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Classic + Elegant Black-Tie D.C. Wedding

With Grace Kelly as an inspiration, it should come as no shocker that this Washington D.C. museum wedding is the picture of classic elegance. A timeless color palette of whites, creams, golds and silvers set the National Museum Of Women in the Arts aglow, setting the stage for these high school sweethearts’ big day nine years in the making. See every special moment captured by The Youngrens in The Vault!

Art Venue

From The Bride…We first met in high school. While it may not have been love at first sight (Sam can thank his mullet for that), we grew to become best friends and by the last semester of our senior year, began dating. We were a long-distance couple during college, frequently visiting each other in Chicago and North Carolina, and after graduation, settled back in our hometown of DC.

After dating 9 years, it was not too much of a surprise that Sam would propose; it was just a question of when and how. I was at the beach in Delaware with my family for the week. After arranging the details with my family, Sam drove up midweek and surprised me on the beach as my family walked back from dinner at their favorite BBQ joint. When Sam got down on one knee to propose, there may or may not have been some barbeque sauce still left on my cheek (and ring finger)!

Since we are DC natives, we knew we wanted to get married downtown at a venue that captured the culture and character of the city. Sam’s mother and I had both discussed how beautiful the National Museum of Women in the Arts would be for a wedding venue, and, according to Sam, that made it a done deal.

We envisioned a timeless elegance for the look of the wedding, which is why the colors of the wedding were very neutral- different shades of whites and creams with golds and silvers. I wanted a classic look (with Grace Kelly as an inspiration) but with a modern twist, so I chose a very light blush wedding gown. The museum was so beautiful in and of itself, we wanted the flowers and decor to accentuate that beauty, not distract from it.

Incorporating family and our two religious traditions into our ceremony was very important to us. The ceremony was co-officiated by our cousin alongside our family friend and reverend. We were married under a chuppah that Sam’s mom hand-sewed to include silkscreened photos of our parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents on their wedding days. After the cocktail hour in the museum galleries, guests were seated at dinner tables named after our favorite restaurants that had been influential in our 9+ years as a couple (and yes, the head table was “Five Guys” – scene of our first date).

One of our most vivid and happy memories from the day is when, after spending some time taking pictures outside in the August sun following the first look, the bridesmaids dashed over, bringing us some much needed fuel in the form of a McDonald’s burger and Coke.

One of my favorite moments was dancing with my Dad for the father-daughter dance. We took a few dance lessons before the big day, though it felt like I had spent my whole life dancing with my Dad in preparation for this special moment. I loved dancing with all my family, and couldn’t believe it when my grandmother joined us out on the dance floor, just before midnight, for a rousing version of Shout!

Sam’s favorite memory was the spirited ten-minute hora (a traditional Jewish celebratory dance). It has been so great to look back at the pictures and see all of our guests, many who did not know each other before that day, mixed together and hand in hand dancing with us on the museum floor.

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Photography: The Youngrens | Cinematography: Shutter And Sound | Event Design: Ashlee Virginia Events | Floral Design: Edge Flowers | Wedding Dress: Austin Scarlett | Stationery: The Dandelion Patch | Bride's Shoes: Christian Louboutin | Catering: Well Dunn | Makeup: Blend Makeup Artistry | Lighting: John Farr Lighting Design | Band: Sound Nation Of Entertainment Exchange | Venue: National Museum Of Women In The Arts | Bridal Boutique: Betsy Robinson's Bridal Collection | Vendor: The Bride's Aunt & Grandmother

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
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A Chic Affair: An Artisan Bridal Marketplace + A Promotion!

Calling all of you modern, stylish and seriously savvy brides.  Yes, you.  The bride that is all about throwing a gorgeous wedding and wants a talented team of vendors to pull it off.  Enter A Chic Affair, an insanely awesome + super unique bridal experience happening on February 21st.  It’s a totally inspiring group of wedding professionals meets a whole lot of awesome inspiration. Trust us, loves – you don’t want to miss a moment of this artisan bridal marketplace… OR their ah-mazing promotion!

