Shannon and Zach love D.C. so when choosing the location for their Washington DC engagement session, the area near our iconic monuments was a no-brainer. It was almost too hard for them to choose just one special place so they went to three different locations with three different engagement shoot outfits! They started their day with a picnic under the cherry blossom trees near the Washington Monument. Because of their shared love of coffee they packed a picnic basket with some cute mugs and a coffee thermos that matched the accompanying bouquet of peonies from Shannon’s mom. They later wandered to the Lincoln Memorial and nearby gardens where their photographer, Camille Catherine, took advantage of the most perfect glowing sunset light! We love this bright and warm session after the gloomy week we have had, and thank you to the couple for sharing with us!!
Today we are sharing some inspiration for the perfect modern meets geometric wedding ceremony and receptions. We love peonies and soft textures, but modern contemporary weddings don’t have to feel cold or any less beautiful than a garden inspired event. From geometric brightly colored gem ceremony backdrops to contemporary lounge furniture, we have plenty of options to modernize your event! Also make sure to check out our DC area real weddings gallery to find more modern and contemporary ceremonies and receptions from our favorite DC wedding vendors!
Brian and Najia set out to create a calm, romantic oasis in the middle of the forest at their Maryland wedding venue, Thorpewood. Surrounded by their family and loved ones, they wanted to come together and share a personal piece of their heritage and life within their ceremony. They combined their varying cultures, Brian being Jewish and Najia’s Pakistani roots, with a multicultural ceremony and dress change for the reception. The bride wore a western style ball gown to start the day before changing into a stunning midnight blue Pakistani dress for the reception. We absolutely loved the henna designs on her hands, arms, and feet, and that their talented photographers at Procopio Photography were able to capture her henna ceremony before the wedding. After the ceremony they moved into the rustic lodge for a reception catered by Canapes. Each piece of the wedding, from the attire to the books in the décor, were carefully chosen by the couple to ensure that the wedding felt personal and touched with their spirit. Thank you to Procopio Photography for sharing today’s rustic Thorpewood wedding with us!
From the Bride: “We wanted an outdoor wedding that was that really spoke about us and it being very personal bringing the vibe and calmness that represents us. Combining our varying cultures and styles but more importantly making it a calm, romantic gathering of friends & family to celebrate our union.”
“We wanted to focus on it feeling like it was our wedding and focused on things we liked and added many personal touches as we could. We splurged on a great photographer so we would have quality memories that would last a lifetime.”
“With my husband being jewish and I being muslim we added touches of both to bring both of our cultures together. I wore a white dress and then changed into a Paki dress and the groomsmen who traditional suites with traditional paki scarfs. Each piece of the day, including almost all the music was hand picked.”
Favorite memories: “The vows itself, seeing the vision coming together, and the beauty of the space. We chose a wonderful setting in a pine forest sounded by friends & family with a 3 piece band playing music chosen directly by us in lieu of traditional music. Everything came together perfectly and it felt just like we could have hoped for.”
Thank you so much Najia and Brian for sharing your rustic Maryland Thorpewood wedding with us. The following Washington DC area wedding professionals contributed to their wedding:
When preparing for your wedding, few things can be more fun than shopping for the perfect gown to wear on your perfect day! We also know that this can be a super big decision for you, so we sat down with Julia Simon, owner of Lovely Bride DC, to share some tips, tricks, and trends in bridal. Don’t forget to check out what our real DC brides are wearing on their big day for more inspiration!
Lovely Bride has something for everyone, from the classic DC bride to a more relaxed bohemian beauty. They carry some of the coolest up-and-comers like Rue de Seine, Anna Campbell, and Sarah Janks as well as some of the bigger names like Watters and Hayley Paige. Lovely also carries different accessories such as belts, jewelry, veils, boleros, and more to complete your whole look! The price point at this charming boutique is also quite “lovely” with dresses ranging from $2,000 to $6,000.
What are the newest trends in bridal today?
Looking toward spring 2017 you are going to see a lot of floral appliques, over-skirts, plunging necklines, and thigh high slits. Bridal fashion seems to be moving away from the rustic barn wedding looks that have been in lately to a more traditional look with a modern edge. For example, a sleeved gown with an illusion neckline mix these two concepts flawlessly.
What trends are you most excited about for weddings this year?
We are loving the plunging necklines and slits – think red carpet does bridal! You may not see both a plunging neckline and a thigh high slit in one gown, but we can’t help but get excited by the idea of bridal gowns that evoke feelings of Hollywood glamour.
What is the most sought after accessory right now? (veil, headpiece, belt, etc.)
