It’s All A Wedding: Wedding Planning Advice From Real LGBT Couples

posted by julianne

The Supreme Court’s ruling in June said that same-sex couples can marry nationwide and that states can no longer deny marriage to couples based on their sexual orientation. Yes! Married same-sex couples will now have the same legal rights as heterosexual couples in all states. Here in the DMV, we have been celebrating and honoring same sex marriages for a few years. Same sex couples have been marrying in the District of Columbia since 2009 and in Maryland since 2013.

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Photo Credit: Kelly Prizel Photography of Alex and Kate

Now that same sex couples can marry in all states, I’m wondering is there any difference between planning a marriage for a same sex couple as for a heterosexual couple? Are there any specific challenges or things that LGBT couples wish they knew before getting started in their wedding planning process? Here at United With Love, we’ve taken the approach over the years that it is all just a wedding, straight or same-sex, and each wedding poses its own unique challenges regardless of the sexual orientation of the couple. We try to give general wedding planning advice specific to the Washington DC area so that couples can then apply that advice to their own marriage in they way they see fit.

For more on the subject of LGBT wedding planning challenges (or not!), I turned to Candy at Candy+Co. Events. Candy reached out to a few of her past wedding planning clients who are same sex couples who were married in Washington DC. What did they have to say on the matter? Was their wedding planning experience different or more challenging because they were a same sex couple? What would they advise current LGBT couples planning a wedding? What should they look out for? Here’s what they had to say about their wedding planning experience as it specifically relates to being a same sex couple…

THE MARRIAGE

“The two best pieces of advice someone gave me was: 1.) Hire a professional, even if it is just to coordinate the event on-site. This is your special day, you want to be able to experience it, enjoy it and remember. And not be worrying about whether Uncle Warren is going to remember to pay the caterer. 2.) When planning the wedding, schedule and devote time to NOT TALK ABOUT THE WEDDING. The closer you get, the easier it is to let the final decisions and planning take over every moment. Take some time to let in some oxygen and allow you relationship to breathe.” – DJ + Mike

“My advice to any couple is make sure you are getting married because you want to and not because you are trying to make a statement. I wanted to be married where I live; not to travel to another state to do it. It just wouldn’t have felt right. My partner and I are not real religious so getting married in a church just didn’t feel right. It is your wedding and your special day so get married where ever you want and find that right person to marry you; not someone that feels obligated because of the new law that was passed.” – Jeff + Jim

“My husband and I thought about how we wanted ourselves and guests to feel at the wedding to make up a mission statement. We decided we wanted it to be fun, elegant, relaxed, with some Southern (me) and Midwestern flair (him). We gave those ideas to our wedding planner along with our budget and she compiled lists of websites and contacts for us to visit. We found our wedding planner through a referral by a friend.  – DJ + Mike

THE PLANNING

“Given that we lived in a jurisdiction that legalized gay marriage back in 2010, we didn’t have as many issues. Our wedding was also not right after the legislation passed; a good 18-months went by until our wedding day. We still did run into instances where people asked about the ‘bride’…and then apologized. We found ourselves using the term ‘bridal party’ and ‘bridesmaids dresses’ a few times as a slip of the tongue. I could only imagine planning a wedding in a location before gay marriage was legalized nationwide. I could also see challenges with some foreign destinations. There were minor things that came up, ‘traditional elements of a wedding’ that did not make sense to be part of a gay wedding. Overall, it was nothing major.”  – Bill + Harry

“The main thing that made my wedding day easier than I hoped was knowing that I had a dedicated wedding planner and team of close family and friends that were going to do everything to make the day run smoother. I felt that I had a good idea of who was going to show up, how the day was going to run and felt I’d be able to be emotionally, mentally and spiritually present. Also, knowing that my wedding planner had talked to each and every vendor, from the venue to the caterer to the limo drivers, to make sure they had no issues with serving a wedding for two men. I’m lucky to live in Washington, DC, which has been pretty open to weddings of same-sex couples even before the district legally recognized out-of-state weddings in 2009, and then full marriage rights within the district in 2010. I was fairly confident most businesses would be accepting, but given how people all types of political leanings are in DC, you never know how a business might react.”  – DJ + Mike

