We cover many weddings throughout the year at The Baltimore Sun, and each is special in its own way. But we asked Samantha Iacia, who contributes to the Sun's Wedded feature, which profiles nuptials of Baltimore-area residents, to pick four of the standout ceremonies she has covered this past year. Her faves:
Jessica Agus and Ben Bregman of San Jose, Calif.
Wedding date: July 21, 2013
Venue: Beth El Congregation in Pikesville
Standout detail: Jessica's grandfather, Rabbi Jacob Agus, was the founding rabbi at Beth El. Her parents and all of her father's siblings were also married at the synagogue.
What I love: From the white kittel robe that Ben wore during the ceremony, to the simcha band and circle dancing at the reception, this Jewish wedding was all about tradition. Ben had his mother make a ring for Jessica, which was adorned with a miniature temple. His hopes are to resurrect a forgotten Jewish custom in which the ring is passed down through generations.
Shannon Hanley and Paul Sortino of Towson
Wedding date: Sept. 7, 2013
Venue: Cushman Mansion Beach House on Block Island, R.I. Shannon has vacationed there with her family for the last 12 years.
Standout detail: Paul proposed on Block Island while he and Shannon were vacationing there with her family. He hired an airplane to pull a banner that said "Shannon, will you marry me?" and fly overhead while they were on the beach.
What I love: Shannon and Paul didn't just have a wedding day, they had a wedding week. The couple, their yellow Labrador retriever, and their 75 guests arrived to the island a few days before the wedding. Daily celebrating ensued, complete with a lobster bake on the beach, a party for the Ravens' season opener, and a "hangover-friendly" barbecue on the day after the wedding.
Standout detail: Chef's Expressions of Hunt Valley set up an ice cream sundae bar during the reception. Guests could choose from two flavors and watch as the ice cream was made using liquid nitrogen - smoky cloud effect and all.
What I love: In lieu of favors, TC and Dave each made a charitable contribution. He donated to the Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Center, and she donated to the American Stroke Association in honor of her dad, who died in 2009. Also, how gorgeous is TC's Monique Lhuillier ruffled skirt ballgown?
Nadia Ennis and Robert Zanotti of Essex
Date: Sept. 1, 2013
Venue: Edinburgh Hall at the Grand Historic Venue on Charles Street
Standout detail: Nadia's bouquet was arranged in an eye-catching ombre pattern that transitioned from white to pink to dark red flowers, including hydrangeas, roses and calla lilies. The outcome was beautifully unexpected.
What I love: Nadia and Robert wholly incorporated their passion for traveling into their wedding decor. The reception tables were named after destinations they've visited together, like San Francisco, Boston, and Atlanta. Guests received handmade luggage tags as favors, and Baltimore Cakery designed the cake, which was styled to look like a stack of three vintage suitcases. So creative!