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Elegant Washington DC Fall Wedding

Is it me or is D.C. getting cooler by the day? Every wedding from our country’s capital that crosses my desk seems to have a certain style and this elegant bash isn’t an exception. This couple embraced their city, from their invites by Gourmet Invitations to their cake by Fluffy Thoughts, with Andrea Jacobson of The Observatory capturing all. This gallery has me adding D.C. to the top of my travel list pronto.

From the Bride… John and I met at Howard University over a decade ago. After he proposed on New Year’s Eve, we began planning our DC themed wedding because DC is where our relationship started and grew.

When we were looking for venues, I knew that I wanted a location that would be a good fit for an elegant evening. We both wanted the wedding to be formal and fun. We decided that we wanted traditional tuxedos for the groomsmen and I wanted the bridesmaids in floor length glittery dresses. I don’t think that John liked the idea of having the bridesmaids in different dresses but I think he finally came around when he saw them all together on the wedding day.

Because so many of our guests were coming from out of town, we wanted to infuse the DC theme throughout as many elements of the wedding as possible. We searched everywhere for Save the Dates that a touch of DC and found a DC skyline Save the Date online at Etsy. However, when it came to the invitations we knew we were going to need a custom invitation because of all the details we wanted. We found Tifany from Gourmet Invitations online. We shared with Tifany that we wanted to incorporate the DC map on a custom die cut invitation, as well as emboss a DC skyline that my Dad had designed for us that included each our initials hidden in the design. The invitations Tifany designed brought together our wedding colors and showcased the DC theme.

I don’t even know if I can name just one of my favorite details of the day. I loved that we had an opportunity to have a first look because John and I were able to see each other and spend some time with the wedding party before the ceremony and reception. We were able to take pictures at the Lincoln Memorial where he proposed and John’s brother had us all laughing so hard we were in tears. I loved the ceremony because our officiant really captured who we are as a couple and John’s vows had me and guests crying.

The wedding venue, Andrew Mellon Auditorium, is amazing on its own but seeing the phenomenal flowers and décor from Amaryllis took my breath away. We utilized every space in the Mellon Auditorium. The Auditorium has a foyer that is usually used for cocktail hour but we used it for our ceremony. It was the perfect size for the number of guests and the lighting really made it feel intimate. Amaryllis provided a large frame to hold our escort cards. The cards incorporated our DC theme, we used pictures of locations throughout DC, including Howard University buildings and DC landmarks and monuments. The pictures were taken by myself and my friend, Yoori, and Tifany from Gourmet Invitations helped us design cards that looked like a Polaroid photos.

The element that really brought together the DC theme in our reception was the wedding cake with the DC skyline. Lara at Fully Thoughts made a cake that was not only beautiful but also delicious. We were able to have three cake flavors and I still dream about the pumpkin flavor. All the guests raved about it.

My favorite moment of the day was when all the wedding guests formed a circle around us and sang Lean on Me. It’s a tradition with John and his friends. John’s favorite moment of the wedding was the best man’s speech. His brother Jason had the guests laughing and in tears. The entire day was full of lots of laughs and happy tears. It seems a bit cliché to say it was the best day ever, but it was.

Photography: Andrea Jacobson For The Observatory | Videography: Dolce Studio Films | Event Planning: Bella Notte | Floral Design: Amaryllis | Cake: Fluffy Thoughts | Invitations: Gourmet Invitations | Catering: Occasions Caterers | Hair And Make Up: Shauné Hayes | Lighting And Sound: John Farr Lighting | Favors: Georgetown Cupcake | Officiant: Ceremony Officiants | Ceremony Music: Champagne Consort | Transportation: Reliable Limousine | Wedding Venue: Andrew Mellon Auditorium | Antique Car: Regal Limo | Bride's Getting Ready Venue: Hyatt Regency Washington Capitol Hill | Groom's Getting Ready Venue: The Liaison Hotel | Linens: La Tavola | Photo Booth: Photo-Matica | Reception Music: Scratch Weddings | Rentals: Fabrication Events