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Photo Credit: Jessie Mary Photography of Bill and Harry

THE VENDORS

“For the most part, we didn’t feel like we were planning anything more unusual than a wedding. We did, however, make sure that our vendors had worked with gay couples before (this mostly involved scouting websites to see if there were photos or examples of same-sex couples). One of the photographers we talked to had never shot a same-sex wedding, and we ended up going with someone else partly because of that. We also faced some family drama around the fact that we were two women getting married, but we figure every wedding has its family drama, so that was just our particular flavor.” – Kate + Alex

“Frankly, we never paid much attention to weddings before we got engaged. Once we started the planning process, we discovered the size and scope of the wedding industry and that many vendors are not up to par…Seek those who want your satisfaction, not just your money. With that being said, being in D.C. or the nearby suburbs, we never felt any of our negative vendor experiences were due to our sexual orientation. Do not assume that those who might treat you poorly are doing so because you are LGBT. In fact, we met with an openly gay caterer who was late, unfriendly and left bridal magazines all over the tasting room. Meanwhile, the straight caterer we ended up hiring (Spilled Milk) wowed us with delicious food and incredible hospitality. Our sexual orientation was irrelevant. Also, realize that a lot of the marketing, advertising and branding has not caught up to the laws or culture. You might have to spend a little extra time or money to find LGBT-inclusive or neutral cake toppers, cards, etc. As an interracial gay couple, we got creative or made a couple of DIY items because of this lack of representation. For example, we bought love birds for our cake toppers because the pre-packaged statues only featured straight couples or they looked nothing like us.” – M and T

“Separate from the services they provide, it is critical to get a sense of the wedding ascetic that the vendors work with. We met with (and sampled) a lot of really good vendors but it was clear which vendors would fit best with our vision of our wedding day. Thinking about the caterers in particular, most prepared really good food, however, some were very traditional in their service and conceptions about wedding menus. For us, that was not a good fit  I never really thought about this until after the fact. Would have saved us and them a lot of time.” – Bill + Harry

“For my wedding, I did not feel I ran into any unusual challenges that prevented me from planning my wedding. Even though everyone wants to be treated equally and have the same wedding as a straight couple, there are some differences with a gay wedding and some of your challenges will be with people and businesses who do not want to be part of your day, and frankly why would you want them to be? Look for the people and businesses that are at least gay friendly and/or gay owned and that will hopefully alleviate some of the stress and challenges you might face. Be upfront with them from the start; you are looking for someone to be a part of your gay wedding. You will know if they are worthy of your business.” – Jeff + Jim

“I did get married in Washington, DC, so gay life is very much recognized and I feel most businesses that we could have chosen from, caterers to flowers to venues and even your officiant, was not difficult to find. In other states, this may be an issue. I felt that every business and all of the staff we worked with were very comfortable with us and our guests from start to finish. I could not have been more pleased. After all, it is your special day and you will find all of the right components, otherwise you won’t be choosing that particular person, venue or area.” – Jeff + Jim

THE CEREMONY

“Focus on the ceremony – for us, that was the part that mattered. The reception is just a giant party – we wanted to have it planned out well enough that people would have a good time, but didn’t want to stress too much about the details.” – Kate + Alex

“Don’t skip out on the pre-wedding couples counseling. No matter how long you have been together, getting married is a life changing event. Working with a professional or spiritual adviser to put that all into context is very important, and also helping you paint a picture of how your relationship will and should change as a married couple is critical.”  – Bill + Harry

