Her story: Julie Russell, 31, grew up in White Marsh. She is a pediatric nurse on a neuro-behavioral unit, where she works with autistic children. Her parents, Bettyann and Robert Russell, live in White Marsh.
His story: Eric Gullett, 32, grew up in Metamora, Ill. He moved to Maryland in 2006 to be near his mother, Patricia Johnson, who lives in Bel Air. He is a sales account manager for an engineering team at Aerotek Inc. in Hanover. His father, Christopher Gullett, lives in Las Vegas.
Their story: In 2010, Julie and her nurse friends were reading classified ads on Craigslist, something she says they occasionally did for a few laughs.
When they came across a "normal" post, Julie says her friends urged her to send an email to its author — Eric.
"I was bartending on the weekends and working a full-time job and was trying to find a more stable relationship," he says. "I didn't want to pay for an online dating site, so I was like, 'Well, I'll try Craigslist because it's free, and see what happens.' "
From Julie's first message, Eric says, he could tell that she was someone he'd want to get to know. They emailed and talked on the phone for a few weeks before agreeing to meet in person at the now-closed Bay Cafe in Canton.
Julie brought her cousin, Nicole LoVerde, and a group of male friends in case she and Eric didn't hit it off, but after a few minutes, she says, it was clear to everyone that there was a spark.
The proposal: Eric proposed on Jan. 25, 2013, his 31st birthday. The couple were on their way to dinner when Eric pulled the car over in front of Bay Cafe. He got out of the car, knelt down on one knee, and as he proposed, Julie says it began to snow.
"My two grandfathers had passed away back-to-back that year, and I kind of say that was their touch. I love the snow," she says.
The venue: About 250 guests attended the New Year's Eve ceremony at St. Anthony of Padua in Baltimore, where Julie's parents were married in 1977. A reception followed at the American Visionary Art Museum in Federal Hill.
Decor and flowers: Julie says she had always wanted a New Year's Eve wedding. The couple worked with Elle Ellinghaus of Elle Ellinghaus Designs to create their vision of an elegant, formal wedding with lots of sparkle and unexpected touches. They came up with the slogan "cue the confetti," which was incorporated throughout the wedding.
Julie and her bridesmaids hand-dipped 3,000 white feathers in gold and silver glitter, which were scattered onto tables at the reception and hung on fishing line across the ceiling and wall.
A lounge area consisted of a vintage Italian fuchsia sofa from Rusty Love Vintage Rentals, ghost chairs and mirrored tables.
Guests used bowls of confetti to fill envelopes to toss at midnight.
Connie Clark of Violets Florist in Pasadena made all-white bouquets and centerpieces using hydrangeas, garden roses, dusty miller, dahlias and ranunculus.
Her dresses: The bride wore a custom fit-and-flare gown by Victor Harper with a deep sweetheart neckline, ruched bodice and full silk tulle skirt from Betsy Robinson's Bridal Collection in Reisterstown. She wore her mother's veil as her "something borrowed."
At 11:30 p.m., Julie changed into a second gown — with one shoulder and all-over beading by Pronovias from Amanda Ritchey Bridal & Beauty in Parkville.
A gourmet hot chocolate bar was offered to guests as they waited for shuttles to their cars at the end of the night.
Favors: To honor Eric's grandmother, who makes candied pecans each Christmas, guests received candied pecans made by Chef's Expressions.
Special touches: The flower girl carried a vintage mirrored tray holding the prayer book that Julie's grandmother carried at her wedding, and the ring bearer carried a stack of books from the collection of Julie's late grandfather.
Elle surprised the couple at midnight with a champagne tower and toast.
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