If I had to describe my perfect wedding vision, it would be simple, elegant details surrounded by a whole lotta love. This Bride, accomplished that and so much more—and I admire her for it. She genuinely enjoyed her planning process, because she started with the mindset that her perfect wedding was more about a feeling, an emotion, than any pretty detail. And that right there my dears, is the most beautiful thing of all. See every moment of love in the gallery from Katie DeLorme.
From the beautiful Bride… Many women have already dreamed and planned, and even pinterested (a new adverb?!) every detail of their perfect wedding by the time they are engaged. However, I was not one of those women. I had no idea what I wanted. As I began to seriously consider what my perfect wedding would be, I realized that the ‘perfect wedding’ was not so much about the venue or flowers or even a dress, though those details definitely helped, but was more about a feeling, an emotion. My perfect wedding vision was about capturing a moment of pure glee and revelry. I surrounded my day with details that embodied enchantment and merriment.
I hand painted and lettered each of our twenty table numbers to match the invitations and menus. I also ensured that the flowers, including tea roses, peonies, hydrangeas, and dahlias were in soft hues of pinks, giving a cozy romantic feel to the reception space in conjunction with the up-lighting and dark wood details of the dining area and foyer cocktail space. Additionally, framed messages adorned the bar area, informing guests that we highly encouraged their full enjoyment of libations and would be thoroughly photographing each moment for future entertainment.
My most memorable moment happened when my new husband surprised his mother during their first dance. He had pre-arranged with the DJ to have their song interrupted by Congo music. He proceeded to pull guests out of their seats and have them join the line. Within just a few minutes, practically the entire room was participating!!! I will never forget look of bemusement turned delight on my mother-in-laws face when Andrew surprised her.
Our first dance was to John Legend’s All of Me featuring violinist Lindsey Stirling. We had spent a lot of time researching first dance music. After many discussions we could not reach a consensus while in the car shortly after, this song came on the radio. We both silently listened. Once it was over, we made simultaneous eye contact and knew that this was the song for us. The addition of Lindsey Stirling makes the music particularly beautiful. Friends and relatives who know us well commented on how we could not have found a more appropriate song!
Our menu featured the most delicious salad of organic greens, dried summer fruit, and candied pecans with a goat cheese crouton and champagne and tarragon vinaigrette. The entree options were marinated and grilled NY strip steak with green peppercorn and brandy jus or chicken wellington, pan seared chicken breast, wilted spinach, and roasted mushrooms wrapped in a flaky puff pastry. Both were served with yukon mashed potatoes and summer squash, zucchini, and carrots.
Our wedding cake was made by a local baker our family has been using for years. It included a raspberry filling layered between layers of chocolate cake iced with white chocolate butter cream. It was the same cake from my bridal shower!
At the end of the night, we surprised our guests with a local food truck specializing in pizza. Everyone was shocked and loved the pizza which also came with Gatorade! It was a perfect way to end the evening of high energy dancing.
I handmade all my save-the-dates and invitations. I stamped, embossed, and assembled them. I also did all of the calligraphy on both the inner and outer envelopes. Hand making them was a great experience and allowed me to create the invitation of my dreams with luxurious papers at a price I could afford. I also made all of the wedding favors. I infused regular sugar with hundreds of whole vanilla beans that I split and scrapped. The sugar turned out to be both beautiful and delicious, I use it in my coffee every morning now! I filled clear glass corked bottles and tagged them with each guest’s name as well as a personalized embossed label. They acted as place cards as well. The table numbers were hand painted and lettered as well and the bar signs were also DIY. In the restrooms I made guest baskets including a range of items from glow sticks to toiletries, they were a huge hit! I also made our hand lettered seating chart which was displayed during cocktail hour.
My advice would be to stay organized. Especially if you are in school and working full time. I was only able to keep my sanity due to exceptional organizational skills, I kept a designated planner/date book. Additionally, utilize those dedicated friends!! If they are offering, then take them up on it. Trust me, you can not do it all alone. Finally, ask those same friends about recommended vendors, I believe word of mouth from a trusted friend over any online review. I found my amazing photographer and florist through the endorsements of friends.
While my wedding day had many amazing elements, I am still hands down absolutely smitten in LOVE with my dress. I never wanted a ball gown, I wanted a mermaid. I know it sounds ridiculous, but something about that huge ball gown made me feel like the most special, powerful woman in the world that day. I felt extraordinary. Everything about it from the day it picked me out, with my mother and mother-in-law, to the day after the wedding when I boxed it up and shipped it off for preservation was amazing. At the risk of sounding cliche, I hope my future daughter will one day walk down the aisle in the same dress.
I loved all the DIY aspects of planning. Sitting around the dining room table with my girlfriends at all hours of the day and night are memories I will not soon forget. They were my rock. Choosing the DIY option allowed us to expand our guest list and throw an amazing celebration. Plus, who doesn’t love having wedding crafts take over their home?! There were definitely some hiccups along the way, but planning was truly a breeze.
Photography: Katie DeLorme | Floral Design: J. Morris Flowers | Wedding Gown: Lazaro From Kleinfeld Bridal | Cake: Victoria's Cakery | Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Bill Levkoff | Caterer: Landsdowne Resort And Spa | DJ: My Deejay | Bridesmaid Gifts: Silk & More | Church: Our Lady Of Hope; Potomac Falls, Va | Flower Girl Dresses: Olivia Kate Couture | Golf Resort: Lansdowne Resort | Guest Book: Danae Blackburn | Late Night Snack: DC Slices Food Truck | Mother Of The Bride Dress: Alfred Angelo | Transportation: Dulles Limosines | Tuxedos: Men's Wearhouse