THE TRADITIONS

“The only two challenges we faced dealt with tradition. First, my husband and I needed to decide which traditions from our families, or heritage we felt were appropriate for us. Were we going to jump a broom? Hold it in a church? Have our parents walk us down the aisle. And the other challenge was that my family didn’t really know how to react to a wedding for two men.  This was the first time many of them attended. To find traditions that felt us, we did a lot of reading, talking to other married friends and thinking about other marriage ceremonies we’d seen that touched us. We decided to start with a social happy hour to get our families interacting. We decided to skip the church, but have a close friend who is a former minister do the ceremony. We didn’t jump the broom, but did have other mother’s light candles that we then each used to light a unity candle right before exchanging rings and vows. As for my family, I had some one-on-one conversations to remind them that they should treat this wedding just like any other wedding they had attended: Congratulate us, send back the response card and don’t bring extra uninvited guests. On the day of, my family had some touching, heartfelt moments that was more meaningful than I could’ve ever imagined.” – DJ + Mike

THE GUESTS

“Our primary challenge was deciding on our strategy for inviting wedding guests – particularly extended family members – who we knew or suspected did not support marriage equality for same-sex couples. With friends, we were more selective. But ultimately, we chose to invite all family members, putting the onus on them to RSVP ‘yes’ or ‘no.’ Others may decide to do otherwise or may feel uncomfortable doing this, but we did not want family members who wanted to attend (and did indeed attend) to feel slighted or insulted that their mother/brother/etc was not invited as well. We also did not want anyone to claim, down the road that they would have attended if invited. Perhaps, and hopefully soon, this won’t be an issue.” – M and T

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Wow, thank you so much to Candy and to all of the couples who provided such amazing and personal wedding planning advice for having a same sex wedding here in the Washington DC area. For more from Candy and her incredible team of wedding planners in DC, be sure to check her out at Candy+Co. Events.

In the meantime, be sure to check out all of the other DC area wedding advice that we have put together for you or look through our list of the best Washington DC area wedding vendors!

These vendors are member of United With Love's local guide. Click here for membership info.

Paper Goodies

Click here to find a local stationer to design all of your wedding day paper details – from invitations to escort cards.

Blush Pink Waterfront Wedding Reception in Southern Maryland: Britney + Kyle

posted by pauline

Welcome back to your second dose of pretty today with Britney and Kyle’s wedding in southern Maryland! This gorgeous duo held their big day at the sprawling Woodlawn Farm in southern Maryland where they held both their wedding ceremony and reception on the waterfront property. In case you missed their outdoor ceremony under a big, beautiful tree, be sure to check out all the pretty details here. After their wedding vows, their blush pink and gold hued wedding reception event was held underneath a large tent, creating the perfect balance between rustic and chic sophistication that couple wanted. They used sparkle to dress up the tented area and sweet, low lantern-clad centerpieces to blend in with the natural setting outdoors on the water. But, my favorite wedding detail from the day has to the light up “W” sign on their sweetheart table! What an unexpected pop of decor! Britney and Kyle shinned on this beautiful wedding day and it certainly shows in their amazing photos from Birds of a Feather Photography and support from TreBella Events. Thanks for sharing with us!

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From the bride: The vision for our wedding stemmed from a blush and gold wedding pallet. We liked a little bit of a vintage look with a lot of sparkle for our wedding. Our wedding guest book was an important touch to our wedding that shows our hometown. This sign was personally made by a local artist.

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Advice from the bride to other Washington DC area couples:

Do not stress the tiny wedding details! I heard this advice many times, but truly did not understand the meaning until our wedding day was over. There were many details that I stressed over and I did not end up seeing them on the wedding day. I spent a lot of time creating personalized signs and pictures that I never even got the chance to see.

Also, having a photo booth was a huge plus for our wedding guests. A wedding videographer is a must! A lot of couples choose to skip the wedding video, but the day goes by extremely fast so it was important to us to have. A great photographer is a must as well. This are the memories you will have for years to come. It is also important to have wedding photographers that are fun to be around!

