After a wedding ceremony that combined the outdoor sights of an early fall wedding in Washington DC, and the warmth and comfort of a late fall affair, we’re back with Sarah and Michael’s reception from The Observatory. I can’t get over the thought that this duo put into every detail of their wedding. They gave nods to France, where Michael’s mother is from, and Kansas, where Sarah grew up, brought their travels into their table numbers, incorporated serious fall comfort food into their menu and created an elaborate cake to represent them both individually, and together. When you can incorporate everything you love into a beautiful, refined final result, you have definitely won the wedding jackpot!
From Sarah: The color palette ultimately turned into shades of plum, pewter, cream, a small touch of peacock blue, and a few peacock feathers scattered throughout the floral arrangements. I incorporated lace into the wedding by laying plum-colored lace fabric over our tablecloths (which were plum in the main room, and pewter in the smaller room/library).
We both love to travel and have taken a lot of trips together, so we added our favorite places to our table number cards, along with a brief description of why each place is special to us.
We sought to incorporate the fall season into our food selections. Our passed hors d’ouevres were a take on fall comfort foods, such as mini grilled cheese batons with small mugs of tomato bisque, and shrimp and grits fritters. Our seated dinner menu included butternut squash bisque, cider-roasted Brussels sprouts (a favorite in our home), and pumpkin risotto.
Mike’s mother is French, and we have traveled to France to visit extended family members several times, so we served French macarons at the end of dinner (for a bit of dessert before cutting the cake) and had handmade signs that said “Monsieur” and “Madame” on the backs of our chairs.
Our wedding cake featured two flavors, one for each of us. Mike’s was white wedding cake with lemon curd filling, and mine was chocolate-chip cake with cannoli cream filling. Both cakes had a marzipan filling, as we both have a love of marzipan after visiting marzipan museum while vacationing in Budapest at the beginning of our relationship!
I love to sing (at home, at parties, at karaoke – not professionally!), and have always loved the movie Wayne’s World, so I asked the band to learn “Ballroom Blitz” (which I like to sing at karaoke bars) and sang along with them at the reception. Then, as I heard the band start to play “Total Eclipse” later in the evening, they let me sing with them, too!
As a late-night snack, we had a make-your-own-nachos station, including Hidden Valley ranch dressing and Frank’s Red Hot (yes, I specified both brands…), both of which are popular in Kansas, where I grew up!
A favorite memory is of my husband’s proclamation in the getaway car on the way back to our hotel: “Well, this was all worth it!”
Sarah’s advice to other DC-area couples:
As far as budgeting, my tip is to keep track of everything in a Google Document that you can share with relevant parties. Keep track of the total amount you will owe each vendor, and each payment that you make. Create a formula that will subtract the amounts you have paid from your budget as you input each payment into your spreadsheet, and another formula that subtracts the TOTAL amount for each vendor from your budget as soon as you book each vendor. That way, you can glance at the spreadsheet and know how you are doing at any point in time. Another piece of advice, if you want to have an after-party at a bar, make sure you arrange this with the bar ahead of time. The bar I told everyone to go to after the wedding had been booked by another bride for her after-party, so we had to change our plan at the very last minute (as in, when our guests showed up to the bar and were turned away). I should have called ahead!
The following Washington, DC area wedding vendors contributed to Sarah and Michael’s wedding:
Venue: Meridian House
Caterer: Main Event Caterers
Wedding coordinator: Pineapple Productions
Photographer: The Observatory
Floral Designer: Jack Lucky Floral Design
Ceremony Tent: Skyline Tent Co.
Ceremony Officiant: Rev. Jim Burch
Ceremony + Cocktail Hour Music: Celebrated String Quartet
Reception Music: Sound Nation
Hair + Makeup: Andre Chreky
Alterations: Angie Cavallaro
Engagement Ring + Wedding Bands: Tiny Jewel Box
Stationery: Ellie Goedeker (friend of the bride)
Calligraphy: Arney Walker Calligraphy
Getaway Car: Regal Limousine
Valet Parking + Transportation: MarcParcValet
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: The Observatory
Submitted via Two Bright Lights