First Anniversary Celebrations

This past weekend, Adam and I celebrated our first anniversary! It is crazy to think that it has already been a year since we tied the knot last spring in Baltimore. After a completely underwhelming dinner on our actual anniversary, we were super excited to spend time together this weekend doing a few special things to mark the occasion.

On Saturday we checked into the Royal Sonesta with a voucher we received for having our wedding there. Even though we live right in the neighborhood, it was so nice to return to the hotel to celebrate our anniversary. Our harbor view room was gorgeous and had the most perfect little window seat overlooking the festivities at Light City. After getting settled in our room and getting a little fancy for our evening out, we popped down to the Sonesta bar. We ordered cocktails and their thai-style calamari and spent some time at the bar watching the Final Four (go Wildcats!). We also ran into our favorite wedding planner as there was currently a wedding underway at the Sonesta. Ah it feels like just yesterday that we were walking down the aisle!!

 

Our nostalgic anniversary weekend didn’t end there, we had dinner reservations at the Rusty Scupper, sight of our rehearsal dinner. Our 50-ish person rehearsal dinner was held on the top floor of the Scupper with beautiful views of Baltimore, a buffet dinner and open bar. The Scupper was super convenient because everyone could walk over from the Sonesta (they ran a shuttle for older relatives who couldn’t make the short walk) and they were so easy to work with, accommodating all of our requests.

Throwback photos! We had such a nice time at the rehearsal, that we thought it would be the perfect place to celebrate our anniversary. We were seated at a great table with a view of the harbor, enjoyed a glass of wine and some bread while we decided what to order. Yes, we had just split some calamari at the Sonesta bar, but that wasn’t going to stop us from ordering an appetizer and we enjoyed splitting the shrimp cocktail – 5 large shrimp with a kick from horseradish cocktail sauce. Adam also had a cup of the Maryland crab soup (which was a huge hit at our rehearsal dinner). For entrees, I had the sea bass with a light lemon butter sauce, garlic mashed potatoes and green beans and Adam had the lobster tails. My fish was great, but the lobster was amazing – the lobster meat was sweet and delicious and it was perfect when dipped in the hot butter.

It’s definitely a very traditional seafood restaurant with a fairly limited menu, but I often prefer the traditional to some of the trying-too-hard modern restaurants that are trendy right now. I think the Scupper sometimes gets a bad wrap as being too much of a tourist destination (and it was packed Saturday night with Light City visitors), but the service, food and view were all fabulous which I think is more than makes up for it.

After dinner, we walked through Light City and made our way back to the hotel just in time to watch the festival from our window nook – the start of Dan Deacon‘s set and the epic thunderstorm that cut things short.

It was a lovely night and definitely helped make up for the not so great experience we had at Azumi on our actual anniversary. Everything started out great – Adam had talked to the restaurant in advance, letting them know it was our first anniversary and to pre-order a nice bottle of champagne and make sure we got a good table. We sat down, popped some bubbly and ordered four small plates to start our meal. And then some time passed…and we waited…and then a manager came by to tell us that the gas line was down in the restaurant’s kitchen so they couldn’t cook anything. This wasn’t the end of the world since it’s a sushi restaurant and they had uncooked items on the menu (though only one of the starters we ordered), but it was certainly not a good sign . We were told they were bringing in someone right away to fix it and that we would still be getting the salmon crudo we had ordered. And then we waited some more…and then it had been over an hour since we had ordered and we still hadn’t been brought anything to eat. At this point, we were hungry and it was getting late so we were about to give up and leave when we finally got our one uncooked appetizer – about two bites of raw salmon for each of us. The manager then rushed a few additional (uncooked) dishes for us as the kitchen still wasn’t fixed which we definitely appreciated, but it felt like too little, too late. The food we had was definitely tasty (my favorite was the eel bowl), but we were disappointed that we couldn’t try many of the cooked dishes on the menu that appealed to us and that we had to wait so long. Totally understand that the restaurant didn’t cause the gas issues, but felt like more could have been done to make up for it – especially when they knew it was our anniversary! They ended up comping our whole meal (thank you!), but we would have much preferred a special romantic dinner with good food and good service which is what we were expecting from a place like Azumi. In the end, we got a good story out of it and laugh at just how much of a disaster it was. At least the company was good. 😉

Have you ever had a crazy experience like that at a restaurant? How did the restaurant handle it?  