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To see more from their stunning wedding, check out their wedding video here:

Congratulations to Britney and Kyle! Thank you for sharing your cheerful rustic tented wedding reception with us!

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

Videographer: Thuis Studios
Photography: Birds of a Feather Photography
Reception Linens + Decor: TreBella Events
Ceremony Decor + Bouquets: My Flower Girl
Stationery: Julie Hanan Design
Floral Designer: My Flower Girl
Hair Stylist: Crystal Wood
Makeup Artist: Bombshell Beauties
Bridal Gown: Maggie Sottero
Bridal Salon: Serendipity Bridal
Bridesmaids Dresses: House of Wu – Pretty Maids
Groom + Groomsmen Attire: Allure
Ceremony + Reception Venue: Woodlawn Farm
Officiant: Joe Orlando
Ceremony Music: Melanie Young Harpist
Rentals: Bailey’s Party Rentals
Catering: Bailey’s Catering
Reception Music: Invincible Entertainment
Cake/Dessert: Almond Creek Cakery
Favors: You’re That Girl Designs

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: Birds of a Feather Photography

These vendors are member of United With Love's local guide. Click here for membership info.

Say Cheese!

With many incredible wedding photographers in the DC area, click here to use United With Love’s local guide to find the right one.

Blush Pink Waterfront Wedding Ceremony in Southern Maryland: Britney + Kyle

posted by pauline

Let’s take a romantic trip for a gorgeous, waterfront wedding in southern Maryland! Britney and Kyle’s picture perfect blush pink wedding in Maryland took place at the rustic and oh-so charming, Woodlawn Farm in southern Maryland. As if the backdrop for their waterfront wedding wasn’t beautiful enough, I’m obsessed with all of their pretty pink details and gold accents! Their wedding ceremony spot under a big, beautiful tree was picture-perfect, especially with the hanging flower garland to set the romantic mood. Even the bridesmaid dresses were blush in tone, while the guys complimented them flawlessly in slate grey suits. And while the bride and groom looked gorgeous, it was the flower girl and tiny ring bearer that seemed to capture a lot of the attention too! How could you resist these two darling kids!? What a special family affair their wedding day turned out to be! Big thanks to our friends at Birds of a Feather Photography and their wedding planner TreBella Events for sharing these fabulous Washington DC area wedding photos with us!

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From the bride: Our main priority for our wedding was a breath-taking venue that our wedding guests could enjoy, and awesome photography and videography to capture our big day. The wedding ceremony decorations were a huge favorite of ours. The flower curtain was a beautiful back drop for our photos. The wedding day as a whole is our favorite memory. Our wedding day was such a fairy tale and its impossible to pick one memory! It was the perfect day!

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Congratulations to Britney and Kyle! Thank you for sharing your romantic and pretty-in-pink outdoor wedding ceremony with us! Stay tuned for their stunning tented wedding reception up next!

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

Videographer: Thuis Studios
Photography: Birds of a Feather Photography
Reception Linens + Decor: TreBella Events
Ceremony Decor + Bouquets: My Flower Girl
Stationery: Julie Hanan Design
Floral Designer: My Flower Girl
Hair Stylist: Crystal Wood
Makeup Artist: Bombshell Beauties
Bridal Gown: Maggie Sottero
Bridal Salon: Serendipity Bridal
Bridesmaids Dresses: House of Wu – Pretty Maids
Groom + Groomsmen Attire: Allure
Ceremony + Reception Venue: Woodlawn Farm
Officiant: Joe Orlando
Ceremony Music: Melanie Young Harpist
Rentals: Bailey’s Party Rentals
Catering: Bailey’s Catering
Reception Music: Invincible Entertainment
Cake/Dessert: Almond Creek Cakery
Favors: You’re That Girl Designs

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: Birds of a Feather Photography

These vendors are member of United With Love's local guide. Click here for membership info.

