By By Sloane Brown and Special to The Baltimore Sun
Aug 13, 2012 | 1:48 PM
Wedding Day: August 25, 2012
Her story: Emily Farbman, 25, grew up in Owings Mills. She lives in Canton and is in her fourth year of the audiology doctoral program at Towson University. Her father, Howard Farbman, is president of American Lumber Corp. Her mother, Dana Farbman, is an early intervention nurse at Baltimore County Public Schools Infants & Toddlers Program.
His story: Ross Taylor, 27, grew up in Pikesville. He is general manager at Taylor Property Group and lives in Canton. His father, Dr. Bruce Taylor, is a psychiatrist and CEO of Taylor Service Company. His mother, Dr. Ellen Taylor, is a gynecologist in Pikesville.
Their story: The couple officially met in 2010. But, Emily, had "known" Ross for a bit of time before that.
"We both go to Temple Oheb Shalom [synagogue]," she says. " Both our families are very involved there. And I had actually had my eye on him since I was little. I always had a little crush on him."
On this particular night — the night before Yom Kippur — both were at services when it was Ross who suddenly had his eye on her.
"I watched a beautiful girl walk into services and couldn't take my eyes off her the entire evening," he said.
"I was just sitting there with my family," says Emily. "My mom told me that a boy was staring at me, and that I should give him the look. So, I proceeded to look over to him. Nothing special. Nothing more happened there."
But as soon as services were over, Ross' mom — then president of the temple — took over, much to her son's initial chagrin.
"After services, I was talking with my mom and asked who the beautiful girl was across the synagogue," he said. "In one swift motion — as only a Jewish mother would do — she's already taking steps forward and saying, 'Let's go say hi!' I remember thinking I should reach out to grab my mom and say, 'Mom, I'm 25. I can do this myself.' But, by the time I had that thought, it was too late. She was already halfway across the room. It was one of the most embarrassing introductions of my life. But, I met Emily."
They chatted a bit that evening, and more the next day after Yom Kippur services.
"I remember being nervous and after exchanging phone numbers we were exchanging text messages," Ross says. "And I was thinking, wow, she's actually texting me back." .
Then Ross invited Emily out for sushi.
"I found out on Facebook that her favorite food is sushi, which works out very well," says Ross. "One of my favorite restaurants in Sushi Ya in Pikesville, where I created a roll that has my name on it."
"That was obviously very impressive to me," Emily says.
"I was actually sick that night," Ross says. "I hadn't been feeling well that day. But, I sucked it up, and went to dinner. I barely ate, but she had no idea."
"I was so nervous I couldn't get the miso soup in the spoon," says Emily. "I was shaking so much. But, we couldn't stop talking. The restaurant actually closed. So, we stood out in parking lot and continued talking."
"And then we started talking about going out on the boat that I keep in the harbor," says Ross. "She — being a student — didn't have class the next day. And I — sort of joking — said we should go out on the boat the next morning. I looked at my schedule and figured that my boss/father wouldn't mind and invited her over the next morning. I thought I would cook her breakfast and go out on the boat."
"I came over really early — like 9 in the morning — and just had the most wonderful relaxing, incredible day," Emily says.
"Throughout dinner [the night before] and even before that with our [previous] conversations, I knew she was special," says Ross. "But, by the middle of that day, I knew that she was who I wanted to be with."
If Ross had any doubts, his 2-year-old Doberman Pincher, Dexter, erased them.
"At the end of that second date, I was walking her to her car, and Dexter jumped into her car and sat down in the passenger seat," says Ross. "He fell instantly in love with her."
They talked, texted and saw each other constantly from then on.
"At that time we joked that it felt like we'd already been dating for a year," Emily says. "But, I quickly took him to meet my family within a couple of weeks, and he did the same...A couple weeks into it, he asked, 'When can I call you my girlfriend?' And I said, 'Now.'"
"I believe that a proposal shouldn't be a surprise," says Ross. "The future bride should know that it's coming, just not know when or how. So, we picked out the ring together."
"It's based on a Tiffany ring — princess cut diamond with little diamonds around it and on the sides," says Emily.
"I ordered the ring. I didn't tell her when it was coming in and I certainly didn't tell her when I was going to give it to her," says Ross.
So, when the ring did come in, on September 30, 2011, Ross took his mom with him to Radcliffe Jewelers pick it up.
"She asked when I was going to propose and I said I hadn't figured out a date — maybe a week or two weeks," says Ross. "And my mom said, 'What are you waiting for? Why not do it tomorrow?' She gave me necessary nudges."
