I was so excited when Jillian and Ricky asked me to be their wedding photographer about a year ago. From their magazine-cover good looks, to their sweet nature and warm personalities, it was a no brainier when I said “yes”! Ha!
It wasn’t much longer after our first pandemic-era “video” meeting that we arranged for an engagement photos session (click here to see those photos) and really got a chance to find out how truly enjoyable spending time with Jillian and Ricky was. Ricky’s mom joined us as she was the “dog handler” during the shoot. I’ve said it before and I’ll keep saying it: it is so important to do an engagement photo session with YOUR photographer, not just any photographer. This is where you learn what the photographer is like, how they help pose you, what you like and not like, so you can communicate these details before the wedding. And your photographer will get a better feel for your preferences and continue to build the chemistry that is so often overlooked. Getting great photos and a bad experience isn’t good enough. Getting a great experience and bad photos is even worse. Here’s a novel idea: How about getting breathtaking photos AND an awesome experience? Who wudda thunk it? Ha!
So on this their wedding day, September 24, 2022, Jillian, Ricky, and their families and friends gathered at the fairly new and stunning water-front venue in Baltimore known as Sagamore Pendry Baltimore. This magnificent property boasts many high-end services, hotel rooms, enclosed garden, an infinity pool, excellent bar and dining facilities, and much more! Poised in the storied 1914 property on Baltimore’s historic Recreation Pier – “Rec Pier” as it’s known to locals – Sagamore Pendry Baltimore embodies Baltimore city’s rich history, vibrant personality and idyllic harbor setting with character, inspiration and style. Rooted in tradition but reimagined, the pier’s extensive renovation has honored the historic essence of the property and restored it to its former glory, reflecting a bygone era, impeccable service, unparalleled quality and travel that inspires, but with a modern-day sensibility and aesthetic.
The actual ceremony was set up inside the garden area, and the cocktail hour and reception took place in the massive and grand ballroom, with colonnades and great architectural detail. Much of the planning was spearheaded by Renee from RCC Wedding and Events. Classical musicians from Bialek’s Music entertained the guests before and during the ceremony, and evening entertainment was provided by Sean J. of Mixing Maryland. One of the most beautiful parts of the wedding was Father John Civille who, as I later learned, not only officiated Jillian and Rick’s wedding, but he also officiated Jillian’s parents’ wedding and baptized Jillian as an infant. Despite Father John welling up with tears with all the beautiful memories past and present, he was no pansy. When I shook his hand for the first time, Father John had so much strength in his arms he almost broke my hand. For an 82 year old man, he was stronger than most 30 year olds! The juxtaposition of his kind eyes and spirit against his strength was unmistakable! Amazing!
So join me in congratulating Jillian and Ricky on their special day and come along with me on a quick sneak peek tour of their wedding photos below. Enjoy these images as I continue to edit the remaining images over the course of the next few weeks. And give a shout out and some love to their wedding team below!
Bride: Jillian Ertel
Groom: Richard (Ricky) Leister
Bridesmaids: Jessica Rustic (Matron of Honor), Chelsea Leonard, Julia Dowling, Alyssa Gunville
Groomsmen: Matt Mitchell (co-Best Man), Nick Gill (co-Best Man), Jay Leonard, Ben Ruswick
Ring Bearers: Levi and Luca
Photographer: Trans4mation Photography (me!)
Wedding Venue: Sagamore Pendry Baltimore
Day-Of Coordinator: Renee Coshin Coolbaugh of RCC Weddings and Events
Caterer: Sagamore Pendry Baltimore
Hair and Makeup: Brushed Beauty
Wedding Bands: Smyth Jewelers
Florist: Flowers by Wendy Carol
Officiant: Father John Civille