Donahue-Tyler wedding
Donahue-Tyler wedding (Kathleen Hertel Photography)

Date: Aug. 9, 2013

Her story: Kristina Donahue, 28, grew up in Ellicott City. She graduated from University of Baltimore School of Law in May. She took the Maryland bar examination at the end of July and is now studying for the registration examination for patent cases. Her parents, Theresa and William Donahue, live in Elkridge.She lives in Catonsville.


His story: Michael Tyler, 30, grew up in Severna Park. He is an undergraduate at University of Baltimore and plans to graduate in 2014. His parents, Lucille and Steven Tyler, live in Severna Park. He lives in Catonsville, too.

Their story: Kristina and Mike met through a mutual friend in 2008 at a Washington Capitals hockey game, although Kristina was in a relationship at the time. They met again a year later when she started working at Nottingham's Tavern in Columbia, where Mike was a bouncer. Their first date was dinner at Romano's Macaroni Grill.

"Mike is an incredible artist, and while we were waiting for our dinner, he drew my name in a cool graffiti-style font on the white paper at the table," says Kristina.

The proposal: In the summer of 2011, Kristina went to Ireland to study intellectual property law at University College Dublin. Halfway through her two-month trip, Mike visited and the two spent time traveling.

"I'm partially Irish, and her dad's side is Irish, so I had it in my head that I wanted to propose someday in Ireland," says Mike. "And then all of a sudden, this sort of fell in our lap."

After visiting the Cliffs of Moher on Ireland's southwestern coast, they returned to a bed-and-breakfast in a town called Adare. Kristina momentarily went into the next room and when she came back, Mike was down on one knee. He proposed 10 days before their two-year anniversary with a ring that his great-grandmother, grandmother and mother have all worn.

The venue: About 100 guests attended the Catholic ceremony at Our Lady of the Angels in Catonsville, on the grounds of the Charlestown retirement community where Mike's grandmother, Lucille Geiser, is a resident. A reception followed at Pier 5 at the Inner Harbor.

Decor: Kristina wanted the wedding to look clean and timeless, with a touch of vintage inspired by Aubrey Hepburn. They decided on a black-and-white palette with pops of Kristina's favorite color: hot pink. Kristina's grandmother, Loretta Hamilton, made white bows that were placed along the pews and outside the church.

Flowers: Wicked Willow Floral of Baltimore created Kristina's all-white bouquet using ranunculus, roses and gardenias. Kristina's grandfather, who died of cancer before she was born, gave her grandmother a gardenia bush by which to remember him. Since then, gardenias have held a special meaning for the family.

Her dress: The bride wore an ivory, chapel-length A-line gown with a lace overlay and beading by Jim Hjelm for James Clifford Bridal from Betsy Robinson's Bridal Collection in Pikesville. Her veil, which had Swarovski crystals as the trim, was also from Betsy Robinson's. She wore hot pink high heels. As her "something borrowed," she wore her mom's diamond tennis bracelet. She had a white gardenia in her hair during the ceremony.

Bridesmaids' dresses: The women wore strapless black satin, knee-length Bill Levkoff dresses from The Bridal Boutique in Columbia and hot-pink high heels. Their pearl necklaces, which were gifts from Kristina, tied in the back with black satin ribbons.

Men's attire: The groomsmen wore traditional black tuxedos from Men's Wearhouse. Mike wore a black tuxedo, black vest and black shirt with an ivory tie, also from Men's Wearhouse. Each man wore a custom pair of classic black Converse shoes with pink stitching and his nickname embroidered in pink on the side.

Music: MusicMasters of Baltimore entertained the guests. Kristina and Mike's first dance was to "Man and Wife" by Michelle Featherstone. Kristina's parents created a slide show of photographs from her childhood that played during the father-daughter dance to "I Loved Her First" by Heartland.

Food and dessert: Pier 5 catered the reception and SugarBakers of Catonsville provided a cake with layers of Smith Island cake and raspberry amaretto cake. The custom cake topper, featuring a bride wearing hot-pink high heels, was from


Favors: Guests took pictures in a photo booth from ShutterBooth photo booth rentals.


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