I Do!

Phyllis and William Conrad

Married September 25, 1954

I, William, take thee Phyllis … I, Phyllis, take thee William …

         Sixty-four years ago, these vows were spoken at the Ager Road Methodist Church in West Hyattsville. I was on a weekend pass from the Army Security Agency School at Fort Devens, Massachusetts and Phyllis worked at the Pentagon. 

         After the ceremony, we took the train to New York City and spent one night together. We sat at the hotel bar and ate tuna fish sandwiches, our first meal together as husband and wife.

         Phyllis and I have three children — Daryl, Cheryl and Gary — and two grandchildren, Shelby and Alexander. We both happily reside in Heritage Harbor in Annapolis. 

–William Conrad

Juanita Faye and Edward ‘Jerry’ Willey 

Married June 14, 1959

We were married 59 years ago at the Church of God in Cambridge. I was 18, and Faye had just graduated from Cambridge High School. We left Cambridge that day in a little green Nash Rambler for jobs in Washington, D.C. We now live in Huntingtown.

–Jerry Willey

John and Sheila Dorr

Married May 16, 1959

I was born in Czechoslovakia, and Sheila is from Puerto Rico. We were an unlikely couple when we met while Sheila was attending college at Hood College. We were engaged a short three months later, for I knew the moment I saw Sheila I wanted to marry her. But we waited a few years while she finished her masters in Paris, France.

         We were married by Andrew Truxal — then-president of Hood College and the future first president of Anne Arundel Community College — at Coffman Chapel, Hood College in Frederick

         We loved that they were able to have so many friends and family members with us on the big day, bringing together close friends, our schoolmates and extended family. There was a lot of celebrating with a reception followed by second party that went into the wee hours.  

         We are now celebrating our 59th wedding anniversary. 

–John Dorr

Doris and Rick Graham

Married August, 1972

It was so hot the day we got married — like 100 degrees — at St. John the Baptist de la Salle Church in Chillum. I went to the hairdresser and had my hair done, and it flopped. Oh! I was miserable, and my father was late as usual; he was always a total procrastinator. The wedding was supposed to be at 2pm, but it didn’t start until 2:20.

         I was just a baby — 17 years old, and Rick was 19. My father had to take me to a notary public to get permission for me to get married.

         I met Rick when I was 12. He used to play basketball out side of Rollingcrest School, and I would miss the bus and he would walk me home. Eventually he got tired of driving me home and said, “why don’t we just get married?”

         But it was a beautiful wedding. The best part: neither one of us was old enough to have champagne on our honeymoon in Ocean City.

–Doris Graham 

Doc and Peggy Grace

Married December 12, 1984

Peggy and I have known each other since she was 10 years old; she and my sister used to be in Girl Scouts together in Lower Marlboro, and she would visit us often. As I was four years older, I thought Peggy was one of my sister’s dumb friends. I went off to boarding school, then college, so I lost track of her during the 1960s. I finished college, bought a house in Chesapeake Beach and lived there for seven or eight years. Inadvertently, I moved next door to Peggy’s father.

         He and I were buddies. As he started to have health problems, Peggy moved back in to help take care of him. So in 1980 Peggy moved next door to me. Yes, she remembered me because I am unforgettable, though I don’t make much of an impression on women — at least favorably. Still, it didn’t take long before a little something developed. Four years later, we decided to get married.

         We didn’t want a lot of fanfare, and we were broke. So we went to the courthouse in Annapolis.

         “Mr. Grace you’re about to marry this young woman,” the clerk said.

         “Yes, that’s what I’m here for.”

         “I am going to offer you something that is not available to everyone. I can offer you a conventional marriage license or provisional license.”

         “What is a provisional marriage license?” 

         “If I issue you a provisional one, you and Peggy will only be married in the state of Maryland; if you leave Maryland, alone or together, you will not be married; when you come back, you will be married again.”

         So it was like a hunting or fishing license, good only in the issuing state.

         “Let’s try the provisional,” I said.

         And we are still married because she hasn’t run off yet.

         You won’t believe how many people believe this story. 

         Peggy saved $3,000 in preparation for our marriage and bought us a week on a Caribbean cruise. This photo, taken by the ship photographer, was our first as a married couple.

–Doc Grace

Angela D. Mickalide and Alex Alikhani 

Married September 1, 1990

We were married in an intimate chapel at Holy Family Church in Lewiston, Maine, followed by a lovely reception at Lost Valley Resort. Family and friends from a dozen states and foreign countries were in attendance to witness the beginning of our married life. We now live in Edgewater.

–Angela Mickalide

Joy and Brad Whitehead

Married June 29, 1996

We were married on the Severn River on the Annapolis Harbor tour boat named Providence. We had the ceremony in front of Manresa, then cruised around the Severn River for the reception. Our own boat, Ditto, was also anchored at Manresa, and we planned to jet off to our honeymoon using her. As the Providence pulled up to Ditto, Brad was the first to change boats. 

