The Blackwall Barn & Lodge, located in Gambrills, is offering a free wedding to one lucky engaged couple to be held Saturday, November 23, 2019. Venue, food, flowers, cake, entertainment, photography and videography will all be provided for free.
Couples must create and submit a 60 second video about themselves and why they should win a free wedding. The deadline to enter is Tuesday, April 30, less than two weeks away.
“The video should be about what makes them unique,” said Lara Puzio, Director of Events at The Blackwall Barn & Lodge. “Whatever conveys the love of the couple. If they want to be funny because that’s how they fell in love or serious, we’re not choosing one over the other.”
The public will be voting on the winners starting Monday, May 6 through Monday June 3. With the winners announced on Monday, June 17th. The couple with the most votes wins.
“The video doesn’t have to be high production,” said Lea Hurt, of The Blackwall Barn & Lodge. “Using your phone is fine.”
“Couples should show [in the video] enthusiasm for each other and the love of each other and why they want this venue,” Hurt said.
“Tell us your love story and why this venue suits you,” Puzio said. “Have fun with it and enjoy [making the video].”
The idea for the free wedding came from owner, James King, who hopes to give back to the community since opening The Blackwall Barn & Lodge last fall. The Barn & Lodge sit on the former site of Kaufmann’s Restaurant off Gambrills Road in Gambrills.
“People are surprised we’re also a venue,” Puzio said. “They’re mostly surprised how big the barn is inside.”
The wedding will be held in the barn portion of the establishment. With its high ceilings, whitewashed walls, wooden beams and large, bright windows, the Barn has an elevated, rustic feel that exudes an elegance all its own. It has a private entrance and can accommodate up to 200 people, including a dance floor.
“Many people want something different, this is it,” Puzio said.
Little House of Flowers, located next door to the venue, will be providing the flowers for the free wedding. The florist has been in business over 20 years and provides flowers for over 100 weddings a year.
Hamilton Photography will take pictures of the wedding. In its 17th wedding season, Hamilton Photography has photographed over 1,000 weddings.
Whipped Cakes of Annapolis will provide the cake, C&J Entertainment will provide the entertainment, and Abidoodle Productions is in charge of the videography for the free wedding.
“All the vendors are really established businesses and were willing to give away their free services,” said Puzio. “It was a big deal selecting them and I got my first selection [of each vendor].”
“It was a great partnership to have them all come together,” said Hurt. “They’re a great team and will make the wedding day the day that you want.”
Hamilton Photography offered its services because “we want to be part of the community and we thought it’d be fun,” said Christina Hamilton. “We’re happy to help a local business and the other vendors are people we work with.”
“We’ve been doing this a long time and have a lot of experience,” said Hamilton.
“I have worked with Lara [Puzio] before and did a wedding with her last year,” said Abigail Coale of Abidoodle Productions. “I was thankful for the offer and jumped right on board. I like to do one, free wedding a year to give back to the community.”
“It [The Blackwall Barn] is a great, new venue. It’s so beautiful,” said Coale.
The Blackwall Barn & Lodge will provide all the food for the free wedding. The three-course meal will include a salad and biscuits, a selection of two different entrees and two sides to be chosen by the couple and warm, baked cookies for dessert.
The winning bride and groom may also choose to purchase wine, beer or spirit packages for the free wedding from The Blackwall Barn & Lodge. Specialty cocktails may also be created for the couple.
“If you package out the services individually it would cost thousands and thousands of dollars,” said Hurt. “This is a significant giveaway. We just need people to enter.”
For more information about the contest or to enter, visit: www.barnandlodge/wedding. Couples must use the link provided in the online submission and not simply post their video on social media. Questions may be emailed to email@example.com.
Melissa Driscoll Krol can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Facebook at Around Crofton.