Now that the sun has finally come out as we finally approach summer, we are excited to share some weddings and inspiration with bright pops of color and fun and flirty details. Check out what has happened in the wedding world this week!
How much do you love that the sun is finally out and spring is here! We are looking forward to a long holiday weekend, and check back next week for military wedding inspiration in honor of Memorial Day! Today we are sharing Charlotte and Josh’s sweet Virginia Engagement Session from Timmester Photography. If you have never been to Morven Park, it is a versatile and picturesque wedding venue boasting several amazing locations for not only your ceremony and reception but beautiful photos. Congrats to the couple who are getting married in June at Strong Mansion and thank you to Timmester Photography for sharing their engagement session with us!
We are often asked how does one become an officiant for a wedding in the Washington DC area. The process can be a little intimidating, but fear not, we are here to help! Before you help write a custom wedding ceremony, you will need to check out the legal provisions that come with the job! We did a little research and gathered some of the steps you’ll need to take to fulfill local wedding celebrant requirements. And if you’re set with your wedding officiant, check our DC Area vendor guide for ceremony musicians and venues to help with the remainder of your ceremony tasks!!
an authorized person of any religious denomination or society ($35 fee + application)
a civil celebrant ($35 fee + application)
a temporary officiant ($25 fee + application)
a judge (or retired judge of any court of record)
the Clerk of the Court of such deputy clerks of the Courts as may, in writing be designated by the Clerk and approved by the Chief Judge of the Court
a member of the Council
the Mayor of the District of Columbia
“Temporary officiant” means a person authorized by the Clerk of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia (“Court”) to solemnize a specific marriage. The person’s authority to solemnize that marriage expires upon the filing of the marriage license.
“Civil celebrant” means a person of a secular or non-religious organization who performs marriage ceremonies.
an official of a religious order (such as an ordained minister)
a Clerk of the Circuit Court
a deputy clerk designated by the county administrative circuit court judge
Maryland doesn’t require celebrants to register with the state; however, it’s essential that the celebrant properly validate the couple’s marriage license and sign the marriage certificate. One copy of the certificate is to be delivered to the couple, the other is to be returned by the officiant to the clerk who issues the license within 5 days of the ceremony.
Each county has a different procedure to apply; check out this directory to look for your county Clerk’s Office. For more information on persons authorized to perform ceremonies in Maryland, be sure to check out Family Law 2-401.
Virginia Wedding Ceremony Celebrants
Who Can Perform the Ceremony:
any judge or justice of a court of record
any judge of a district court or any retired judge or justice of the Commonwealth
any active, senior or retired federal judge or justice who is a resident of the Commonwealth an authorized minister of any religious denomination
a “one-time” marriage celebrant + $500 cash bond (once petition is authorized)
Individuals wishing to perform a wedding ceremony in Virginia must obtain prior court authorization. Any circuit court judge may issue an order authorizing one or more persons, resident in the circuit in which the judge sits, to celebrate the rites of marriage in the Commonwealth.
Note that Virginia has the strictest celebrant rules and regulations out of all three regions. Don’t put off checking on the validity of your chosen celebrant, as waiting can cause unnecessary stress before the wedding if you can not use your desired person due to regulations and laws.
We have a fondness for the outdoor Virginia wedding venue River Farm, that overlooks the sprawling Potomac River and boasts the most beautiful gardens. So when Love Life Images sent us Sarah and Matt’s rustic garden wedding, we couldn’t wait to share it with our readers! The bride discovered a love for Etsy weddings when planning her own, and we love the special touches she added into her décor that were made from small business artisans. Coupled with accents of family heirlooms such as her grandmothers treasured ring, we love how intimate their wedding felt! Thank you to Love Life Images for sharing this sweet Virginia Garden wedding with us today!
From the Bride: “We had a garden wedding right on the Potomac River. We wanted that relaxed atmosphere to translate to our wedding style. Our color palette included soft, neutral colors. Luckily we share similar tastes, so it made making decisions fairly easy. We were going for simple yet elegant.”
“I wore a ring that belonged to my paternal grandmother and placed a pendant that belonged to my maternal grandmother on my bouquet. It was a sweet way to include them both in the day.”
Favorite Memory: “My favorite memory was everyone chanting “one more song!” at the end of the night. Our poor DJ (h was amazing, by the way!)”
Tips from the couple: “Book your venue early to get the space that is perfect for your vision!”
Congratulations to Sarah and Matt! Thank you for sharing your Garden Inspired Riverfarm wedding in Virginia with us!
The following Washington DC area wedding professionals contributed to their wedding:
We all know that fun and patterned socks are a go-to for menswear on your wedding day because they’re an easy way to show personality and make for a great photo opp. These days, however, menswear has evolved, and grooms are looking for wedding day fashion and groomsmen gifts that make a statement and show off their personalities. We set out to round up the DC area’s classic and more unique picks for men! Don’t forget to also check out what local grooms and groomsmen are wearing on the big day in our DC Area Real Weddings!
