City Center D.C. Engagement Session: Marina + David

posted by Tabitha

Today’s sweet couple got engaged on Christmas night in 2015, surrounded by their families. Dave rigged the family’s annual White Elephant gift game, so Marina would receive the gift with the ring inside. After opening a large gift bag, and removing several layers of wrappings, a small box with a personal note and her stunning engagement ring were inside. Marina was shocked and of course said yes, so they immediately celebrated with their families. Fast forward a few months to May, and Marina and David met Jennifer of Love Life Images at Union Station for a fun and quintessentially DC engagement shoot. They moved to the twinkly lights of City Center after for the rest of their DC engagement session, which we love as a new fun place for couples to get portraits! Congrats to the couple as they were recently married in Georgetown at Sequoia!

Jennifer Domenick

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Jennifer Domenick

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Jennifer Domenick

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These vendors are member of United With Love's local guide. Click here for membership info.

Beautiful Blooms

From bouquets to centerpieces, click here to find a local wedding florist in the DC area to bring your wedding floral design to life.

Fancy New Look for Carine’s Bridal Atelier

posted by Tabitha

After 10 years in the business, Carine’s Bridal Atelier recently moved into their beautiful new DC bridal salon on Wisconsin Avenue, and we are in love with the chic design! The new 6,400 square foot space boasts gorgeous golden fixtures, tripled floor retail space, and spacious fitting rooms to give the ultimate boutique experience for gown shoppers. In addition to the new look and design of the retailer, they are excited to be the D.C. home for Vera Wang, Naeem Khan, and Oscar de la Renta gowns.

If you are shopping for your perfect luxury wedding gown in DC, make sure to add Carine’s to your roster of salons to visit! Also, don’t miss out on one of their DC bridal trunk shows or sample sales! They are one of our favorite DC bridal boutiques and we wish Carine 10 more years of fashion fun!

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Photography: Abby Jiu Photography

Florals & Window Design: Amaryllis Designs

For more wedding vendors, please visit our Washington DC area wedding vendor guide and for even more amazing local ideas, check out our wedding inspiration galleries and other Washington DC area real weddings.

 

Carriages & Coaches

From trollies to classic cars, click here to find local DC area wedding transportation companies for your wedding.

Heritage Filled Leesburg Wedding: Lisa + Jesse

posted by Tabitha

Jesse and Lisa are both foreign service officers specializing in international development and met while they were both serving in Islamabad, Pakistan.  After working together for quite some time abroad and dating for a year back home in the states, the couple got engaged on the banks of the Potomac last winter. Knowing that they wanted family and heritage to be the most important element of their wedding, they set to planning their Leesburg Virginia wedding at Morven Park with Rex and Regina Events.

To honor Jesse’s Mexican culture, the wedding included several Mexican ceremony traditions as well as details woven into the reception décor such as blue and white talavera vases and maracas.  As an incredible surprise, guests were also treated to a salsa lesson later in the evening during the dancing portion of the reception.  In a particularly special touch, Jesse and his friends played Mexican folk music during the cocktail hour while guests played a variety of lawn games in front of the mansion. To honor the bride’s family, a display of her great, great grandmother’s wedding veil was the centerpiece for the escort card table and her 99 year old grandfather gave the blessing for dinner.  The couple also wanted to include international touches to represent their current and future lives together so they included pictures from their travels as table numbers, international themed late night snacks and drinks, fans from Thailand to hold the escort cards, and even a bi-lingual wedding invitation. We love how exceptionally personal and special the elements of their wedding day were, and thank you to Michelle Lindsay Photography for sharing a glimpse into this fun filled day!

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Can we pause these amazing photos to say how uber talented Michelle Lindsay is? We love all of the candid moments she captures of her couples, and you can feel the love radiating off of Lisa and Jesse in their photos!

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Congratulations to Lisa and Jesse! Thank you for sharing your fun and family filled Leesburg Virginia wedding with us!