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Baltimore George Peabody Library Wedding

Tradition dictates that a bride and groom should marry in the bride’s hometown, and though things have changed (hello, destination weddings!), if you’re lucky enough to come from a beautiful city like this gorgeous Bride, why mess with tradition? Maria Linz Photography captured all the charm that earned Baltimore its nickname—Charm City—and this wedding was full of it! From the Bride’s flawless hair and makeup courtesy of Amie Decker Beauty to the breathtaking setting of the George Peabody library, you’ll want to pin all the pretty.

Colors
Seasons
Fall

From the beautiful Bride… Although Mike and I grew up only 20 miles apart, we didn’t meet until we were both students at the University of Maryland. We met in the fall of 2005, and even though we were instantly attracted to one another, didn’t start dating until 2009 (some things take time!). Five years later on a gorgeous October day in Baltimore, we said, “I do!”

I was born and raised in Baltimore, and Mike moved to Baltimore as a baby, so it was important to us that we be married in Charm City. From day one, I knew our wedding reception had to be at the George Peabody Library, and luckily, Mike agreed! I studied ballet at the Peabody Preparatory, and I earned my Master’s degree in reading education from John’s Hopkins University, which owns the Peabody, so the library was important to me on multiple levels. We were married at Corpus Christi Church, an insanely gorgeous gorgeous church that happens to be one of Baltimore’s oldest. We had stumbled upon Corpus Christi a few years ago during a free organ concert at an arts festival, and instantly fell in love with the beauty and intimacy of the small-yet-grand church. It felt like fate when we learned the church was available for our wedding.

On the day of the wedding, we both got ready at our respective family homes, surrounded by friends and family. My matron of honor was my cousin (who also happens to be a best friend, sorority sister, and former roommate), and my four bridesmaids were women who are dear to me for innumerable reasons (best friends, travel buddies, sorority sisters, roommates – these gals wear many hats!). The ladies wore floor-length champagne-colored chiffon dresses, accented by jewelry I gifted them (gold monogram bracelets and gold-and-champagne drop earrings). My junior bridesmaids were my two youngest cousins. Fun fact: my matron-of-honor and I were the flower girls in their parents’ wedding! The little girls wore white dresses with blush accents and bracelets gifted by me (pearls with their initials). I wore Watters’ Ellery gown in ivory with an extended train and a cathedral-length lace-embellished veil. My something old was the diamond in my engagement ring, which used to belong to my grandmother; my something new was the wedding gown and veil; something borrowed were a pearl bracelet and drop earrings from my mother; and blue was the bottom of my shoes.

Mike and his groomsmen gathered at his parents’ home, where they cheered on the Terps football team before putting on their tuxes. Mike’s brother was his best man, and his groomsmen included his three best friends from childhood, and my younger brother. The guys wore black tuxes, and showed their state pride with grayscale suspenders sporting the Maryland state flag pattern.

In the early afternoon, the men piled into their limo and headed into the city for pictures in Mount Vernon place, a garden-filled area outside the George Peabody Library. Shortly after, the bridesmaids and I joined the men downtown for first-look photos and the bulk of the bridal party pictures. Originally, neither of us was thrilled about the idea of doing pictures in advance of the wedding, but the sun sets early in October, and we knew it would be dark by the time our 6pm ceremony was over.

Since we were both raised in the Roman Catholic faith, it was important to us that we celebrate our marriage in a full traditional Nuptial Mass. Our 130 guests filled the church with an abundance of love and support. After the ceremony, we made our way over to the library.

