I am so excited to share Catherine and John’s gorgeous Turf Valley Resort wedding!
Catherine and John were married on Saturday, July 30, 2022 at Turf Valley Resort in Ellicott City, Maryland.
Catherine and John met in 2012 when they both moved into the University of Maryland Baltimore County as freshman. Catherine and John were both on the swim team, so they became friends quickly. After two years as friends, they began dating in 2014. Now, they live together in Wilmington, North Carolina, where John coaches swimming at the University of North Carolina Wilmington.
Catherine and John began their wedding day getting ready in different suites in the hotel with their wedding party. Catherine gifted her bridal party the cutest lemon pajama sets and the bridal party celebrated Catherine’s special day with a fun champagne toast. Cath asked her bridal party to choose a black dress as a bridesmaid dress, so everyone had a different style. It was beautiful! Meanwhile, Kelsey photographed John and his groomsmen as they got ready and celebrated John’s big day.
After everyone was ready, it was time for Catherine and John’s first look! Catherine and John shared a sweet first look near their ceremony location and then we did their wedding day portraits. Turf Valley has so many gorgeous spots for portraits (and amazing light) – and Catherine and John’s pictures are just GORGEOUS! Cath and John planned to do all of their pictures before the ceremony so they could enjoy the cocktail hour – and they did such a great job! Catherine is SO organized! And their amazing wedding planner, Caitlin, kept everything moving so smoothly. After bride and groom portraits, we photographed their AMAZING (and huge!) 22-person wedding party. This group was incredible! They are photo pros and kept pictures moving so smoothly. And they are all SO sweet!! This was such an awesome, supportive, and fun group! We adored them! And Catherine and John’s families are so, so sweet! Catherine’s mom was so instrumental in helping to plan Cath and John’s gorgeous wedding and Catherine’s sister was so supportive and helpful throughout the day. It is clear that family is very important to both Catherine and John.
And then it was time for their wedding ceremony! Catherine and John were married at the beautiful willow tree ceremony space at Turf Valley. During Catherine and John’s ceremony, their UMBC swim coach spoke about their relationship. It was a beautiful ceremony!
At their cocktail hour, guests found their table number with a very fun and unique seating chart. Cath and John had printed a photo of every single wedding guest and each photo had the guests’ seating information. It was so adorable and creative! Cath and John also made donations to a number of important organizations on behalf of their guests in lieu of favors. Earlier in the day, Catherine told me she really wanted sunset photos and she asked me to insist that we do sunset portraits even if they told me they no longer wanted them. So when the sun began to set a bit later, I couldn’t help but laugh when Catherine said she didn’t want to go out for sunset photos. So I promised we would be back within five minutes. We rushed out – paused for a photo with a group on the patio – did sunset photos – and were finished in under five minutes! And they were SO worth it!! That light at sunset is always so beautiful, and that golden light over the golf course at Turf Valley was so pretty!
And then it was reception time! Catherine and John began their wedding reception with an amazing first dance to a variety of songs with tons of beautiful dance moves. It was so much fun! Cath and John had lots of other surprises throughout their day, too. During the reception, Catherine and her family surprised John with an amazing groom’s cake – that looked IDENTICAL to a pizza!! Kelsey and I had gone in to photograph details before the ceremony and I turned to Kelsey and said “it’s really weird someone left a pizza here.” It was SO realistic! Later, Cath surprised everyone by changing into a sparkly one-shoulder dress – and comfortable hot pink tennis shoes! Cath and John had another surprise for their guests, too: they sang karaoke with Catherine’s uncle! Catherine and John’s reception was so much fun and such a great party! As the night continued, there were a variety of dessert cups for guests to enjoy and late night snacks. The dance floor was packed all night and everyone had so much fun! Cath, John, and their 230 guests had an amazing party!
Catherine and John, congratulations on your marriage!! We are so happy for you two and your families! You two are so sweet, enthusiastic, happy, and so clearly in love. Congratulations!! Enjoy some highlights from your amazing wedding day!
Congratulations, Catherine and John!!
Dress | BHLDN
Florist | Shelly Black Florals
Ceremony and Reception Venue | The Gardens at Turf Valley Resort
Officiant | Tim Stang
Wedding Coordinator | Caitilin McGrew
DJ | DJ Ricker
Cake | Sugar Bakers
Invitations | Minted
Photobooth | Social Print Co.
Photographer | Brooke Tyson Photography with Kelsey Tyson