The following Washington DC area wedding professionals contributed to their wedding:

Wedding Planner: Rex and Regina Events
Photographer: Michelle Lindsay Photography
Beauty: Bridal Artistry
Church: Holy Trinity Church Leesburg
Reception Venue: Morven Park
Catering: RSVP Catering
Floral Designer: J Morris Flowers
Tents: Ace Party Rental
Ceremony Musicians: Leesburg String Ensemble
Reception Entertainment: Olivera Music 

For more wedding vendors, please visit our Washington DC area wedding vendor guide and for even more amazing local ideas, check out our wedding inspiration galleries and other Washington DC area real weddings.

These vendors are member of United With Love's local guide. Click here for membership info.

Pretty & Pampered

With United With Love’s local vendor guide, click here to find hair and make up specialists for your wedding day.

Wonderful Winter Wedding Inspiration!

posted by Alex Hamilton

As the temperatures begin to drop and brides begin to don their fur stolls for wedding photos, we thought it would be appropriate to share some winter wedding inspiration with you today! From dusty colors to crips whites, snowflakes to pine, we are loving the details that winter brides and grooms are bringing to their big day! Check down below for all of the amazing wedding photographers whose photos are contained in this glamorous gallery.

1. Ryan Ray Photography | 2. Lisa Blume Photography | 3, 4. Sam Hurd Photography | 5. Don Mears Photography | 6, 7. K. Thompson Photography | 8. Birds of a Feather Photography | 9, 10. K. Thompson Photography | 11. Jan Michele Photography | 12, 13, 14. K. Thompson Photography | 15. Sam Hurd Photography | 16. Borrowed Blue Photography | 17. {a}strid photography | 18. tPoz Photography | 19. Buttercream Bakeshop |  20.  Sarah Kimble Photography | 21.  Eli Turner Studios | 22. Sam Hurd Photography | 23, 24. tPoz Photography | 25. Mary Kate McKenna | 26, 27.  Birds of a  Feather Photography | 28. tPoz Photography | 29, 30. Birds of a  Feather Photography | 31, 32. Lisa Blume Photography | 33. Holland Photo Arts | 34. Ever After Visuals | 35.  Ampersand Photography | 36. Debi Parker Photography | 37. Ampersand Photography | 38. Sam Hurd Photography | 39, 40. Kelli Lyn Photography | 41, 42. Pat Moyer Photography | 43. Kelli Lyn Photography | 44, 45. Justine Milton Photography | 46.Virgil Bunao Photography | 47, 48.Justine Milton Photography | 49. Manuela Kalupar Photography | 50. Justin DeMutiis Photography

For more amazing local ideas, check out our wedding inspiration galleries and other Washington DC area real weddings.

Hey, Mr. DJ!

Keep that dance floor packed! Click here to use United With Love’s vendor guide to find the right local DJ for your wedding.

Romantic Salamander Resort Wedding: Jenny + Erik

posted by Tabitha

From the dusty lavender bridesmaid dresses to the romantic textured florals, we are in love with Jenny and Erik’s Salamander Resort wedding last summer. The couple planned the Middleburg destination wedding from NYC, after finally becoming engaged since being high school sweethearts. They originally aimed to host their romantic ceremony on the terraces outside of the resort, followed by cocktails in the Culinary gardens, but mother nature was not playing along as planned! It shows that having a skilled professional wedding vendor team goes a long way, as originally the weather only called for a few clouds and no rain! Shortly after putting the finishing touches on the outdoor ceremony the skies opened to an unforeseen summer rain storm, causing everyone to pull together a beautiful alternative indoor ceremony! We love how they were able to repurpose the ceremony florals to create an intimate space that everyone loved!

During the ceremony, the couple read excerpts from years of love letters to each other in a truly personal touch to the program. A few more fun experiences for guests included Wed on Canvas performing a live wedding painting of the reception, and the couple participating in a rousing “shoe game” between dinner courses. Thank you to Eli Turner Studios for sharing this lovely wedding with us and best wishes to the couple!

The Wedding of Jenny and Erik

The Wedding of Jenny and Erik

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The Wedding of Jenny and Erik

The Wedding of Jenny and Erik

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The Wedding of Jenny and Erik

The Wedding of Jenny and Erik

The Wedding of Jenny and Erik

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The Wedding of Jenny and Erik

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The Wedding of Jenny and Erik

Congratulations to Jenny and Erik! Thank you for sharing your romantic Salamander Resort in Middleburg Virginia wedding with us!

