The Comus Inn, Dickerson MD


Comus Inn

The Comus Inn is an historic property, out in the country not far from Gaithersburg MD.  With charming old structures and a gorgeous view of Sugarloaf mountain, it made having a wedding here in the spring extra special.

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I set up next to this wonderful old barn and played classical guitar music for the wedding ceremony. The music chosen was traditional all the way, including classical favorites by Pachelbel, Bach, Wagner and Mendelssohn.

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For the cocktail hour, the party moved up to the main house. I came along with my guitar and performed a playlist of all contemporary music, ranging from the theme from Casablanca to Sting,  Van Morrison and The Cure.

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It was such a pleasure to play for this happy couple’s wedding in the beautiful setting of the Comus Inn in Dickerson, MD.

American Visionary Art Museum

American Visionary Art Museum

The American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore may not be the first place you’d think of to have a wedding, but its quirky charm quickly won me over. I really enjoyed playing guitar in this most unconventional setting.

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Immediately upon arriving, one is aware of the unusual, even fantastic atmosphere created by the artworks on display, even outside the museum.

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The wedding I played at took place in the Jim Rouse Visionary Center, next door to the main exhibition hall.

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The first floor is a huge open hall, and within there are some fascinating large sculptures, and kinetic exhibits such as the “World’s First Robot Family.”

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The ceremony took place in a large open space in the middle of the hall. Behind us was a hot air balloon decorated with the words “God Is Love.” Quite fitting for a wedding!

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The bride and groom made some wonderful song choices for me to play. For the seating of the grandmothers and parents, I played “Sunrise, Sunset” from Fiddler On The Roof. For the bridesmaids’ processional, it was the classic “Canon in D” by Pachelbel. Then, showing their love for the Beatles, they chose “In My Life” for the bridesmaids’ processional, and “Here Comes The Sun” for the recessional.

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After the ceremony, I moved with the party up to the third floor for the cocktail hour. This was another huge open room where the reception was also to be held. I played a lot of contemporary music as people enjoyed more artwork and even went outside to stand on the “bird’s nest” balcony.

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The American Visionary Art Museum has a quirky yet heartfelt vibe that contributed to a very upbeat and enthusiastic feeling pervading the whole wedding event.

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 Notes from Crystal: Love it when people embrace the unusual side to art! You get unique and unexpected surprises. I was quite excited to hear we were going to the American Visionary Art Museum for this wedding! The egg in the courtyard between their buildings is awesome. I wish I had one for my backyard!

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Ben and I have been to this museum and the restaurant as well. Loved the entire experience; even the gift shop is unforgettable!

 

 

WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Awards 2015 Winner!

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January 21, 2015 – WeddingWire, the nation’s leading online wedding marketplace, named Ben Sherman Classical Guitar as a winner of the prestigious WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Awards® 2015 in the category of wedding ceremony musicians!

The WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Awards® 2015 recognizes the top five percent of wedding professionals in the WeddingWire Network who demonstrate excellence in quality, service, responsiveness and professionalism. The esteemed awards are given to the top local wedding vendors in more than 20 service categories, from wedding venues to wedding photographers, based on their professional achievements from the previous year.

While many industry award winners are selected by the host organization, the WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Awards® winners are determined solely based on reviews from real newlyweds and their experiences working with their vendors. Award-winning vendors are distinguished for the quality, quantity, consistency and timeliness of the reviews they have received from their past clients.
Ben says: “I am so grateful to my past clients for taking the time to review my business on WeddingWire. I truly appreciate the positive feedback that helped me earn the WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Awards® 2015.  Thank you all very much!”

For more information about Ben Sherman Classical Guitar, please visit our WeddingWire Storefront today at www.weddingwire.com/biz/ben-sherman-classical-guitar-westminster/ .

To learn more about the Couple’s Choice Awards®, please visit WeddingWire at www.weddingwire.com/couples-choice-awards.

Chesapeake Bay Beach Club

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Maryland’s Eastern Shore offers an abundance of beautiful locations to have a wedding.  In April I played at Chesapeake Bay Beach Club in Stevensville MD, a full-featured event venue with a gorgeous waterfront view.

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The beautiful springtime weather couldn’t have been better.

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The ceremony was held in a lovely indoor space, and then the cocktails would flow indoors and out.

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The couple had requested that I accompany a singer that they knew, and I was happy to oblige. We arrived separately and met at the venue about an hour before the ceremony was to begin, and went over the songs.

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After playing Bach’s “Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring” for the seating of the couples’ grandparents and parents, the singer and I began Patty Griffin’s “Heavenly Day” for the bridesmaids’ processional. She sang beautifully and I accompanied on guitar; the words of this very special song filled the room.

