Wedded: June Struder and Joseph Whalen

June Struder and her bridesmades all wore white faux-fur wraps for Struder's December wedding to Joseph Whalen.
June Struder and her bridesmades all wore white faux-fur wraps for Struder's December wedding to Joseph Whalen.(Photography by Brea)

Date: Dec. 28

Her story: June Struder, 25, grew up in several places around the country because her father, Jim Struder, was an Army officer. She graduated from Aberdeen High School and later attended Villa Julie College (now Stevenson University). She is a lieutenant in the Army and a registered nurse, and has been stationed at Fort Bragg in Fayetteville, N.C., for three years. Her mother, Myong Suk, and father live in White Hall in Harford County.


His story: Joseph "Joe" Whalen, 25, grew up in Wilton, Maine. In 2009, he enlisted in the Army as a combat engineer. He was deployed to Afghanistan in 2010 before being stationed at Fort Bragg a year later. He left the Army in July 2012 and is going to school for nursing. His parents, Tom Whelan and Susan Atwood, own a 30-room motel, the Wilson Lake Inn, in Wilton.

Their story: June and Joe met one night in May 2011, when mutual friends introduced them at Paddy's Irish Public House in Fayetteville. About two weeks later, they went on a first date at El Cazador, a Mexican restaurant in Fayetteville. They will be stationed at Fort Bragg until this spring, and then plan to move to Fort Lewis, Wash.

The proposal: During June's parents' annual Memorial Day barbecue in 2012, Joe pulled June's dad aside and asked for his blessing to propose. June saw the two talking and confronted Joe later that night about their conversation. Joe ended up proposing that night, without a ring, because he says he could no longer keep the secret.

In the following weeks, June and Joe went browsing for rings together.

"She pointed me in the right direction but after that, I went and found one," Joe says.

The venue: About 70 guests attended the ceremony and reception at the Vandiver Inn in Havre de Grace.

Decor and flowers: June says she wanted a Christmass-y feel that wasn't over the top. The Vandiver Inn had holiday decorations — wreaths, lights and garlands — already in place.

Amanda's Florist in Havre de Grace made the bridal bouquets using red and white roses, silver-painted pine cones, dusty miller and winter greens.


Her dress: The bride wore a strapless, tulle and lace ballgown by Blue by Enzoani from K&B Bridals in Bel Air. She also wore red high heels, a white faux-fur wrap and a fabric hairpiece with pearl and rhinestone details.

Bridesmaids' dresses: The women wore gray, floor-length chiffon gowns by Belsoie from K&B Bridals. To match June, they wore red high heels and white faux-fur wraps. June's mother wore a traditional Korean formal dress, called a hanbok, which she had made to match the wedding colors.

Men's attire: The men wore charcoal gray tuxedos from the Vera Wang collection at Men's Wearhouse in Bel Air. The groomsmen wore red ties and pocket squares to match the heels, while Joe wore a white tie and pocket square.

Music: DJ Frank Marsden of Friendly Entertainment provided the music. June and Joe's first dance was to "Come Away with Me" by Norah Jones.

Food and dessert: Dinner, provided by the Vandiver Inn, included mini crab cakes, mini beef Wellington, lobster ravioli, gouda-stuffed chicken and a vegetable medley.

Desserts by Rita in Havre de Grace made a three-tier cake with two tiers of lemon and buttercream, and one tier of vanilla cake with chocolate-raspberry filling and raspberry buttercream.


Favors: Guests received a box containing two chocolate truffles decorated in edible silver and red glitter from bedazzlemybonbons.com.

Special touches: Daniel DeVeau, Joe's best man and best friend since elementary school, made the trip from Toronto for the wedding.

"We made the promise that we will be each other's best man and we won't get married in a situation where we can't be there for each other," Joe says.


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