The following Washington DC area wedding professionals contributed to their wedding:

Wedding Planner: Roberts & Co Events
Photographer: Eli Turner Studios
Venue: Salamander Resort
Beauty: Amie Decker Beauty
Ceremony & Cocktails Entertainment: Sage String Quartet / Potomac Jazz Project
Dress Designer: Alvina Valenta
Floral Designer: J. Morris Flowers
Videography: Paul Kwak
Live Painter: Wed On Canvas
DJ: Premier DJ Services
Lighting: John Farr Lighting

For more wedding vendors, please visit our Washington DC area wedding vendor guide and for even more amazing local ideas, check out our wedding inspiration galleries and other Washington DC area real weddings.

These vendors are member of United With Love's local guide. Click here for membership info.

Sparkle & Shine

Using United With Love’s vendor guide, click here to find the perfect wedding sparklers at the area’s jewelry shops.

Rainy Spring D.C. Engagement Session: Tressa + Cabin

posted by Tabitha

We adore it when a couple is so in love and excited to start their life together that nothing can dampen their attitudes, not even a little engagement session rain! Tressa, Cabin, and their photographer Lisa set off for the picturesque setting at Dumbarton Oaks in the spring. We love how Tressa embraced the not-so-perfect weather by including her adorable green rain coat in the photos. Tressa and Cabin will marry in December  (we sure are suckers for a holiday wedding!) at Meadowlark Gardens in Virginia and are very excited to have their wedding close to Christmas in order to enjoy their big day with close family and friends. Congratulations to the happy couple and thank you to Lisa Blume Photography for sharing these great photos with us today!

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Photo Credit: Lisa Blume Photography

Mmmmmm!

Give your guests a meal they won’t forget! Click here to find the best wedding caterers in Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia.

2016 Holiday Gift Guide!

posted by Alex Hamilton

With one major winter holiday down and another quickly approaching, we know you are all incredibly busy not only with everything that goes along with the holiday season, but everything that goes along with wedding planning as well! Because of this, we want to make your life easier by sharing some of our favorite gift options from our local DC area wedding vendors! From sweet treats to various gift baskets full of holiday surprises, we are bringing you our 2016 Holiday Gift Guide!

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Minted

We all know that we would like to send holiday cards each and every year, but it just doesn’t always happen. This year, however, you can take this holiday card and transform it in to a way to showcase your engagement or wedding photos! We are in LOVE with these real gold foil holiday cards from minted! They have tons of amazing options and who doesn’t love to show off their stunning wedding photos?

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BHLDN / BHLDN

Looking to “pop the question” to your bridesmaids this holiday season? There are so many amazing options for gifts to make your best gals feel special. We are in love with this Be My Maids Wine Topper paired with her favorite wine and this amazing Maid of Honor/Bridesmaid Candle! You can choose whether you want it to say “bridesmaid” or “maid of honor” so you can include all of your ladies! Not only will they feel honored that you want them to be part of your special day, but they will also love these holiday gifts!

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Marigold & Grey

Both sophisticated and soft at the same time, Marigold & Grey’s Comfort & Joy gift basket has the lush look of a basket and even comes with a lid that fits perfectly on top. Featuring an exclusive “comfort and joy” mug design, artisan chalkboard-style chocolates, Brooklyn Candle Co. ‘sweet fig’ candle, Sugarfina cuba libré gummies, and two holiday chai tea packets, this basket is sure to be a crowd pleaser. Accented with greenery, pine cones, ivory ribbon and a gold-on-white “happy holidays” calligraphy tag, the stunning design will certainly wow its recipient. Because of the variety of items in the Comfort & Joy basket, it makes an exceptional client or corporate gift for both men or women or friends and family!

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Marigold & Grey

Meet the Merry & Bright gift box from Marigold & Grey! Its clean, crisp, modern look is a far cry from the traditional, boring holiday baskets you’ve seen in years past. This basket features a Brooklyn Candle Co sweet fig-scented candle, two gold foil match boxes, Formulary 55 bath scrub, and marbled truffles in a white hat box. Finished off with greenery, pine cones, rich champagne ribbon and a gold-on-white “happy holidays” calligraphy tag, this gift will be among your family and friend’s favorites!

