Who doesn’t love a love story? Getting to know our couples is essential to planning their weddings. The small details about where they met, how they fell in love, and who popped the question help us determine unique ways of telling their story on their wedding day.
We asked Jeni and Jonathan Berry to tell us their “Real Wedding Love Story” after getting married at Herrington on the Bay this May. Here’s what they had to say:
Jeni first saw Jonathan as Stanley Kowalski in “A Street Car Named Desire” at the local community theater in early 2018. While he was performing, Jeni leaned into her mom and said, “he’s cute.” And after the show, Jeni’s friends, who were Jonathan’s castmates, prepared to introduce the soon-to-be couple, but at the time, he was unavailable.
At the end of the year, Jonathan (now available) happened upon a Facebook post from Jeni showing off her new hair with the hashtag #stillsingle. He seized this opportunity and sent Jeni a message setting up their first date. They bonded over their shared love of escape rooms and furry friends (mainly cats). A little more than a year into their relationship, Jonathan called Jeni’s parents to ask for their blessing, which they gladly conceded, and the next day Jonathan proposed. With Taylor Swift’s “Lover” playing in his apartment, Jeni walked in to find Jonathan standing at the end of the rosy path where he got down on one knee and asked her to be his wife.
Jeni and Jonathan were engaged on May 9th and decided to get married on May 8th the following year. Jeni and Jonathan knew they wanted an outdoor ceremony that featured a barn with an accommodating reception area at the same location. They toured several venues and eventually found the perfect fit at Herrington on the Bay’s Barn at Honey’s Harvest location. Jonathan and Jeni took advantage of Herrington’s wedding package utilizing the Event Designer and Coordinator teams to plan the event. Jeni also entered and won a Facebook contest that awarded her the services of Wedding Bestie, Tee Coffey, another fantastic wedding day coordinator. And to keep track of their wedding details, Jeni and Jonathan used theknot.com to set up their wedding website, gather RSVPs, link their registry, and track gifts and thank you cards.
After all the fun and excitement of games and gift-giving from the previous night and wedding prep the following day, it was time for Jeni and Jonathan’s first look photos. After several images featuring Bride, Groom, and Bridal Party, it was off to the venue to do what they had been longing to do for nearly a year. Stacy, a mutual friend who had been instrumental in introducing the couple, officiated the ceremony. Their vows were tear-jerkers for the entire audience.
Taylor Swift punctuated every special moment of the event, with the bridal party entering to an instrumental version of “Wildest Dreams” and exiting to Taylor Swift’s version of the same song. After the ceremony, the reception began with a cocktail hour that included photos and the couple’s introduction as Mr. and Mrs. Berry.
Herrington’s VIP service package allowed the newlyweds to enjoy specialized table service while others approached their table throughout the reception for conversation. Many guests took advantage of the photo booth, which Jonathan customized with surprise props of Lina, the couple’s cat. The heartwarming and hysterical toasts were given by Maid of Honor and Sister to the Bride Alyssa and best man Steve, with the best man’s toast commenting on Jonathan’s uncanny ability to rip his pants in his several theater performances.
Once dinner was Jeni and Jonathan danced for the first time as a married couple to their song “Lover” by Taylor Swift, followed by the Father-Daughter and Mother-Son dances. The couple’s photographer to shot over 1100 photos, including a series of sunset photos at the beautiful landscape of the Barn at Honey’s Harvest. After pictures, there was still about an hour left oto party and after cutting the cake, it was time to hit the dance floor. And wouldn’t you know it, on the next to last song, Jonathan hit the dance floor a little too hard and, you guessed it, ripped his pants! With the help of their officiant, Jonathan wrapped a sweater around his waist for their private last dance and glow stick send-off. A truly fantastic (and nerve-wrecking) end to the happiest day of their lives.
Jeni and Jonathan always knew they wanted to have a barn wedding. That definitely helped focus their search for venues until they settled on the Herrington on the Bay and the Barn at Honey’s Harvest. They also wanted to utilize succulents and greenery in their decorations and thought using those as wedding favors would be a great way to incorporate the succulents. So Jeni ordered small terracotta pots that they planted with succulents and hand decorated with paint. They doubled as seating cards. Jeni (with help from Jonathan) utilized her Cricut Machine to hand make each and every name card. Another early decision was that instead of cake, they would have a donut display and they contacted Sandy Pony Donuts to cater as their dessert vendor. The décor for the venue was kept minimal as the rustic look of the barn and tables were precisely the aesthetic they were going for, with some greenery and succulents added along the centerline of the table.
Take all the help you can get. Stress is the last thing you want on your wedding day. Jeni and Jonathan did a lot of stuff themselves but the day of coordinator(s) was a godsend to ensure the day runs smoothly. You don’t get much rest on your wedding day so it’s nice that running the schedule and order of events can be put on someone else’s plate, especially persons that are seasoned veterans at running these events.
Jeni and Jonathan will be honeymooning in Tanzania on their African Safari. The trip was initially supposed to be a proposal trip but due to COVID-19 it got delayed and has become a honeymoon instead. Looking past the honeymoon, Jeni and Jonathan are excited to spend their lives together and have already expanded their family with the addition of an adorable kitten named Mako but are excited to plan for their future family.
Interested in hosting the wedding of your dreams at Herrington on the Bay. Contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We're more than Maryland's best wedding venue.
We're Maryland's most beautiful and ecologically conscious events venue.