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Wedded: Brandy Romadka and Jack Mitchell

Date: July 26, 2013

Her story: Brandy Romadka, 31, grew up in Middle River. She is a speech therapist at Glendale Elementary in Glen Burnie. Her mother, Jody Romadka, lives in Chase. Her father, Bob Romadka, lives in White Marsh.

His story: Jack Mitchell, 42, grew up in the Towson area and has lived in Lutherville for 19 years. He is funeral director and co-owner — along with his father, John Mitchell III — of Mitchell-Wiedefeld Funeral Home in Towson. The two also operate Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens in Timonium. His father and mother, Jolie Mitchell, live in Ruxton.

Their story: Brandy and Jack met in the summer of 2010 through mutual friends in the boating crowd of Hart-Miller Island in Middle River. Brandy had just accepted a contract to work in Los Angeles for a year, and she left for California shortly after she and Jack met. They kept in touch through emails and texting, and in June 2011 — one month before Brandy was scheduled to come home — Jack flew to California for a weekend.

"We just kind of became best friends, long-distance," says Jack. "Once we discovered that we both were interested in being more than friends, it was kind of like the floodgates opened."

The proposal: In the summer of 2012, Brandy and Jack went to a convention for the National Funeral Directors Association in New Mexico. On a women's outing to Santa Fe, Brandy, whose favorite color is teal, fell in love with a blue topaz ring she found in a jewelry store.

"I was like, 'If I ever get engaged, that's the ring I want,' " says Brandy.

She told Jack about the ring, and the next day, he agreed to drive over an hour from their hotel to Santa Fe to buy it. Afterward, the two celebrated with margaritas at one of Santa Fe's botanical gardens.

But when they returned to Maryland, Brandy wasn't allowed to wear the ring.

"I hadn't popped the question yet," Jack says.

During Thanksgiving weekend 2012, Brandy came home to find Jack opening boxes of Christmas lights. Jack asked Brandy to hand him the last strand of lights, and when she picked them up, the ring was at the bottom of the box.

"Four days later, we had a destination wedding planned. It was booked and ready to go," Brandy says.

The venue: Brandy says she had always envisioned having a destination wedding. She and Jack wanted an all-inclusive, family-friendly location for their 30 guests and decided on the Beaches Turks and Caicos resort. The couple arrived at the resort July 22, four days before the wedding. They spent time kayaking, swimming, relaxing at the beach and welcoming guests as they arrived.

Her dress: The bride wore a satin, strapless fit-and-flare gown with a sweetheart neckline, crystal detailing and pleated bodice by Maggie Sottero from Elegant Touch Bridal and Tuxedo in Perry Hall. She and the rest of the wedding party were barefoot for the ceremony, which took place on the beach.

Bridesmaids' dresses: The bridesmaids wore teal, knee-length halter-style chiffon dresses from David's Bridal.

Men's attire: Jack wore a white linen shirt and tan khaki pants. The groomsmen wore teal linen shirts and khakis.

Decor: Teal bows accented the chairs for the ceremony. Along with teal, Brandy chose a seahorse theme in remembrance of her late grandmother. A seahorse charm from her grandmother's necklace was sewn onto her garter. Seashells, starfish and candles decorated the reception tables, which had teal linens.

Music: A steel drum player entertained the guests during a cocktail hour. A calypso band played reggae music during the reception, along with music from Brandy and Jack's iPod. The couple's first dance was to "Into the Mystic" by Van Morrison.

Food and dessert: The resort provided island-themed cuisine, including shrimp cocktail, mahi-mahi, tropical salads and baked Alaska served in a pineapple shell. A three-tier cake was decorated with seashells and a seahorse topper.

Special touch: On Sept. 14, the couple will host a celebration at the Inner Harbor's Pier 5 Hotel for 150 friends and family who were not in attendance at the Turks and Caicos ceremony.



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