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Meant To Be Calligraphy

Our next gift suggestion is a little more interactive! This year, in addition to teaching her popular “Introduction to Contemporary Pointed Pen Calligraphy” workshops, Meant To Be Calligraphy is also launching an “Introduction to Modern Brush Lettering” workshop and she will be teaching both classes in DC, Falls Church, Middleburg, Alexandria, Charlottesville and Baltimore. The registration fee for each workshop is $250 and includes all materials. We could not love it when brides and grooms utilize calligraphy on their big day, and a class would be the perfect gift for those who may want to add a little bit of a personalized touch. Whether they want to DIY their invites or escort cards, create a calligraphy menu or ceremony program, or just become a skilled calligrapher, a workshop with Meant To Be Calligraphy is the perfect gift!

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Buttercream Bakeshop

Looking for some sweet to gift this holiday season? Buttercream Bakeshop in DC has got you covered! There are offering tons of holiday themed delectable treats. We are absolutely in love with their hand-painted snowman macarons which come with a dozen adorable snowmen and snowwomen painted to perfection for the wintery weather. Come on, how cute are these guys?

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Buttercream Bakeshop

Buttercream Bakeshop is also featuring mini macaron ornaments. This wonderful gift basket comes with 5 bulb ornaments, each filled with a mini macaron or oreo gem in either swirled red or green for a festively sweet treat! Gold calligraphy by Paper Crane Calligraphy spells out “Have A Very Merry Xmas” and all pieces are tucked away in a crinkle paper filled window box! This makes the perfect gift for those with a sweet tooth! If you want a little bit of everything for a large holiday gathering, their mini holiday tower holds the perfect amount of sweets for 6-8 guests. These are available in red and green or silver and blue!

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Barnes & Noble

Know someone who is in the throes of wedding planning? Get them the amazing Style Me Pretty Weddings book! Complete with  lively and oh-so-lovely ideas, and more than 250 photographs, this swoonworthy volume will help brides distill the wide world of wedding inspiration into the most meaningful, utterly original day possible. We guarantee that your engaged friends will adore this gift!

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BHLDN / BHLDN

Attending a winter wedding? These Mr & Mrs Champagne Glasses would make the perfect gift for the newlyweds! If you love the idea of glasses but don’t want the Mr & Mrs designation, we would suggest these rosey and gold flutes instead! After all, New Years Eve and coming up and you can never have too many champagne glasses!

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Target Bride Tote

This adorable tote would make a perfect gift for a bride-to-be! Or, if you are the bride and want to get them for your squad, there are bridesmaid tote bags and a maid of honor tote bag as well so you can all prep for the big day in style!

For more wedding vendors, please visit our Washington DC area wedding vendor guide and for even more amazing local ideas, check out our wedding inspiration galleries and other Washington DC area real weddings. This post contains affiliate links that may generate funds for UWL.

Deals & Discounts

Looking for a little price break? Click here to check out United With Love’s list of local discounts for your wedding day.

Elkridge Furnace Inn Brunch Wedding: Jamie + Taylor

posted by Tabitha

Maryland sweethearts Jamie and Taylor planned a beautiful Maryland brunch wedding at Elkridge Furnace Inn this past spring with the help of Margo of Bright Occasions. Their garden ceremony and brunch reception was a personal and fun celebration that included Jamie and Taylor’s favorite things woven throughout. One element of brunch weddings that we enjoy are the plethora of activities, great food, and games that are often available for guests in lieu of dancing. During their cocktail hour and reception, a variety of wedding lawn games including bocce ball, croquet, ring toss, lawn darts and even a personalized corn hole set were present for their guest’s enjoyment. For dessert, in a nod to their weekly frozen yogurt date, the couple opted for an ice cream bar with their favorite toppings. Not to leave out the cake lovers, a tiered confection was topped with an adorable topper of a bride and groom skiing since they themselves are avid skiers. Coffee bean favors were given to guests to complete their brunch theme and love of coffee. All these fun personal accents really tied together the beautiful brunch wedding, and a big thank you to Brittany DeFrehn Photography for sharing this Maryland wedding with us today!

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Congratulations to Jamie and Taylor! Thank you for sharing your romantic Maryland brunch wedding with us!