With the move to more delicate and classic in bridal these days, brides tend to be moving away from the overly ornate and flashy sashes and accessories that have been popular over the past few years. We are seeing floral appliques and beaded gowns trending so the accessories are becoming tamer to make way for those. Brides are looking for a minimalist feel when accessorizing with gorgeously simple silk tulle veils so as to let the gown (and her natural beauty, of course!) do all the talking.
How early do you suggest bride’s start looking for the perfect gown?
As soon as you have your wedding date and venue set and you know the tone of your wedding it’s good to start buying magazines, looking on Pinterest, and just thinking broadly about what you want. I don’t recommend you start shopping until the date and venue are locked down. Though bridal styles don’t turn over quite as quickly as ready to wear, if you’re not getting married for two years it is likely that the gown you love will no longer be available. A good time frame for ordering is around 9 months before the big day so it wouldn’t hurt to start shopping around 10 months – over shopping can be messy so don’t go too crazy by booking appointments at tons of shops over a long time period.
What should brides bring to the appointment?
Bringing two or three of your closest friends and family members can be helpful, but they should realize that they are there to support you. This is not a time for them to push their own agendas and overwhelm you – you don’t want to lose your own voice and vision! Of course a strapless bra and heels never hurt, as well. If you have an heirloom accessory that you know you want to incorporate into your wedding, that would be a great thing to bring shopping so you know how they work with the gowns you’re selecting. It’s easier to see the big picture if you bring the items you plan on wearing on the big day.
What should every bride know before going wedding dress shopping? How should they prepare?
Do your research – go on Pinterest, look online, buy the wedding magazines! Not only is it fun and inspiring for all different details and aspects of your wedding, but you will also quickly learn what gowns draw you in. Your appointment will be much more efficient if you can give your stylist some direction as to your likes and dislikes. For example, you may not necessarily know which silhouette you like but you may be able to say that you want lace, an open back, or sleeves. Having these things in mind will help you make the most of your appointment. If there is a specific designer or gown that you are interested in, make sure that the bridal salons you make appointments at have them so as to save you some heartache and disappointment! The designers carried at Lovely Bride DC are as follows: Hayley Paige, Leanne Marshall, Anna Campbell, Rue de Seine, Sarah Janks, Sarah Seven, Temperley London, Theia, and Watters.
Do you have any other tips and tricks for brides?
Not all brides know this, but while bridal gowns are technically made to order, they are not made to measure. While you are able to customize things like color, fabric, etc. your gown will come in standard sizes so make sure to leave a little money in your budget for alterations. All brides will require some sort of alteration, whether it is something as simple as a hem or a tuck or something completely elaborate and customized like adding sleeves or straps to a gown that was designed without them. In the business we always say you can’t put a price on a flawless fit. It’s those finishing touches that make all the difference.
Finally, what do you think makes a dress “the one”?
It’s all about that feeling; sometimes there’s just no denying it. If you feel more beautiful than ever before, you may be looking at “the one.” That’s exactly how you want to feel on your wedding day.
So to round things up, here are a few tips on making wedding dress shopping a breeze!
Set a budget – we don’t want you to fall in love with a gown that you can’t afford because that is the surest way to heartbreak
Do some research – there may be some things you absolutely hate such as a specific fabric or a silhouette that you don’t find flattering
Don’t over shop – trying on too many dresses can make things confusing so make sure that you are certain you found the one, but don’t try on hundreds of gowns
Keep a tight circle – bringing too many people can cause you to lose sight of your own opinion and vision for your day
Be opening minded – what you choose may not be exactly what you had in mind right off the bat
Ignore the sizing – bridal sizing can be super different from ready to wear sizes, so don’t be offended; it’s like that for everyone!
Have fun – don’t forget this is essentially all about you so live it up a little!
Thanks to Julia Simon for teaming up with us to bring you the latest in bridal along with some tips on getting the most out of your wedding dress search! Also, thanks to Lissa Ryan Photography for all of the fantastic shots of one of the best bridal salons in DC!
Check out Lovely Bride’s website for their hours, trunk show dates, and to schedule an appointment. For more bridal attire inspiration, check out our local DC real weddings to see what brides are wearing these days!