So Ross got cracking. First, he put his sister-in-law, Cristin Taylor, to work by taking Emily out shopping all the next day, in an attempt to distract her while he spent the day setting the stage for his proposal.
"I booked a room at Marriott Waterfront for [that] evening," he says. "I spent the day buying flowers, filling the hotel room with flowers...I don't even know how many dozens of flowers. There were lots of roses and other flowers and vases and candles as well. I arranged the flower petals and a set up bottle of champagne and [chocolate-covered] strawberries."
Ross also spent that time trying to come up with an excuse — "that was barely believable" — to get her over to the hotel room.
"[It] was that we were going to dinner with my brother in Harbor East," he says. After the day of shopping, Emily got ready for dinner and Ross told her that first they had to stop at the Marriott Waterfront because they had to go look at the finishes in some of the hotel rooms there for an apartment project he was working on.
"We walked up to the room," says Emily. "It was a beautiful suite and there were dozens and dozens and dozens of roses — of every color — all over. He did a heart in petals on the bed. There were chocolate covered strawberries and champagne and our song ["Hallelujah" by Rufus Wainwright, from "Shrek"] - was playing in the background. He just went above and beyond to make it so special. He had worked on it all day. I think I was in shock. I turned around and he was down on his knee."
But, the surprises weren't over. Instead of a restaurant in Harbor East, Ross took her to her favorite restaurant — one in their neighborhood, Blue Hill Tavern.
"We walk up the stairs following the hostess, and there is my whole family, his whole family, my best friends and his best friends," she says. "He had coordinated the whole thing. And that was the best thing because we're both such family people."
The Wedding: About 250 guests will attend the black-tie affair at the Four Seasons Hotel. They say the hotel's catering manager, Katie Shannon, made the planning easy, and kept the stress level low.
The ceremony will be officiated by Rabbi Steven Fink from Temple Oheb Shalom.
"He's known both of us for a very long time," says Emily.
Emily says the Chuppah will be made of intertwining branches for a simple, natural look and in keeping with the "simple elegance" she and Ross want for the event.
Emily will wear a strapless Maggie Sottero gown from Betsy Robinson.
"It's chiffon, and very simple," she says. "I felt like all the other dresses I was trying on were weighing me down. It has a corset back so I like the shape of it." .
She'll be carrying a bouquet of white hydrangeas and roses, with some purple-throated calla lilies mixed in.
That color will tie in with the dark plum gowns — also from Betsy Robinson — being worn by five bridesmaids and Emily's two maids-of-honor; her sisters, Julie, 22, and Annie, 20. All of them will carry all-white bouquets.
All the flowers are being done by J.J. Cummings Floral Co.
Ross will be in a peaked-collar black Ralph Lauren Black Label tuxedo, from the Ralph Lauren store, and a black cummerbund, black bow-tie and small calla-lily boutonniere to match those in Emily's bouquet. And there's something else very important to Emily that he'll have on.
"My grandfather passed away on my birthday two years ago, a month before we met," she says. "And [family members] were able to choose something of his to remember him by. I chose a couple of pairs of his cufflinks. I gave them to Ross a long time ago. And he recently told me he was planning on wearing those during the wedding. They're gold horseshoes. My grandfather owned racehorses. Those [cufflinks] were very special to him."
His best man — brother Marty, 29 — and six groomsmen are each wearing their own tuxedos and will also wear black cummerbunds and bow-ties.
A cocktail hour and seated dinner will follow the ceremony.
The couple is going for elegant, all-white decor. J.J. Cummings is doing two different types of centerpieces for the tables. One type will feature large balls of white flowers atop tall inverted cone-shaped glass vases. The other will be tall glass cylinders with flowers submerged underwater.
Menus will await each guest, so they can choose an entree of tenderloin or halibut.
SugarBakers Cakes is doing an elegant four-tiered white-on-white wedding cake — vanilla cake with raspberry filling and buttercream frosting — decorated with an iridescent "ribbon" of icing and big white flowers. A dessert bar will offer other sweet treats.
There will be a break between each course with music from the Washington Talent Agency band, Spectrum.
"To keep people dancing through the night," explains Emily.
Emily and Ross have chosen their favorite song — "Hallelujah" — for their first dance, and Louis Armstrong's "It's a Wonderful World" for the father-daughter dance.
The couple's monogram also plays a role in the wedding. It was on the invitations, and will be on the aisle to the Chuppa, and in a spotlight on the dance floor.
The honeymoon: "We're going to Bora Bora," says Emily. "We're so excited. We're staying at the Intercontinental."