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The Back Story

Irene Donnelly and Dylan Salmon
photographs by Paula Bartosiewicz Photography - 2017

I lost my mom to cancer five years before Dylan and I got married. She loved him and thought we would marry sooner than we did. It took us seven years to tie the knot and it came at the most awkward time imaginable, as we were in the midst of building out our restaurant, Dylan’s Oyster Cellar.

While it is sad to plan a wedding without your mother, mine had had the foresight to appoint her best friend and cousin to help me plan my future wedding. After she passed, I began working in the wedding industry as a floral designer for Local Color Flowers, which generously gifted all of the gorgeous fall floral arrangements at our wedding. Between my mom’s cousin, her best friend, Local Color Flowers, a dressmaker in the family, and four years of planning weddings in Baltimore as a florist, I had this wedding pretty well figured out. It was a good thing I had the help and experience I did, because it would have been crushing planning a wedding and building out a restaurant without such useful experience and support.

Dylan and I had anticipated opening Dylan’s Oyster Cellar in the months before we got married and hosting our rehearsal dinner there so that we could give our friends and relatives from out of town the opportunity to experience it while they were visiting. Things never go as planned and we ended up opening six weeks after we got married. However, that didn’t stop us from using the restaurant to host our rehearsal dinner.

I spent the night at Gramercy after our rehearsal dinner and was able to relax, have breakfast the day of the wedding, and get ready all in one location. It was a glorious fall day. It was a bit cold, right on the cusp of being too cold to have the ceremony outside, but we always wanted to get married outdoors and the Gramercy’s ceremony site is so beautiful that we just went for it.

Between shivering bridesmaids and huddled-together guests, Dylan and I said our “I do’s,” and as the crowd responded with their emphatic “we will,” an enormous gust of wind blew through the trees and silenced everyone into tears. I like to think that the wind was my mom’s blessing on our marriage.

–Irene Donnelly married to Dylan Salmon on October 22, 2016

Bride and maid of honor

Each bridesmaid wore her own dress.

A friend, Kari Nye, made the cutting cake.

Chef’s Expressions

Local Color Flowers

Brooks Brothers and their own suits.

Chincoteague, Virginia

Dylan designed them and Irene printed them at Baltimore Print Studios.

Gramercy Mansion

Hill Chamber Music (ceremony and cocktail hour); Rufus Roundtree and Da B’more Brass Factory (reception)

Jim Morituri of St. Luke’s Church on The Avenue

Paula Bartosiewicz Photography

Eugenia Couture