A Sweet and Personal Wedding Reception in VA: Jessica + Steve

posted by pauline

Welcome back to today’s lovely featured real wedding! Jessica and Steven celebrated their Virginia wedding reception with a rustic-chic party at River Farm in Alexandria, complete with DIY details that the family even helped out on! If you missed their sweet outdoor wedding ceremony, be sure to check it out here.  Their wedding – planned to perfection with Margo from Bright Occasions – had everything from personalized desserts and treats to custom signs that helped set the setting for their wedding guests – who all traveled to help them celebrate. We love how creative Jessica and Steve got while keeping within their wedding budget and still making all their wedding dreams come to life! Special thanks to Victoria Ruan Photography for sharing every element and touching moment through her photographs.

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From Jessica: We wanted the wedding reception to reflect our appreciation for our families and loved ones since they are who shaped us and made us the people – and partners – we are today.

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Early-on in the wedding planning process, we decided that we would tackle any projects that were feasible. This allowed us to customize the details to fit our personality, but also helped us to save money where possible. We made our wedding invitations, place cards, cocktail straws with banners, favor tags and packaging (with help from my brother-in-law, mother and godmother), some of the floral arrangements (with help from my sister), and the chalk wedding program (which was designed by my bridesmaid who happens to be a teacher). There were plenty of things we sourced through Etsy too, including our letter “L” guest book, table numbers and stands, decorations that matched our color scheme, and a welcome sign.

We really enjoyed making the welcome bags for our out-of-town wedding guests. The bags contained treats from our respective hometowns of Chicago, IL such as Vitner Potato Chips; and Grosse Pointe, MI such as Sanders candy. We also included items in the welcome bag from our new home-state of Virginia such as Peanuts. We included personalized notes welcoming everyone, detailing the significance of the treats and a schedule of events.

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The couple even used United With Love to help in their planning and we love that:

We found our wedding planner, Margo of Bright Occasions, by reading some of the articles she authored on United With Love. Scrolling through the real DC area weddings also provided us with inspiration for our own wedding.

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Many people tried to warn us that the wedding day would be over before we knew it. We had no idea how right they were. It was the most fun we’ve ever had, but it was over in the blink of an eye. We wish we had taken more time to share private moments with each other. We should have designated someone to tell us we were due for a “time out” so that we could quietly slip away for a moment together.

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Jessica had two pieces of advice for other Washington DC area engaged couples:

Most importantly, make sure you make time for you and your partner on your wedding day. The day goes by quickly and everyone wants to wish you congratulations. It’s easy to let the time slip by. Designate someone to pull you away from the festivities so that you can reconnect, take a moment to soak in all the love of that day (between each other and from all your loved ones), and enjoy a peaceful moment together before heading back out to the dance floor!

We thought asking our friends and family for help with some of the DIY projects would be a burden, but we underestimated that everyone wants to feel like they’ve contributed to making your wedding special in one way or another and help ease the stress of planning. Leaning on loved ones for support in the final 48 hours was a blessing and they truly appreciated being part of the process. Not to say you should constantly ask for favors or overwhelm them with projects, but it’s okay to ask for help – these people love you and want to be part of your special day. 

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Congratulations to Jessica and Steve! Thank you for sharing your beautiful and oh-so personal Virginia wedding reception with us!

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

Wedding Planner: Bright Occasions
Photography: Victoria Ruan Photography
Invitations: Paper Source
Floral Designer: Whole Foods
Hair + Makeup Artist: Modern Bridal Studio
Wedding Dress: Watters
Bridal Salon: Katherine’s Bridal Boutique
Headpiece/Veil: Etsy
Jewelry: Silver Parrot
Videographer: Wedit
Bridal Party: J. Crew
Bridal Party Accessories: Anthropologie
Groom’s + Groomsmen Attire: Mens Warehouse
Groom’s + Groomsmen Accessories: Tommy Hilfiger and Tie Bar
Ceremony + Reception Venue: River Farm
Officiants: Kevin Hlavaty and John Shanks
Ceremony Music: Anthem
Rentals, Linens + Catering: R&R Catering
Lighting: Frost Lighting and Pier 1
Reception Music: Adrian Duke Project
Cake: Kogibow Bakery and Fancy Cakes by Leslie
Favors: Whole Foods

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.

