I absolutely love it when couples incorporate cultural traditions into their wedding – and today’s spring wedding in Virginia from Jan Michele Photography is no exception.  Toni and Carl celebrated their wedding during last year’s cherry blossom season, incorporating many Filipino traditions into their day in honor of Carl’s Filipino heritage.  Of course, they couldn’t resist a few portraits under those gorgeous cherry blossoms – and I totally get it, I can’t wait for this year’s cherry blossoms to make their appearance in just a couple short weeks!


From Toni: Carl is Filipino and we wanted to incorporate the Filipino traditions into our ceremony.  Some of these customs include principal and secondary wedding sponsors and a Arrhae (coin) ceremony.  We chose some of Carl’s aunts and uncles to be the principal sponsors, or godparents, of our wedding.  We chose our bridesmaids and our groomsmen to be our secondary wedding sponsors and gave each couple a specific function: lighting of the unity candle, putting on the veil and the cord.  Additionally, the arras symbolizes 14 tenets of an enduring marriage, which include: love, harmony, cooperation, commitment, peace, happiness, trust, respect, caring, wisdom, joy, wholeness, and nurturing.


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Carl and I wanted a relatively simple wedding.  We got married at the very end of March with Spring right around the corner.  I thought it was appropriate for the bridesmaids to wear green.  When I think of Spring, I think of the earth being reborn in lush vibrant colors.  Carl and the groomsmen wore a barong tagalog, the traditional Filipino dress shirt.





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Carl and I decided to invest in a great photographer!  Our wedding day was a blur, which is why we were so thankful to have such beautiful pictures of our special day.  Even though it was raining the day we got married, we still wanted to have our wedding pictures taken outside near the cherry blossoms and in front of the beautiful doors of the National Gallery of Art. Hiring a great photographer was our priority and money well spent!

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Instead of purchasing wedding favors, we decided to donate that money to a local charity.  This money went to Arlington Food Assistance Center (AFAC), where we regularly volunteered together.  We also decide to get cupcakes from Buzz Bakery instead of a traditional wedding cake.  We also hired a jazz trio for the cocktail hour followed by a DJ for the reception.





Congratulations Toni and Carl – thank you for sharing your lovely wedding with us!

The following Washington, DC area wedding vendors contributed to Toni and Carl’s wedding:

Ceremony Venue: St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church
Reception Venue and Catering: Hilton Arlington
Photography: Jan Michele Photography
Floral Design: James Flowers Love
Wedding Cupcakes: Buzz Bakery
DJ: The Lace Music
Transportation: Chariots for Hire

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

Photo Credits: Jan Michele Photography

Submitted via Two Bright Lights

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