Starting off as coworkers, Lindley Kratovil and Dustin Sherer could not deny their chemistry. Their friendship eventually blossomed into a new relationship. Dustin surprised his beloved with a proposal after she returned home after a weeks-long work trip at the restaurant where they had their first date. “[I] was not expecting a proposal at all, but once home, Dustin got down on one knee under the café lights in [the] backyard. Turns out he had been using the time [I] was traveling to plan the proposal and lots of people were in on the secret!” the bride remembers.

While organizing their outdoor wedding, the couple elected to exchange vows as their 175 attendees overlooked boats sailing on the picturesque Maryland river. “We wanted to be on the water and at a location that was relatively easy to get to for those who were traveling to the East Coast,” Lindley reveals. The location was the ideal spot for the couple’s simple, yet elegant, nautical wedding theme. In addition to peonies and blue hydrangeas – the couple’s favorite flowers and hue – the floral bouquets and centerpieces showcased bright blooms to offset their two primary hues. “Lots of navy blue and white blended with great pops of color in our floral arrangements,” Lindley describes.

“We drove away in my great-grandmother’s 1940 Ford Deluxe convertible that my father restored.”

After Dustin kissed the bride, guests gathered to watch the newlyweds ride off in a vintage car that holds sentimental value to Lindley. “We drove away in my great-grandmother’s 1940 Ford Deluxe convertible that my father restored. It was also important to me to have the Kratovil clan get a picture around the car,” she muses. They rejoined their guests at their tented wedding reception, which featured a sit-down dinner along with slices of a simple two-tier wedding cake. Along with the cocktail hour, cigar bar, games, and live music, attendees were astonished by a dazzling eight-minute firework show towards the end of the night.

Reminiscing on the details of her special day, Lindley advises all engaged duos to remain true to their wishes as opposed to the wants of others. “Identify your specific non-negotiables and stick to them. Not what your family and friends care about, but what you as individuals and as a couple care about,” she affirms. “Don’t compromise those, and learn to let the rest of it just happen.”