Wedded: Catherine Yard and Ryan Dunne

For The Baltimore Sun

Date: Aug. 2

Her story: Catherine "Cat" Yard, 25, grew up in Ewing, N.J. She is an artist and regularly models for figure drawing and painting classes at Maryland Institute College of Art, the Johns Hopkins University, Towson University and the Mitchell School of Fine Arts in Baltimore. She and her husband are ensemble cast members performing with the Baltimore Rock Opera Society in "The Electric Pharaoh," which opens Oct. 17. Her parents, Kathleen and Duane Yard, live in Ewing.

His story: Ryan Dunne, 25, grew up in Northern Virginia. He is a model for artists in addition to performing in and choreographing theater and dance productions with the Baltimore Rock Opera Society, Single Carrot Theatre in Remington and the Baltimore Choral Arts Society in Bolton Hill. His parents, Eileen and Robert Dunne, live in Herndon, Va.

Their story: Cat and Ryan met while attending MICA — he was studying sculpture and she was a fibers major. The two saw each other around campus and at get-togethers, but didn't come to know each other until after they graduated in May 2011.

That fall, they reconnected through an aerial acrobatics show at the Daydreams and Nightmares Aerial Theatre in Baltimore, in which Cat performed and Ryan worked on the lighting crew. In a different show that October, Ryan acted as the emcee and devised the script for an aerial routine, which involved Ryan kissing each of the female cast members, including Cat, as they were hanging upside down on stage. It was the couple's first kiss.

"The first time we did this, I fell 15 feet and literally fell in love," Cat says.

After working together more and growing closer, the two officially became a couple that November.

"Eventually, he made too many salads for me with cucumber hearts and he was too cute," Cat says, "So [I decided] he had to stick around a little longer."

The couple now live in Mount Washington.

The proposal: Cat proposed to Ryan in March 2013.

"I wanted to," she says. "There wasn't too much thought behind it, I just did it. I was like, 'I want to marry you. We should do that.' "

Ryan, who says he always wanted to be proposed to, was planning to propose in front of the audience at his and Cat's next rock opera performance if she didn't do it first. Instead, the couple waited until the performance — about two months — to announce their engagement to a crowd of 300 friends and audience members.

"We got the biggest round of applause," Ryan says.

Venue: The ceremony and reception at Cylburn Arboretum in Baltimore were attended by 176 guests.

Flowers and decor: Local Color Flowers in Baltimore made bouquets and flower crowns for the couple and bridal party.

Ryan's mother painted wooden signs to decorate the space and made a garden trellis with vines and flowers, under which the couple was married.

Her outfit: Cat and Ryan decided against traditional wedding attire. Inspired by a poster of the Ballets Russes, established in the early 20th century, Cat and Ryan chose to wear garments they designed based on the ballerinas' costumes. Cat spent about six months weaving the ensembles for her and Ryan.

The bride wore blue-green harem-style pants featuring red cuffs decorated with a hand-sewn pearl trim, a yellow crop top with cap sleeves and embroidery, and yellow sandals by Fly London from Ma Petite Shoe in Hampden.

Groom's attire: Ryan wore gold harem-style pants decorated with blue and red stripes, a blue-green crop top decorated with a hand-embroidered floral pattern, and a blue cape featuring the Dunne family crest: a golden eagle on a bed of daffodils. He wore orange shoes from Caravanserai in Hampden.

The groomsmen and bridesmaids wore attire of their choice.

Music: Boister, a Baltimore-based band, played cabaret and jazz music. Cat and Ryan's first dance was to "Reason" by Boister.

Ryan, who studies and plays Irish music, composed music for the ceremony in addition to an Irish waltz that was played during a dance with his mother.

Ryan's brother, musician Bobby Dunne of San Francisco, wrote a song for Cat and Ryan that he played at the wedding.

Food and dessert: Daniela Pasta & Pastries in Hampden provided appetizers and dinner including mushroom lasagna, crab ravioli, roasted squash and zucchini, meatballs and seafood salad.

A vanilla-and-orange liqueur cake, also made by Daniela, featured strawberries between each layer and was decorated with buttercream icing, flowers and rhinestone accents.

Special touches: Cat's friend and former co-worker Rebecca Baldwin of Baltimore made the couple's wedding rings.

The matching rings, which are based on the Irish claddagh design, each feature a Celtic knot band and two chickens back-to-back. The chickens' combs form a crown and their wings make a heart.

The couple's friends made a video about their relationship and wedding day. 

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