Photo Credits: Victoria Ruan Photography

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

All About The Dress

There are so many beautiful wedding dress choices! Click here to check out the many local bridal boutiques in the Washington DC area to help you find your dream dress!

An Outdoor Farmhouse Wedding Ceremony in Alexandria, Virginia: Jessica + Steve

posted by pauline

Good beautiful summer morning to you! Jessica and Steve held their Virginia wedding at the breathtaking River Farm property in Alexandria surrounded by loved ones in a lovely natural setting.  Their outdoor wedding ceremony had so many special and personal touches, including officiants that were close to the couple and plenty of DIY details for their guests to enjoy. We love how elated this sweet pair look in each and every photo – clearly beaming with love for one another and a job well done on their wedding day! Big thanks to Victoria Ruan Photography for sharing every precious moment of this Virginia wedding with us through her images.

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From Jessica: The main priority of our wedding was ensuring that our guests had a great time. We knew the majority of people would be traveling to Virginia from elsewhere and we wanted to make sure they were taken care of and that they knew how much we appreciated the effort it took for them to be part of our big day. Given this, we wanted the wedding venue to be comfortable and convenient. We wanted amazing food, and great music to keep them entertained. We also wanted to minimize any inconveniences to our wedding guests, so it was important that we provided transportation options to and from the wedding venue. We splurged on dinner, entertainment and transportation, but minimized cost by getting our wedding cake from a local baker and did other DIY projects.

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It was important that our wedding reflected us as a couple and as individual people (since that’s what attracted us to each other). We wanted the wedding ceremony to feel authentic and relevant to us, so having my uncle and Steve’s good friend marry us solidified the personal touch of their words and added a sense of responsibility to our ceremony vows.

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My favorite wedding day moment was holding my soon-to-be husband’s hands as we recited our vows.

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Congratulations to Jessica and Steve! Thank you for sharing your elegant outdoor wedding ceremony with us! Stay tuned; up next we’re going to share with you their rustic chic wedding reception.

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

Wedding Planner: Bright Occasions
Photography: Victoria Ruan Photography
Invitations: Paper Source
Floral Designer: Whole Foods
Hair + Makeup Artist: Modern Bridal Studio
Wedding Dress: Watters
Bridal Salon: Katherine’s Bridal Boutique
Headpiece/Veil: Etsy
Jewelry: Silver Parrot
Videographer: Wedit
Bridal Party: J. Crew
Bridal Party Accessories: Anthropologie
Groom’s + Groomsmen Attire: Mens Warehouse
Groom’s + Groomsmen Accessories: Tommy Hilfiger and Tie Bar
Ceremony + Reception Venue: River Farm
Officiants: Kevin Hlavaty and John Shanks
Ceremony Music: Anthem
Rentals, Linens + Catering: R&R Catering
Lighting: Frost Lighting and Pier 1
Reception Music: Adrian Duke Project
Cake: Kogibow Bakery and Fancy Cakes by Leslie
Favors: Whole Foods

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.

Photo Credits: Victoria Ruan Photography

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

Say It With Video

Catch those special moments and relive your wedding day everyday! Click here to find a local wedding videographer.

Spiritual City-Chic Wedding Reception in Washington DC: Keight + Kenrick

posted by pauline

Welcome back! Keight and Kenrick said “I do!” in a Washington DC church with their friends and family by their sides – don’t miss a single moment from their wedding ceremony here! And after they wed, the pair headed over to DC hotspot, Lincoln Restaurant for their Washington DC wedding reception dripping in pops of purple and personal touches like custom cake toppers and a groom’s cake too! This couple had one amazing party, with lots of dancing, good food (and desserts), and of course, great times. (Do not miss, what I would argue, is one of the best wedding favors ever!) Thanks so much to Love Life Images for sharing their special wedding reception with us!

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From Keight: Our wedding was an amazing way to experience God’s love! 

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The Captain Cookie & the Milkman cookie truck pulled up outside of the restaurant at the end of the night to hand out cookie wedding favors. It was a huge surprise to everyone and so delicious, too! It also gave people a taste of DC’s food truck culture.

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This couple had some great advice for DC area couples on a budget:

Consider off the beaten path options for wedding vendors, i.e. outside of the city of Washington DC. Often they are more affordable and willing to work within your wedding budget.