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Baltimore Wedding

Six months ago my mom, future mother-in-law and best girlfriends were sipping on mimosas while getting our hair and make up done. Soon after, I would head to Federal Hill for a first look at my dashing groom. Giggly and excited, Adam and I would fail at taking serious pictures and the bright sun required us to sport shades in our Inner Harbor portraits. Don’t let the sunglasses fool you, it was freezing on March 29, but at least the sky was clear! Our wedding day was seriously the best day ever – full of love and celebrations with our closest friends and family. Since it has been exactly six months since the big day, I figured it would be a great time to share some photos and shout outs to our wedding vendors. And because I loved planning our wedding, expect a few more posts in the future about planning a Baltimore wedding, rehearsal dinner and maybe Jeanette will chime in about planning a Baltimore bachelorette and engagement party.

abby + adam march 29 2015 (16 of 622)

Getting ready with the girls at the Royal Sonesta Harbor Court. The Sonesta had just undergone a major renovation (like JUST, things wrapped up only a day or two before wedding weekend began) and the rooms were beautiful! [Side note: you may recognize some rooms in the Sonesta from the latest season of VEEP or if you’re like me and just watching The Wire for the first time pretty sure we got ready in the room the Greek is in overlooking the Harbor in the season 2 finale]. Hair done by Mindy Whelan and make up by Nicole Palermo. Both super nice and talented –  I booked them after they did my friend Lindsay’s wedding last October.

Wedding Bouquet Flowers

For flowers we worked with Anna at Flowers and Fancies. Anna was easy to work with and helped me stay in budget. I don’t know much about flowers so we used my pinterest board as inspiration and used several shades of pink roses.  Our bouquets arrived to the bridal suite while we were getting ready and it was a surprisingly exciting moment! The flowers were fresh and gorgeous and really made me feel like it was “go time”.

Wedding Invitation - Traditional Classic Formal

Obviously we had to get a pic of our beautiful invitation by Jenifer Sirkis Designs. Jen was great to work with did our programs, rehearsal dinner invites, table numbers and some additional signs for the wedding.

First Look Baltimore Wedding Federal Hill

First look on Fed Hill! Thanks to Rich Kessler Photography for capturing all of these amazing moments! I loved our first look and the chance to see Adam before the wedding. Definitely one of my favorite parts of the day. Adam’s tux was from Tuxedo House and my dress was from Francesca’s Bridal. It had pockets and made me feel like a princess.

abby + adam march 29 2015 (144 of 622)

Our amazing bridal party all dolled up. My bridesmaids chose their own blush pink dresses in the style they liked best – many ended up being from JCrew or Nordstrom.

carausel baltimore inner harbor wedding photography

Ketubah Baltimore Wedding

Before long it was time to sit down with our Rabbi and sign our Ketubah (the Jewish marriage contract). I ordered my Ketubah on Etsy but the designer is local and I was able to pick it up in Baltimore County.

Royal Sonesta Ceremony Baltimore Wedding

Ceremony time in the beautifully redone Sonesta. Chuppah was from Flowers and Fancies. Music for our ceremony was classical guitar played by Ben Sherman and included some of our favorite songs like The Cure’s Just Like Heaven.

Royal Sonesta Baltimore Wedding Photography

The Sonesta was great because it had separate spaces for the ceremony, cocktail hour and dinner that could accommodate our 200+ guest list.

Band Wedding Baltimore

Our band, DC Fusion kept people on the dance floor all night long! The band can make or break the wedding and they did a great job of keeping energy up and playing songs that everyone enjoyed.

Wedding Cake Baltimore Cakery

Mmm cake time. Our cake came from Baltimore Cakery and it was absolutely perfect – gorgeous and delicious. Everyone raved about the Little Italy flavor – cinnamon cake with cannoli cream frosting. The wedding cake topper was another etsy find and was incredibly detailed to look just like us (with our dog, Jack!). It was another one of my fave details from the day!

All in all, everything was absolutely magical and I’ve loved reliving it writing this post. If you are interested in learning more about my and Adam’s story, check out this piece that appeared in the Washington Post the week after our wedding.

Are you planning a wedding in Baltimore? What was your favorite part of your own wedding?