Today’s gorgeous fall wedding comes to us from Katie Stoops Photography. Sara and Niko planned a sophisticated and elegant Washington, DC wedding, with a ceremony at the historic manor setting of Tudor Place and a reception at Brasserie Beck. Sara and Niko worked with Emilie from Weddings and Events by Bliss to make sure the day went off without a hitch. While the October weather was a bit too cold and rainy for an outdoor ceremony, they handled the switch to an indoor ceremony with aplomb – and later snuck away for a stunning portrait session with Katie in Tudor Place’s beautiful gardens.
From Sara: We decided to have a smaller wedding – 60 people – which allowed us to focus on pretty little details, like historic DC maps in the invitations and on the programs and table confetti. With an evening wedding, we wanted to showcase the sophisticated side of DC, with sparkly navy cocktail bridesmaid dresses balanced with soft pastel bouquets and groomsmen in classic black tuxedos.
Two small details I loved too are the little feather butterflies on my shoes and the gorgeous silk lining of Niko’s tux. These are little things that only the two of us really knew about or noticed on the day, like a secret.
I’m a design nerd so I loved the elegant letterpress printing process from Digby & Rose on the invitations tempered by the kraft envelopes, the vintage DC maps on the programs and the envelope liners which herald our local roots. We worked with our musician friend Pete Muldoon to design acoustic versions of our favorite songs for the ceremony.
It rained on our wedding and was the coldest October 1 on record. I was very sick too, having just returned from Thailand for work on a last minute opportunity. I got home 4 days before our wedding. The ceremony was supposed to be held outside in the garden of beautiful Tudor Place in Northwest DC, but the cold and rain drove us inside the Administration Building, which was lovely but not our first choice. I decided that I couldn’t be bummed out by these realities and instead chose to look at the little adversities as a metaphor for life: you can plan all you want but things have a way of changing on their own and you can either be frustrated or decide to be happy. We chose happiness!
The food was very personal for us. Niko loves the lemon ricotta iced cookies from Cork Market and my mom baked a version for our pre-ceremony snacks to accompany my all time favorite cocktail, Pimm’s no. 1. Dinner was held at a longtime favorite of my family’s, Brasserie Beck, and it is close to our neighborhood so we literally felt at home. We had mini favor boxes at each setting with Jordan Almonds wrapped up in them, which is a traditional Greek wedding accompaniment, along with personalized matches for the sparkler Grand Exit from dinner.
At the reception, my brother Ben and best friend Craig surprised us all with an amazing slideshow of our childhood pictures. That was such a fun surprise and only slightly embarrassing!
Sara’s advice to other DC-area couples:
We did most of the big planning ourselves but do get yourself a month or day-of coordinator, at least! Emilie was a lifesaver and great stress reliever. This was great advice heeded from a good friend who was married the year before. Hire a photographer who’s work you love and build a relationship with them so they know who you are and can capture that. Use a budgeting tool or software to stay organized! Don’t be afraid to bargain hunt and DIY, it makes you all the more invested in the events!
The following Washington, DC area wedding professionals contributed to Sara and Niko’s wedding:
Ceremony Venue: Tudor Place
Reception Venue: Brasserie Beck
Photographer: Katie Stoops
Wedding Planning & Coordination: Weddings and Events by Bliss
Floral Design: Anthomanic
Videography: Craig William
Officiant: Reverend John Gaffney
Ceremony Guitarist: Pete Muldoon
Cake: Creative Cakes
Wedding Dress: Amy Kushel purchased from Hitched
Bride’s Shoes: BHLDN
Bride’s Veil: Fascinating Creations
Groom’s Attire: Astor & Black
Hair + Makeup: Alison Harper & Company
Transportation: Monumental Limo
Alterations: The Gown Doctor
Invitations + Stationery: Digby & Rose
Photo Credits: Katie Stoops Photography