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Congratulations to Keight and Kenrick! Thank you for sharing your fabulous purple wedding reception with us! The following Washington DC area wedding professionals contributed to their wedding:

Videography: Nygel Brown Photography
Photography: Love Life Images
Calligraphy: Troyann Watson
Transportation: Reston Limousine
Flowers: Occasional Flowers
Hair Stylist: Shawanna Glass, Spa Logic
Makeup Artist: Dewaynia Wilson
Wedding Dress: Pronovias
Bridal Salon: Curvaceous Couture
Shoes: Badgley Mischka
Headpiece/Veil + Bridal Party Attire: David’s Bridal
Groom’s Tux: His Own
Groom’s Accessories: David Yurman
Jewelry: Swarovski, Nordstrom and Ascot Diamonds
Groomsmen Suits: Jos. A. Bank
Stationery: Pomp and Dixon’s Printing and Design
Ceremony Location: Asbury United Methodist Church
Officiant: Rev. Dr. Joseph W. Daniels, Jr. and Rev. Dr. E. Allen Stewart
Ceremony Music: Curtis Harrington (pianist) and Matthew Wallace (soloist)
Reception Location + Caterer: Lincoln Restaurant
Reception Music: DJ Blaze
Cake: Sweet Thing Black Orchid
Favors: Captain Cookie and the Milkman

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.

Photo Credits: Love Life Images

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.

Spiritual City-Chic Wedding Ceremony in Washington DC: Keight + Kenrick

posted by pauline

Keight and Kenrick had a beautifully spiritual wedding ceremony in Washington DC at Asbury United Methodist Church where loved ones gathered to witness this loving pair tie the knot. With pops of radiant orchid colors and pretty purples, their Washington DC wedding celebration is worth swooning over! We love that they didn’t see each other before they said “I do,” but instead opted to exchange gifts through a door without so much as a peek.  Thanks so much to Love Life Images for sharing their special wedding ceremony with us!

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From Keight: Our wedding represented the importance of God, family and love in our lives. Throughout the wedding planning process, we wanted to give our guests and experience that exemplified our love for God and for one another. Since we met in our church, our shared religious values and sense of spirituality have been central to our relationship. When I heard an NPR story about the 50th Anniversary of John Coltrane’s iconic record, A Love Supreme, I knew that would be our wedding theme. With the theme in mind, we knew we wanted a church wedding, and the Lincoln Restaurant provided the perfect backdrop for our reception.

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Going into the planning process, I thought I would be okay with an off the rack sample bridal gown. However, after dress shopping for a couple of months, my sister, also my maid of honor, picked up my dress and had me try it on. After all of the “oohs and ahhs” from others in the bridal salon, I couldn’t say no! Also, I realized that looking and feeling my best was a top priority, and a gown tailored to fit me was a big part of the equation.

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Since our church would be under construction, we decided to have our ceremony at Asbury United Methodist Church in downtown DC, due to its historical significance and beauty. With the Lincoln, we already knew the food would be amazing, because we often bring our guests from out of town there for dinner. Additionally, the red doors and copper accents were the perfect match for our radiant orchid (my favorite color is purple) and navy (his favorite color is blue) color palette.

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Congratulations to Keight and Kenrick! Thank you for sharing sweet church ceremony with us and all the pretty purple details!  Stay tuned; up next we’re going to share with you their posh downtown Washington DC wedding reception at Lincoln Restaurant.

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

Videography: Nygel Brown Photography
Photography: Love Life Images
Calligraphy: Troyann Watson
Transportation: Reston Limousine
Flowers: Occasional Flowers
Hair Stylist: Shawanna Glass, Spa Logic
Makeup Artist: Dewaynia Wilson
Wedding Dress: Pronovias
Bridal Salon: Curvaceous Couture
Shoes: Badgley Mischka
Headpiece/Veil + Bridal Party Attire: David’s Bridal
Groom’s Tux: His Own
Groom’s Accessories: David Yurman
Jewelry: Swarovski, Nordstrom and Ascot Diamonds
Groomsmen Suits: Jos. A. Bank
Stationery: Pomp and Dixon’s Printing and Design
Ceremony Location: Asbury United Methodist Church
Officiant: Rev. Dr. Joseph W. Daniels, Jr. and Rev. Dr. E. Allen Stewart
Ceremony Music: Curtis Harrington (pianist) and Matthew Wallace (soloist)
Reception Location + Caterer: Lincoln Restaurant
Reception Music: DJ Blaze
Cake: Sweet Thing Black Orchid
Favors: Captain Cookie and the Milkman

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.