We included many special touches in our wedding reception, including displaying wedding photographs of three generations of family members. We also incorporated card catalog drawers into the floral arrangements, by using them to display escort cards for the guests. In lieu of favors, we decided to make donations to five charities close our hearts. We wanted to incorporate guests in this process, so we had a table set up with five containers and a framed description of each charity and it’s importance to us (a breast cancer foundation in honor of our friends and family, a Lyme disease research foundation in honor of my father, a Parkinson’s Disease foundation in memory of my grandfather, a local reading organization for my passion for literacy, a local soup kitchen that is dear to us). Each guest was given five tokens to deposit in the jars of their choice, and then we made contributions to the charities in proportion with the amount of tokens allotted to each one.

The cocktail hour space (an exhibit hall) and main library were decorated in pink and champagne, with gold accents. The dinner tables featured lanterns with halos of flowers and tall, lush rounds of baby’s breath. As the library is so magnificent to begin with, we were very careful to select florals and decorations that would enhance the library’s beauty without distracting from it.

When I reflect back on our wedding, I am so grateful for the love and joy that surrounded us, and for the closeness Mike and I experienced on that day. The week before the wedding, a friend offered us this advice: “Once you enter the reception, don’t leave each other’s side. Everyone will be so excited to talk to you, that once you separate, it will be nearly impossible to work your way back together.” We took this to heart, and are so glad that we did – it was a bonding experience like no other!

Photography: Maria Linz Photography | Floral Design: The Floral Studio | Wedding Dress: Watters | Invitations: Kindly RSVP | Ceremony Venue: Corpus Christi Church | Reception Venue: George Peabody Library | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Bill Levkoff | Hair And Makeup: Amie Decker Beauty | DJ: AJ Productions | Groom's Attire: Jos. A. Banks | Groom's Attire: Route One Apparel | Groomsmen's Attire: Route One Apparel | Caterering: Chef's Expressions | String Duo: Chesapeake Strings | Valet: Jay's Valet | Veil: Toni Federici

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Green + Gold Modern Washington DC Wedding

There’s just enough sparkle in this Washington DC wedding to really catch our eye. It’s an emerald green and gold affair at the beautiful DAR Constitution Hall with fun, modern twists like shimmery dresses, a library cocktail hour and donuts for late-night snacks! Adam Barnes Fine Art Photography captured the Bride (flawless thanks to Real Doll Makeup) and Groom on their special day in the full gallery right here!

Colors
Seasons
Fall
Styles
Modern

From the beautiful Bride… John and I spent over half of our relationship long distance – he’s from Pittsburgh and I’m from Texas, and his job kept him on the road for most of the week. Although we’ve seen more than our share of airports and cities, DC is the place that we’ve made our home. It became even more special to us when John proposed to me at Reagan National Airport last winter!

Even though we are both in notoriously intense and unfunny professions (John is a consultant, I’m a lawyer), we are both huge fans of comedy shows. One weekend, we went to an Aziz Ansari stand-up comedy show at DAR-Constitution Hall, right across the street from the White House. While waiting in line outside, all I could focus on was how stunning the building was and whether the venue allowed weddings. Luckily for us, it did, and it was the first vendor we booked! The second vendor we booked was our incredible photographer, Adam Barnes of Adam Barnes Fine Art Photography. We fell in love with his work the instant we saw it; he did a beautiful job capturing the day and was also a wonderful person to have alongside us the entire time.

Our wedding is incredibly special to us because it was 100% tailored to us – we both wanted a traditional, elegant wedding at the core, but with a modern, personal twist, which we executed through DIY projects and lots of Etsy. ;) The DAR was perfect for us because it’s a classic DC venue, but also has gorgeous lighting and details without being too ornate or over the top. The space was beautiful and fit our needs perfectly – our ceremony was outdoors, the cocktail hour was in the library (the check-out desk became a bar!), dinner was in the O’Byrne Gallery, and dancing was outside under the Portico.

