A Classic, Nautical Wedding at Historic Kent Manor Inn in Stevensville, Maryland

rn                    Kara Spector (31 and in medical sales) and Ben Nichols’s (30 and in construction) wedding took nautical to a completely differen

rn Kara Spector (31 and in medical sales) and Ben Nichols’s (30 and in construction) wedding took nautical to a completely different and personal level. They both love boating on the Chesapeake Bay, but what really made this theme special was Ben's connection to the US Navy. Since he is an alumnus of the US Naval Academy and was on active duty for six years, they had their ceremony at the Academy's Chapel in Annapolis, Maryland, and used the school's colors (navy and gold) as part of their palette. Everything from the bridesmaid dresses and bouquets to the sailing-themed invitation suite and the anchor-adorned table numbers included these hues. But of course, Kara and Ben also had to bring Maryland, the state where they met, into the mix. So they held the ceremony on the west side (where Ben is from) and ate crab cakes at Historic Kent Manor Inn in Stevensville, Maryland, for the reception on the east side (where Kara grew up). To make things even more local, each guest went home with an engraved "match made in Maryland" wooden crab mallet/bottle opener from Bay Imprints. Each was complete with a chocolate crab from Cakes by Rachael. "They were a huge hit," Kara says. See these details and much more shot by Carly Fuller Photography, below.

Navy and Gold Nautical Invitation Suite
Under the US Naval Academy’s navy and gold hues, Kara's bridesmaids wore these chic, floor-length navy dresses by Bill Levkoff. Each had a strapless sweetheart neckline that was only enhanced with their classic pearl necklaces. Each bouquet brought out the gold-inspired hue with yellow roses.
With navy, white and gold used throughout their decor, the hues had to be included in the bridesmaid looks. Each woman carried this lush display of yellow roses, white lisianthus and greenery wrapped in navy ribbon. Small red hypericum berries accented the side for an unexpected, added color.
Since Ben is a US Naval Academy alumnus and was in the Navy for six years, it was no surprise that they had the ceremony at his alma mater’s chapel. “Having our wedding there allowed us to incorporate an element of the military culture in our wedding, even though Ben is no longer on active duty,” Kara says. “We also chose it because it is a beautiful chapel and has an exceptionally long aisle, which I was so excited to walk down with my dad.” Its stained glass window and monumental architecture only added to the occasion. To let their venue serve as the focal point, they used white bows on the aisle as the sole added  decor.
Classic White Calla Lily Boutonniere
All-White Lisianthus and Hydrangea Bouquet
Their navy and gold colors were not lost on the flower girl’s look. Her white tea-length chiffon dress was accented with a bold blue feather flower at the center. Her basket even had navy and gold ribbon wrapped around the handle as a subtle tribute to the US Naval Academy.
For the centerpieces from the Gateway Florist, they went with a more natural twist on the theme. Each low or tall arrangement was filled with white hydrangeas, white delphiniums, greenery, wildflowers and of course blue sea holly (to tie in their colors). The flowers seemed to top each clear-glass vase with no stems in sight. (How cool is that?)
Since they love to boat on the Chesapeake Bay, it was fitting that a few anchors pop up in the decor. Each gold and navy table number was highlighted with these navy blue anchor decals at the corner.
Kara’s brother and sister-in-law, Scott and Brenda, were also involved in creating the wedding favors. Owners of Bay Imprint, a specialty printing and engraving company, they designed wooden bottle openers/crab mallets with "Kara & Ben" engraved on one side and "A match made in Maryland" on the other. Of course, a crab mallet is not complete without a crab, so each guest went home with their favor attached to a chocolate crab from Cakes by Rachael.
Gold and Blue “K&B” Table Accents
Round Diamond Engagement  Ring With Halo
Tiered Wedding Cake With Nautical Topper
Now this was truly a family affair! Kara’s brother and sister-in-law got married on the same day five years earlier, so Kara and Ben had a surprise for them at the reception. They treated the couple to their own single-tier anniversary cake from Caroline's Cakes and even had the DJ make a special announcement during the anniversary dance.
Ben and his groomsmen chose a formal look with a little bit of personal flair. Each man picked out a Black by Vera Wang tuxedo from Men’s Wearhouse. Ben couldn't have looked more dapper. He wore his tuxedo with a cummerbund, black bow-tie and white shirt for the epitome of classic attire.