When the bride just so happens to be a graphic design extraordinaire PLUS mama to two of the cutest pups you ever did see, you’ve got a wedding that’s going to be one for the books. Designed with a decidedly modern flair planned by A. Dominick Events, it’s a total breath of fresh air with the most unexpected moments we’ve seen. (Read: a GoPro camera attached to Gatsby the frenchie’s bowtie collar to capture the ceremony!) More from Vicki Grafton right here.
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From The Bride…Jeff and I met about five years ago at work for a government contracting company. We kept our relationship kind of quiet at first, but after a year or so, it was hard to hide! Luckily, we work on different projects, so it was not an issue at all.
Jeff and I really wanted to have a wedding right in DC. I’m from the area and he’s a Detroit transplant, but we both really love the city and wanted to do something unique. We selected Long View Gallery because it provided us with almost a blank canvas to plan our event. I was actually an art major for my undergrad, so it was really cool that we could have our special day in a gallery that reminded me of college! As a Creative Director I’ve worked on a lot of website and graphic design and over the years, I’ve been a bridesmaid in 9 other weddings and put my talents to use for my friends designing wedding websites, invitations, programs, menus, etc. Needless to say, I was really excited to finally get to design my own wedding!
I was inspired by my Monique L’Huillier ‘Candy’ dress (in Blush) for the wedding invitations – the blind impression on the invitation itself mimics the decoration on my dress. I took a calligraphy class from Michele Hattie Fritz of Meant to Be Calligraphy and she encouraged me to use my own calligraphy for the printed materials. I found an awesome printer in Portland, Oregon to do the printing. The invitations were actually published on the Oh So Beautiful Paper blog too! I ended up designing all the paper products: programs, menus, escort cards, place cards, social media table tents to tell people about our hashtag on Facebook and Instagram, drink signs, guest book signs, favors, welcome bags and notes.
Based on my graphic design background and the fact that we were having it in an art gallery, we wanted to pull in color and design and ended up using Pantone colors for the table numbers. The colors featured several of the popular Pantone colors of the year: Radiant Orchid, Emerald, Tangerine Tango, etc. I had a crazy idea for these wood sculpture centerpieces that would be combining different shapes and sizes of wood and have tea lights on them to cast interesting shadows. Jeff and the groomsmen were able to cut out and assemble them all, then we stained and painted each one with different stripes of color to match the Pantone colors for each table. Our guest book was a Pantone writing journal that was actually a christmas gift from my boss. Each page had a few swatches of different colors and we invited guests to find their favorite color and leave us a note.
Also, we really wanted to make sure that our full family was included. Jeff’s two sons from his previous marriage, were Junior Groomsmen and did a reading during the wedding, “I Like You” by Sandol Stoddard Warburg. They practiced so much that they even had it mostly memorized! We also had our two dogs, Penelope, a Boston Terrier, and Gatsby, a French Bulldog, in the wedding. The boys walked the dogs down the aisle and Gatsby actually filmed the whole ceremony with a GoPro camera mounted on his harness. Penny had a custom made harness – we found a necklace from Anthropologie and my mom sewed it onto a black mesh harness for her! Guests who stayed in our room blocks also had a great surprise – Penny and Gatsby were featured on a custom tote bag I designed and had printed by CustomInk and the Welcome note too! My awesome sisters-in-laws, both named Jennifer, were very helpful during the whole event. They each did a reading, helped wrangle the dogs and Jennifer Frazier, married to my brother DJ, made 200 caramels that were packaged and included in the guest Welcome Bags.
Our entire event was so wonderful – so many family and friends were able to attend and all our vendors did an awesome job helping make everything perfect. The food, drinks and cake from Occasions was delicious and received rave reviews from all the guests. We had two signature cocktails that showcased both of our tastes – a sweet and light Watermelon Cooler for me and a refined pear Modern Old Fashioned for Jeff. The cake was almond with raspberry filling and had a beautiful gold-brushed buttercream effect at the top of each layer. There was also a late night snack for guests – mini hamburgers, fries and gelato cones. The flowers from Studio DBI were gorgeous, utilizing peonies which are one of my favorite flowers!
Our photographer, Vicki, was amazing. She has such vision and deals well with all the family onlookers. She actually took photos at my brother and sister-in-law’s wedding in November 2012 as well, which was how we knew she does such great work! Our wedding planners, Aimee and Cindy, were so helpful throughout the process. Everything ran so smoothly. We couldn’t have done any of this without them! They suggested most of our fabulous vendors, thought of things we never would have and helped us through the last minute things that popped up.
Photography: Vicki Grafton Photography | Event Planning: A. Dominick Events | Floral Design: Studio DBI | Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier | Invitations: Darling Press Stationers | Brides Shoes : Jimmy Choo | Jewelry: Baublebar | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Watters | Catering: Occasions Caterers | Hair & Makeup : Alison Harper And Co. | Lighting: John Farr Lighting Design | DJ: E2 Events | Ties: The Tie Bar | Grooms Attire: Alton Lane | Grooms Shoes: Cole Haan | Officiant: Rev. Marcia Hunstman | Wedding Venue: Long View Gallery | Getting Ready Venue: Hotel Monaco DC | Hair & Makup: Andre Chreky | Linens: La Tavola | Wedding Dress Shop: Carine's Bridal Atelier