We’re back with part two of Ilissa and Lisa’s Baltimore wedding from Jennifer McMenamin Photography. (You can catch their wedding ceremony here if you missed it!) Their reception was filled with color, candy, and lots of delicious comfort food. Does it get any better!? My favorite part may just be that Ilissa and Lisa slipped out for a few late night shots in Baltimore… in 37 degree weather! Now that’s dedication!

Postcard Table Numbers

From Ilissa: The reception room in the Jim Rouse Visionary Center is a modern, blank canvas so Lisa and I could customize it completely.

American Visionary Art Museum Brides

Jam Wedding Favors

Jam Wedding Place Cards Wedding Place Settings

Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup Shots

Fall Wedding Decor

Dahlia Wedding Flowers Pink Wedding Flowers

Our food was absolutely wonderful. We decided to seat our guests at long, rectangular tables and serve dinner family-style, so people could pass platters around and get to know each other. With a casual menu of bbq chicken, macaroni and cheese, greens, and biscuits and cornbread, I think plates were licked clean!

American Visionary Art Museum Wedding Reception

Monogram Wedding Vases

Wedding Table Numbers Unique Wedding Floral Arrangements

White Wedding Lanterns

Fall Wedding Arrangements Colorful Wedding Flowers

We decided that we didn’t want a wedding cake (neither of us really likes frosting), so we had small desserts passed while guests were dancing, including Lisa’s favorite warm chocolate-chip cookies and milk. And we set up a candy bar, since we were married two days before Halloween.

Wedding Candy Bar

Wedding Halloween Candy Bar Halloween Candy Bar at Wedding

Same Sex Wedding First Kiss

American Visionary Art Museum Weddings

Wedding Emotions Emotional Wedding Speech

Ilissa + Lisa’s advice to other DC-area couples:

Don’t be afraid to buck tradition. We didn’t have bridesmaids, bouquets, programs, or any decor in our ceremony space except for our huppah. I made the favors, which also served as placecards, and the table numbers. We used tons of votive candles in Lisa’s mom’s mason jars. And we brought in our own wine and beer. That way we were able to spend more on the things that mattered most to us, especially the food. Finally, pick vendors you like and trust, and recognize that while wedding planning is a collaboration, they know what they’re doing! We had a major change in plans two months before our wedding due to a family health crisis, and our vendors rolled with the punches, took care of lots of details when we weren’t able to, and helped us pull off the wedding of our dreams.

LOVE Sign for Weddings

And, here is one last photo that we couldn’t leave out, along with a note from their photographer, Jennifer McMenamin: I have remained friendly with Ilissa and Lisa since their wedding and was beyond thrilled to accompany them to the Baltimore City courthouse in January to photograph their legal civil marriage ceremony. They obviously have quite a fun year ahead of them this year, too!


The following Washington, DC area wedding vendors contributed to Ilissa and Lisa’s wedding:

Ceremony & Reception Venue: The American Visionary Art Museum
Catering: Chefs Expressions
Photography: Jennifer McMenamin Photography
Wedding Planner: Kate Beck Events
Florist: The Floral Studio
DJ: John Paul Berry from Absolute Entertainment
Lighting: Perkins Productions
Officiant: Rabbi Liz Bolton
Bridal Attire: Ilissa wore Anne Barge, Lisa wore Watters, both from Betsy Robinson’s Bridal
Hair and Make-up: Nikki Verdecchia from NV Salon
Invitations: Paper Source
Ketubah: Naomi Shiek from Urban Collective

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: Jennifer McMenamin Photography

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