We were able to make the wedding our own with all of the details, big and small: huge gold XOXO balloons, the processional music (our wedding party walked down the aisle to songs originally by Michael Jackson and the Beach Boys; I walked down the aisle to “Can’t Help Falling In Love”), the wedding cake made by my talented sister, beer from Pennsylvania and Texas, photos on the mantle of our parents and my family dog who had sadly passed away the day before our wedding, Krispy Kreme Donuts and late night snacks, an American flag sendoff (did I mention John wants to be President one day…?), and other homemade touches – John’s dad and grandpa built our wedding gift box, and John built the arch that we got married under. We put a lot of work into the wedding to make sure everything felt like us, and seeing how it all came together was indescribable. Our month-of planner, Jen Bryan of Elegantly Chic Events, took away so much of the stress that comes with wedding planning and made sure the entire weekend went off without a hitch. Our DJ, Michael Cruz from Bialeks Music, did a perfect job reading the crowd and helped make the night so much fun. At the end of the night, we were able to donate all of our flowers to nursing homes, hospice care and shelter facilities through Repeat Roses.

One of the most special parts of the day was standing under the arch John built, saying the personal vows we had written for one another. I loved hearing what John had written, and laughed when I realized we had even made some of the same references in our vows to one another. I love that we can someday put the arch in our backyard and be reminded of that memory.

Since our wedding was in the fall, we chose a color scheme of emerald green, blush pink, and gold. The bridesmaids wore emerald green dresses, while my three older sisters (Matrons of Honor) wore the same dress in a sparkly gold. I knew my wedding dress would be tulle from Day One, and when I found my trumpet cut tulle dress at a boutique in Dallas, I knew it was the perfect choice for me – made even more perfect when my wedding dress tailor, Angie Cavallaro, created a silk organza bow for the back of the dress to add some extra oomph! In one of my favorite fashion choices of the day, John wore a custom-made navy and black tuxedo to stand out from the groomsmen. It fit him like a glove and he looked extra handsome that day!

We had such a fun and incredible time surrounded by people we love, and couldn’t be more grateful for our beautiful day!

Photography: Adam Barnes Fine Art Photography | Videography: Toy Box Productions | Floral Design: Da Vinci Florist | Wedding Dress: Mori Lee | Bride's Shoes: Kate Spade | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Rent The Runway | Catering: Main Event Caterers | Makeup: Real Doll Makeup | Hair: Styled By Anna Fazio | DJ: Bialeks Music | Groom's Attire: Suit Supply | Wedding Venue: DAR-Constitution Hall | Bride's Headpiece: Nordstrom | Flower Donation: Repeat Roses | Furniture Rental: Vintage Affairs | Getaway Car: VintageLimos.Biz | Groom's Watch: Breitling | Month-of Planner: Elegantly Chic Events | Programs: Wedding Paper Divas | Vases: DFW Vases | Wedding Dress Tailor: Angie Cavallaro

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Romantic DIY Wedding at a Historic Bed & Breakfast

There is nothing we love more than a good stationery suite, especially when said paper goods were designed by the Bride herself. Setting the tone for a sweetly personal affair, this charming Bed & Breakfast fete is embellished with lots of darling DIY’s. Straight from the lens of Caroline Lima Photography it’s a gallery that simply can’t be missed!

Colors
Seasons
Summer

From Caroline Lima Photography… Lauren and Brent had a beautiful wedding on the first day of summer of 2014. The day was so lovely and they held the reception at such charming and unique Bed & Breakfast in Middleburg, VA!

Lauren designed the gorgeous invitations herself. Her lace gown was so delicate and beautiful, it matched the beautiful setting perfectly! It was a very emotional wedding full of so much joy and happy tears! A true celebration of love!

Photography: Caroline Lima Photography | Wedding Dress: Katherine’s Bridal | Ceremony Venue: Upperville Baptist Church | Reception Venue: Welbourne Bed & Breakfast | Bridesmaids' Dresses: J.Crew | Groom's Attire: Men's Wearhouse | Groomsmen's Attire: Men's Wearhouse | Ceremony Music: Iraida Poberezhnaya | Reception Music: The Winn Jazz All Stars

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
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