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As the bride entered, we played “Lullaby” by the Dixie Chicks, again with Megan singing. Both this and “Heavenly Day” were specially requested, and Megan’s  heartfelt performance made everyone feel the powerful meaning of these special songs.

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Notes from Crystal: This delightful couple was blessed with blue skies and puffy clouds for their wedding day at this splendid venue!  The ceremony room had a nautical flair with huge swaths of canvas that draped like sails above the seating space. It was also abundant with sparkling romantic glass candles that got many oohs and ahhhs from the guests. The table in the foyer where the guests signed their names on a canvas had attractive fresh flowers in clear glass containers.

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After the ceremony everyone walked across a decked courtyard to this charming periwinkle retreat seen below. Overlooking the bay, tables both large and small along with a few diner style benches filled the open space. I loved the choice of color for these bead board walls! Trimmed in bright white it makes me happy just looking at this room. The menu for the cocktail hour was written on the chalkboard. Since it was a tavern space there was a large u-shaped bar, along with a special table for craft beers, and oysters. I imagine this is also where the guests would mingle for dancing after dinner.

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Being that the cocktail hour was both inside the cheery lavender room as well as outside on a the cozy courtyard deck area, Ben played a mix of standards and modern music on classical guitar in between the two areas on this beautiful day.  A few of the guests requested a couple of classic rock songs for Ben to play.

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The Chesapeake Bay Beach Club had numerous areas on the property that could be used for ceremony and cocktail hour. In addition there was a lovely dining room for the reception dinner. That room was not open yet so I could not get any photos. That dining room was situated behind a porch lined with white columns and classic large white rocking chairs.  Of course it had a view of the water! Back in the tavern the guests below were enjoying their spectacular view of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.  You can just imagine the twinkling lights from the bay bridge in the distance later that evening. Must have been magical!

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In the foyer where guests signed in were also the name cards for seating the guests at their tables during the dinner. They were circles folded into golf tees sitting below a stunning floral wreath on a sphagnum moss backdrop. A very classy way to do up a golf theme.

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Near the outside courtyard you could walk down to the beach, which overlooks the famous bay bridge in the distance. It was bit breezy, although a few gentlemen took advantage of this picturesque spot.

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Our bride below wore one of the most unique and distinctive wedding dresses that I have have seen yet at a wedding. Retro and modern,  I could not take my eyes off of the vision she created. Just look at the enchanting layer of dotted swiss! The combination of her hair-do and that dress was perfection!

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As you can see from the photos in this post the main colors for this wedding were blush pink, cream, coral, and shades of spring green.

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The alluring bride out on the patio deck courtyard area enjoying Ben’s playing.

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Everything about this wedding was tastefully executed as you can see by the cake surrounded by more of the fresh cut blooming spring flowers.

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Then the couple added a bit of whimsy with the groom’s cake below. Perhaps their honeymoon was going to involve palm trees and a bit of golf. Just maybe….

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The Chesapeake Bay Beach Club is a venue with lots of dazzling possibilities for those couples who love the water! We wish this sweet couple a wonderful life! Cheers!

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For more information about Ben Sherman, please visit www.BenShermanClassicalGuitar.com

Or send email to ben@benshermanguitar.com

 

Woodberry Kitchen

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One of the most unique weddings I played for last year was at Woodberry Kitchen, a restaurant in downtown Baltimore. The couple was having a small, informal ceremony and they wanted it to have a very personal touch. Woodberry was a great venue choice, rustic yet classy, with a lot of farm-to-table ingredients on the menu.

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Their patio includes a big firepit, which is where the ceremony took place. It was a pleasant fall evening, and the fire was warm and inviting.

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I’m always happy to play a specially requested song, because I know it will be something that has personal meaning for the bride and groom. Everyone’s tastes are different, so I am called on to play a huge variety of musical styles. In this case, it was the first time I have ever been asked to play the theme from a video game! Apparently Zelda was the groom’s favorite, and the theme music actually adapted well to solo guitar and gave a very fun and upbeat vibe to the event.

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Afterwards the party moved inside to one of the restaurant’s large side rooms for their cocktails and dinner. I moved in with them and played for the cocktail hour. Woodberry Kitchen’s interior is decked out with lots of wood and brick, which makes for great acoustics for live music.

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I really enjoy providing the special ambiance that only acoustic guitar can create, as the bride and groom celebrate with family and friends.

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My wife Crystal often accompanies me on my wedding performances, helping out with set up and packing up, and shooting plenty of photos for us to use in this blog! You can also look at her fine photography on the Photos page on my website, www.benshermanclassicalguitar.com.

