Date: June 22, 2013
Her story: Pam Smith, 29, grew up in Baltimore. She is a manager of engineering support at AAI Corp. in Cockeysville. Her mother, Barbara Smith, works in the financial aid office at Goucher College in Towson, and her father, George Smith, is a specialist for learning and development at Verizon.
His story: Max Zdunowski, 34, is originally from Homestead, Fla., but grew up on the Eastern Shore. He is a software engineer at AAI Corp. His mother, Ruth Pier, lives in Denton.
Their story: Pam and Max met in December 2007 while both were working at AAI. Max was working as an embedded contractor for the Army in a Shadow 200 Tactical Unmanned Air System, or drone, unit. Pam was working on the help desk answering phones and assisting contractors with system problems.
"It became this workplace joke that every time Max would call me, I would giggle," says Pam.
In January 2008, Max returned to Hawaii, where he was stationed. He was deployed to Iraq later that fall. They began dating in spring 2009 while Max was still overseas.
"We talked on the phone every day and emailed and video chatted," Pam says. "We sent packages and presents back and forth. He sent me all his favorite movies, and I sent him baked goods and homemade cards. We had to wait months for our first official date."
In July 2009 when Max came home for a vacation, he and Pam spent a week going on dates. They spent time in Ocean City, where they went fishing, rode go-karts and played miniature golf.
The proposal: On April 29, 2012, Max proposed by putting the ring on their boxer Elsie's leash for Pam to find right before they took Elsie for a walk.
"I was not expecting it," says Pam. "I didn't think he could get me, because I knew he had it, but he still surprised me."
The venue: About 100 guests attended the ceremony and reception at the Padonia Park Club in Cockeysville. As part of their DIY carnival-themed wedding, Pam and Max had their engagement photographs taken at the Maryland State Fair in 2012.
Her dress: The bride wore a strapless tulle and organza ball gown with silk flowers, silver crystals and floral embroidery by Maggie Sottero from Elegant Touch Bridal and Tuxedo in Perry Hall. She wore white crocheted Toms shoes and a pink sapphire necklace with matching earrings from Reeds Jewelers in White Marsh.
Bridesmaid's dress: Pam's maid of honor, Meghan Immler of Hunt Valley, wore a black knee-length dress with lace cap sleeves from Cache in Towson Town Center.
Men's attire: The groom wore a gray suit from Macy's, and his best man, Earl Chamce of Cordova, wore a black suit from Tuxedo House in Timonium.
Flowers: The corsages, boutonnieres and bouquets, which included pink and orange roses, white peonies and purple dianthus flowers, were from Rutland Beard Florist in Ruxton. Pam and her mom used a mixture of pink, red and white flowers to make the centerpieces.
Decor: Pam found inspiration for the decorations from Internet searches and Pinterest. The handmade touches included invitations designed by Pam, pennant flag table numbers, miniature buckets of Fisher's popcorn with edible nametags as place cards, a hand-painted cake topper and a paper fan canopy that Max helped build.
Entertainment: J. C. Johns, balloon artist and owner of Annapolis Balloons and Magic, made balloon animals and hats for the guests during a cocktail hour.
"There were so many balloon animal hats that my mother started a balloon animal conga line," says Max.
DJ Dave Battey of Baltimore entertained the guests. Pam and Max's first dance was to "God Bless the Broken Road" by Rascal Flatts. Carnival games, prizes and a "kissing booth" from Charm City Photo Booths were set up during the reception.
The dessert: The Padonia Park Club provided the food, including fruit and coffee with dessert. Yia Yia's Bakery in Baltimore prepared six regular-size cakes in different flavors, including cannol, strawberry shortcake, chocolate-chocolate cake and cheesecake.
's Bakery in Baltimore prepared six regular-size cakes in different flavors, including cannol, strawberry shortcake, chocolate-chocolate cake and cheesecake.