Betty Swindlehurst and Jarrett Skirball met among the charming boulevards and Renaissance artistry of Florence, Italy, while studying abroad in college. So when it came time to select their wedding location, they chose the Walters Art Museum, whose classical elements reminded the couple of where they’d met.
On the wedding day, about 80 close friends and family members sat in a circular arrangement around the bride and groom, who stood with the rabbi beneath a chuppah edged with leafy bouquets in the museum’s sculpture court. “Everyone there had a great view and we were truly surrounded by everyone we loved,” says Swindlehurst.
The bride made her entrance in a strapless gown from Priscilla of Boston that she’d first spotted in a magazine. “When I tried it on I knew it was perfect,” she says. “It blended traditional with modern, which was exactly what I was looking for.” The brides- maids wore dresses in shades of coral and pink that each had chosen for herself at Garnish Boutique in Mount Washington.
Following the ceremony, guests gathered upstairs to sample hors d’oeuvres and sip cocktails and wander freely through the galleries (which fittingly include works of Italian Renaissance art). An hour later, everyone returned to the sculpture court where they were greeted by two banquet tables decorated with candles in glass vases and bouquets of coral and cream flowers (including roses, hydrangea, snapdragons and peonies). In the middle of the room, a lighted projection displayed a calligraphy insignia linking the bride’s and groom’s initials.
A classical guitar, violin and cello combo provided musical accompaniment to the five-course tasting menu with wine pairings catered by Linwoods. The locally inspired cuisine “was a great representation of Maryland for all of our out-of-town guests,” says Swindlehurst. On offer was the bride’s “all-time favorite food,” mac and cheese, as well as miniature crab cakes on top of fried green tomatoes and creamed corn pudding.
Eventually the couple and their guests bid a fond goodnight to the sculptures and went off to the InterContinental Harbor Court Hotel to dance the night away. There the bride and groom cut their cake— made by Swindlehurst’s mom— and guests sampled “personal ice cream creations” from Cold Stone Creamery, espresso drinks and snacks of french fries and sliders.
“The best part for both Jarrett and me was seeing all of our friends and family in one place and having a great time,” says Swindlehurst. “Our friends were asking us if we could do it all again every year. Sounds kind of exhausting to me, but it would be fun!”
- Locations: Walters Art Museum, 410-547-9000, thewalters.org InterContinental Harbor Court Hotel, 410-234-0550, harborcourt.com
- Photography: Arthur Remanjon, 410-366-2500, remanjon.com
- Flowers: Romance of Flowers, 410-526-7252, romanceofflowers.com
- Bride’s Gown: Priscilla of Boston, priscillaofboston.com
- Bridesmaids’ Gowns: Garnish Boutique, 410-464-0601, garnishboutique.com
- Catering: Linwoods, 410-356-3030, linwoods.com