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Chinoiserie Played a Huge Role in This Couple’s Baltimore Wedding

By Alexandra Macon | Photography by 

Anna Meyer

Four years after they had first met, illustrator Riley Sheehey and restauranteur Dylan Kough were celebrating her 28th birthday at home. “I had asked for a picnic basket and Dylan had a ring hidden inside one that I unwrapped in our apartment,” Riley recalls. “I called my mom right away, who had to act surprised, since Dylan had arranged for my family to meet us for dinner at my favorite restaurant that night. When I told her, they were already en route to meet us!”

After their engagement, the couple started to look at venues in the bride’s hometown of Baltimore. “We knew almost right away that Gramercy Mansion was the one,” Riley says. “The ceremony spots overlooks Greenspring Valley, and so did my high school, so it was a little bit like everything coming full-circle for me.” The couple hired Bryce Carson of Roberts & Co., whom the bride had met on a previous project, to help with the planning. “I could tell through working with him how much he cared and knew about the couples he worked with. His attention to detail is like no other,” she says. For decoration, Riley had conveniently been collecting blue and white pottery for a while. “I knew I somehow wanted to incorporate the vases and plates I’d collected and thought that they worked really well with the antique theme at Gramercy.”

Riley’s all-time favorite wedding dress was Carolyn Bessette Kennedy’s Narciso Rodriguez gown. “I wanted something that would be timeless and classic and clean looking—no frills or poufs,” she says. She ended up finding just what she was looking for in a Catherine Deane design for BHLDN. “I loved it so much that I didn’t try anything else on and bought the dress on the spot,” she adds. For accessories, she picked a simple waltz-length veil by Debra Moreland, Artemis Design Co. silk loafers, and pearl studs.

For hair and makeup, Riley enlisted Victoria Kneip. “For my hair, I wanted a simple, classic up do,” she explains. “And for makeup, I don’t usually wear very much, so we went very natural, except for my eyes, which Victoria made smoky and dramatic to make them really pop.”

Meanwhile, Dylan and his groomsmen wore navy suits with chambray ties. As for Riley’s bridesmaids, she had worked earlier with Kiel James Patrick and Sarah Vickers on a chinoiserie print for Sarah’s dress line. “When they released the dresses, I reached out to them and told them that I loved them so much I planned on using them for my bridesmaids,” she explains. “They very kindly gifted them to us! I think they ended up being one of my favorite details from the wedding.”

The morning of their ceremony, the weather was wet and gray. “I’d kind of accepted the fact that we’d probably have to have our wedding inside,” she says. But thankfully at the last minute, the sun came out and the couple tied the knot in a garden overlooking Greenspring Valley in front of friends and family. “My favorite part of the whole day, though, was reading my vows and hearing Dylan’s” she says. “We kept our vows secret from one another until the actual ceremony, so when everyone else heard them, it was the first I had, too. I couldn’t stop myself from crying because they were so similar!”

Following the ceremony, a cocktail hour featuring Baltimore-inspired hors d’oeuvres (crab cakes, pretzels, and Natty Boh cheese fondue) catered by Zeffert & Gold was offered. At dinner, guests chose between four entrees and enjoyed an ample selection of beers as well (the groom has been described as “beer crazy.”) After toasts and cutting the cake by ButterCream Bake Shop, Riley and Dylan took to the dance floor as DJ Dan Goldman played Van Morrison’s “Into The Mystic.” And even though they both admit neither of them are big dancers, they enjoyed every last second of the party. “I’ve never seen so many people on the dance floor at a wedding,” Riley shares. “My dad was dancing with a tie on his head by the end, so I’d definitely say we did something right!”