Happening on February 21st at Dock 5 in Union Market from 11:30 am – 3 pm, A Chic Affair is as unique as it is awesome.  Think a totally different type of bridal show celebrating creativity and artisan-style wedding resources and you are sooo on the right track.  From yummy cocktails + treats from some of the city’s finest caterers, bakeries and artisanal food purveyors to the fabulous Beauty Bar presented by App StyleMeBar to the crazy cool Gentlemen’s Lounge (read: craft beverages, custom suiting, grooming products and snacks) to the TechieBride booths that will totally help you utilize technology to change the way you plan and execute your Big Day.  There’s even an Instagram expert!  So fab.

So what are you waiting for, lovelies?  Head to A Chic Affair TODAY to purchase your tickets to this must-see event.  And don’t forget – if you are lucky enough to score one of their VIB tickets (Very Important Bride – or Groom!), you’ll receive one hour early access with brunch hors d’oeuvres from Heirloom Catering, a VIB gift and entry into the Ultimate Wedding Giveaway, an amazing Big Day giveaway for up to 50 of your guests!


Exclusive for Style Me Pretty readers: Purchase your general access tickets for 1/2 off using the code CHIC at checkout! Buy your A Chic Affair tickets here!

Photography: Rodney Bailey | Vendor: The Bride's Aunt & Grandmother


Blogger Belles Vies’ Cherry Blossom-Filled Washington DC Engagement

With a penchant for all things French (her blog name Belles Vies means “beautiful lives”), it was only natural for Natalie to incorporate French details into her beautiful D.C. engagement photos. Think macarons and antique Champagne coupes set against a blanket of pink petals, a lovely white dress and a gorgeous couple. See all the pretty from Annamarie Akins Photography in The Vault!

From Annamarie Akins PhotographyMatthew and Natalie, Blogger at Belles Vies and lover of all things french, first met in DC after attending a concert…they were both waiting for a taxi outside of the venue and starting talking and laughing. I love that Natalie mentioned that it was this immediately feeling of familiarity like they had known each other for years! After spending time with them, it’s so easy to see that they are perfect for one another! Their relationship grew from that first meeting and after several moves to other cities together, this past January Matthew proposed while they were house hunting in Philly where they hope to live for a long time! I’m so excited for them to get married next June and start a new chapter of life together…and after seeing how creative Natalie is, I can’t wait to see what she and Kari Rider Events bring together for the wedding!

It was such an honor to capture them in this season of engagement. They were a dream to photograph and made my job so easy! They are truly one of the sweetest couples I’ve ever met and I’m so excited to get to share their dreamy shoot in DC with you today! We started at sunrise and walked around the monuments before heading to the Eastern Market district where they used to live when they first met. Natalie is a lover of all things French so the floral grown and picnic complemented her style perfectly!

From The Bride…Matthew and I have lived all over the country (five cities in four years!) but there is an extremely special place in our hearts for Washington, D.C. We met and fell in love in our nation’s capital and there are so many neighborhoods that remind us of our early days falling for each other. As soon as I began to dream about our engagement photos, I knew I wanted to capture us in locales where we experienced some of the most meaningful moments of our early love. The Jefferson Memorial is our favorite of the D.C. memorials and standing encircled in the colonnade of Ionic columns as the morning light peaked through was nothing short of magical!

My style blog is inspired by my love for French joie de vivre and my penchant for all things French has become a beautiful part of our relationship (we are spending three weeks in France for our honeymoon!). It felt natural to incorporate that aesthetic into our engagement photos so I decided to create a romantic picnic that would be worthy of a modern-day Marie Antoinette. I knew the Tidal Basin’s cherry blossoms would make the perfect backdrop, and even though peak bloom occurred a few days prior, we lucked out with a lush carpet of blush Dogwood petals. I paired gilded details, including a gold-trimmed mirrored tray and antique champagne coupes, with an assortment of macarons and vintage picnic baskets. I was even able to find apropos cherry blossom macarons!

We finished our beautiful morning by wandering through Eastern Market, the neighborhood I lived in when we met. We spent so many days wandering the lush streets admiring the charming homes with our dog during our first year together. It was so much fun to be back there and engaged! I could not be more in love with how beautifully Anna captured our love story and I can’t wait to marry Matthew in just a few short months!


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Photography: Annamarie Akins Photography | Venue: Washington DC | Blogger: Belles Vies | Vendor: The Bride's Aunt & Grandmother

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here