I’m a cold weather girl at heart, so when a gorgeous winter wedding crosses my screen, it’s always a bit of a frenzy over here. Eyes darting from image to pretty image, devouring every single detail from Cherry Blossom Events. The way Abby Jiu Photography captured this soiree is breathtaking – the lighting, the emotion, the colors, it’s all beyond magical. So go on, get your gallery on, and let your eyes take in all the lovely!
Hunter and I met when we first moved to Washington DC around 1998. Although, we are both from the “deep” South and attended the rivalry schools of Ole Miss and Mississippi State, we had never met before. Hunter likes to mention that he attempted to ask me out a few years before we began dating and I said no. This could be true… Nevertheless, we saw each other in a Congressional building hallway (where we both worked at the time) in January 2002 and he asked me to a hockey game. It was one of those busy days on Capitol Hill and I almost did not make the game. Luckily I got out of work and headed to the Verizon center and the rest is history.
As things got more serious, I knew the time would come for the proposal. Hunter and I had taken a trip to Gettysburg to visit the battlefields and fell in love with a small Inn called the Atrium Inn. It’s just right outside Gettysburg. I love everything old and historic so this was a perfect place to stay. Hunter took me back to that very Inn for a beautiful snowy late fall proposal. He proposed on the balcony of our suite. Afterwards we had an intimate dinner at the Inn’s restaurant and a cozy late nightcap by the wood burning fireplace.
It took us a while to finally plan the wedding but once we set the date, it was off to the races. Hunter and I knew we wanted a convenient place that had some spunk to it. After reviewing multiple options with Alex, our wonderful wedding planner, we settled on Hotel Monaco in Old Town Alexandria, VA. This hotel had everything I was looking for – a venue big enough for a rocking band, lots of room to eat and drink, and guests could take advantage of everything Old Town had to offer.
My wedding style was very much my style. Lots of whites, greens, and deep browns with creamy undertones. It gave a warm and inviting feeling to the setting. I told Alex there were three things that were important to me at the hotel: 1. Great food and drink selection 2. Beautiful flowers 3. A band that can play everything. We achieved all of that and more! As for the church ceremony, my thought had always been that the church should speak for itself. With that in mind, simple boxwood wreaths on the doors and two simple arrangements inside the church. Begging for some tradition, I wanted to wear my veil over the face stating a fresh beginning once it was removed. I also carried Hunter’s great great grandmothers’ handmade lace handkerchief with his great grandmother’s pin attached to my bouquet.
My jewelry selection was anything but the usual. Hunter and I picked out my engagement ring together at Chas Schwartz and Sons. It’s a beautiful little shop in the Willard Hotel in Washington DC. My engagement ring is a vintage 1930’s Tiffany original ring that still has the initials and date of the previous ring owners wedding date. I love that so much. We have been buying our jewelry there ever since. When I went by to tell Mark Martin, the store director, of the wedding date he said you must wear vintage jewelry from here! Of course I replied, yes you are right. Mark and I settled on a pair of art deco 1950s diamond drop earrings and a diamond and sapphire bracelet that Mark said just happens to tell time. It really worked out great because normally brides have no idea what time it is, but I did! The bracelet is actually watch but you would never know it by all of the edged jewels surrounding it. It was a pleasure to wear these pieces.
All in all, I could not have done this wedding without the help of Alex Strawn at Cherry Blossom weddings. To have someone see your vision and make it come alive, is priceless. I must also thank my wonderful photographer Abby Jiu for capturing a lifetime of memories. And last, to my husband, who made it all happen in the first place.
Photography: Abby Jiu Photography / Flowers: Greenworks, DC / Event Planning + Design: Alexandra Strawn, Cherry Blossom Events / Ceremony Location: Trinity United Methodist Church / Reception Location: Hotel Monaco / Invitations: Dandelion Patch, Bella Figura / Shoes: Something Blue, from Shoe Hive / Dress Designer: Rosa Clara / Bridesmaid Dress Designer: J.Crew / Men’s Fashion: Monsieur’s Clothing Store in Greenville, MS / Art Deco Diamonds & Sapphires: Chas Schwartz & Sons / Blue Rhinestone pin: Vintage