Andra + Jack | Alvina Valenta Wedding from Mary Kate McKenna

As both bride and groom are army officers, Andra + Jack made their special day complete with vintage military and nautical touches in hues of white and blue. I love the crisp and classic look of this Chesapeake Bay wedding! Sailor’s rope atop vintage crates adorned with blue hydrangeas…a meaningful unity wine ceremony for 100 of their closest friends and family…and a really elegant a-line style gown from Alvina Valenta with a lovely golden satin sash; such a great contrast to the delicate lace and silk overlay of the dropped waist bodice. Just stunning and congrats to the beautiful couple!

Andra + Jack | April 28, 2012 | The Chesapeake Bay Beach Club, Stevensville, Maryland

The Ceremony
Our ceremony was held outside of the Chesapeake Bay Beach club overlooking the bay and the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.  The theme was vintage military-nautical inspired with hues of white and blues, as both Jack and I are Army officers as well as many of the wedding party and guests.  I borrowed parts of my mother’s veil and jewelry; while my bouquet of traditional and French frilled tulips were wrapped with my great grandmother’s handkerchief.  We had tall silver lanterns to line the aisle; the altar was made of large spools of sailor’s rope atop vintage crates adorned with blue hydrangeas.  We incorporated a unity wine ceremony – I chose white wine, representing the strength of a loving marriage and a lingering taste in the soul. The groom’s preference for red symbolized the deep richness of the love in our hearts and the energy, which keeps the loving relationship going.  The two glasses were poured separately into one carafe and then shared between the two symbolized the sharing of one life, joining of two spirits, two lives, and two souls before being announced as husband and wife.

The Reception
The wedding reception was held in the mahogany-filled Tavern Ballroom.  Again, the military nautical theme prevailed.  At the head table each guest was given a set of military identification tags (dog tags) wrapped around their napkin.  The tall lanterns again served as the centerpieces, and four small mason jars filled with sand and blue hydrangeas accented the tables.  On the table the couple made vintage maps of each Army post that they had been stationed at during their careers, for example, Fort Lee, Fort Benning, or Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.  The head table was called “Headquarters, Washington, DC” where the couple currently lives and works, and they were balanced on large round nautical rope balls on each table.  The WWII footlocker decorated with a pair of the bride and groom’s identification tags also served as the box in which guests could drop their cards in a slot labeled “Official Army Mail”.  The couple chose a cake that they could save for future anniversary celebrations and a variety of cupcakes for their guests to enjoy. 

Andra’s Dress Search
I originally had purchased another dress that was more of a mermaid style that was not strapless.  It had the same classically elegant and vintage feel to it, but after a few months I was not in love with it anymore and it did not feel like “me”.  I starting looking for another dress and knew that this one was the one that most reflected my personality and my taste.  The A-line fit was extremely flattering and there was not a long train to worry about when walking through the grass or going down to the beach for pictures.  I wanted an ivory or champagne color and really wanted something timeless and the intricate lace weaved into the silk was subtle, but beautiful. 

How Andra Felt in Her Dress
Classic, Elegant, Comfortable, Timeless

Why Andra Decided to Sell Her Wedding Dress
I do not have any daughters that I can give the dress to in the future and would love to give it a new life to another bride instead of it laying dormant in a box for years to come.  I believe it is a timeless dress that could very easily have been seen on a bride 20 years ago as well as 20 years from now.  It is beautifully made and deserves to be on display.

Wedding Dress: Alvina Valenta | Photography:  Mary Kate McKenna | Ceremony + Reception Venue:  The Chesapeake Bay Beach Club | Floral Design:  Intrigue Design | Cake:  For Goodness Cakes