It never ceases to surprise me that you can drive half an hour outside of DC and find yourself cruising down roads surrounded by more vineyards than cars. Strong Mansion, where Rachel and Mark held their wedding on June 16th, is located on Sugarloaf Mountain, in the heart of Maryland wine country. After ascending a narrow winding road, the trees part and you reach the house, overlooking acres of Maryland farmland from its expansive lawn. Mansion indeed. Now I’m not going to say I’m a good luck charm, but every wedding I’ve played this season has been blessed with blue skies and mild temperatures. So If you hadn’t guessed by this point, the stage was set for a memorable day in the country.
Set in front of Strong Mansion’s quaint pond, filled in equal parts with lily pads and bullfrogs (who made their presence known early and often), Rachel and Mark’s wedding was at once classic and entirely their own. Rachel’s long trailing gown was at home among the expansive 19th century columns adorning the Mansion’s facade, but when the officiant called out to the congregation to make peace and cheer on the bride and groom, we knew that this was a ceremony carefully crafted for this couple.
Dinner and dancing were set adjacent to the ceremony, beneath a large tent, serving to provide both shade and an bit of sound dampening once things got rocking…
D-Mac’s been telling me for the past few weeks that Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” is the tune of the minute [it just topped the Billboard Hot 100–D.], and I’d probably have known this as well had I spent a bit more time with my dial set away from “Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me,” but Daryle, it’s confirmed. I’d like to thank all the party goers who flocked to the dance floor at the opening bars of “Call Me Maybe,” because that’s when things really got popping. After Jepsen, the evening’s tunes ranged from Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” to Toni Basil’s “Hey Mickey” to The Jackson Five’s “Rockin Robin” and back to the present for Cee Lo’s “Forget You.”
I can’t speak for the rest of the attendees, but when the lights came on I wasn’t ready for the party to end. Alas, the buses taking couples to the next soiree had to arrive sometime, so I cued up Dexy’s Midnight Runners’ “Come on Eileen” (a special request from the bride and groom), and after a raucous four minutes we had to bid goodbye to Mark, Rachel, and Strong Mansion. Congrats, Marchel, and thanks for inviting the D-Mac crew to be a part of your celebration.