An Independence Day Picnic Wedding: Sarah & Mike

Sarah & Mike were married on the weekend after Independence Day. They wanted a relaxed wedding that was a celebration, and one that all their family and friends would enjoy. “I would describe our wedding theme as a ‘rural, homemade, Independence Day picnic’,” began the bride. “We first looked at historic mansions in the area but quickly realized they would be out of our price range and we wouldn’t have much flexibility customizing our wedding. They would pick the DJ, and we’d have to select a meal from their menu for example. Then, when driving home from Baltimore one night, we drove past a park in Carroll County that was covered with beautiful flowers and several 18th century buildings, including a working gristmill. We stopped and walked around and discussed how perfect this place would be to get married and we decided to look into it. Luckily, they did allow weddings and after all the quotes we had from the mansions we were shocked at how affordable this place was!”

“We booked our wedding date for the next available weekend, July 7th, 2012 (at the time, over a year away). Given the rural setting of an early American Homestead, we felt very comfortable moving our wedding in a direction that embraced a come-as-you-are, relaxed, picnic aesthetic. We also felt that given the proximity of our ceremony date to Independence Day, as well as the direction of our theme, that a red, white and blue color scheme would be very appropriate. We spent hours at antique malls looking for props for the wedding, some of these finds included a vintage croquet set, picnic baskets, cake stands & pie plates, vases, and picture frames. Wedding programs in the form of hand fans not only helped our guests combat the heat, but gave a very antiquated feel to the occasion and fit in nicely with our theme.”

Over half of the 140 wedding guests were vegan or vegetarian so obviously this had to be a feature of the wedding. “We had over 60 guests eat the vegan and vegetarian options at our wedding”, Sarah explained. “Our menu consisted of ‘chicken’ salad sandwiches, pulled ‘pork’ BBQ sandwiches and potato and macaroni salad. When we met with our caterer, we brought as much information as we could, like vendors, pricing, quantities, and recipes. This was the first vegetarian/vegan menu they’d ever done and we were concerned about overwhelming them. Despite our concerns, they killed it! Throughout the reception, we were approached by many guests who were happy to report that it was the best vegetarian food they had ever enjoyed at a wedding!”

“There’s so much that I’d describe as our favorite parts of our day”, Sarah concluded. “When Mike and I were dancing our first dance, Morrissey’s cover of Moon River, I looked up and saw fireworks lighting up the sky through the barn windows –  it was perfect (and not planned!) It was also really special to us that so many of our friends were willing to offer their time and talents for the wedding for the wedding; everyone was so helpful, hardworking, kind, and generous. Our good friend, Aram Arslanian, who had introduced Mike and I through e-mail 4 years ago, was kind enough to be our wedding officiant which meant so much. Finally our Best man, Ev, created an amazing coloring and activity book for the children at the wedding. The pictures told they story of Mike and I meeting, moving in together, getting Milo (our dog), buying a home, and tying the knot!”

Gorgeous. I love the video! Thank you so much to Sarah & Mike and their fabulous friend and photographer Yaritza Colon for sharing this wedding with us today.

Supporting Cast:

Photography Credit: Yaritza Colon Photography
Video Credit: Sunny Singh
Venue: The Union Mills Homestead
Bride’s Dress: Priscilla of Boston, ‘Trish’
Bride’s Shoes: Seychelles
Bride’s Headpiece: David’s Bridal
Bride’s Jewellery: J Crew Earrings
Groom’s Outfit: Fred Perry (shirt), J Crew (khakis), Monroe Oxford by Hunter’s Bay (shoes)
Bridesmaid’s Dresses: Emily and Fin
Bridesmaid’s Shoes: Gomax
Cake: Starry Night Bakery
Flowers: Koons Florist
Hair: Naoma Johnston
Make Up: Katie Volway
DJ: Just AL
Master of Ceremony: Crucial John
Stationery: Lesley Quesada, at LQ Design
Caterers: Kountry Cafe Katering


  1. reeba

    i was lucky to be one of the family members there , this wedding was so special,and such a beautiful setting , my grand daughter savannah loved the color books and not metioned the table setting with the different jellies ,the little pins and the fans were such a great idea went so well with the theme.may they have a wonderful life ,and god bless from aunt reeba

  2. Maria

    That is my dream wedding dress! Is there anywhere you can still purchase this in the states? I have had a hard time finding a store that sells it. The coloring books are a great idea!

  3. Amber Weir

    Love all of this! So similar in parts to what we are aiming for and love all your personal touches. We want to create a woodland picnic feel so this will inspire us to go for it! Love your comic booklets and the sparkler avenue! Thank you for sharing!
    Have a wonderful future guys! xx

  4. Melanie

    I am considering Union Mills as our wedding venue and this may have just sealed the deal! Very cute!


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