Real Weddings

The Flower Dog Stole the Show at This Kensington Whiskey Distillery Wedding

It was a whirlwind romance: Ryan proposed only five months after their first date.


Viva Love Photography

If you love cute pups and adorable love stories, we’ve definitely got the wedding for you. The lovely November wedding of Ryan Billings and Elias Mohr at New Liberty Distillery in Kensington was a fabulous, romantic affair fit for the couple’s whirlwind romance. And their French bulldog really did steal the show. Check out all the floral-filled whiskey distillery fun in the photos below from Viva Love Photography.

When Ryan Billings and Elias Mohr first met, no actual words were exchanged. The pair connected on a dating app, and in lieu of a more traditional greeting, Ryan sent Elias a single heart-eyed emoji. The modern-day love letter worked. “He told me later that if I had led with a generic ‘Hey,’ he wouldn’t have answered my message,” says Ryan, a marketing director at AMAG Pharmaceuticals.

Though both men had a first-date rule that dictated drinks-only, cocktails under twinkling lights at Pub & Kitchen turned into dinner at Tria — and ended with a first kiss. Five months after their first meet-up, Ryan proposed to Elias, a program adviser at Harvard University, at a lookout point in the Blue Ridge Mountains. “I told him the hike reminded me of our individual paths in life,” Ryan says. “We both had taken some rocky roads in order to end up at such a beautiful place.”

At their ceremony seven months later, Ryan and Elias’s officiant read the final decision of the Supreme Court in Obergefell v. Hodges, the case that made same-sex marriage legal nationally. “There was not a dry eye in the room,” says Elias.“We did a shot of whiskey in honor of all the gays who didn’t have the same right as we did that day, and all those who fought the good fight to get us there,” says Elias on his most memorable part of the ceremony.

Afterward, a folk band played while guests enjoyed buttermilk waffles, fried chicken with spicy thyme honey, and signature cocktails named for the couple’s pets. (During the ceremony, the couple’s French bulldog, Gunnar, wore a floral collar that matched the flower girls’ crowns.) At the reception, arrangements of lush roses and snapdragons, peppered with sprays of soft eucalyptus, decorated wooden tables.

Their semi-naked Funfetti cake was topped with a golden replica of Robert Indiana’s iconic LOVE sculpture. Apple and pumpkin pies from Melrose Diner in South Philly, along with a doughnut wall from Federal Donuts, rounded out the night’s dessert selection. Soon after the wedding, Ryan and Elias put down permanent roots in Massachusetts, but not before a honeymoon in Mexico City.

The Details

Venue: New Liberty Distillery | Photography: Viva Love PhotographyEvent Coordinators: Jessie Tharpe (day-of); Nicole Hutnyk for Birchtree CateringFlorals: Beautiful BloomsHairdresser: Kait Newman for American MortalsCatering: Birchtree Catering Cake: Monica Glass Videographer: Merryweather FilmsMusic: CitigrassInvitations: Haunted Grain Workshop

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