Despite living in different states, Brianne Toole and Kirk Bittel were destined to be together—well, at least according to Brianne’s best friend, Jenna. Since she had a feeling the two would hit it off, Jenna assumed the role as matchmaker and wouldn’t give up until Brianne and Kirk went on a date. On July 4, 2014, they finally linked up in Deep Creek Lake, Maryland, and Jenna’s predictions came to fruition.
After six years of dating, the couple took a trip to Ocean City, Maryland—their favorite summer vacation spot. Back at the house, after spending a day at the beach, Kirk asked Brianne to join him on the balcony to watch the surfers. Brianne stepped out, bag of popcorn in hand, but she ended up finding something else. “I looked both left and right and couldn’t find a single surfer anywhere on the water,” she recalls. “Very confused, I turned around only to find my future husband on one knee, asking me to marry him. I threw the entire bag of popcorn into the air and made an enormous mess. It was the most perfectly unexpected and beautiful moment. I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
Right away, the pair knew they wanted to tie the knot in Maryland since it was the same spot they met, went on their first date, and got engaged. After visiting the Inn at Perry Cabin in St. Michaels the summer before their big day, they knew it would be the perfect place to host their 210 guests. “The Inn at Perry Cabin is such a charming and serene location,” Brianne expresses. “The grounds are stunning and filled with a colorful assortment of wild flowers and gardens. There is also something about the Adirondack chairs surrounding the water’s edge, sailboats tied up to the docks, and bicycle rides into town for fresh ice cream that just instantly makes you want to slow down and take it all in.”
Since the couple wanted their wedding to be an experience for their loved ones, they decided to host a weekend extravaganza. They kicked off the celebration on September 10, 2021 with a wedding, followed by a pool party the next day, and a garden soirée the day after that. “We are a very social couple that loves to spend quality time with our family and friends, so we wanted to reflect that in our wedding,” Brianne notes. “Not only a wedding day, but a wedding weekend full of fun hangouts with all of our favorite people, eating great food, and—of course—great music!”
Read on to see how this couple’s wedding played out, which wouldn’t have been possible without planning by Kari Rider Events and photography by Jana Williams.
The bride and groom envisioned an elegant, ethereal, and minimalist aesthetic painted in neutral hues and brimming with baby’s breath. To set the tone of their special day and their black-tie dress code, they distributed deckle-edged invitations written in gold script.
Another focal point of the couple’s fête? Highlighting the Eastern Shore location and the scenic waterfront views. To familiarize guests with the locale, Brianne and Kirk passed out Maryland-inspired welcome bags with Old Bay snacks, custom koozies, and hangover relief essentials.
Kirk dressed himself in a custom black tuxedo by Gentleman’s Playbook, black velvet tuxedo shoes, and rose gold cufflinks featuring a honeycomb pattern. After suiting up, the groom toasted to the festivities with his groomsmen, who were also clad in black tuxedos by the menswear brand.
Before changing into the day’s attire, Brianne got glam in white feather pajamas by Nadine Merabi and sipped on champagne with her bridal party, who donned matching gray sets. The bride wanted to enhance her everyday makeup look, so she chose a “romantic yet editorial” theme that focused on statement eyebrows. To show off her wedding dress, Brianne had her hair pulled back in a high ponytail.
The bride slipped on a long-sleeve, high-neck beaded dress by Eisen Stein for the big day. After trying on countless gowns at four back-to-back bridal salon appointments, Brianne couldn’t stop thinking about this embellished number. “I felt beautiful, confident, and most myself in this dress,” she gushes. “Not to mention, it felt very unique to any of the other dresses I had tried on, which is exactly what I was looking for.”
Brianne paired her ensemble with white gold marquise-flower and pearl-stud earrings, a white gold tennis bracelet with 50 emerald-cut diamonds, and white satin Jimmy Choo heels.
Brianne’s bridesmaids and flower girl were integral to the getting-ready process since they provided endless laughter and support. Her girls sported champagne satin gowns with sashes, while the youngest bridal party member wore a white dress with flutter sleeves tied in a bow.
After changing into her dress, Brianne shared a first look with her brothers during a sentimental sibling moment.
To complement her bridal whites, Brianne carried a round bouquet of white roses. To honor her father who passed away in 2016, she also added a sterling silver charm that was marked with his fingerprint.
Brianne and Kirk’s dreamy ceremony took place in the venue’s gardens. Clouds of white baby’s breath lined a white carpeted aisle, which led to an arch composed of more baby’s breath.
Brianne marched down the aisle to the tune of “Turning Page” by Sleeping at Last while her two brothers stood on either side of her. Since the couple decided against doing a first look, they saved their grand reveal for the ceremony. “I can’t even describe how crazy it felt walking down the aisle,” Brianne reflects. “It felt like time had stopped. Every single person that we knew and loved was in one location together, smiling right at us. The moment I finally made eye contact with my future husband was when my heart truly exploded. We were both in tears, and it definitely took us a minute to gain our composure, but standing up there together was a moment that bonded us forever.”
Although Brianne and Kirk exchanged traditional vows, they personalized their ceremony with a special reading that the bride’s cousin read: Ecclesiastes 4:9-12.
Once they were pronounced husband and wife, a PopCulture Strings performed “Summer” by Calvin Harris, which wafted around them as they walked back up the aisle.
Smile, laugh, breathe, and try to enjoy the process because it goes by in a flash.
After their vow swap, the newlyweds revisited their ceremony site to snap portraits and take photos with their wedding party. “Smile, laugh, breathe, and try to enjoy the process because it goes by in a flash,” Brianne advises.
In keeping with the baby’s breath theme, guests’ seating assignments were displayed in gold on a glass structure enclosed with the wispy bloom.
Brianne and Kirk celebrated their marriage in a sailcloth tent that was set against a waterfront backdrop. Hanging installations of baby’s breath and oversized white woven chandeliers floated above the all-white tablescapes. While the guest tables were lined with white votives and floral arrangements, the head table showcased a runner of more baby’s breath. Each place was set with hand-painted stone chargers, watercolor menu cards, and gold flatware.
Outside of the tent, guests could roll cigars at the cigar bar—marked with a neon sign—and admire the views.
At the reception, drinks abounded. Family and friends helped themselves to classic margaritas, spicy margaritas, dirty martinis, or espresso martinis. Original artwork by the bride made the bar come to life. “In my spare time, I love to do watercolor,” Brianne shares. “I painted images of a crab, orange crush, sailboat, and the inn for our signature drink sign and cocktail napkins.”
After making their grand entrance, the newlyweds popped open the bubbly and poured champagne down a tower of coupes.
To finish off their meal, loved ones grabbed a piece of almond cake with vanilla buttercream from a four-tier white confection adorned with rice paper sails. They also noshed on salted caramel panna cotta, flourless chocolate cake, and Pittsburgh cookies.
The rest of the evening was spent on the dance floor. The newlyweds shared their first dance to “Then” by Brad Paisley (a surprise to the bride) before The Eleven played a killer playlist the couple curated. To conclude the evening with a bang, everyone watched fireworks on the lawn.
From the vow exchange to the final party, Brianne cites letting go of expectations as the reason why everything fell into place. “You dream of this day your entire life, and you just want everything to be perfect,” she explains. “Realistically, it just isn’t possible, so the moment you realize the bigger picture and begin to trust the process, it magically comes together.”