Pretty & Pampered

With United With Love’s local vendor guide, click here to find hair and make up specialists for your wedding day.

Intimate Winter Wedding Reception in Annapolis: Leslie + Rick

posted by pauline

Welcome back to part two of Leslie and Rick’s ultra personal (and purple!) wedding in Annapolis! This cute couple exchanged wedding vows at the Annapolis Courthouse with just their parents to witness their wedding ceremony. If you missed their sweet first look, loving vows and incredible portraits in Annapolis, be sure to check it out here. Even though they opted for a small wedding ceremony, this pair had quite another idea for their wedding reception. They had a big celebration when it came time for their post-ceremony wedding party! Their purple-clad winter wedding reception took place at The Westin Annapolis where pops of gold were sprinkled throughout the wedding decor, and grand centerpieces filled the ballroom with the colors the bride had been dreaming of! This dance party was not short in details, from the ice luge to the sparkler sendoff at the end of the night, but it was the sweetheart table just for the bride and groom that really caught my eye! Leslie and Rick two had the best of both wedding worlds – intimate moments together for their wedding ceremony followed by a big dance party with all their loved ones for their wedding reception. Big thanks to DuHon Photography for sharing their winter wedding in Maryland with us!

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From the bride: I always envisioned our wedding to have a classic, elegance vibe. I love the decor of parties in the 1930’s and 40’s. I wanted our wedding to bring that old elegance back. It started with the color scheme: royal purple and gold. I was very clear from the beginning that I did not want an ounce of lavender in the wedding decor. Although lavender is a beautiful color, it did not match our wedding vision. However, I did have a lavender and lace themed bridal shower!

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Our signature wedding drink (The Purple Honeymoon) was created by the groom and myself. It was fun mixing drinks together to create the perfect mix for our wedding reception. My favorite details of the wedding included our “sweet heart” table. I added a lace overlay to the gold shimmer table cloth for a little extra detail. We also decided to skip the traditional ice sculpture and went with an ice luge for the reception. It was a great decision and our guests LOVED it!

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Advice from the bride for other Washington DC area couples:

Stick with your wedding vision and make your wedding about you and your spouse. The wedding day goes by so fast, but enjoy every moment of the celebration. Also, take a minute during your reception with your spouse and just watch everyone and have a great time.

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To see more from Leslie and Rick’s pretty purple wedding, be sure to tune into their wedding video here:

Congratulations to Leslie and Rick! Thank you for sharing your picture perfect purple ballroom wedding reception with us!

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

Ceremony Venue: Annapolis Courthouse
Photography: DuHon Photography
Reception Venue + Caterer: The Westin Annapolis
Videographer: Cecile Davis
Wedding Planner: Mint Julep Event Studio
Stationery: Dancing Pen & Press
Floral Designer: Monteray Farms Flowers & Gifts
Hair Stylist: Kanitha Felder
Makeup Artist: Kelley Woods
Bridal Gown: Sincerity Bridal 3771
Bridal Salon: Amanda Ritchey Bridal
Bride’s Shoes: Menbur Novia
Headpiece/Veil: Bella Mera Bridal Boutique (Symphony Bridal Veil)
Jewelry: Ring – Custom Made by Petra Hein
Groom’s Attire: Custom Made – Suit Supply DC
Groom’s Shoes: Gordon Rush
Groom’s Accessories: Ring Custom Made – Johan Rust
Rentals: A Grand Event, Party Rentals
Linens: Party Rental Ltd
Lighting: Bayside Lighting
Reception Music: Dj Chris Styles
Cake/Dessert: Fiona’s Cake
Favors: Stemless Wine Glasses
Sweet Heart Table Chairs: Xoxo Vintage
Custom Made Corset: Snares of Venus
Chocolate Bar:  Shari’s Berries, Le Pain QuotidenThat’s So Morie Cupcakes

