Today we’re thrilled to be sharing Melissa and David’s courthouse wedding in downtown Washington, DC.  Even though Melissa and David knew that they would be married at a courthouse, they didn’t want that to stop them from having the “DC” wedding that they really wanted.  With a family celebration in California planned for 2012, Melissa and David enlisted Jacqueline from Schmitz Wedding Photography to document their wedding day, from a first look to a portrait session at the Lincoln Memorial to lunch at Ben’s Chili Bowl and finally their courthouse ceremony in downtown Washington, DC.

From Melissa: When David and I first discussed getting married, we always knew it would need to be in a courthouse. With David working for USAID in Angola, there was no way I could or would join him without us getting married.  We had to wait 6 months for David to come home to Washington, DC where I was also living.  We knew we wanted to do a very “DC” wedding since Dave grew up just outside DC and we lived there together briefly before he moved to Africa.

We wanted a fun wedding and with my background as a photo producer, I had to have a playful photoshoot.  I was lucky enough to meet the talented Washington, DC-based wedding photographer, Jacqueline from Schmitz Wedding Photography and convinced her to shoot us all over DC.  We created the perfect shot list which included a stop at the Lincoln Memorial, DC’s famous Ben’s Chili Bowl, and our courthouse ceremony.  The shoot at Ben’s Chili Bowl was fantastic and we have been asked by Ben’s to put our photo on the wall.  David and I can’t wait to bring our kids there one day to show them our photo.

Since our wedding was at the courthouse, I wanted to keep things simple.  I chose a short white lace dress and nude shoes which I’ll definitely wear again!  I bought a gorgeous birdcage veil which made me feel like a bride out of the 1920s.  David found an adorable pink patterned bow tie which was the perfect accent to my bouquet.

My bouquet contained a Queen Protea which is pinkish in color and is South Africa’s national flower.  Since my family is from South Africa and David proposed to me on the top of Lion’s Head mountain in South Africa, it was the most appropriate flower I could think of and it really looked beautiful!

We chose Swarovski Crystal sea horses for our wedding cake topper instead of cake decoration since we love sea horses and it’s a decoration we can keep for years to come.  We’ll continue the nautical theme with a wedding celebration in Half Moon Bay, California in July 2012 and cannot wait to celebrate our love with all of our close friends and extended family there.  Until then, it’s pre-Angola vaccines and paperwork which means I’m just weeks away from finally being with my husband.  FINALLY!

The following Washington, DC area wedding vendors contributed to Melissa and David’s wedding:

First Look Venue: Melrose Hotel
Ceremony Venue: Moultrie Courthouse, Washington, DC
Photography: Schmitz Wedding Photography
Floral Design: Blue Iris Flowers
Veil and Fascinator: Sara Gabriel, purchased at Hannelore’s in Old Town, Alexandria
Bride’s Shoes: Nine West
Hair and Makeup: Andre Chreky Salon
Groom’s Attire: J. Crew suit, Rugby tie, Tommy Hilfiger vest, Artikal Millinery hat

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: Schmitz Wedding Photography

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