Married in Maryland
Local wedding-planning news and adventures of aisle-bound brides and grooms
Do you invite family to a same-sex wedding if they don't support your union?

Do you invite family to a same-sex wedding if they don't support your union?

All weddings must confront the inevitable: Who do you invite? Ever since our engagement in November 2013, my fiancé and I have received dozens of requests to come to our wedding. But as the future wedded couple, we are bound by money and...

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It's the most wonderful, romantic time of the year

It's the most wonderful, romantic time of the year

I love my engagement story, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world but I can’t help but think how romantic this time of year can be as well. Some may think it’s cliché to get engaged around the holidays, but I think it’s...

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Navigating the holidays once you've got two families

Navigating the holidays once you've got two families

Getting engaged or married means you will now be a part of two different families and have to coordinate how you will celebrate the holidays while trying to make everyone happy. 

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Stop the rollercoaster ride of wedding planning

Stop the rollercoaster ride of wedding planning

Wedding planning is such a rollercoaster ride.

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The fine art of negotiating a florist, or any vendor

The fine art of negotiating a florist, or any vendor

One of the most popular electives at my law school is Interviewing, Negotiations, and Counseling (INC).  Students learn the basics of interviewing parties, negotiating agreements and advising clients on their best options. It also has no final exam. I always wanted to take this course but something always got in the way.  Either it wasn’t offered or I had other requisites taking my time.

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Registering for gifts is more complicated than you might think

Registering for gifts is more complicated than you might think

My fiancé and I kept putting off registering for gifts not because we didn’t want to but because we thought we had plenty of time. We would plan on spending the time at stores, but then other things would come up.

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Go the extra steps for out-of-town guests

Go the extra steps for out-of-town guests

My fiancé Keith and I are going to a wedding in Colorado in February. I have never been to an out-of-town wedding and am pretty excited about the location. The future groom and bride have been very thorough with arrangements for their guests. I was a little nervous about all the details and figuring out where to stay and when to fly in, but they have been really on top of things. 

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Bring on the bridesmaid dresses

Bring on the bridesmaid dresses

This past weekend my mom, my bridesmaids and I went to pick out the bridesmaid dresses. We allotted about two hours thinking this would be a long and hard process but were in and out in about an hour. 

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Hockey game trumps honeymoon planning

Hockey game trumps honeymoon planning

I want my wedding to be just as perfect as possible, but I want my marriage to be even better. 

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Thanks to Congress, this future groom suddenly has time to do more wedding planning

Thanks to Congress, this future groom suddenly has time to do more wedding planning

Thanks to Congress, I have more free time than usual.  I am a federal employee, but my job does not entail the protection of life or property.  I am “nonessential.”  So, while the Congress and president are split on how to fund government and lift the debt ceiling, I have time to focus on law school and wedding planning.

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Please stop asking annoying questions about what's next for a couple

Please stop asking annoying questions about what's next for a couple

Throughout life, there are so many changes and stages. There are milestones such as graduating from schools, getting new jobs, buying houses, getting married, having babies and so on. However, it feels like people are always looking for the next thing in their life rather than really enjoying what they have in the moment. 

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Thoughts on the etiquette of engagement parties

Thoughts on the etiquette of engagement parties

Everyone has an opinion on engagement parties and what is appropriate or not appropriate. Not every engaged couple has an engagement party, but if you do want to have one, it’s important to think through the details.

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Confusion and traditional values reign when shopping for bridesmaid dresses

Confusion and traditional values reign when shopping for bridesmaid dresses

I had a surreal experience at a bridal store looking for dresses with my honored attendants. 

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Setting up transportation and a block of hotel rooms for guests is a must-do.

Setting up transportation and a block of hotel rooms for guests is a must-do.

For any wedding, whether near or far, there should always be some sort of transportation or hotels lined up for your guests if they would like to stay overnight. In addition to those people, the bride and groom traditionally will stay somewhere nice afterward and maybe some family members will stay, too, in hopes to see them for breakfast the next day before they are off to their honeymoon. 

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Say yes to the custom suit

Say yes to the custom suit

Earlier in the summer, I met the gentleman who will craft my wedding day attire, Derrick C. King. He is one of the tailors at Christopher Schafer Clothier and was recently named Best Tailor by Fashion Awards MD. I first met King last year at a Capital Area Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce expo, where he helped me pick out an awesome pink and blue tie. We’ve kept in contact ever since, and after seeing his designs on Facebook, I thought he would be the right tailor to design my suit.

