremony at Meg’s parents’ house in Annapolis. 

“With their families present and friends joining via Zoom, the two tied the knot overlooking the water in a beautiful, romantic ceremony,” says Sitz. The biggest surprise for the day though, wasn’t the change in plans themselves, but the portrait session, orchestrated by Meg’s mom. While the couple had planned to take post-ceremony portraits at a small nearby beach, the mother-of-the-bride instead chartered a private boat cruise, “complete with champagne.”

“I kept the surprise a secret by telling them that we had to change plans and shoot portraits on the dock to keep things on schedule,” says Sitz. “Little did they know, the boat coming up to the dock in the middle of their portraits was for them! We had an amazing time riding around the harbor, with strangers sending enthusiastic greetings with waves, cheers, and toasts from the dock.”

The newlyweds plan to celebrate with a big reception this year. See more from their summer elopement in Annapolis below.

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The Big Day

Meg and Matt say that because this was to be their wedding, “part one,” they really wanted to keep things “simple, but special.” With plans to execute their original vision at a big reception later, this, they say, was an opportunity to do something totally different. The style they landed on was “rustic and nautical,” with a color palette reminiscent of a sunset: peach, coral, and orange against ivory and greenery. At the ceremony, the brides says hydrangeas and sunflowers complemented the nautical backdrop, and the pair intentionally skipped the religious components, knowing they’d exchange vows again in a Catholic church as part of their wedding “part two.”  

For the mini-reception, Meg says she wanted an “intimate dinner party with a long table to hold all of our loved ones, dressed with beautiful flowers, votive candles, and cafe lights to really enhance the ‘magic’ factor.”

The scenic, waterfront yard provided an easy backdrop, where the couple says they balanced supporting their vendors with supplemental DIY, including the cake Meg’s mom baked for the couple (“we are a family of bakers, but she really outdid herself!”). Friends lent them the German beer-hall tables, as well as the tree-stump-and-cafe-light set up for the reception.

Flowers are something Meg says she buys for herself every week, so they were an important part of the decor. The couple worked with a florist for Meg’s bouquet and the table arrangements, which included shades of “saturated reds, pinks, and oranges, that were perfect against the sunset dinner.” The couple borrowed faux garlands to dress up the steps that served as the aisle Meg walked down, and Meg’s mom arranged flowers that framed the reception site, as well as bud vases on the table. 

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Not Quite What They Planned

Meg says the weekend was really emotional since it wasn’t what they’d planned, but, “it was better in so many ways.” The couple’s bridal party, who couldn’t be there, sent flowers, a special bottle of wine, and a gift card for a couples massage to help make the weekend feel special, and Meg’s brother-in-law set up a livestream so friends and family could tune in. Since they didn’t have the church wedding they’d imagined, the couple took the opportunity to personalize every detail of the ceremony, and the bride says their “officiant was incredible about making the ceremony totally centered” on the couple.

The highlight, though, she says, was the surprise boat ride—the “best part of the day I didn’t know I needed.”

“We cruised into downtown Annapolis and received so many cheers, boat horns, and thumbs up from the other boaters around us,” Meg says. “It was an incredible moment for us to get away for a few minutes and celebrate that we were finally husband and wife!! It was so special and something we will never forget.”

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Other Fun Details

For the rehearsal dinner, the couple hosted a crab feast off the family’s dock, supplemented with favorites like beef tenderloin and a basil parmesan sauce.

For the fashion, Meg wanted a dress that matched the location and was simple, elegant, and easy to move in, but also made her feel special. She chose blue shoes for a “pop of color” and her “something blue,” but kept her jewelry simple, which is true to her everyday style, and elegant, to complement the dress. The groom chose a slim-cut navy suit, which fit the “sophisticated and classic,” style he was looking for.

Meg says looking back, she learned a lot planning this year, and has some advice for couples currently going through the planning process. 

“This has been an incredibly difficult year for anyone planning a wedding… It’s so easy to get caught up in the details of the wedding, but when most of that is no longer an option, you’re really able to focus on what truly matters to you. At the end of the day, this is about the marriage, and not the wedding. I was worried that a much smaller, more intimate ceremony wouldn’t feel special. I was wrong!  In a lot of ways, it was better.  We were able to have quality time with our family the entire weekend. We were able to focus on exactly what we wanted the weekend to be as a couple.” That said, Meg says, she absolutely recommends getting married now and planning the big celebration for later. “If this year has taught me anything, it’s that you cannot control or predict the future. Now, no matter what happens, we will always have an incredibly special memory of that day, and I wouldn’t trade that for anything.”

 

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The Details

Photography: E. Losinio Photography| Venue: Private residence | Catering: Palate Pleasers | Florist: Velvet Moss Floral | Hairstylist: Hair by Nicole White | Makeup Artist: Makeup Memories | Officiant: Wed By Joan Phillips

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Amy Moeller
Editor, Washingtonian Weddings

Amy leads Washingtonian Weddings and writes Style Setters for Washingtonian. Prior to joining Washingtonian in March 2016, she was the editor of Capitol File magazine in DC and before that, editor of What’s Up? Weddings in Annapolis.