Wondering why two Allentown natives living in Philly are choosing to get married in Baltimore?
If we rewind to summer 2011, Mitali had just graduated from Towson and made the short move from Baltimore County to the historic Mount Vernon neighborhood of Baltimore City for work. She had also just started dating Ryan, an old friend of her sister's, who was on his 5th year of living in New York. The city of Baltimore was foreign to both of them but not for long. Countless weekends were spent chasing down the circulator, wandering in and out of shops in Hamden, and devouring seafood and natty bohs by the water in Fell's Point. The most time they spent together was easily in Mitali's neighborhood of Mount Vernon, watching sunsets by the monument, enjoying Resurrections and rosemary garlic fries at The Brewer's Art, and meandering around the farmer's market armed with a Zeke's iced coffee.
Mitali and Ryan revisit Baltimore each year to retrace their steps to their favorite places. While many call Baltimore "charm city" for its unique neighborhoods, quaint streets, and historic appeal, to Mitali and Ryan it represents their roots as a couple. The wedding venue, The Belvedere, is located in their beloved Mount Vernon. It only made sense to return to the neighborhood in which they first fell in love to celebrate their next major milestone together.
Who says weddings are all about the bride? Put simply, the baraat is Ryan's procession.
In India, it's customary for the groom to travel from his home to the wedding venue (typically the bride's home) on a horse or elephant, accompanied by his family members. Back in the day, arriving at the venue safely was considered a huge triumph! The groom would typically travel with blessed trinkets for good luck on his long journey to reach his bride. Proximity to the venue would be celebrated by the family with music, typically in the form of the beat of a double-headed drum called a dhol, and dancing. The groom's family would then be greeted by the bride's family at the entrance, where the mother of the bride gives the groom her blessings.
In modern times the baraat has become much easier--luckily for the Muldowneys, the automobile has replaced horseback (and elephant-back?) as the primary means of travel, making the trip from the Lehigh Valley to Baltimore a much easier feat!
We would love for all our guests to come participate and celebrate Ryan and his family's arrival to The Belvedere. Enjoy music and dancing that will start on Charles Street, adjacent to The Belvedere, and end outside the entrance prior to our ceremony.
The Grand Ballroom
Cocktails, dinner, and dancing to follow!
The wedding party will be dressed in traditional Indian garb and any guests interested in joining are welcome*!
If you prefer to wear American clothing, we request formal attire.
The Belvedere is a Beaux Arts style building that was erected on land that was once part of the extensive estate of General John Eager Howard, hero of the American Revolution. It was named after the Howard mansion, Belvedere, which was built in 1794 approximately one block east of the existing hotel. When it was completed, the Belvedere, according to early accounts was considered "something of a sensation for Baltimore." The official opening, celebrated in December 1903, was the social event of the season attended by leaders of art, fashion, industry, and finance. In 1912, for the 10-day Democratic National Convention, at which Woodrow Wilson was nominated for President, six hundred guests stayed at The Belvedere, including Wilson. Over the years, it has figured prominently in Baltimore's social, political, and economic life. The Belvedere was known as the premier lodging in Baltimore during the first half of the twentieth century, hosting American Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy, among others, along with countless celebrities including F. Scott Fitzgerald, who hosted an infamous party here for his daughter, Scottie.
Although it was converted to condominiums in 1991, the building remains a historic landmark, and its distinctive grand interior spaces of the ballrooms, restaurants, and lounges were restored and remain open to the public. Two members of the public happened to be Mitali and Ryan, who frequented the Owl Bar while getting to know each other and the Mount Vernon neighborhood.
*If you have any questions about Indian clothing or simply need some shopping tips, feel free to contact Mitali via call, text, or email.
Cell: (610) 217-3151