Leo & Lee’s: Leo & Lee’s brings the military tradition of the “party shirt” to the mainstream – it looks like a standard white formal dress shirt with a jacket on, but take the jacket off to reveal the amazing patterned sleeves on this custom party shirt. We were excited to find out about Leo & Lee’s, a local DC company that has taken the men’s dress and tuxedo shirt to a whole new level! What we love most about these shirts is that they are made in the USA (donating a portion of proceeds to a military charity), custom crafted based on your sleeve and neck measurements (they offer both slim and regular fit) and are made of 100% premium cotton. You can get even wilder and send in your own fabric, add monograms or a custom pocket, for a truly unique wedding look. These shirts keep grandma happy during formal wedding photos, and then the jackets come off for one-of-a-kind photo opportunities and epic dance floor moves after a big reveal! Leo & Lee’s is even happy to provide you with 10% off your purchase using promo code UNITEDLOVE10.
Würkin Stiffs: Of course grooms and groomsmen want to look stylish on the big day, but oftentimes they want to be able to cut loose as well, post ceremony. We love Würkin Stiffs because they totally get that. From their Magnetic Power Stays, to multi-functional patterned Microfiber Pocket Squares, Würkin Stiffs offers products that speak to any men’s style just as much as their livelihood. They place importance on functional design, and offer men personality-packed products to express their own style but with all of the function! We know how easy it can be to find bridesmaid’s gifts, but what do you get your groomsmen for being by your side on the big day? We love the idea of gifting some of these wallets, cuff-links, tie clips and other suit necessities.
Lapel: Lapel is a local tuxedo and suit rental brand boasting fit, style, and service in a no pressure environment. With their very own designs, they opened a store in Alexandria offering classic styles with a modern slim fit, using a high quality 130s wool. They also designed their own shirts, velvet slippers, real patent leather shoes, and silk neck-wear; Lapel really is a one stop shop! Recently they have received a large number of requests to buy their tuxedos so keep an eye out for a new version that they will begin stocking in a few week for purchase!
Bonobos: We love Bonobos because of the large array of different options. Because they are a men’s only brand, they really know how to cater to different personalities. Whether your style is sharp and classic like a three piece suit or all about comfort and movement on the dance floor, they have a specific fit for you. At Bonobos you can either walk into a physical store and purchase, order online, or make an appointment for an impeccably fitted suit. There are stores in both Georgetown, DC and Bethesda, MD.
Vibrantly colorful and full of love are the perfect description for Gabby and Tony’s Middleburg Virginia wedding. From the moment we laid eyes on her phalaenopsis orchid pink bridal bouquet we were head over heels for their big day! Gabby and Tony wanted to incorporate personalized touches to their wedding day, which could be found on the wrap of the brides bouquet which was her mothers to Italian treats in the wedding welcome bags as a nod to their Italy heritage. Their wedding was held at the prestigious Salamander Resort which is located in Middleburg Virginia. The resort boasts a wide variety of options for couples getting married, which the bride utilized by having a horse drawn carriage bring her into the ceremony for her grand entrance. They were married in front of a beautiful all white arch that paired perfectly with the lush greens of the venue property. After a romantic and personal ceremony, guests joined the couple in the grand ballroom surrounded by vibrant pops of pink and orange décor. We love how the couple were never afraid of color when designing all aspects of their day, especially the sugar flowers that adorned their multi tier wedding cake. Thank you to Katelyn James Photography for sharing another beautiful wedding ceremony and reception with us today!
From the Bride: “Our vision was to incorporate bright colors with a splash of glitz and most importantly, paid homage to our Italian culture. Aside from making sure the day was memorable to the two of us, we wanted to ensure that our guests thoroughly enjoyed themselves as a way to say thank you for their endless support and love.”
“The bridal bouquet was wrapped in a piece from the Mother-of-the Bride’s wedding dress and the groom was dressed in his military uniform. I also had two of my sorority sisters pin our sorority’s badge to the inside of my wedding dress over my heart. My parents and grandma were each given personalized handkerchiefs with individualized notes on them. We incorporated our Italian culture through the food by having a gelato bar and serving risotto as a side of the main course. We also added bottles of pink limoncello, wine from Andrea Bocelli’s vineyard, and homemade biscottis and pizzels to the hospitality bags. “
Tips from the Couple: “Enjoy the process! Often times we get caught up in the minute and major details, but t the end of the day, never lose site of why you are going through this process in the first place!”
Congratulations to Gabby and Tony! Thank you for sharing your vibrant Salamander Resort wedding with us!
We had some really great content this week – especially focusing on your wedding budget, which we know you may need help with! Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for more in the future! Let us know what else you might be interested in seeing in the comments below!
We love today’s DC monuments engagement session, especially the fact that the couple snuck in some shots with their adorable dog before heading into the city! Destined to be enemies according to OkCupid.com, Nick and Brendan met for the first time over drinks at El Centro in Washington, DC. This meet up quickly turned into four hours at Matchbox where the two discussed their interests, friends, family, and the inherent value in saving your favorite books for your future children. Since then they’ve been keeping each other in balance. Brendan asked Nick to marry him at the bottom of Pilgrim Monument in Provincetown, MA while on vacation with friends. They are planning a nautical-style beach wedding back at the home of their engagement in Provincetown in the fall. We wish them both all the best and thank you to Deb Lindsey Photography for sharing their sweet DC engagement session with us.