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Don't forget to include your significant other in all the wedding plans

Don't forget to include your significant other in all the wedding plans

As much as many girls dream about their weddings, they need to remember they are not the only ones involved. A lot of times brides will do a lot of the planning and decisions on their own or with their mom. However, believe it or not if you ask your groom, he probably will want to be a part of the big decisions. Keith and I discuss all the details going into the wedding whether he is involved in the decision-making or not. 

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On the hunt for the perfect wedding favors

On the hunt for the perfect wedding favors

My fiance Keith and I keep discussing wedding favors and what we think may be a nice one to give at our own wedding.

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To veil or not to veil

To veil or not to veil

A tradition among brides is the wearing of a veil. This does not feel like a tradition that I would like to follow, however.

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Surviving conflict -- even in something like a board game -- is essential to a happy, longterm relationship

Surviving conflict -- even in something like a board game -- is essential to a happy, longterm relationship

Last month, I attended my fiancé’s mother’s wedding. Both she and her new husband knew each other for decades, each the surviving spouse of a prior marriage. Their wedding had the full works for a formal church ceremony: unity candles, live vocalists, flower girls and an off-white traditional wedding gown. Her two sons escorted her down the aisle, making a grand entrance in the sanctuary. She beamed when she pronounced her I do’s, and the guests applauded at the union. Regardless of time, the newlyweds found love again.

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After an initial flurry of planning, things slowed down maybe too much.

After an initial flurry of planning, things slowed down maybe too much.

Keith and I got engaged six months ago and it has been the most exciting time of my life. I was so anxious at first that we did a lot of planning right away. We chose colors, our bridal party, our date and venue. Within a month I had found my dress, a band and a photographer. I know who I’m using for flowers and booked a photo booth. 

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Let the reception-food tasting start

Let the reception-food tasting start

In the near future, my fiancé and I will be going to the Engineers Club in order to taste the food we want to have at our wedding reception.

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First thoughts about bridesmaid dresses

First thoughts about bridesmaid dresses

I have had my dress for a while, but it is now almost time to find bridesmaid dresses! This is exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time.  I’m excited to see what my favorite girls will be wearing when they stand next to me on my big day, but I also worry since I have eight bridesmaids.  As much as I love having a great support group, it may also mean lots of different opinions.

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To video the wedding, or not to video?

To video the wedding, or not to video?

One of the things we have been going back and forth about for our wedding is whether or not to have a videographer. Some people say it is necessary and definitely worth the money, where others admit that they have only watched their wedding video a couple times and that the pictures are enough. 

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Four Seasons promotes same-sex weddings

Four Seasons promotes same-sex weddings

Take a look at the brochures for most wedding venues and, chances are, you’ll see the traditional bride and groom. But not at the Four Seasons, located in Baltimore’s Harbor East neighborhood. The four-star luxury hotel has some new brochures that include same-sex couples.

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First thoughts on honeymoon planning

First thoughts on honeymoon planning

My fiancé Keith and I are about 10 months out from our wedding but are starting to think about where and how long we would like our honeymoon to be.

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Same-sex marriage survey shows distinct trends in wedding planning

Same-sex marriage survey shows distinct trends in wedding planning

In my quest to have a unique wedding, I learned how similar I was to everyone else. According to a recent survey conducted by TheKnot.com and The Advocate. I am among the many same-sex couples who are more likely to pay for their own wedding (86%), evenly split wedding planning duties (55%) and keep their given surnames post-nuptials (62%) when compared to different-sex couples.

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Hashtag vs. unplugged weddings

Hashtag vs. unplugged weddings

To hashtag or not to hashtag?

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Pick your priorities for the wedding so you can meet your budget

Pick your priorities for the wedding so you can meet your budget

Whether you’re paying for your own wedding or your parents are paying for it, wedding expenses can add up very quickly. It’s very important to sit back and think about what is a priority for you. Obviously there are things you don’t want to cheap out on, and then there are things that you may be able to spend less money on without people noticing. 

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Choosing wedding attendant dresses: Better to be a dictator or democratic?

Choosing wedding attendant dresses: Better to be a dictator or democratic?

A couple weekends ago, Enrique and I invited our friends over to his house for a barbeque. With everyone relaxed and having a good time, the conversation turned to our wedding plans.

