Her story: Gina Zuk, 35, grew up in Perry Hall. The Towson University graduate works in public relations for Abel Communications. She is also the president of the Baltimore Public Relations Council. Gina's mother, Linda Richmond, resides in Perry Hall. Her father, Lonnie Richmond, and stepmother, Kathy Richmond, live in Lutherville.
His story:Josh Gerber, 35, grew up in Perry Hall. He is the vice president of marketing for Brick Bodies Fitness Services Inc. Josh, who played lacrosse for the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, also coaches youth lacrosse. His parents, Lou and Lynn Gerber, live in Perry Hall.
Their story: In June 2012, a mutual friend introduced Gina and Josh at Portside Tavern in Canton. During their conversation, they realized they both attended Perry Hall High School at the same time. Even though they had never met before that night, they also discovered their childhood homes were only a mile apart. Gina was even a cheerleader at Josh's high school lacrosse games during her senior year.
Although they tried to downplay the connection, "sparks flew immediately," Gina said. "The deal was sealed when Josh met my 10-year-old son, Alex. Josh and Alex immediately became the best of friends — maybe even a little too close, since they now gang up on me during family votes."
The proposal: Josh proposed to Gina on June 6, 2013, exactly one year after they met. Earlier in the week, the couple settled into their home in Lutherville. Josh called Gina under the guise of asking if she could come to their new home to meet a prospective painter.
"Josh knew that it was important to include my son in the proposal, so he picked Alex up early from school and brought him to the house to help set up for the big surprise," she said.
When Gina walked through the door, her son was standing there with a single rose.
"Alex told me that he loved me and gave me a big hug," she said. "Then he grabbed my hand and told me to follow him up the rose petal-covered stairs. When I arrived at the top, Josh was down on one knee in the middle of our new master bedroom. Alex ran into place on the other side of the room and started videotaping the proposal. After I said yes, we all celebrated with some Champagne — sparkling cider for Alex — and then headed to Ocean City to celebrate with family."
Venue: About 170 guests attended the ceremony and reception at the Millstad Center's Great Hall in Joppa. The couple's longtime friend Brendan Watters officiated the ceremony.
Flowers and decor: The color scheme was fuchsia and navy, with white and navy stripes as an accent pattern. Many of the decorations were custom- made wood pieces crafted by the bride's father, keeping with the rustic feel of the venue.
The couple's favorite piece was the 3-foot tall "G+J" that was displayed from the balcony at the reception.
Gina used white peonies and fuchsia daises to make bouquets for her and the bridesmaids.
Her dress: After a long search, Gina finally decided on a Swarovski crystal, pearl and sequin beaded gown by Casablanca Bridal from Amanda Ritchey Bridal & Beauty in Fallston. The bridal shop's seamstress, Anne Wagner, who is also Gina's longtime friend, helped transform the gown into a strapless, form-fitting mermaid cut with plunging back. Gina added a crystal beaded belt by Justin Alexander. To complete the look, she wore custom crystal earrings and bracelets by local jewelry designer Rachel Mulherin.
Bridesmaids dresses: The bridesmaids wore knee-length navy dresses in varying styles by Wtoo. They also wore matching fuchsia heels and custom-made beaded necklaces.
Men's attire: Josh and his groomsmen wore matching light gray suits from Men's Wearhouse. Josh added a matching vest to his look and wore a white pocket square, while the groomsmen wore navy pocket squares. All the men wore fuchsia ties and fuchsia argyle socks.
Music: DJ Matt Davis of 98 Rock entertained the crowd. The couple's first dance was to a live acoustic rendition of John Legend's "All of Me" performed by Nelly's Echo lead singer Nelson Emokpae. Emokpae was a contestant on NBC's "The Voice" in 2012.
Food and dessert:Tastefully Gourmet Catering of Towson provided a raw oyster bar, appetizers and dinner, which included Caesar salad, rosemary potatoes, Mediterranean string beans and slow-roasted Black Angus served with a portobello merlot sauce.
Instead of a cake, the couple opted for cupcakes from their favorite bakery, La Cakerie in Towson. The bakery served a variety of flavors, including chocolate peanut butter fudge, black bottom, carrot cake and cookie dough.
Favors: Gina and Josh gave each guest a personalized navy drink holder to keep their drinks cold.
Special touches: After dinner, Gina surprised Josh with a choreographed dance. She was joined by her bridesmaids, friends and family — even her mom and grandmother participated — in the upbeat performance to a medley of pop hits.
Guests also received a savory snack as they left the reception: "everything" seasoned pretzel hot dogs. "They went faster than the alcohol at the bar," Gina said.