In February 2010, Moshonisiotis met Marissa Janish through an online dating service. He quickly realized that he had found his “hole in one” girl; the one who was perfect for him in every way. Seventeen months later, he planned a golf outing at Pine Ridge Golf Course in Towson, set up a bright blue, 30-foot banner to catch his honey’s eye at hole number eight, got down on one knee, and asked Janish to become his wife.
“It was the perfect spot to propose,” Moshonisiotis said. “It was really pretty and romantic, and she wasn’t expecting it to happen there at all. In fact, she was so shocked that I had to ask her two or three times before she finally said yes.”
Golf courses have become increasingly popular venues for anything-wedding, from engagements to showers, bachelor and bachelorette parties, rehearsal dinners, ceremonies and receptions. Couples who want to plan their events in Maryland have a lot of choices available; according to www.golflink.com, there are 116 golf courses spread out across the state. Some, like Moshonisiotis, are drawn to the scenic views. Others like the cozy, comfortable and warm atmosphere of the clubhouses, often serving as entrance and welcoming points for each golf course. And then there are those who just love the sport, and the idea of being married in a place that “jives” with their interests, passions and hobbies.
Take, for example, Tara Polson: she doesn’t play golf, but she often tags along when her husband, Michael, who has played on more than 50 courses world-wide, hits the green. Safely said, they have spent a lot of time together on golf courses throughout the course of their relationship. This, along with their desire to wed in the Baltimore area, where Tara was born and raised, is why the couple opted to have their September 10, 2011 wedding at Mountain Branch Golf Club, located in Fallston.
“We liked the idea of having our wedding someplace that was fitting of our lives and would also have nice scenery for pictures, so a golf course made sense,” said Polson. “Since we live out of state, we sent our family to scout locations and take pictures. And when we saw the photos of Mountain Branch, we fell in love with it and knew right away that it was right for us.”
With their venue confirmed, the couple began thinking of interesting ways to tie the “golf theme” into their wedding plans. Groomsmen, close friends and family members were invited to a bachelor golf outing, the day before the wedding. Personalized, miniature golf tee’s were attached to their favors, and their 125 wedding guests ended up with two cakes to choose from, come dessert time: traditional wedding cake, or a “slice of golf ball,” presented as a special gift from the bride as a grooms cake.
“It was a lot of fun to plan the theme, and it was really nice to be able to take pictures on the golf course throughout the day,” Polson said.
As the Polson’s were getting married, Carisa and Robert Husak were counting down the days until their own I-do’s, kicking the festivities off a few weeks before their wedding date with a competitive yet friendly golf outing for family and bridal party members at Hunt Valley Golf Club. With a mutual passion and love for the sport, a day out on the golf course was a very fitting pre-wedding celebration for the couple.
“The golf outing was included in our wedding package, so we decided to use it to get out, relax and enjoy a day with our friends,” said Husak, whose wedding gift to and from her new husband was a shiny set of new golf clubs. “We set out to make it a competition, but it was really more about just having fun.”
Golf will continue as a key theme for Moshonisiotis and Janish as they move closer to their September 22, 2012 wedding date, which will include a traditional ceremony at their Greek Orthodox Church, followed by a reception at Martin’s West. The groom-to-be is foregoing the more “typical” bachelor party that includes renting a limo and bar-hopping, and is instead planning a day on the green with his groomsmen, family members and close friends.
“I want my bachelor party to be about hanging out with my buddies, talking about old times and making good memories,” he said. “The golf course is the perfect place to do that.”
By: Tracey M. Fitzgerald