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Saxon's 60-second love story contest

Saxon's 60-second love story contest

Who doesn't love a good love story? Well the folks at Saxon's Diamond Centers in Bel Air and Aberdeen certainly do, which is why they’re hosting their second annual 60-second video contest. The grand prize is a $10,000 diamond engagement ring.

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Sizing up personal after-effects of the Supreme Court's DOMA ruling

Sizing up personal after-effects of the Supreme Court's DOMA ruling

Like tens of thousands of other viewers, I was sitting at my job, watching the live posts on SCOTUSblog to hear how the Supreme Court would rule on the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and the California Prop 8 cases. Then, low and behold, we get the news: The Court struck down Section 3 of Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), and later, effectively allowed California to begin marriages for same-sex couples.

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Who will stop the rain and other wedding mishaps

Who will stop the rain and other wedding mishaps

I have attended many weddings and been in a few in the past couple years and have learned that sometimes -- when things go wrong -- you need to learn to go with the flow.

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Engagement photo anxiety: Where do we go and what do we wear?

Engagement photo anxiety: Where do we go and what do we wear?

My fiancé Keith and I just recently had our engagement pictures taken. I was a little stressed over this because I couldn’t decide what to wear and didn’t know if we should have props or not. I researched a lot online and also asked my friends who have had them done. Everything I saw or heard was different. I was getting conflicting responses because everyone feels differently. I would hear don’t wear something you have worn before then I would see something that said make sure you are wearing something you would normally wear. One article would say wear something plain like jeans and the next would say to wear bright colors. Some articles said to bring props or animals where others said to just be natural. This was making it even harder for me, so while I appreciated the advice, I decided we needed to do what we wanted.

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Maryland celebrities' weddings [Pictures]

From politicians to athletes and TV personalities, we've rounded up engagement and wedding photos from Baltimore's biggest names.

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TLC's 'Four Weddings' is addictive

I have a rather busy life. I go to work during the day, school at night, and spend my weekends doing all of my household chores, visiting friends, and studying for the next week. However, I’m not a lean, mean reading machine; I rely on DVR to keep up to date with television shows that I can’t see during the week.

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Should engaged women join the bouquet toss?

A common tradition at weddings is for the bride to toss the bouquet.  The myth that goes along with this is that the woman to catch the bouquet will be the next one to get married. If you’re already engaged, though, and know you’re getting married soon, should you be a part of this? 

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Baltimore's biggest wedding party

Finally, there's a use for that hideous bridesmaid dress your best friend made you wear for her wedding. (Don't worry, everyone has one!) This Friday, June 14, Power Plant Live is hosting "Baltimore's Biggest Wedding Party."

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The wedding is a little less than a year out, so now what?

On Sunday, May 18, 2008, late at night, I got a message through my MySpace profile that simply stated, “Nice page and pics. - E.” I checked out E’s profile and replied with a paragraph. Soon, we advanced to text messages. Later, we upgraded to phone calls. The following week, we had our first date, then a second and after four and a half years, we got engaged.

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A former Married in Maryland blogger ties the knot

Married in Maryland gives locals a chance to share their wedding experiences throughout the planning process. The blogger writes up until just before his or her big day, but don’t you want to know how it went? 

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Calling all Baltimore BASHelorettes

Dinner, drinks and dancing. These days, your "average" bachelorette party can cost hundreds of dollars, especially if you’re planning an entire weekend at a posh locale. (Trust me, I've been to three this summer alone). In an effort to help bridesmaids and guests plan a fun Girls' Night Out for the bride-to-be, Maryland-native Courtney Smith has created BASHelorette, which launches in Baltimore next week.

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A trip to the Gay & Lesbian Wedding Expo

What do you get when you have free food in a room full of curious, engaged couples? How about adding a DJ, tables with information booklets galore and a moving human sculpture?

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Excellent uses for Excel for wedding planning

Technology is great in so many ways -- even when planning a wedding. For example, Excel spreadsheets make it so easy to keep track of all your wedding information. You can set up a sheet with all the guests you plan to invite along with their phone numbers and addresses. You can also easily keep tabs on who has RSVP'd yes or no. 

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Wedded: Thomas Gloss and James Flower Jr.

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Will same-sex marriage photos prompt people to ask, 'So, which one is the woman?'