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: DuHon Photography

Say It With Video

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Intimate Winter Wedding Ceremony in Annapolis: Leslie + Rick

posted by pauline

I hope that you are ready for a sweet and personal wedding in Annapolis today! Leslie and Rick said “I do” their way at the courthouse in Annapolis, Maryland, where they wanted to have an intimate wedding ceremony. The couple opted to exchange wedding vows with just their parents present at the Annapolis Courthouse before heading to downtown Annapolis to be joined by oodles of friends and family and a much larger wedding reception celebration. Leslie’s bountiful purple bridal bouquet was just the hue she wanted, and it complimented her beautiful sweetheart neckline wedding dress perfectly. The couple didn’t need much decor at their courthouse ceremony, instead focusing on the ceremony itself, which left them to splurge on winter wedding decor for their reception. Leslie and Rich’s wedding ceremony may have been small, but you can feel all that love just jump off the page in these pretty pictures from DuHon Photography! I especially adore the giddiness of the bride’s face for their first look photos – a great moment between bride and groom!

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From the bride: The main priorities for our wedding was the actual wedding ceremony. We take marriage very seriously and decided to have a private wedding ceremony with just our parents present. By doing this we avoided the pomp and circumstance of a wedding ceremony and instead focused on us. Royal purple and gold are regal colors and since we were married the end of winter it was the perfect choice for our wedding colors. 

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Congratulations to Leslie and Rick! Thank you for sharing your intimate Annapolis courthouse wedding ceremony with us. Stay tuned, up next we’re sharing with you their purple-clad ballroom wedding reception!

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

Ceremony Venue: Annapolis Courthouse
Photography: DuHon Photography
Reception Venue + Caterer: The Westin Annapolis
Videographer: Cecile Davis
Wedding Planner: Mint Julep Event Studio
Stationery: Dancing Pen & Press
Floral Designer: Monteray Farms Flowers & Gifts
Hair Stylist: Kanitha Felder
Makeup Artist: Kelley Woods
Bridal Gown: Sincerity Bridal 3771
Bridal Salon: Amanda Ritchey Bridal
Bride’s Shoes: Menbur Novia
Headpiece/Veil: Bella Mera Bridal Boutique (Symphony Bridal Veil)
Jewelry: Ring – Custom Made by Petra Hein
Groom’s Attire: Custom Made – Suit Supply DC
Groom’s Shoes: Gordon Rush
Groom’s Accessories: Ring  – Custom Made – Johan Rust
Rentals: A Grand Event, Party Rentals
Linens: Party Rental Ltd
Lighting: Bayside Lighting
Reception Music: Dj Chris Styles
Cake/Dessert: Fiona’s Cake
Favors: Stemless Wine Glasses
Sweet Heart Table Chairs: Xoxo Vintage
Custom Made Corset: Snares of Venus
Chocolate Bar:  Shari’s BerriesLe Pain QuotidenThat’s So Morie Cupcakes

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: DuHon Photography

Paper Goodies

Click here to find a local stationer to design all of your wedding day paper details – from invitations to escort cards.

Sunday Brunch: Candy+Co. Events

posted by kate

Well, good Sunday morning to you, Washington DC area wedding lovers! I’m delighted to introduce to you our Sunday brunch feature this week, a wonderful sponsor of ours: Candy+Co. Events. Candy+Co. Events is full service wedding planning agency based in the District that has been creating quality, unique, and customized events since 2004. They’re client-focused, trust-builders that know a good foundation is the key to an epic wedding celebration. Candy+Co. listens, starting every contract out with an open and honest conversation, before customizing a wedding planning package that meets all of your needs. They know that creating a successful event takes more than just education, experience, and being able to think on your feet (Luckily, they always have plan B, C, D, E and F, just in case!). If you’re looking for a planner who will be your team captain, loudest cheerleader, give you a clear course of action, and treat you like you are their one and only priority, then be sure to visit their website or check out all of their past features on United With Love.