Photo Credits: Love Life Images

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.

Sunday Brunch: A. Dominick Events

posted by kate

Good morning DC area wedding lovers! We are excited to share with you another Sunday brunch with one of our awesome sponsors. A. Dominick Events is a full-service event planning firm in Washington, DC that has been coordinating memorable weddings since 2005. Founded by Aimee Dominick, the firm always works to identify the right fit for their clients so that they can create a truly special event each and everytime. Regardless of the event’s site, size or budget, Aimee and her team place a premium on attention to detail and design to ensure that their client’s wedding-day dreams become a breathtaking reality. For more on A. Dominick Events, be sure to visit their website or check out all of their past features on United With Love.

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Photo Credit: Cassidy DuHon Photography

We hope that you’ll check out A. Dominick Events for your wedding planning needs in the Washington DC area. Join us again next weekend for Sunday brunch with another fantastic supporter of United With Love! We’ll see you back here bright and early Monday morning! If you are interested in joining us for brunch on United With Love, please send us an email.

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.

Breakfast Picnic Wedding Engagement in DC: Brittany + Tim

posted by kate

Good morning! I hope you are ready for a little breakfast-meets-wedding love because we have one of the sweetest—and delicious—wedding engagement sessions for you to feast your eyes on morning! I am just adoring Brittany and Tim’s engagement session in Washington DC along the trails overlooking the Potomac River. The couple packed up a perfect picnic breakfast along with some bubbly as Elizabeth Fogarty Photography captured the rare serene moments in DC with the monuments in the background. You can clearly see just how perfect Brittany and Tim are together! So adorable! Speaking of adorable, Brittany’s heart-shaped engagement ring on a strawberry? Perfection.

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Congratulations Brittany and Tim!

Looking for more on engagements? Check out other local DC-area engagement photography sessions, or find out what to wear for your engagement and how to do your make-up for your engagement session!

Photo Credits: Elizabeth Fogarty Photography

Carriages & Coaches

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

Pretty Pink Bridal Shower Brunch

posted by kate

Don’t you just love a bridal shower that is pink, fun and full of cute details? This gorgeous pink and gold brunch captured by Paired Images is all the bridal shower inspiration that you’ll need to plan a lovely morning with your faves. Styled by DC area wedding catering company Mike Isabella Concepts, this bridal brunch is in sharp contrast to the sophisticated wedding rehearsal dinner we just featured, even though both pre-wedding events were at the same location – DC’s Italian hotspot Graffiato. It just shows you that with a little decor, lush flowers, delicate calligraphy, coconut cake and a whole lotta pink, you can turn any space – even your favorite restaurant – into the ideal spot for your bridal shower.

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There you have it! Tons of sweet with a little bit of sass for your perfect bridal shower brunch. The following Washington DC area wedding vendors contributed to this bridal shower inspiration:

Styling: Mike Isabella Concepts
Venue: Graffiato
Photography: Paired Images
Stationery: Carrie, Ink
Paper Placemats: Hester & Cook
Postage: Verde Studio
Goblets, Chargers + Napkins: DC Rental
Chalkboard Art: Meant to be Calligraphy
Floral Design: Elegance & Simplicity

If you are looking for more local wedding inspiration, look in our DC area wedding idea galleries and real DC area wedding features, and don’t forget to look through our amazing DC area wedding vendor guide for all of the pros who can make it happen.

Photo Credits: Paired Images Photography

Carriages & Coaches

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

Urban and Sophisticated Wedding Rehearsal Dinner

posted by kate

Are you ready for a sophisticated, gorgeous city chic themed wedding rehearsal dinner? Well, then you’ve come to the right place! In all the hustle and bustle of planning a wedding, the rehearsal dinner often gets thrown together at the last minute, so today we have lots of city-inspired ideas to help you plan your rehearsal dinner with ease and style. These metallic, black and white with an Italian flair rehearsal dinner ideas captured by Paired Images Photography is all the wedding inspiration that you’ll need to plan a classy, pre-wedding day party! Styled by DC area wedding catering company Mike Isabella Concepts, this dinner is perfectly set at DC’s Italian hotspot Graffiato. From the chair tags affixed with timeless black ribbon or vintage postage for your invitations, this marvelous rehearsal dinner is full of many great ideas to help you turn your rehearsal dinner into one to remember!