When I was younger, my sister and I would stay up to watch BET’s "ComicView." Throughout the '90s and 2000s, "ComicView" was the launching pad for many of our current top black stand-up comedians. One night, I recall hearing a performer make a joke about gay couples, where he asked, “So, which one is the woman?” Though many years later, we live in a world where people still perceive gay relationships in a man/woman binary. Breaking that binary (and the judgments and expectations that come with it) is a unique challenge for same-sex couples as they undergo a historically hetero-defined institution.

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If you're invited to an event, at least have the decency to RSVP

At one point, I could never have imagined that a wedding and all its various preparatory activities could potentially make or break friendships, but it happens.

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Local couple stars on 'Marriage Boot Camp: Bridezillas'

She’s baaaack! One of the most memorable "Bridezillas" from the popular cable show of the same name is back for WE tv's new series "Marriage Boot Camp: Bridezillas." Danni Starr and her husband, Marlon, who live in Rockville will appear on the show, which premieres this Friday, May 31 at 9 p.m., following the tenth and final season's premiere of "Bridezillas."

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Target's bridal gown collection [Pictures]

Brides on a budget, have I got news for you. Target has expanded their Tevolio collection to include bridal gowns, ranging in price from $69.99 to $129.99.

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The search for the right venue was a little like the search for the right college

Traditionally, the bride’s parents are the hosts of the ceremony. They send out the invitations, pay for the reception and coordinate a long day of celebration. The groom’s family takes care of the bride’s ring, the marriage license and their honeymoon. 

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Being a wife will be nice, but I also still need to be a daughter, sister and many other things

It is just under a year until our wedding, and I can’t help but think about how things will change or how things will stay the same. Sure, we will file our taxes differently and my name will change but what will the main differences be?

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All it took was some ribbon, silk and tulle

“Let’s try that one first,” I said, pointing to the craziest wedding gown the saleswoman had selected for me. It was tight through the hips, with geometric ribbon designs that started on the bodice and trailed down through the choppy tulle skirt. It was an avant-garde kind of wedding dress you might wear if your reception was at Sidebar in Downtown Baltimore or the Renaissance Festival – a little punk, a little medieval. It wasn’t remotely my style, but I wanted the first dress I tried on to be memorable and this certainly fit the bill.

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If you have two grooms, what do you call the rest of the wedding party?

It didn’t take my fiancé and me very long to decide who would join us down the aisle. We have a small, intimate circle of friends, so choosing them was easy. We settled on having six of our friends who would make up our party: four women and two men. The hard part was finding the right words to call them. The traditional bride/groom format has well-defined roles, traditions and terms for each person in the party. However, when faced with a bride/bride or groom/groom setup, the rules don’t fit so neatly.

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Ideas for including underage bridesmaids in all the pre-wedding activities

A few guidelines come along with being part of a bridal party. You generally have to buy a dress and shoes, get your makeup and hair done but most importantly be there for the bride and partake in the important events leading up to the wedding. These events usually include the bridal shower and bachelorette party. One of my bridesmaids is my cousin, Taylor, who will only be 16 at the time of these events. It won't affect the shower obviously but I worry about her not being able to be involved in the bachelorette party.  

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The planning is over and it's time for the wedding

Well, it’s been 19 months and we’re finally here – it’s wedding time! I want to make this last post about the experience. Not the experience of being engaged and prepping for a wedding, but the experience of capturing it all in writing. While I hope my posts have been helpful and insightful for other brides, I also selfishly think it was most beneficial for me to chronicle this time in life. I will forever be able to look back on the experience and remember all of the details leading up to the big day. For that, I am forever grateful.

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ABOUT THE BLOGGERS

Jamie Bacon, server and shift supervisor at Obrycki's is engaged to Keith Bishoff, an analyst at Morgan Stanley. Jamie and Keith went to high school together at Loch Raven where they became friends, and they have been dating for more than four years. Keith proposed to Jamie at one of their favorite spots, Cromwell Valley Park, on a nice sunny day. They will be getting married May 10, 2014 at the Engineers Club.


Douglas Nivens II, budget analyst at a federal agency and pursuing his Juris Doctor at the University of Baltimore School of Law, is engaged to Enrique Hamilton, a law enforcement officer in northern Virginia. They met on MySpace and dated for more than four years before Enrique proposed at the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial on Nov. 17, 2012. They will marry at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront on their sixth anniversary of meeting, May 18, 2014.