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Carly Hamburger and Joe Ornstein met in Washington, when Carly saw Joe playing in her friend's bluegrass band.
Carly Hamburger and Joe Ornstein met in Washington, when Carly saw Joe playing in her friend's bluegrass band. (Courtesy of Artful Weddings by Sachs Photography, Handout photo)

Date: Aug. 16

Her story: Carly Hamburger, 29, grew up in Owings Mills. She is a health educator for the American Lung Association. Her parents, Lisa and Rick Hamburger, live in Owings Mills.

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His story: Joe Ornstein, 27, grew up in Charleston, S.C. He is pursuing a doctorate in political science at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where he lives with Carly. His mother, Emily Tatum, lives in Blairsville, Ga. His father, Steven Ornstein , lives in Hollywood, S.C.

Their story: Carly and Joe met in the spring of 2011, when they were both living in Washington. Carly attended a concert featuring her friend's bluegrass band and saw Joe, who was also in the band, playing banjo.

After the show, Carly told her friend that she thought the banjo player was cute. Her friend, who was Joe's roommate at the time, introduced the two. They went on a first date about a month later at the Russia House Restaurant and Lounge in Washington.

The proposal: "We were very open about [the proposal] ahead of time," Joe says. "It's very hard to keep secrets from Carly."

The couple agreed that they wanted to be engaged before moving to Michigan in August 2013.

But as moving day grew closer, Carly thought the chance of a proposal happening grew smaller. Joe told Carly he sent the engagement ring to her parents' house, and Carly knew that he hadn't had a chance to visit and pick it up.

Three days before the move, Carly returned home from work to find that Joe had packed boxes, cleaned the house and emptied the refrigerator. He suggested that they go on a picnic to use the rest of their perishable food instead of throwing it away. While picnicking in Meridian Hill Park across the street from their home, Joe took out the ring and proposed.

"He didn't send the ring to my parents' house," Carly says. "It was a diversion."

Venue: About 170 guests attended the ceremony and reception at the Hyatt Regency Baltimore. Rabbi Kenneth Block of Rockville presided.

Flowers: Dale Klietz of JJ Cummings Floral Co. in Baltimore made floral arrangements using white roses and orchids accented with greenery.

He also made decorative vines to adorn the chuppah, a Jewish wedding canopy, and incorporated pieces of Carly's grandmother's wedding veil into Carly's bouquet.

Her dress: The bride wore a beige charmeuse slip gown with a white floral lace overlay adorned with embroidery and beading by Allure Bridals from Betsy Robinson's Bridal Collection in Pikesville.

She also wore a floor-length veil with beaded trim. Carly's rose gold wedding bands featured diamonds from a ring she inherited from her grandmother and were designed by Abracadabra Jewelry and Gem Gallery in Ann Arbor, Mich. Abracadabra also designed a matching necklace using emeralds and diamonds from the ring.

Bridesmaids' dresses: The women wore black, floor-length gowns in styles of their choosing.

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Men's attire: The men wore black tuxedos from the Vera Wang collection at Men's Wearhouse. The groomsmen wore straight ties, while Joe wore a bow tie.

Music: Carly walked down the aisle to a string trio performance of Tchaikovsky's Serenade for Strings in C major from her favorite ballet, "Serenade." The trio played "Your Smiling Face" by James Taylor for the recessional.

Music during the reception was played by Black Tie, a band with the Washington Talent Agency in Rockville. Carly and Joe's first dance was to a rendition of "Just the Way You Are" by Billy Joel.

Food and dessert: The Hyatt Regency provided steak, crab cakes, halibut and vegetarian pappardelle for dinner. Sushi, the couple's favorite food, was also provided. Hamburger sliders were served as appetizers — and as a play on Carly's maiden name.

The Hyatt created a signature cocktail called the Meridian Hill to pay homage to where the couple got engaged.

Pies and two cakes were served for dessert. A self-serve candy station and cookies made by Joe's mother were available as favors.

Special touches: Carly's bridesmaid painted the ketubah, a traditional Jewish marriage contract.

During the ceremony, the couple used a Bible that Carly's grandfather received for his bar mitzvah. Rabbi Block incorporated thoughts and sentiments expressed by the couple's friends and family into the ceremony introduction.

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