Jennifer & Daniel: A Nautical-Theme Weekend in Annapolis

by Allison Micarelli

Immediately after Dan Hageney proposed to Jennifer Burns, she turned her home into an arts and crafts factory. "I was the opposite of a bridezilla. I took everything upon myself," says Jennifer. "I am a perfectionist and tend to get a little carried away with things like this."

THE BRIDE Jennifer Burns, 29
THE GROOM Dan Hageney, 34
THE DATE June 29
THE SCENE Ceremony at the William Paca House & Gardens and reception at the Annapolis Marriott Waterfront.

ATTENTION TO DETAIL Some of the nitty-gritty details: Jennifer hand-embossed the couple's initials onto every cocktail and hors d'oeuvres napkin; hand-threaded all the programs with embroidery floss; and, along with her mother and some friends, handcrafted each wedding favor. To match the Annapolis waterside wedding theme, they designed two stained-glass ornaments -- a green crab and a blue and white sailboat. Other personal touches: to match the nautical-theme save-the-dates, invitations, and favors, Jennifer and her mother also crafted welcome bags for each guest. Magazines, brochures, a schedule of events, Swedish Fish candy, and bottles of lemonade and iced tea were stuffed into canvas bags adorned with a hand-painted sailboat or crab.

THE CELEBRATION BEGINS Guests started arriving on Friday for a crab feast held at the bride's parents' home. The next day, everyone headed out for an open-bar, three-hour cruise on the Chesapeake Bay. A rehearsal dinner that offered crab cakes and steak and featured numerous speeches, including one given by the couple in honor of the bride's parents' 34th wedding anniversary, was topped only by the pending wedding celebration. The ceremony took place the following evening in the gardens of the William Paca House. As guests were seated, they were offered fans and refreshing drinks (raspberry champagne spritzers, sparking water, and iced tea). Both families, along with friends of the bride, took part in the readings, which were specifically picked by the bride and groom.

LOVING GESTURES Afterward, guests headed to the Annapolis Waterfront Hotel to celebrate. Though dinner was served inside, the doors to the patio were flung open all night so guests were free to wander and enjoy views of the harbor. The space was decorated with Jennifer's favorite flowers: ivory roses, pale pink peonies, and hydrangea filled mint julep vases. Jennifer and Dan danced their first dance as husband and wife to Grover Washington Jr.'s "Just the Two of Us." It was one more very personal touch. Jennifer explains, "On our second Valentine's Day together, we decided to start giving gifts from the heart. I wrote Dan a poem. And he performed "Just the Two of Us" for me."

-- Allison Micarelli
photography © Lisa Sachs

For the ingredients that make up this wedding, see right-hand column of this page.

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