You don’t have to be at an English manor to have a gorgeous and elegant garden wedding. With a team that includes talents like Karson Butler Events, Amie Decker Beauty, and MyDeejay, this couple was able to achieve that English garden wedding feel at a beautiful Maryland manor. Formal, but not stuffy, this pastel-hued elegant affair is what garden party dreams are made —the proof is in the gallery.
From the beautiful Bride… Taylor and I met our first year at Duke University and were friends for a year before we started dating in the fall of our sophomore year. We bonded over our mutual love of Duke basketball and Durham. I actually spend a large chunk of my childhood in Durham, but Taylor and I didn’t meet until college.
Our first date was absolutely fabulous. Taylor planned the entire evening. It was parents weekend at Duke so he knew that all of the good restaurants in Durham would be booked. He chose a small, nice Creole restaurant in the next town over. We had a lovely meal, then went to see a funny movie on campus. After the movie was over, we went to the Sarah P. Duke gardens to enjoy the beautiful November evening outside.
He also planned an elaborate evening to propose, but it ultimately fell through. On our 5 year anniversary, he booked a dinner reservation at Acadiana, a nice Creole restaurant in downtown DC—in keeping with the spirit of our first date— and then he made reservations at the Columbia room, a speakeasy in DC that I had been dying to go to. He had even picked out the exact spot on the walk between the restaurant and the bar—a small, quaint park. Alas, the ring that he had selected which was supposed to be delivered from the jewelry store in New York City, but the jeweler was flooded by hurricane Sandy. Since he didn’t have the ring, he didn’t propose that evening. Instead, he proposed two weeks later, once the ring had arrived, after an impromptu dinner at one of our favorite restaurants downtown: Zaytinya. We had a lovely dinner and were about to go next door to Proof for a drink before heading to a small party at a friends place nearby. We sat down for a few minutes outside the Portrait Gallery and he asked. We dated 5 whole years before we got engaged!
Taylor and I loved the idea of a backyard gathering but elevated. We wanted to keep it elegant but not too fancy. We picked our favorite colors, (mine is green, his is blue) and then we added the blush pink to make the evening feel light. We were going for was “rustic chic.” We wanted to take the casual and chic elements of a garden party, with elements inspired by the French countryside.
We knew wanted an outdoor wedding, and ironically, we chose the venue mostly because we weren’t required to have a tent and because if it rained, we could move everything inside. Oxon Hill Manor had beautiful gardens and overall, a wonderful brick patio with an incredible view of the Potomac. We loved the iron gate leading to the gardens too.
My favorite detail was the flowers which my mom helped me pick. I love dahlias and roses so we went with those as our two primary flowers. The lambs ear was a great way to add softness and get a bit of blue in the arrangements. All of them turned out beautiful and had a great mix of light pink and green. I also loved the toile napkins; they really brought the look together. The mix of stationery was another one of my favorite parts. The chargers and table runners were a way to make the wedding feel like a garden party. One other detail that I was very happy with was the color of the ceremony chairs. We went with a brown wood to keep it rustic.
The hanging floral arrangements were a way to make the unwanted tent less sterile. They turned out to be one of my favorite elements of the reception space! They made the space feel more intimate.
Taylor and I wanted something sweet—we love desserts— and something that meant something to us. The take-away cookies came from a bakery down the street that we both love. We wanted to include something from a local business.
My favorite moment was the first look. We decided to do the photos ahead of the ceremony so that we could spend the rest of the evening with our guests. I hadn’t imagined the first look being as overwhelmingly emotional as it was. Taylor’s eyes were closed as I walked to meet him in the garden.
We loved working with Karson Butler as our planners for the wedding and they made the process so painless for us. Taylor and I keep saying that having planners that understand your taste and vision is the best money to spend on a wedding. In the end, it was the best party of our lives and that was exactly what we were hoping for!
Photography: Sweet Tea Photography | Event Design: Karson Butler Events | Event Planning: Karson Butler Events | Floral Design: Highway To Hill | Invitations: Minted | Catering: Main Event Caterers | Hair And Makeup: Amie Decker Beauty | Calligraphy: Meant To Be Calligraphy | DJ: MyDeejay | Hotel: Lorien Hotel | Hotel: Morrison House | Hotel: Hotel Monaco Alexandria | Wedding Venue: Oxon Hill Manor | Cookie Favors : BakeShop | Favor Stickers : Little Bit Heart | Music: Sage String Quartet | Printed Details: Little Bit Heart | Rentals : Select Event Rentals