Date: Feb. 11
Her story: Julie Peatt, 53, was born and raised in Baltimore. She works as a life coach and public speaker. Her parents, Jeffrey Smith and Ninita Smith, live in Sykesville.
His story: Gerald "Jerry" Cassaday, 45, was born in Baltimore. He is an electrician at Alger Electric. His parents, Gene and Margaret Cassaday, live in Pikesville.
Their story: They met at a friend's party in February 2012.
"I knew his sister," Julie said. "She put the bug in my ear that the two of us should meet."
Julie was immediately impressed with Jerry. "I thought, 'Wow. He's good-looking and very intelligent and kind,'" she said.
The attraction was immediate between the two of them.
"I think we realized it right away," she said, adding that within two weeks, they started dating.
Their first date was a hike at Soldiers Delight in Baltimore County.
"I think we were smitten with each other," she recalled. "There was a clear connection."
The two became a couple that day. "Our instincts were absolutely correct," she said.
The two live in Westminster with their children.
The proposal: Just after the new year, they discussed that the next step in their relationship was to get married.
Around early January, several family members became ill over the course of the same weekend.
"We realized that we might not have our parents around. It made us catch fire," Julie said, adding that they decided to get married within a month.
"We were married in less than 30 days," she said. "I highly recommend it because there is a lot less stress."
Venue: Eighty people attended the ceremony at Copper Ridge in Eldersburg, where one of Julie's family members has been battling Alzheimer's disease. This was a way for the whole family to easily and safely participate, she said.
Flowers and decor: Julie ordered flowers online for the wedding. She used white roses and white hydrangeas with blue and pink tips and greenery for centerpieces, bouquets and boutonniere. She also ordered sunflowers, which were used to decorate the wedding cake.
Bride's dress: Julie's tea-length, vintage-inspired lace ivory dress was purchased from Amazon.
Their children's attire: Julie's daughter, Megan Peatt, 16, wore a powder blue dress. Julie's son, Denton "Denny" Peatt, 19, wore a tuxedo from Belk in Westminster. Jerry's daughter, Isabella Cassaday, 14, wore a navy dress.
Groom's attire: Jerry wore a tuxedo jacket that had been Julie's father's. Julie found a tuxedo shirt, pants and tie from Amazon. "It looked custom for him. Everything worked out perfectly," she explained.
Music: Instead of a DJ, the couple had a playlist. The couple's first dance was to "Dig" by Incubus.
Food and dessert: Unidine, the food service group at Cooper Ridge, catered the wedding. Dinner consisted of olives, humus, assorted vegetables, cheese, crackers, couscous salad, and skewers of beef, chicken or tuna. The couple also served a cream cheese pound cake (made from a family recipe) and a French butter cream icing cake by Jerry's sister, Marykate Cassady Myers.
Favors: The couple handed out gift bags with dark chocolate and almond dove candies, a tea light candle and an Alzheimer's awareness bracelet.
Special touches: The couple went to Puerto Rico for their honeymoon.
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