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Thank you so much, Candy+Co. Events! We hope that you’ll check out Candy+Co. Events as your wedding planner in the Washington DC area. Join us again next weekend for Sunday brunch with another fantastic supporter of United With Love! We’ll see you back here bright and early Monday morning! If you are interested in joining us for brunch on United With Love, please send us an email.

DMV’s Best Wedding Pros

Click here to let’s the best wedding professionals in Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia help to plan your wedding!

Georgetown Wedding Engagement Session: Maria + Angel

posted by kate

Good morning Washington DC area wedding lovers! There’s nothing better than using all the beauty and the unique spots that this wonderful city has to offer, like Maria and Angel’s wedding engagement session in Georgetown. Love Life Images managed to capture some adorably sweet moments between this engaged couple in and around Georgetown from the C&O canal, under the Whitehurst Freeway to the waterfront and throughout the brick lined and ivy covered streets. I especially love the sunset on Georgetown’s cobblestone street – so wonderful!

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Congratulations Maria and Angel!

Looking for more on engagements? Check out other local DC-area engagement photography sessions, or find out what to wear for your engagement and how to do your make-up for your engagement session!

Photo Credits: Love Life Images

These vendors are member of United With Love's local guide. Click here for membership info.

Pretty & Pampered

With United With Love’s local vendor guide, click here to find hair and make up specialists for your wedding day.

1920’s Glamour Wedding Inspiration

posted by pauline

Today’s feature for the Washington DC area wedding scene is styled wedding inspiration with a spin – its inspired by the fashion runways of Valentino! A team of DC area wedding vendors led by Elizabeth Duncan Events got together to create a wedding day look from start to finish based off of a fantastic gown by the famed fashion designer. Perfect for a wedding anywhere in the DC area, this 1920’s inspired wedding look features an ivory, silver and ice blue color palette, delicate formal details, a touch of sparkle in all the right places and one amazingly beautiful bridal bouquet! We love the ease and elegance of this wedding inspiration from the impeccable wedding invitation suite right on through to the bride’s effortless, yet elegant, style. Inspiration comes from all different places and this fashion runway-to-table wedding inspiration started with this dreamy dress sent down the runway by Valentino

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 Image: Style.com

From Elizabeth: Incorporating one of the “cool” colors of the fashion season and brilliant beading, another trend all over the runways, we designed a wedding inspiration that encapsulates the glamour and decadence of the early 1920’s.

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Thanks Elizabeth for your beautiful fashion-to-table wedding inspirations! Be sure to check out more ideas from Elizabeth and her team for your Washington DC area wedding inspired by the runway, like this tropical beach bridal shower, or this preppy gingham inspired rehearsal dinner.

The following Washington DC area wedding vendors contributed to this inspiration:

Styling: Elizabeth Duncan Events
Photography: Sweet Tea Photography
Floral Décor: Distinctive Floral Design
Venue: Shakespeare Theatre Company Sidney Harman Hall
Printed Materials: The Dandelion Patch
Linens and Place Settings: DC Rental
Flatware: Party Rental
Chair Cover and Napkin Ring: Wildflower
Hair and Makeup: Alison Harper & Co.
Wedding Gowns: Hitched Salon
Model: Stephanie Farina

Don’t forget to visit our vendor guide for more amazing Washington DC area wedding professionals and our real wedding gallery for tons of stunning Washington DC area weddings!

Photo Credit: Sweet Tea Photography

These vendors are member of United With Love's local guide. Click here for membership info.

Carriages & Coaches

From trollies to classic cars, click here to find local DC area wedding transportation companies for your wedding.

DIY Glitter Champagne Bottle Wedding Favors

posted by julianne

You know how we love our glitter over here – anything sparkly and wedding related and we are on it! Make it a DIY project from a real couple in the Washington DC area and I just about can’t stand it, I’m so excited! Today, we have all details on a DIY wedding project from a couple that we recently featured. Shannon and Chris’ were married in Virginia in a colorful and very personal wedding, and you can see it all right here and here. When I saw the glittered mini champagne bottles that Shannon and Chris gave out for their pop-art inspired wedding in Virginia, I immediately e-mailed Shannon and said, “I must know more about these amazing wedding favors!”