Budget planning for an event as large as your wedding can be overwhelming and daunting to say the least. We asked a few of our favorite DC area wedding planners for some words of advice to hopefully help in planning for the unexpected, and where to splurge a little. The one advice that we hear most from our featured DC real wedding couples is, to prioritize what aspects of the wedding are most important to you as a couple and shift your budget to accommodate. Thank you to our wonderful United with Love vendors who helped give insight in planning a great budget!
Question: What wedding budget item do you feel is most forgotten about, or under estimated by brides? And why is it important to remember?
“For tented outdoor weddings, funds needed to execute a rain plan. Understandably, brides don’t like to confront the fact that it might rain on their wedding day. However, it is so important to think about plan B and to set aside funds needed for extra equipment and services that might be needed in the event of rain. For example, rain might mean additional tenting for the ceremony and cocktail hour. Rain also might require marquees, or tented hallways, running from the catering tent to the dinner tent and from the dinner tent to restroom facilities. Sometimes, heavy rain can make flooring an absolute necessity, depending on how water drains at the wedding site. Heavy rain can also complicate vendor load ins, making it impossible for heavy trucks to move across soaking wet grass without getting stuck or tearing up the property. ” Allison of Pineapple Productions
“Don’t forget about all the little detail items! These include all of your day-of signage and frames, any cocktail napkins or drink swizzle sticks, table numbers, ribbon for welcome bags, etc. All of the components for these pieces can start to add up and a lot of couples underestimate the true cost! Secondly, don’t forget about wedding insurance. Even if your venue doesn’t require it, for a few hundred dollars, it’s always a good investment for the unknown! “Kelley of Kelley Cannon Events
“I think many folks forget to plan for gratuities. We live in a culture that tips service providers who meet or exceed expectations. When it comes time, often in the last few weeks before one’s wedding, creating a tally of all those folks can become a list of dozens of people, resulting in up to thousands of dollars in tips or gifts. I always have my clients plan for this in advance within their initial budget!”Janice of Bellwether Events
“Rentals are often underestimated when making budget plans. Stand alone venues allow you to customize and bring in your own rentals, especially if working with a catering company. Many couples don’t realize how many glasses are really needed for an open bar, or extra tables for service and miscellaneous décor like gifts and the guest book. These items add up quickly, and can fluctuate depending on your final numbers so make sure to leave room in the budget to accommodate.”Kristen of Roberts & Co. Events
Question: Beyond photography/videography, what is one or two items or vendors that you think are always worth the investment when allocating wedding funds?
“Lighting! Lighting does so much to set a warm, welcoming atmosphere. It can transform an event space, even a drab one. Plus, proper event lighting allows guests to see and appreciate all your wedding decor, from large statement pieces to the smallest table top details. Most importantly, good lighting will enhance your wedding pictures and ensure that they are as beautiful and vibrant as they can be.”Allison of Pineapple Productions
“End of night transportation for the couple is always worth the money. It’s easier to avoid having to wait on an uber or cab, especially if you are having a special send-off, a hired, dedicated vehicle for the bride and groom is the way to go. Transportation companies offer one way transfer town cars, which is a great way to avoid hour minimums on limos or buses. ” Kelley of Kelley Cannon Events
“With all the rain we’ve been having recently I can’t help but immediately think that a tent with a platform floor sounds like a great investment right about now. My clients who have invested in good tents and raised floors have never had buyer’s remorse, and those un-sexy budget items have often saved the day in the event of inclement weather. “Janice of Bellwether Events
“A wedding planner or wedding coordinator, and I’m not saying this just because I happen to be one. I have been told by so many clients and friends of clients, that the one vendor they were so happy to have was a wedding planner/coordinator. And conversely, have been told by people who didn’t have a planner/coordinator, that they regretted that decision come the wedding day. A coordinator will save the couple so much time and energy and really allow them to fully celebrate and be present day-of, they will also be able to work with all vendors and provide experienced event management to carry out their clients dream wedding. A good planner, among so many things, will provide invaluable advice and guidance and keep their clients on track throughout the process. A good wedding planner or coordinator is not the venue contact, caterer or friend who dabbles in event planning. You get what you pay for, so choose someone who is a professional wedding and event planner!” Margo of Bright Occasions
“A textured upgraded linen over a plain twill-cotton linen is always worth the splurge. Typically only $12-15 more per table will help elevate your entire reception room and make it more personalized and lux looking. If you don’t have the budget to do all of your guest seating tables, upgrade dessert tables, and auxiliary tables such as escort card and bar tables. Secondly, welcome items for your hotel guests is a delightful treat that starts the wedding weekend off. From a simple combo of cookies and a hand written note with the wedding itinerary to a curated box from Marigold and Grey, guests appreciate you putting in the extra touches to appreciate their time for the weekend.”Kristen from Roberts & Co. EVents.