Happy President’s Day everyone!  You already know we love a groom in uniform, so we thought we would celebrate today’s federal holiday with an adorably offbeat and vintage-inspired wedding from Luke Eshleman Photography.  The day started off with a truly lovely portrait session on the DC Metro and at the National Gallery of Art before heading up to Silver Spring for the ceremony and reception.

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Arielle’s gorgeous wedding dress is the “Drew” style from Priscilla of Boston – I love the layer of tulle peeking out at the bottom of the dress!

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From Luke about Arielle and Eric’s wedding:  I have the pleasure of working with a lot of really amazing people, but there is just something special about Arielle and Eric.  We gelled immediately when we did their engagement shoot last Spring and I enjoyed their wedding probably more than almost any other I have ever shot.  I cannot say enough about how kind and enjoyable they have been throughout our time together.  We met early in the morning outside of Union Station in DC, where we took pictures before heading over to the National Gallery of Art.  The National Gallery is actually comprised of two separate buildings which are connected by an underground tunnel.  The tunnel is sort of like an interactive piece of art and it was a great backdrop for bride & groom pictures.  The wedding itself was filled with nothing but positive emotions and wonderful moments.

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The ceremony and reception took place at Mrs. K’s Tollhouse Restaurant in Silver Spring on a gorgeous day in June – perfect for an outdoor ceremony!

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From Arielle: Aesthetically, Eric and I have very different styles.  I’m very traditional and he’s very modern.  We have common ground, however, on things that are rustic and folksy, so we designed our wedding around that concept.  Our venue–an old tollhouse converted into a restaurant–and my wedding dress–a vintage-inspired short dress were both some of the selections in keeping with that theme.  We also blended in touches from Disney’s The Little Mermaid, including playing “Under the Sea” as our recessional song.  As a couple named Arielle and Eric we just couldn’t resist! Ha!

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Arielle’s Dad served as the officiant for their wedding ceremony!

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Offbeat-Vintage-Inspired-Military-Wedding-Washington-DC-Ceremony

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We actually were inspired by pink flamingos!  I had made an off-handed remark in college to my girlfriends about having pink flamingos at my wedding some day and they decided to hold me to it.  To my surprise, my husband-to-be adored the combination of hot pink and yellow and thus…our color-scheme was born!  The inspiration was a bit atypical, but once we settled on it, we couldn’t imagine anything more perfect to capture our personalities – flamingos are bright, spunky, and unexpected!  Plus, we got to keep the plastic flamingos from our wedding and put them in the lawn of our new house!

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We had so much fun planning our wedding together, we ended up incorporating several personal touches!  For our centerpieces, we borrowed my mom’s milk glass collection and bought wholesale baby’s breath and yellow roses to fill a variety of eclectic vases and bowls.  With a little candlelight, the tables looked phenomenal and didn’t break the bank!  For our guests’ name cards, we ordered yellow buttons on Ebay and styled each uniquely.  For my bouquet, I requested it be split into three smaller bouquets tied together.  That way, I could carry one bouquet down the aisle, but give three lucky wedding guests the opportunity to catch it during the bouquet toss.

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My absolute favorite personalized touch, however, was the “just married” sign I ironed on to the back of my husband’s shirt.  We intended to surprise our guests during our first dance, but were instead surprised by my dad copying our idea and ironing his own message of “Mission Accomplished” on the back of his shirt!  When he popped onto the dance floor we all had big laugh!

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Arielle was also kind enough to pass along some advice for other DC-area brides and grooms:

Keep your eye on the prize!  What we mean by that is stay focused on what your wedding is all about – marrying the love of your life.  Even if you’re an easy-going person, it’s easy to get bogged down in all the hoopla once the wedding planning starts.  Here are some tips to avoid losing sight of things and racking up a huge bill- pick one or two things about the wedding that really matter to each of you and that you’re willing to spring the money for.  For me, it was my dress, for him it was the color-scheme.  Flex on everything else.  To help you stick to your mental budget, think about a future home purchase or vacation the two of you intend to take.  Visualizing an expensive purchase that goes beyond your wedding, helps you keep things simple and saves money for later =)  Best luck with all your wedding plans!

Thanks so much Arielle and Eric, and to Luke Eshleman for sharing the lovely photos from the day!

The following Washington DC area wedding vendors contributed to Arielle and Eric’s wedding:

Venue and Catering – Mrs. K’s Tollhouse Restaurant
Photography – Luke Eshleman
Wedding Cake – Artistic Cake Creations
DJ – Artman DJs
Dress – Priscilla of Boston
Reception Decorations – DIY by the bride’s mother

Don’t forget to visit our vendor guide for more fabulous Washington DC-area wedding professionals or our real wedding gallery for more beautiful weddings!

Photo Credit: Luke Eshleman Photography

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