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At the end of this wedding, we couldn’t resist the temptation to have dinner ourselves at the restaurant, and we were not disappointed. It was a delicious ending to a special day.  I highly recommend dining at this restaurant.

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Notes from Crystal:  TheWoodberry Kitchen is a perfect venue for an intimate wedding with an old fashioned down home comfy feel. Plus this refurbished old mill brick building has a cool hipster vibe going for it as well. Most important consideration for me though is the farm to table food! Having a healthy food blog called ‘The Queens Table,’ I just loved that this couple cared about the quality of the food that they were serving to friends and family! So awesome!

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Along with seasonal flowers ‘Woodberry Kitchen’ has food and herbs growing in various industrial containers outside in the courtyard!

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I just love the funky industrial vibe with big old gears and mill parts scattered on the grounds. A girl and her camera can go crazy with these textures!

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The bride for this wedding chose succulents and cream roses placed casually in glass containers then tied with twine along with burlap accents for the table-scape details. This natural theme fit effectively with the warm worn wood and antique brick surroundings. Those long tables meant for gathering over the tempting nourishing food were certainly welcoming. And how about that magnificent romantic cake shown a few photos above? Beautifully done!

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After the wedding ceremony Ben played during the cocktail hour that was held in this charming primitive celebration room, and it sounded superb. Classical guitar mixed with modern tunes set the perfect ambiance for this homey get-together of very happy friends and family. The servers in this venue were also very pleasant, thoughtful, and efficient.

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Attending most of Ben’s wedding gigs as his assistant I rarely eat the treats served during the cocktail hour when they are graciously offered to me. As a nutrient dense plant eater I decline, since I find most wedding food to be sadly lacking in consideration of the good health component. Now that I regained my own vibrant health, I choose to eat organic whole foods to keep my body systems functioning properly. So it does my heart good to know that this couple choose Woodberry Kitchen, a venue that uses fresh local Maryland ingredients in their cuisine. Cheers! All hail the powerful broccoli!

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It is my hope that more couples will consider serving fresh local foods to their guests as this bride has done. We are what we eat! Serve loving healthy fresh organic plant foods when you can, so you can take care of your loved ones, and enjoy your life together longer. Plus you help your world when you support local organic and sustainable farmers.

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Later that evening after the cocktail hour was over we had our first dinner at ‘Woodberry Kitchen’, and we savored our tasty meal thoroughly. Outstanding in every way! In fact we enjoyed the food and cozy eclectic atmosphere so much that we have been back four times since this initial evening! For a small event or party keep in mind ‘Woodberry Kitchen.’ Your guests will thank you for feeding them well! You got to go to the rockin’ Woodberry Kitchen website! Way cool design! Then go check out their Shoo-fly Diner website. I laughed out loud, and I was alone! Oh my!

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Happy healthy weddings everyone!

 

For more information about Ben Sherman, please visit www.BenShermanClassicalGuitar.com

Or send email to ben@benshermanguitar.com

Antrim 1844: Springtime Wedding

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I have played guitar for weddings at  Antrim 1844 Country House Hotel several times and always enjoy coming back. This historic mansion provides distinct pleasures for every season of the year. Anticipating a sunny spring day, the wedding ceremony was held outside in the rose garden.

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Fountains and gardens adorn the space, which also looks out onto one of the Antrim’s charming guest houses.

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The bride and groom chose a wide variety of music for their ceremony program, and everything worked out nicely. It was a great mix of classic and contemporary songs. Solo guitar is the perfect instrument to seamlessly handle all those different styles.

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For the family members’ entrance, I played Ben E. King’s “Stand By Me.” The bridesmaids took their place during Sting’s “Fields Of Gold.” Then the bride walked down the aisle to the traditional Wagner “Bridal Chorus.” During the wedding there was a sand ceremony, and for that I played Five For Fighting’s “100 Years.” Then for the recessional, it was the Beatles “Here Comes The Sun.” That was very appropriate because some dark clouds had threatened rain before the wedding began, but thankfully passed and the sun came out.

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After the ceremony, the party moved to a secluded area nearby on the Antrim grounds, surrounded by tall hedges, for the cocktail hour. I went with them to provide background music for the continuing festivities.

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A pool, a gazebo, and more spring flowers made this space a lovely retreat for meeting up with friends and family.

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There, the guests enjoyed cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, in the refreshing springtime air and warm sunshine. So happy that the weather turned out beautiful for this couple.

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They couldn’t have picked a more gorgeous day to enjoy this meaningful moment in their lives. So ends another pleasurable wedding at the Antrim 1844 on a delightful spring day.