The following Washington DC area wedding professionals contributed to their wedding:

Wedding Planner: Bright Occasions
Photographer: Brittany DeFrehn Photography
Paper, Favors, Lawn Games: You’re Invited by Jan
Beauty: Something Blu Beauty
Venue: Elkridge Furnace Inn
Chairs: Davinci Florals
Floral Designer: Petals by the Shore
Rentals: Select Event Group
Ceremony Musicians: Antares Musicians
DJ: Orlando Entertainment
Videography: Mwendo Films

For more wedding vendors, please visit our Washington DC area wedding vendor guide and for even more amazing local ideas, check out our wedding inspiration galleries and other Washington DC area real weddings.

These vendors are member of United With Love's local guide. Click here for membership info.

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Winter Wedding Cocktails + Recipes

posted by Alex Hamilton

As we head into winter wedding season we wanted to warm you up with some new and refreshing winter cocktails that you can incorporate into your big day or serve at your holiday party! Don’t forget to check out our other wedding signature cocktail inspiration, as we all know that a drink never truly goes out of season!

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With Salt & Wit

Peppermint Mocha White Russian

  • 1.5 ounce vodka
  • 1.5 ounce peppermint Kahula
  • 2 ounces milk of choice
  • peppermint creamer (optional)
  • whipped cream
  • crushed candy canes

In a cocktail glass filled half way with ice, add a 1:1 ratio of vodka and Kahula. Top with a 1:1 ratio of peppermint creamer and milk. Stir to combine. Garnish with whipped cream and crushed candy canes.

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The Food Network

Snappy Chai Eggnog

  • 2 cups eggnog
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup powdered chai tea
  • 1/3 cup brandy
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 gingersnaps, crushed

Using an electric mixer, beat the eggnog, vanilla, chai powder and brandy. Then, on a small plate, stir together the brown sugar and 1 1/2 teaspoons water. Place the crushed gingersnaps on another small plate. Coat the rims of four rocks glasses with the brown sugar syrup, then the gingersnap crumbs. fill the glasses with the chai eggnog.

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The Cookie Rookie

Blackberry Ombre Sparkler

  • 1 cup fresh blackberries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1 bottle champagne

In a small saucepan, combine blackberries, sugar, and water. Bring to a boil on high heat, and then reduce to a simmer and let cook for approximately 15-17 minutes. The blackberries will become soft and bright in color and a pinkish purple syrup will form. Making sure it cooks down enough is essential to keeping the ombre effect. Take off of the heat and drain the blackberries, keeping the syrup in a separate bowl. Set both aside and allow to cool. Once blackberries and simple syrup are cooled, spoon about 4 tablespoons of syrup into the bottom of each champagne flute. Top with champagne and garnish with fresh blackberries and a sprig of rosemary!

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The Kitchen is My Playground

Hot Buttered Rum

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 to 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • pinch ground cloves
  • small pinch salt
  • 2 oz dark or dark spiced rum
  • 6 oz boiling water
  • whipped cream

Place butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves in a small bowl. Mash together with the back of a spoon or a fork until well combined. Use immediately to prepare mugs of Hot Buttered Rum, or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Place two (or three, if you’d like) heaping tablespoons of batter in a mug and add dark rum. Then top off the mug with boiling water, and stir until the butter batter melts and is fully dissolved. Add a dollop of whipped cream and cinnamon if you so desire!

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Diana Ajih, Popsugar

Cranberry Mule

  • Fresh lime wedges, to taste
  • 1 solid copper mug
  • Ice
  • 2 ounces vodka (or gin)
  • 4-6 ounces ginger beer
  • 2 ounces cranberry juice
  • Frozen cranberries, for garnish
  • Rosemary sprig, for garnish

Squeeze the lime into the copper mug. Fill mug with ice and pour vodka (or gin), ginger beer, and cranberry juice over ice. Garnish with cranberries and rosemary sprig. Stir and enjoy!

We hope that one (or many!) of these delicious drinks strikes your fancy and makes for a fantastic winter party atmosphere. Also, make sure to check out what our local couples opted for in their real weddings or look for more wedding inspiration on United with Love!

 

 

Mmmmmm!

Give your guests a meal they won’t forget! Click here to find the best wedding caterers in Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia.