Before we delve into this nugget of gorgeous, you’ll need to throw any preconceived wedding notions right out the window. For this Washington D.C. wedding starts out with hints of traditional and some seriously drool-worthy photography by Gabe Aceves and then, somewhere in the middle it takes a fabulously chic turn towards contemporary. We are talking ghost chairs, a sleek W Hotel ballroom and other modern wonderments crafted by Uplyte Event Design. It is completely stunning and all waiting in the full gallery for you to devour!

Click here to see the entire gallery of images!

From the Bride… Wow, thinking back to the beginning of the planning process still gets my heart racing. There were so many decisions to make and so little time! We got engaged over Christmas (at home in our pajamas with our daughter as the only witness!) and chose June 4th as our wedding date. After eight years together, we should have been more prepared to begin planning. But we started at the very beginning: destination or local? Big or small? In the end, it was actually an easy decision because the most important thing for us was to surround ourselves with family (which automatically meant big) and friends (which meant local). From there, it got a little harder.

We started with a venue. People kept telling me that I’d fall in love with the dress when I saw it, but my dress search was proving fruitless. In the meantime, I fell in love with the venue! From the first time we toured the W Hotel, we knew it was the perfect place for our wedding. They did a stunning job remodeling an old DC landmark hotel, making it both modern and elegant. Sitting in the heart of DC, one block from the White House and in view of the Washington Monument, it was also the ideal location. With the venue booked, I started clipping pictures from magazines, doing research on wedding websites, thinking back to other weddings we’d been to and soliciting advice from former brides. My tidy wedding folder quickly turned into a heaping pile on our apartment floor. But I had a ton of ideas! One of my favorite ideas was carnation balls. With the help of my amazingly creative friends at Uplyte, this idea became the main floral design. For the centerpieces, Uplyte created an ivory carnation cube encased by an acrylic box, with a carnation ball on top. A larger version of the carnation cubes and acrylic boxes lined the aisle during the ceremony and later became the tables in the lounge. I think the carnations were a beautiful and unexpected addition to the wedding. And they smelled delicious!

Although I had a steady stream of anxiety dreams over the six month planning period, I was surprised at how everything just fell into place. Even the weather cooperated! The unbearable heat and humidity from the previous weekend lifted and we were blessed with an insanely beautiful day! I savor every moment and detail of that day, from waking up in the morning and walking the quiet DC streets to dancing on the rooftop until 2 a.m. Some of my favorite memories are slipping into my dress, seeing my bouquet for the first time, my mom crying her way down the aisle during the ceremony, our daughter letting loose on the dance floor and our little niece with her serious dance face. But most of all, we were just happy to be surrounded by our friends and family!

Wedding Photography: Gabe Aceves / Event Design, Ceremony + Reception Florals + Lighting: Uplyte Event Design / Venue + Catering: W Hotel Washington DC / Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo / Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier from Carine’s Bridal Atelier / Florist: Judi Undercoffer (bouquets + boutonnieres) / Make-up Artist: Marquia Kinard of Blend / DJ: As-One of Scratch Weddings / Groom’s Suit: Banana Republic

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