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Tons of great ideas for an urban chic rehearsal dinner! The following Washington DC area wedding vendors contributed to this wedding inspiration:

Styling: Mike Isabella Concepts
Venue: Graffiato
Photography: Paired Images
Florals: Elegance & Simplicity
Stationery: Carrie, Ink
Paper Placemats: Hester & Cook
Postage: Verde Studio
Goblets, Chargers + Napkins: DC Rental

For more on the rehearsal dinner, here are few posts that you might be interested in:

If you are looking for more local wedding inspiration, look in our DC area wedding idea galleries and real DC area wedding features, and don’t forget to look through our amazing DC area wedding vendor guide for all of the pros who can make it happen.
Photo Credits: Paired Images Photography

Details, Details!

From forks to chairs, click here to use United With Love’s local guide to find a rental company to complete your wedding day.

Wedding Welcome Bags Under $15: City Chic

posted by kate

Are you ready to welcome you wedding guests to Washington DC in style?? Well, you are in luck today because we are featuring another amazing welcome box from our wedding welcome bag challenge. Remember, this is the fun contest we did with some of the best wedding pros in the Washington DC area where we asked them to put together a wedding welcome bag for under $15 — less than a nice lunch out in the Washington DC area! Wedding welcome bags can sometimes be an unexpected cost after all is said and done, but there are some really amazing and affordable ways to greet your out-of-town wedding guests. Today’s welcome box is so city-chic! It is from Taylor and Hov and it celebrates all that is fabulous and fantastic about Washington DC, so you know we love this one! Our friend Amber Wilkie Photgoraphy take some gorgeous photos for us too!

Copyright 2015 Amber Wilkie Photography | www.amberwilkie.com

Photo Credit: Amber Wilkie Photgoraphy

Today’s wedding welcome bag challenge submission feature is a chic box perfectly made for a downtown Washington DC wedding from Taylor and Hov. This welcome box and its paper goodies inside feature the DC skyline all perfectly coordinated and branded with your wedding logo. It is brimming with things for your guests to do in the DC area and lets them figure it out in a fun way too with a DIY “cootie catcher”! After your wedding guests read the welcome note with an itinerary for your wedding weekend, they can snack on something salty or sweet and sip some bubbly – sweet sophistication! After all is said and done, an Advil packet awaits you after a long day of touring the city!

Copyright 2015 Amber Wilkie Photography | www.amberwilkie.com Copyright 2015 Amber Wilkie Photography | www.amberwilkie.com

Supplies:

  • Labels and stickers for contents
  • Card stock for notes + letter
  • Paper for cootie catcher
  • Box
  • Chocolate Bar
  • Box with Scoop
  • Advil
  • Trail Mix
  • Filler
  • Champagne
  • Envelope

Copyright 2015 Amber Wilkie Photography | www.amberwilkie.com

Contents:

  • Welcome Note / Itinerary for Wedding Weekend
  • Something salty: nut mix
  • Something sweet: PB+J chocolate bar
  • Something bubbly: Freixnet Mini Champagne (in the box displayed is a cider, but you could always use cider for non-drinking guests!)
  • Cootie Catcher with things to do in DC
  • Advil packet

Copyright 2015 Amber Wilkie Photography | www.amberwilkie.com Copyright 2015 Amber Wilkie Photography | www.amberwilkie.com

So city chic! This welcome box is fabulous and fantastic – perfect for a wedding in downtown that celebrates the city that we all love: Washington DC! A big, big thank you to the ladies at Taylor and Hov for sharing this sophisticated idea for a wedding welcome box. If you are looking for a local wedding planner in the Washington DC area, be sure to check out Taylor and Hov.

Come back and see more from our wedding welcome box challenge and be sure to take a look at our past posts on what to include in a Washington DC wedding welcome bag, a Maryland wedding welcome bag, and a Virginia wedding welcome bag! If you are in the mood for more projects, you can check out all of our Washington DC area DIY weddings right here! Be sure to look through our DC area wedding idea galleries and find wedding advice from local DC area pros.

Photo Credits: Amber Wilkie Photgoraphy

Local Wedding Events

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