From Colts to Ravens to the altar

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Entertainment,Anne Boone Simanski
For Alexander Karas, photographing weddings has been a 39-year journey that has included celebs, power players and even disco queen Donna Summer. But last weekend he was a part of déjà vu wedding history — same place, same priest, same earrings, a lot of the same people and the same Baltimore sports team colors. Well, almost the same colors.

Alexander was photographing bride Kristina Melson Hartman, who is the daughter of a Maria Hebeka Melson, whose wedding Alexander captured on film almost 25 years ago. For Maria, the wedding colors were the Baltimore Colts’ blue and white. For Kristina, the colors were updated to the Ravens’ purple.

“It was like reliving my wedding from afar,” said Maria. Father of the bride Ralph Melson chimed in: “It was incredible to watch this whole day — same scenery and mostly the same people but with a big difference. It was my baby experiencing it this time.”


When Maria found out her daughter’s marriage to Dave Hartman was Alexander’s 1,215th wedding shoot, she dubbed him the “Ironman” of wedding photography. It fits, especially since the old pro was snapping away at Cal Ripken’s wedding to Kelly Geer in 1987.

The pressure’s on for Alex to keep his artistic eye sharp. Who knows? In another 25 years when he’s in his 80s, he may get a call from Kristina or Maria for another family wedding.

By the way

>> The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Maryland Chapter has been very busy this fall. First, a private wine event at the Howard County home of Mary and Randy Marriner raised more than $150,000. Then, its “Harbor Gala” raised $100,000. And it’s not over yet. According to CF’S Sue Nolan, its Baltimore Wine Opener event will be held Nov. 21 at the Baltimore Museum of Industry. For tickets and info, call 410-628-0795.
>> Last week,  LIGHT Health and Wellness Services celebrated its 10th Anniversary with a shindig called “A Decade of Dreams Fulfilled” at the Radisson Hotel in Cross Keys. More than $10,000 was raised.
>> Spotted last week at a certain upscale salon, located in the 1100 block of South Charles Street in Federal Hill, was W’s daughter Jenna getting her hair done. Wouldn’t have noticed, but her Secret Service crew was anything but secret.
>> Who says WBAL-AM is full of stuffy conservative hosts? Not so, when speaking of Shari Elliker, who was a judge last Wednesday at the “What’s in Your Guinness” contest at An Poitin Stil in Timonium, where local restaurants provided menu items infused with Guinness beer and squared off against each other for charity. Proceeds benefited Irish Charities of Maryland. My only question to Shari is, can you get a hangover from food?

Anne’s top pick

>> What: “Wine for Water” fundraiser to benefit the Hunt Valley Rotary Club’s local and international charities
>> When: Saturday, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
>> Where: Hayfields Country Club, 700 Hayfields Rd. in Hunt Valley
>> Tickets: $50
>> Info: 443-831-1108; Maria.Santana@huntvalleyrotary.com
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