         But because of a miscommunication, I almost couldn’t get on with him. After I handed Brad my shoes and my bouquet, Captain Ron, the captain of the Providence and our minister, started to pull away. Brad was standing on the deck of Ditto, his arms outstretched, calling for me to come back.

         Once Captain Ron brought the boat back, I was able to climb down onto Ditto. From there, we drove off into our new life together, my veil and his tuxedo tails flying in the wind. 

–Joy Whitehead

Monique and Kevin Jackson

Married June 23, 2001

Kevin and I were married at the United States Naval Academy. We were joined by 350 family and friends, including Kevin’s sponsor parents, Mitch and Susan Brown, who were responsible for setting us up on a blind date.  

         It was a beautiful summer day. We were attended by a bridal party of 20. Both sets of parents were there with us, although both my mom and dad are since deceased. The service was performed by our minister, Tom Walls. Since then, we have been blessed with two children Bradie, 8, and Kaylee, 6.

–Monique Jackson

Holly and Jack Seghetti

Married June 22, 2003

My husband Jack and I are celebrating 15 years of marriage. Along with the births of our four boys, my wedding day is something I wish was like Groundhog Day, where I would wake up and relive those times over and over again! 

         I grew up in the area and always wanted to get married in Annapolis. It’s a funny story how the proposal lead us back to Annapolis. 

         Jack planned a surprise night for me, and he secretly had the proposal all thought out. I wasn’t sure where we were going, but we ended up at Nissan Pavilion in Virginia. I was still surprised until we walked up to the gate and I could see it was the Dave Matthews Band concert. That was my first time seeing DMB, and I was ecstatic. It was an amazing show.

         Little did I know, Jack had plans to propose to me during one of our songs, Angel or Crash into Me. He thought for sure DMB would play Crash into Me. They never played either song. Then the encore started, and Jack waited with anticipation as each song began. He started to get a little nervous and thought DMB would definitely end playing Crash Into Me. That night they ended the show playing Grave Digger. Jack thought to himself that there was no way he could propose to me during Grave Digger. He had to change plans quickly and remembered downtown Annapolis as one of the places I love. 

         Hours of traffic later, we ended up at the docks in Annapolis. It was late, we were alone, it was peacefully quiet and Jack proposed to me saying the most beautiful words I’ve ever heard. Sometimes Plan B works out even better.

         We had our wedding reception at the Annapolis Waterfront Marriott. It was a beautiful venue, where we overlooked the water and the spot where Jack proposed. We didn’t want that night to end so after the reception everyone continued the party down to Pusser’s Caribbean Grille. 

         We had so much fun on our wedding day with all our wonderful family and friends! 

–Holly Seghetti

Stacey and Joe Webster

Married August 2, 2002

We were friends since forever, then we dated for four years and were talking about marriage but hadn’t decided what to do about a ceremony. We applied for the marriage license on a Wednesday, and the clerk told us we could pick it up on Friday. 

         So having taken the day off to apply, we were downtown for lunch when my now-husband proposed that we get married Friday morning at the court house since we were picking up the license anyway. Two days to plan a wedding from scratch? Challenge accepted! 

         We had a wonderful ceremony at the beautiful downtown Annapolis courthouse with a few close friends and family, with breakfast after at Cafe Normandy.  

         Sixteen years and two beautiful kids later, I wouldn’t change a thing. It was perfect.

–Stacey Webster

Bill and Teresa Mitchell

Married September 25, 2004

Our second chance at wedded bliss took place in 2004. Teresa was a strong bright flower from a close-knit family, and I was the surrounding plant outside her comfort zone. Together we chose to step into the future. 

         The partnership that arose from our romance has been a good one. We still love one another and the romance remains. 

         “Closer to you” was the refrain as we danced our first dance, to Frank Sinatra singing, “When somebody loves you it’s no good unless they love you, all the way. Happy to be near you when you need someone to cheer you, come what may …”

         This remains our mantra. Life is better being together.

–Bill Mitchell

Gillian and Ezra Caplan

Married June 28, 2009

It was incredibly special to us to have our wedding at the Commodore Uriah P. Levy Center and Jewish Chapel at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis. We loved that we were able to incorporate all of the beautiful Jewish traditions along with the military ones. 

         Our officiate was Rabbi Shmuel Posner, Chabad of Boston. Our reception was held at The Ritz-Carlton, Georgetown

–Gillian Caplan

Julie Faulkner and Jorge Gonzalez

Married October 10, 2010

Jorge Gonzalez and I were married on 10/10/10 (so he would never forget our anniversary) by the water in Chesapeake Beach’s Windward Key community. We had about 60 guests. Friends, family, and co-workers, plus a few local residents were on hand to witness the nuptials.

