We have another beautiful DC area wedding by Astrid Photography, and this one is a sleek, modern, gray and yellow affair. We love when couples stay true to their personal style when planning, as not all couples love fluffy romantic centerpieces or rustic chic décor,and instead opt for something that is totally them; in this case, that meant a more contemporary wedding décor approach. This aesthetic held true for Michelle and Eric who planned their wedding ceremony and reception at Arena Stage, which is the perfect for a more modern approach. The venue has floor to ceiling glass windows, and we especially love the black rock garden which the couple used to anchor their reception space. We ask our DC area real wedding couples to answer a few questions before we publish each event and Michelle did such an amazing job of capturing her day in words, that I will let her tell you more about the day below! Thank you to Astrid Photography for sharing this sleek modern wedding with us today!

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“I loved our venue. The architecture, the floor to ceiling glass windows, the wood and concrete and the rock garden running through the middle of the reception space. It was so long and such a prominent feature in the space that I knew I had to do something. I decided to just do candles throughout the entire thing. So on black Friday, while I was at work, I had my mom go buy over 470 candles that were on sale. They didn’t all go in the garden, some were on tables and outside. But I think the rock garden had at least 300 candles in it. My amazing wedding coordinator, Nicole, said she had no problem placing each one in between the black rocks and lighting all of them. I did love the way it turned out and for Nicole’s help on that one. “

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We really wanted to splurge on the photographer. After all, you will have photos forever. Obviously if we could, we would splurge on everything, who wouldn’t? Other things that were a priority to us were the food, alcohol, pre-ceremony drinks, late night snacks, music, Eric’s attire and a unique venue. Things we decided to skip were transportation for bridal party and guests, save the dates, a cake with a cake cutting,  and a formal head table. For our favors we actually made a donation to Save our Herders Outreach for a few hundred dollars. And we noted that on our menu cards so people knew. “

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We loved our ceremony! We decided to have one of Eric’s good friends become ordained and perform the ceremony. We were really easy with the requirements: keep it anywhere from 5 minutes-30 minutes, moment of silence for family and friends who are no longer with us, nothing at all religious and we didn’t want to write our own vows. We also told him we didn’t want to know anything until we are actually in the moment. Pretty risky to give your friend total reign of what all of your family and friends would hear on quite arguable one of the biggest days of your life. He came through for us! He was amazing and we absolutely loved it and it was so special to us. I didn’t want to write our own vows because I knew I would cry, and it was pointless because I cried anyway once I saw Eric crying.”

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“Everyone we knew kept asking us if our dog Penny would be in the wedding. She is an Australian Shepherd and was still very much a puppy as the time and a handful. There was no way we would have her there. the venue also didn’t allow dogs. So instead, we put picture of Penny and our cat Widget at the bar”

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Neither one of us likes cake and wedding cakes are crazy expensive. We thought about an ice cream cake, but in June, it would probably melt and you can’t leave it out for people to look at. We decided to do ice cream cookie sandwiches. They were delicious and they were passed around right before our late night snacks. We are always starving by the end of weddings, so we wanted to provide a little something and maybe try to absorb some of the alcohol people were drinking. I love tater tots, so we did those with a garlic aioli and mini chicken and waffles with a maple glaze. 

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Congratulations to Michelle and Eric!  Thank you for sharing your modern and sleek wedding in Washington DC with us!

The following Washington DC area wedding professionals contributed to their wedding:

Photography: Astrid Photography
Coordinator: Nicole Medrano
Beauty Team: Allison Harper & Co
Bridal Salon: Love Couture Bridal / Gown: Karen Willis Holmes
Bridal Shoes: Stuart Weitzman
Bridal Jewlery: Midtown Jewelers / David Yurman
Floral Designer: Loda floral Design
Invitation: Paperless Post
Bridesmaid Dresses: J. Crew
Grooms Attire: Jos. A Bank
Ceremony & Reception Venue: Arena Stage
Music and Lighting: Bialeks Music / Dan Goldman
Catering and Rentals: RSVP Catering
Favors: Save Our Herders Outreach

For more wedding vendors, please visit our Washington DC area wedding vendor guide and for even more amazing local ideas, check out our wedding inspiration galleries and other Washington DC area real weddings.

Photo Credits: Astrid Photography

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