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Notes from Crystal: I am always excited when we do a wedding celebration at the Antrim 1844 Country House And Hotel. Grand historical buildings, luxurious accommodations, and wonderful gardens. What’s not to love? There are so many beautiful places on the property to create a magical setting for any wedding couple’s desires. Plus Antrim 1844 is renowned for its great food and attentive service. Be sure to visit their wedding photo gallery and see the many stunning possibilities available at this venue.

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After playing the ceremony, the cocktail hour classical guitar was enjoyed under magnificent pink blooming trees by the pool, and their wedding reception was held in a building surrounded by even more daffodils and tulips in full bloom.

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Attention to detail is quite evident the Antrim 1844, as the perfectly manicured gardens and buildings are tended to beautifully all seasons of the year.

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We have been to the restaurant at the Antrim 1844 twice for an Anniversary dinner which is a heavenly experience not to be missed.  I was a guest at a friend’s wedding here as well and the reception dinner was excellent.

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If your intention is to have a wonderful night out then give yourself the gift of Antrim 1844’s fine dining at the Smokehouse Restaurant while the staff treats you like a King and Queen!

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For a magnificent wedding, a special dinner, a corporate event, or to spend a dreamy night at the Antrim 1844 Country House and Hotel this is a glamorous destination worth your visit.

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An elegant classical guitar wedding at this venue is especially sublime, and we always welcome the thought of returning to this romantic venue.

 

For more information about Ben Sherman, please visit www.BenShermanClassicalGuitar.com

Or send email to ben@benshermanguitar.com

Walker’s Overlook Autumn

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It was during fall harvest time when I played for an outdoor wedding ceremony at Walker’s Overlook in Walkersville, MD. The colonial architecture of this historic homestead, and its stunning country vistas, made it a great choice for an autumn wedding.

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I was set up in the yard outside the house, looking towards the ceremony site, which was placed under a magnificent old tree with the rolling hills of Frederick County behind it.

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Nearby, parked in the yard, was a lovingly restored antique truck, a genuine relic of an earlier time. The back of the truck had been re-purposed as a rustic refreshment station.

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As the wedding party walked past me from the house to the ceremony site, I played their music selections: “Feather Theme” from Forrest Gump for the seating of the mothers; Pachelbel’s “Canon in D” for the bridesmaids; Schubert’s “Ave Maria” for the ring-bearer and flower girl; and “Marry Me” by Train for the bride. They all sounded delightful together.

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At the end of the ceremony during a burst of sunshine, I played the Beatles “Here Comes The Sun,” an all-time favorite song of celebration. Everyone smiled.

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 Notes from Crystal:  The vintage theme of this wedding fit perfectly with a crisp fall afternoon in the country.  What a spectacular day and location for a wedding ceremony! Give me a view of the Blue Ridge mountains and I am a happy girl.

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Just as Ben mentioned, the sun had momentarily gone behind the clouds during the ceremony. Then towards the end of the nuptials the sun reappeared, and it was quite fitting that Ben then played ‘Here Comes the Sun’. So the happy couple kissed again sharing a genuinely touching moment in the sunlight. I will tell you a secret… that song  when performed by Ben has had that same magical effect for a number of weddings.

frederick weddings music 2As you can see ‘Walkers Overlook’ includes a fantastic tree swing! Just envision the flowing swoosh of the bride’s wedding dress creating a dreamy moment for a memorable wedding photo.  I can see recreating the rococo painting masterpiece ‘The Swing’ by Jean Honere-Fragonard in a photograph. That would be fun!

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While setting the tone for the happy day, my husband Ben Sherman really does ‘feel’ the music during his classical guitar wedding performances.

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Hey! How about a cool vintage Ford truck for your wedding drinks and a place for gifts? Yes please! We loved the old style jugs set up for the guests’ tea and water needs. Perfectly done. Since I love old homes, I imagine how fantastic it would be to live in this house surrounded by hills, valleys, and gorgeous sweeping mountain views everyday. What a glorious place the family that built this historic home chose to live.

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Being surrounded by joyful family and friends is the reason to share a wedding celebration. This bride and groom glowed in the afternoon sunshine of this beautiful country setting. Even after attending so many marriages with our business, I never tire of the the love and happiness experienced at each wedding.

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Since we seem to have the theme of ‘the sun’ in this blog post… Have you noticed that some people you meet in life shine brightly?  This couple had the aforementioned gift of light, and we wish them all the best on their new adventure. Ben and I totally enjoyed our time at ‘The Walkers Overlook’ wedding venue, and look forward to returning to this place of natural beauty.

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For more information about Ben Sherman, please visit www.BenShermanClassicalGuitar.com

Or send email to ben@benshermanguitar.com