         It was a gorgeous day, with the temperature a perfect 75 to 80 degrees, a bit warm for October, but there was a refreshing breeze blowing in from the bay.

         As local Reverend Faith Lewis led us in our vows, there came a mixture of oohs and ahhs from the guests. We heard them, but our backs were to the water and we were intent on saying our vows. We didn’t know what was causing the group’s reaction.

         A huge flock of white seagulls had taken flight from the nearby jetty and were heading our way. The out-of-towners were delighted and some even said, Oh, how wonderful! They’re just like doves being released. But the locals were seconds away from bolting to find a way to take cover.

         Luckily, the flock got within a few yards of us and abruptly turned back to their roost. We all stayed pristine, and afterwards everyone headed indoors to The Westlawn Inn in North Beach for our reception.

–Julie Faulkner

Melissa and Chris Peacock 

Married August 4, 2012

Chris and I tied the knot down by the Bay, in Shady Side at Cedarhurst on the Bay’s Community Center. We couldn’t use our hands for the knot-tying as we needed them to speak our vows through sign-language.

         I’ve been deaf since birth, and though I grew up in Shady Side, I learned to sign while attending the Maryland School for the Deaf in Columbia. Chris learned to sign because, let’s face it, wooing doesn’t work well in silence. The officiant of the ceremony learned to sign years before since he is my brother, Joshua Lamont.

         Joshua not only learned to sign but also went on to major in deaf studies at Towson University. He specifically became a state-licensed marriage officiant to perform our ceremony.

         Longtime family friend Marvin McFiren chauffeured me to the beach in his award-winning vintage 1909 Ford Model-T ‘C’ cab. The decorations for the ceremony, along with specially crafted earrings for the bridesmaids, were in green and blue, a fitting tribute for the new Mr. and Mrs. Peacock. 

–Melissa Peacock

Kenneth Graham and John Hilbert

Married June 14, 2013

Our wedding was amazing! It was wonderful to have a day where we could celebrate our relationship, legally, and love for each other with all our friends and family on Mayo Beach, where we were building our home.

         Our wedding day, our 10th anniversary of being together, was truly a special day filled with lots of love and happiness.

         We just celebrated our five-year wedding anniversary and 15 years of being together.

–Kenneth Graham

Vondeleah Owens and Raymond Johnson

Married August 31, 2013

The day my husband Raymond and I got married is one that I will never forget. It seemed like the hottest day of the year. When the double doors of the church were opened for my dad and me to walk down the aisle, I froze. The church was filled to capacity, and I got really nervous. After my dad whispered a few words in my ear, I relaxed a bit and had tunnel vision all the way to the altar. After the exchanging of our vows, right when the preacher said, “You may salute your bride,” one of our groomsmen fainted right at my feet.

         Overall if I could do it all over I wouldn’t change a thing.

–Vondeleah Owens

Christine and Miguel Santiago 

Married April 28, 2018 

Our wedding at St. Mary’s Church in Annapolis was an amazing day. We are both Puerto Rican, so the salsa music was flowing. We had most of our immediate family from Puerto Rico fly in, and that was so cool.  

         But the most memorable moment has to be when we incorporated our three-month-old twins, Isabella and Miguel, into our first dance. Having that special moment knowing that we were going to start our lives together as a family was the best feeling in the world.   

         It was very special also because Miguel is in the Navy and we are moving to Japan in July.

–Christine Santiago 

James and Tessa Gunnell

Married October 31, 2015

We planned the wedding ourselves. We were married at Quiet Waters Park in Annapolis.

         As my bridal party and I pulled up to the park in the limo on the way to the ceremony, the limo stopped abruptly. I have no idea still how my husband kept this from me: There was a Cinderella-style horse and carriage waiting for me at the park entrance to take me to the ceremony. It was gorgeous.

–Tessa Gunnell

Angela and Tony Wilson

Married February 16, 2018

         We met in Charleston South Carolina and dated for eight years, sharing a passion for being on the water, fishing and relaxing. 

         The week of the wedding at Sandals Royal Caribbean Montego Bay, Jamaica, it rained every day. Nervous that it would rain on our big day I was hesitant to get out of bed. My sister sent a picture of a beautiful double rainbow and said, it would be a beautiful day, and it was. 

–Angela Wilson

Glenda and Wilmer Flores

Married August 26, 2017

I don’t even have to close my eyes to see myself back on that day, at that very moment: My husband, Wilmer, standing at the end of the aisle and my father next to me. I remember taking my father’s arm and taking the first step into the church feeling so secure that at the end of that path I was going to be truly happy.” 

–Glenda Flores