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Photo Credit: DuHon Photography

Shannon DIY decorated the bottles herself and she is here today sharing all of her know-how about glittering the bottles along with some great wedding DIY project tips. She and her mother worked hard to glitter each and every one of the champagne bottles. They set the mini bottles at each wedding guest’s place setting to add to the table decor and then gave the bottles to wedding guests as favors. We love double-duty projects – it was a wedding favor and table decor all rolled into one! In addition to the mini-champagne bottles, you could use Shannon’s advice and directions for glittering just about anything – glasses, vases, containers, candle holders and so much more! In addition to the bottles, Shannon even glittered a few champagne flutes! Take it away, Shannon…

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These glitter champagne bottles were a great wedding favor for our guests, and also added little pops of color to our wedding tables. To us, a little sparkle and some bubbles was the perfect ending note that we wanted our guests to take away from our big day. Who doesn’t get excited about your own sparkle champagne bottle?!

So, I had the idea, but the next step was to actually do it.  I recruited my DIY savvy mother to help since we had to make 140 of the bottles. If you can, always find a DIY buddy to help. It makes it fun and takes a little of the pressure off of you. Also, because of the acrylic spray, I couldn’t spray the bottles in my apartment, so we needed my parent’s backyard. Another tip, before you start a DIY project, make sure that you think about where you are going to do it. I can’t tell you how many times I started a project in my living room when I should have considered the kitchen. I still have glitter in some parts of the carpet!

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Supplies

  • 187ML Korbel Mini Champagne Bottles
  • Mod Podge Gloss-Lustre sealer glue
  • Mod Podge Gloss Lustre Clear Acrylic Sealer
  • 2 different colors of Martha Stewart Very Fine Glitter (loose glitter)
  • Small paint sponges
  • Small soft paint brush

** Beware: You do need to let bottles dry over night, so this is not a one day DIY project!

1st Step

Take your Mod Podge glue and your sponge brush, and working in sections, paint the Mod Podge onto just the bottle. Because we made the top a different color sparkle, this was done separately. Also, we wanted to keep the label, so the tiny sponge brush was a great tool to work with to get around the label corners.

2nd Step

Take your glitter and sprinkle onto the bottle the glitter. Do not roll it on! We found rolling clotted the sparkles together and it wasn’t as even. 

3rd Step

Once the bottle is all sparkled, use soft paint brush and wipe off the remaining glitter found on the label.

4th Step

Let the bottle dry. We let it dry over night just to make sure. Plus, it is always good to take a break from a DIY project.

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5th step

Spray on the Gloss Lustre Clear Acrylic Sealer, about one coat. Let that dry overnight. (This seals the glitter onto the bottle so that it doesn’t rub off.)

6th Step

Now, it is time for the top of the bottle, which we did in a different color glitter.  Repeat steps 1-5.

That’s it!

We added little message tags to each champagne bottle to personalize our thank you to our guests for being there in our wedding day. I thought that these champagne bottles would be opened and enjoyed on the wedding night, but most of my wedding guests still have them displayed in their house!

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Thank you so much Shannon for sharing these sparkly, glittery wedding favors with us! I’m ready to get going and glitter something projects myself. You can see all of Shannon and Chris’ pop-art inspired wedding ceremony and wedding reception in Virginia. (And, if you think the bottles are cool, be sure to see Chris’ pop art self portrait!)

For more wedding DIY ideas or printables, and lots of real DC weddings with DIY touches, be sure to check out or DIY weddings and projects. You can also browse our gallery of wedding ideas and look for the best DC wedding vendors to help you pull it all together!

Photo Credits: DuHon Photography

Local Wedding Events

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