Over the past year leading up to Dinah and Brian’s wedding, Dinah spent her time restoring an old Maryland-based gristmill, Manor Mill, into a charming setting. As coordinator for the mill, she brought the space back to life by hauling out old barrels, wire brushing the rugged beams, and hand-scrubbing every individual stone in the old building’s walls. Her plan? To not just transform the once-churning old mill into an artist-in-residency program and shared workspace, but also allow for the building to be the ultimate backdrop for her upcoming nuptials.
Photographer Victoria Selman captured the special day and says Dinah “perfectly maintained the textured charm” of the mill and for the big event, decorated the space to create “a summer garden party you never wanted to leave.” Dinah used her degree in design and her habit of never missing details to plan her restored gristmill wedding. Taking inspiration from a beautiful photo of a fern that Victoria took during their engagement session, Dinah says the theme around her wedding day revolved around ferns and other earthy details. She hand-potted 100 different ferns in terra-cotta pots and scattered them around the venue. She also incorporated the greenery into her embroidered veil, the wax stamp for their invitations, the design printed on the escort cards, and more. “The details were everything to me,” says Dinah. See more of their fern-inspired wedding below!
The Dress: Dinah says unfortunately shopping for her wedding dress during the pandemic was not as magical as she envisioned. “There was no champagne, it was limited to 2 guests, and it was awkward coming out in a wedding gown and not being able to see anyone’s reactions because of their masks,” says Dinah. But, never the less, she says they made it work. And, in the end, we definitely agree because she wound up wearing the most gorgeous lace gown! The Wtoo by Watters wedding dress featured a form-fitting silhouette and boho-inspired lace and looked perfect on Dinah for her special day. Along with the stunning lace gown, the look was completed with an embroidered veil filled with 3-dimensional greenery-inspired appliques and a pair of green shoes.
The most memorable moment was the ceremony. When we ask our guests their favorite part of the wedding, everyone says the ceremony! It was so special. Brian and I took care to structure our ceremony step by step, carefully choose our music, having loved ones recite excerpts from poems and books, and wrote our own vows. Dinah’s cousin, Juan, married us. He is a meditation coach, he’s an example of how to stay present, peaceful, and purposeful in everyday life, and our ceremony was so exception. Juan allowed everyone to feel so connected to this nature-forward ceremony, and bring what we wanted to the day- a celebration of love, friends, and family.
Listen to your instincts. If something doesn’t feel authentic to you and your partner, don’t do it! Be mindful of how you share your visions- guard them! People will doubt you or offer alternatives, and you have to stay true to what you see in your head- it is a gift! I remember when I said I was wearing green wedding shoes and green earrings people laughed. But when it all came together, they saw what I had been seeing in my head. Also, remember what this day is all about and why we are bringing everyone together for this special moment; to witness our commitment to each other and to celebrate our love. When the day finally came, and we joined hands in front of those most important to us, in a space that felt so authentically us, we felt that we had accomplished just that.
Processional: Avril 14th by Aphex Twin
First Dance: Dancing in the Moonlight by Toploader
The couple hosted a seated dinner inside the mill, accompanied by a playlist that the groom made, and a small afterparty with pizza, dancing, and shenanigans!
Cheers to Dinah and Brian! For more real wedding inspiration visit our real weddings page!
photography: Victoria Selman Photographer // venue name: Manor Mill, Monkton, Maryland, USA // florals: Spore & Seed // wedding dress: Watters // wedding dress boutique: Betsy Robinsons Bridal // hair stylist: Studio 360 Hair // paper goods: Bowerbox Press // calligraphy: Stephanie Gould // catering: Copper Kitchen // music: Kevin Burnes // officiant: Juan Alvarez // models: bride and groom // rentals: Select Event Group // rentals: Honeywood Events // bride's earrings: Journey & Jewel // acrylic wedding signs: Rich Design Co // escort cards: Timeless Paper