Michael and Charlotte McGehee

Married September 1, 2013, in Clements, Maryland

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THE COUPLE: Charlotte Ruppert, 30, and Michael McGehee, 28, both attended Baker Middle School in Damascus, then went on to different high schoolsthe bride to Our Lady of Good Counsel High School,  the groom to Damascus High School. Charlotte works for her family’s company, Laytonsville-based Ruppert Landscape, and Michael is a corporate financial analyst with SSP America in Leesburg, Virginia. The couple now lives in Urbana, Maryland.

THE WEDDING: The September 1, 2013, ceremony took place at St. Francis Xavier Church in Compton, Maryland, and was followed by a reception at Good Point, a privately owned farm on nearby St. Clements Bay.

HOW THEY MET: Growing up, Charlotte’s younger brother, Jack, was the groom’s best friend. The boys used to ride dirt bikes through the family farm and get into troublethey even started a rock band together. “They really were a bit of a nuisance,” Charlotte says. Michael and Charlotte reconnected many years later in the fall of 2010 when he and Jack met up with Charlotte at a bar in downtown Frederick.

THE PROPOSAL: Atop Sugarloaf Mountain in Dickerson, Maryland, right after Hurricane Sandy, Michael asked the bride to grab a camera out of his backpack. Inside, she found a note that read “Will you marry me?” When she turned around, Michael was on one knee.

WEDDING COLORS: Light blue and muted pinks

NUMBER OF GUESTS: 184

WHAT MADE THE EVENT SPECIAL: Charlotte’s dad had a grandiose vision for the wedding, involving barges, floating docks and speedboats. The bride was able to reign in his ambitious ideas, but the entire wedding party did arrive at the reception by speedboat. “It was quite the entrance to say the least,” the bride says.

FAVORITE MOMENT: The bride’s first glimpse of Michael standing on the altar, waiting for her. And then the walk that followed­down the aisle of a tiny familiar church, packed with the people they love most.

SOMETHING TO LAUGH ABOUT: Charlotte tripped on her first step up the aisle. “It was a small falter, but right at the moment all the guests were turning to see me for the first time,” Charlotte says. Luckily, her dad was right beside her. “I thought it might have gone unnoticed, but a few days later, my aunt confessed, ‘I saw!’ as I’m sure most did. Of course, I had to laugh.”

COST-CUTTING TIPS: “Forego the cake for cupcakes,” Charlotte says.

ADVICE FOR OTHER BRIDES: “It’s not about the wedding, it’s about the marriage. This is the advice my mother gave me, and for someone who doesn’t necessarily thrive in the limelight, the advice kept me calm and grounded,” Charlotte says.

GOWN: Silk taffeta A-line with plunging V-neck and beaded waist

THE HONEYMOON: A trip to Thailand

THE DETAILS: Catering was provided by Dream Weaver Events and Catering; flowers, Flower Follies; music, K-SEF Entertainment; photography, Rabiah Khwaja Gohar; transportation, Diamond Limousines, Inc.; wedding planner, Ode to Joy Events and Vicki Itson.

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