Today we are sharing a look at the Washington DC wedding of Kali and Matt at the Holy Rosary Church and St. Francis Hall. We fell in love with this wedding as soon as we laid eyes on the stunning beaded and lace bridal gown and the bride’s simple beaded headband. The couple infused pieces of their personalities in the quirkiness of the wedding through book table numbers, travel themed escort cards, and vintage book props. Kali is a huge book lover and her father cut each of the book table numbers by hand for them to have at the wedding! She originally wanted to give each guest a book she hand chose for them, but worried that would be cumbersome. So she opted instead to spend the year before the wedding perfecting a hand written note of love and appreciation which was left for them at their seats. It was very important to the couple that each guest felt welcomed and that they were a very special part of their wedding. We absolutely love that they touched each guest personally and with so much care. Thank you to Christine Godsey of Engaging Affairs for sharing this beautiful and unique St. Francis Hall reception with us today!
Congratulations to Kali and Matt! Thank you for sharing your romantic St. Francis Hall wedding with us!
We hope that your week was fantastic; we know ours was! Spring has definitely sprung and we are loving all of the brightly colored and fun wedding inspiration that comes along with it! If you are looking for a little more DC area wedding inspiration check out all of our local real weddings!
While I will always love monuments, cherry blossoms, and all of the iconic options that DC engagement sessions hold, it is engagement photos like these that really capture my heart. I love seeing a photograph that really captures the essence of the couple where you can see a little snippet of their soul. Alex and Sarah met working on a show in Washington, DC. Both of them are professional actors, puppeteers, and resident company members at the Happenstance Theater Company. While most people would find it tough to work and play alongside their spouse day in and day out, they work together creating lovingly hand crafted shows, and are engaged to be married in June. We absolutely love their bluebells engagement session with Leslie Swan Photography and we appreciate the creative nature of the photos. They opted for two looks within the shoot and didn’t mind having a little fun with the floral props that nature provided! Thank you so much to Sarah and Alex for allowing us to share in their engagement session, and best of luck on their wedding day in June!
We wanted to follow up from yesterday’s vibrant blue tented wedding ceremony and reception at the Decatur House with the couple’s modern rehearsal dinner. Ron and Jon knew that since almost all of their friends and family would be coming from out of town, they wanted to host a destination DC inspired wedding weekend event. They started off with a bang at their modern inspired rehearsal dinner at the famous Hay Adams hotel. They chose to use Jon’s favorite color orange to accent the hotel’s linens and chairs. The dinner kicked off with a rooftop terrace cocktail hour, which led into a three course gourmet plated dinner and finished with the roasting and toasting of the grooms-to-be. Special guests also left with a white chocolate White House from the hotel’s pastry team. We love the simplistic yet bold color and decor used by the team at Bellwether Events that accented the space at the top of the Hay. The view alone is worth having any event at this lovely venue, and if you ever have a chance to visit or attend a wedding there don’t miss out on the sites of DC. Thank you to Connor Studios for sharing Rob & Jon’s wedding weekend with us this week!
Wedding of Ron Mennow
Thank you so much Ron & Jon for sharing your wedding weekend with us! The following Washington DC area wedding professionals contributed to their Rehearsal Dinner:
Ron and Jon have one of those great love stories and we are so excited to share it with you today. The two met in passing in Rehoboth, but Ron was still living in Pittsburgh so nothing progressed right away. They did, however, keep in touch via the phone and texts, and almost a year later Ron was coming back through DC on his way back to the beach so they set up their first date – and they got caught in the 2012 Derecho! Luckily they didn’t mind that their evening together was extended many hours to weather the storm. In 2014 they took a trip to Costa Rica and each planned to propose marriage to each other – so that obviously turned out quite well!
Since the vast majority of their friends and family would be coming to the wedding from out of town, they set their sights on hosting a quintessential DC wedding weekend. They kicked off the weekend with a dapper rehearsal dinner at the Hay-Adams Hotel which you should keep an eye out for, as we will be featuring tomorrow! The wedding ceremony and reception was hosted at the wonderful Decatur House, a perfect setting for the French-garden-inspired affair. The guests were greeted by the grooms at the entrance to the historic property which looks onto the White House, and with two specialty cocktails, the French 75 and a Modern Old Fashioned, in hand for everyone. The grooms’ escorted in their mothers to a string quartet while their dads awaited at the altar, serving proudly as their best men in the courtyard ceremony. Dinner was held in the courtyard under a clear top tent and guests enjoyed toasts from the grooms’ fathers before a stations style meal, featuring Indian Curry, Mediterranean Mezze and Steak House Bites. We love how Bellwether Events utilized the blue color story on the guest escort cards using the blue toile fabric boards. The florals from Elegance and Simplicity were the perfect amount of blue to really pop against the August day! Thank you to Connor Studios and Bellwether Events for sharing this quintessential DC Decatur House wedding with us today!
Congratulations to Ron and Jon! Thank you for sharing your Decatur House Washington DC wedding with us!