“Carly was the first person that I met when I walked into campus for the very first time as an incoming college freshman,” remembers Nate Causey of the moment that changed his life forever. He never imagined finding the love of his life before even seeing his dorm room or attending his first class, but that’s exactly what happened when he and Carly Basner first met. “A mutual friend of ours convinced us to go to lunch together that first day, and the rest is history,” he adds. Nearly 10 years later, that mutual friend became a groomsman at their wedding.
Following a perfect proposal on a family trip to Miami complete with a surprise celebration, Carly and Nate returned to New York to begin planning their nuptials. “I honestly loved every second of it! Everyone always says that the bride is happy when the wedding is over, but I miss planning,” confirms Carly. “Jeannette [Tavares] and the entire Evoke Design & Creative team made the whole process fun!” They worked together to choose a concept for the day: a modern, upscale celebration with warmth and personality. “Carly had a vision of what she wanted from the very start, and Jeannette had the expertise and team to flawlessly execute,” describes the groom.
When deciding on a venue for their nuptials, the bride’s family home in Baltimore, Maryland, was an easy choice. “We could not have picked a more special spot, and the venue provided the unique warmth that I wanted to infuse in the day,” smiles Carly. Her groom adds, “Being in a place filled with special memories makes a venue feel much more special, [and] because the incredible ceremony and reception spaces were quite literally built from the ground up, our wedding cannot be replicated.”
Since the alfresco ceremony took place in front of the property, the design aesthetic needed to complement the modern architecture of the residence. “We went with modern minimalism,” describes Carly of the décor scheme, noting the beauty surrounding the vow exchange was in the landscape and changing fall foliage. Bridesmaids wore mismatched dresses in punchy shades of yellow, pink, rust, and red to highlight the autumnal setting and the vibrant orange accents of the home décor. They – along with the couple’s friends and relatives – were seated in the round atop clear acrylic chairs.
The bride was gorgeous in a classic gown and carried a bouquet of calla lilies as she made her way down the aisle on the arms of her parents to “How Long Will I Love You” by Ellie Goulding. At last, she met her groom beneath the contemporary chuppah on a raised stage with arrangements of ivory blooms at each corner. Since Carly is Jewish, it was important to her to be married by a rabbi; however, the couple chose to modernize traditional customs with personalized aspects and surprised one another by writing their own vows. As soon as they shared their first kiss and Nate took part in the ceremonial breaking of the glass, the band performed “Lovely Day” by Bill Withers in celebration.
Friends and family gathered poolside for a chic cocktail hour. In keeping with the vivid palette, stylish furniture was placed around cocktail tables showcasing tangerine flowers, and square-shaped floating floral arrangements in apricot hues decorated the pool. Hors d’oeuvres were served alongside the couple’s “his” and “hers” signature cocktails – a Moscow Mule for Nate and an Aperol Spritz for Carly – complete with options to keep the libations classic or mix them up with different liquors, juices, fruits, and herbs. Attendees then found their table assignments for the tented dinner service on candles to honor the bride’s concept of warmth for the day.
“We wanted the reception space to feel unique and modern,” notes Carly of their vision, which was inspired by the geometric black-and-white charger plates selected for each guest’s place setting. Loved ones found their seats at alabaster tables with ebony accents, surrounded by translucent charcoal-toned chairs. Centerpieces featured both high and low monochromatic arrangements of white blooms paired with greenery for a natural pop of color. “The tables were very funky and not expected arrangements at a typical wedding,” affirms the bride. “I loved them!”
Since the groom let his bride plan the majority of the celebration, his sole responsibility was choosing the band. “We both really wanted people to be dancing and have a great time,” he explains of their goal for the evening. Carly agrees: “We had the most epic hora I have ever seen. All 265 guests were on the dance floor at once!” To ensure the party didn’t stop and dancing continued into the night, the couple chose to have desserts passed on the dance floor in lieu of a wedding cake – and that choice certainly paid off.
“At two o’clock in the morning, I turned around on the dance floor to see my 85-year-old grandmother holding a drink and dancing with a handful of our best friends. It was at that moment that I realized not only were Carly and I having the best night of our lives, but that excitement had permeated the entire party,” Nate smiles. “Mission accomplished.”