Dawn and Phil’s wedding in Maryland is so chic and modern, I’m so happy to share it with all of you today!  Sent to us by Muriel Silva Photography, Dawn and Phil’s wedding began with a ceremony at Woodend Nature Sanctuary, followed by a reception at Redwood Restaurant in downtown Bethesda.  I’m absolutely smitten with Dawn’s gorgeous and minimalist floral selections (she did all the arrangements herself!) – bridesmaids each carried a single purple allium bloom down the aisle, and alliums were also placed in tall glass cylinder vases for the reception centerpieces.  So pretty!

From Dawn and Phil: Our wedding style was a mix of modern with natural elements.  We’re both minimalists, so we wanted something that was elegant without being over the top.  We mixed natural elements – slate, wood, and greens with splashes of purple and white to create a balanced yet modern feel.

We had planned an open air ceremony at Woodend, and it rained on the day.  It was initially frustrating, but we moved the ceremony under cover and now wouldn’t change a thing about how it went down.



We’re both passionate about food, so we wanted a venue that valued food above all else. We worked with the chef to design the menu and we were very pleased with the results.  People tell us to this day how good the food was, not simply for a wedding, but one of the best meals they’ve ever eaten.  We’re proud of that.

We did a number of DIY projects ourselves, including buying the flowers wholesale and purchasing our own vases.  The allium flowers not only acted as a perfect centerpiece as they were tall enough to allow people to talk face-to-face without having to move anything out of the way, but they also provided a splash of color and a touch of whimsy to the day.

Our respective heritage is Italian and Irish, so we tried to fuse elements of both cultures into our day.  Speeches are a huge part of Irish weddings, so we made sure to give people the freedom to share a thought, a memory, a poem or a reflection and we incorporated an Italian bent to the food with cured meats, cheeses and gnocchi.


Between dinner and dessert, we stepped outside with Muriel for some additional photos before the light faded.  We ended up walking into a nearby neighborhood and saw a lovely house with a green front yard.  Within seconds, the owner came out and invited us into his back garden to take some pictures and his partner emerged shortly thereafter with a bottle of champagne to celebrate our day.  It made us both smile and we’ll never forget their sweet gift and enthusiasm.  It was a nice moment for us both to share, away from the frenzy of the day.


Dawn and Phil’s advice for other DC-area couples:

The biggest thing to remember is that things will go wrong.  Life is not perfect and celebrating imperfections can sometimes be more fun than trying to get everything exactly right on the day.  Just remember to breathe out and have a good time.  Whether you are in DC or Dar es Salaam, people are there to celebrate life and you, and they won’t notice the little stuff that goes wrong, even if you have labored over it for months.  Always go with the flow and you’ll have a better day.


The following Washington, DC area wedding vendors contributed to Dawn and Phil’s wedding:

Ceremony Venue: Woodend Nature Sanctuary
Reception Venue: Redwood Restaurant
Photography: Muriel Silva Photography
Floral Design: DIY
Rentals: Capital Party Rental and Windows Catering
Harpist: Eileen Gannon
Mime: Mark Jaster
Bridal Attire: Lela Rose
Groom’s Attire: J. Crew

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 Credits: Muriel Silva Photography

Submitted via Two Bright Lights

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