Engaged: Carly Mistovich and Greg Patronik
The "upscale country" wedding planned by the food service and energy company executives caps a six-year courtship.
Carly Mistovich and Greg Patronik are planning a country-chic wedding. (Handout photo courtesy of Mistovich and / April 5, 2012)
Her story: Carly Mistovich, 28, grew up Glen Rock, Pennsylvania. Her father, Ken Mistovich, is vice president at L&L Supply Corp., a brick company. Her mother, Lisa Mistovich, is a server and bartender for several catering companies in the area. Carly moved to Federal Hill six years ago for her job. She's the director of sales for Aramark food services at M&T Bank Stadium.
His story: Greg Patronik, 29, grew up in Reisterstown. His father, Nick Patronik, owns Patron Services, Inc., a logistics company that's involved with importing and exporting cargo. HIs mother, Colleen Patronik, is accounts manager of the company. Greg is the manager of natural gas operations for Constellation Energy.
Their story: One night In May, 2006, Greg was at Ryleigh's Oyster with some friends. .
"I saw this woman, who was talking with a guy she was obviously uncomfortable with," he says. "So, I went over and acted like I knew her to help her in the situation. That woman was Carly's good friend, Megan Ward. Greg and his friends had such a good time talking with Megan and her friends, they all arranged to get together a few nights later, something Carly says she wasn't going to go to, initially.
"I had been diagnosed with Lyme Disease and was on an intense dose of antibiotics," Carly says. "So, I couldn't drink." But Megan's persuasiveness won her over. The group met up at No Way Jose.
Within a matter of days, Carly and Greg starting dating, and everything went really well — too well, as a matter of fact.
"She was my first serious girlfriend and it kind of freaked me out," Greg admits. At 23, I wasn't looking for someone to fall in love with. I felt I was too young. I could tell Carly was really someone special and I didn't want to do something stupid."
So, they talked.
"He told me straight up that he felt that way, and I said if you feel that way, I appreciate that you are honest with me," Carly says. "But, if you feel that way, it's probably best if we don't continue this relationship."
That breakup lasted eight months. They both lived in Federal Hill and kept running into each other. Soon Greg started coming up with reasons to call Carly, more and more often.
"So, we just started over; a little slower this time," says Greg. "Even though it had been only eight months since the breakup, I felt like I was ready. says Greg. That was five years ago this month.
After two years, they moved in together, adding their rescue dog, Daphne, to their home in 2009.
The proposal, April 8, 2011: He got chocolate-covered strawberries, a dozen red roses, and balloons. He put rose petals in the shape of a heart on their bed, and placed red and white votive candles all around the room. And he had to do it all in four minutes; as Carly was returning home from a walk with the dog.
"It was scary as hell," says Greg. "My heart was pounding in my chest."
Carly went upstairs and saw Greg take in a deep breath and then blow it right out.
"It was so funny,: says Carly. "He looked like he was going to pass out. Then, he got down on one knee. I was so shocked. He really wanted to surprise me, and he did."
The surprises continued, with a private driver and a Mercedes arriving to take them to dinner at Charleston, then helping them pick up friends to go out and celebrate later that night at the place they met, No Way Jose.
The ring: Greg knew Carly liked a princess cut diamond, but when he went to Nelson Coleman in Towson, he decided on a Hearts On Fire Dream Diamond.
"It reflects more light than a princess cut," Greg says. "It's something that she had no idea existed, but I thought that she would like even more."
He was right.
The Place: Because much of Carly's job involves arranging events at the stadium, she knew she was going for something a little off the beaten path.
"I wanted it to feel laid back and for people to feel comfortable in the setting, but still have it feel a little upscale and a little glamorous," she said.
About 200 guests — in semi-dressy attire — will gather at the home of Carly's cousin in Reisterstown. The couple is writing their own ceremony, which will be officiated by Amanda Tate, a non-denominational reverend and take place in a field overlooking the 70-acre property.
The bridesmaids will wear short purple dresses with pockets — which Carly found online at toastbridal.com — and carrying bouquets of purple hydrangeas mixed with other flowers. The groomsmen will don Jos. A. Bank khaki suits, probably with purple ties.
The cocktail hour will be in a tent next to the property's barn. When dinnertime arrives, the barn doors will open to reveal a scene with an "upscale country" theme. The tables will be decorated with lanterns, wine carafes, and purple hydrangeas in Mason jars, with votive candles in smaller Mason jars.
"We're going to put a couple of bales of hay in the corner, because hay absorbs sound, and hang up twinkly lights around poles of the barn and cafe lights above the dance floor," Carly says.
Perkins Productions, a company Carly works with often for events at the stadium, is doing most of the set-up. The DJ comes from Washington Talent Agency. Stacy Bowen will do the flowers, and the photographer is a friend of Greg's from high school, Richard Veytsman.
"Working for a caterer, the details of the menu were important," Carly says. Hunt Valley Caterers will serve passed hors d'oeuvres and seafood, along with an antipasto display. Dinner will be buffet with a London broil carving station, a chicken piccata station and another station serving pasta with fresh mozzarella and basil. The cake — from Yia Yia's Bakery — will have five tiers, with several different flavors including red velvet, chocolate with fudge stripes and raspberries, and vanilla with Bavarian cream.
The dress: Carly and her mother found the dress at a Brides Against Breast Cancer event inWashington, D.C., last summer.
"All dresses there have been worn before and donated," Carly says. "and 100 percent of the proceeds go to breast cancer research."
Why the day will be bittersweet: Carly lost her brother, Zachary Mistovich, 26, January 20, 2012. Greg lost his best friend, Adam Ollinger, 29, Feb. 10, 2011.
"It's tough knowing that people who would've been in your wedding party won't be standing up with you that day," Greg says.
"We've gone through a lot as a couple," he says. "It just reaffirmed that we would be able to get through tough times with each other and be each other's support system. It's given us appreciation for the more important things in life."
""I think for both of us, it makes the day more emotional," says Carly, "But, it will be a positive day. Our family has been through a lot, but it'll be nice to get together for an uplifting day."
"For both of us, this day isn't about the décor or the food," she says. "It's about being with each other and being with the people who you love and support you. And how lucky you are to be in the situation you're in."