Today we are sharing a look at the Washington DC wedding of Kali and Matt at the Holy Rosary Church and St. Francis Hall. We fell in love with this wedding as soon as we laid eyes on the stunning beaded and lace bridal gown and the bride’s simple beaded headband. The couple infused pieces of their personalities in the quirkiness of the wedding through book table numbers, travel themed escort cards, and vintage book props. Kali is a huge book lover and her father cut each of the book table numbers by hand for them to have at the wedding! She originally wanted to give each guest a book she hand chose for them, but worried that would be cumbersome. So she opted instead to spend the year before the wedding perfecting a hand written note of love and appreciation which was left for them at their seats. It was very important to the couple that each guest felt welcomed and that they were a very special part of their wedding. We absolutely love that they touched each guest personally and with so much care. Thank you to Christine Godsey of Engaging Affairs for sharing this beautiful and unique St. Francis Hall reception with us today!
Congratulations to Kali and Matt! Thank you for sharing your romantic St. Francis Hall wedding with us!
We hope that your week was fantastic; we know ours was! Spring has definitely sprung and we are loving all of the brightly colored and fun wedding inspiration that comes along with it! If you are looking for a little more DC area wedding inspiration check out all of our local real weddings!
While I will always love monuments, cherry blossoms, and all of the iconic options that DC engagement sessions hold, it is engagement photos like these that really capture my heart. I love seeing a photograph that really captures the essence of the couple where you can see a little snippet of their soul. Alex and Sarah met working on a show in Washington, DC. Both of them are professional actors, puppeteers, and resident company members at the Happenstance Theater Company. While most people would find it tough to work and play alongside their spouse day in and day out, they work together creating lovingly hand crafted shows, and are engaged to be married in June. We absolutely love their bluebells engagement session with Leslie Swan Photography and we appreciate the creative nature of the photos. They opted for two looks within the shoot and didn’t mind having a little fun with the floral props that nature provided! Thank you so much to Sarah and Alex for allowing us to share in their engagement session, and best of luck on their wedding day in June!
We wanted to follow up from yesterday’s vibrant blue tented wedding ceremony and reception at the Decatur House with the couple’s modern rehearsal dinner. Ron and Jon knew that since almost all of their friends and family would be coming from out of town, they wanted to host a destination DC inspired wedding weekend event. They started off with a bang at their modern inspired rehearsal dinner at the famous Hay Adams hotel. They chose to use Jon’s favorite color orange to accent the hotel’s linens and chairs. The dinner kicked off with a rooftop terrace cocktail hour, which led into a three course gourmet plated dinner and finished with the roasting and toasting of the grooms-to-be. Special guests also left with a white chocolate White House from the hotel’s pastry team. We love the simplistic yet bold color and decor used by the team at Bellwether Events that accented the space at the top of the Hay. The view alone is worth having any event at this lovely venue, and if you ever have a chance to visit or attend a wedding there don’t miss out on the sites of DC. Thank you to Connor Studios for sharing Rob & Jon’s wedding weekend with us this week!
Wedding of Ron Mennow
Thank you so much Ron & Jon for sharing your wedding weekend with us! The following Washington DC area wedding professionals contributed to their Rehearsal Dinner:
Ron and Jon have one of those great love stories and we are so excited to share it with you today. The two met in passing in Rehoboth, but Ron was still living in Pittsburgh so nothing progressed right away. They did, however, keep in touch via the phone and texts, and almost a year later Ron was coming back through DC on his way back to the beach so they set up their first date – and they got caught in the 2012 Derecho! Luckily they didn’t mind that their evening together was extended many hours to weather the storm. In 2014 they took a trip to Costa Rica and each planned to propose marriage to each other – so that obviously turned out quite well!
Since the vast majority of their friends and family would be coming to the wedding from out of town, they set their sights on hosting a quintessential DC wedding weekend. They kicked off the weekend with a dapper rehearsal dinner at the Hay-Adams Hotel which you should keep an eye out for, as we will be featuring tomorrow! The wedding ceremony and reception was hosted at the wonderful Decatur House, a perfect setting for the French-garden-inspired affair. The guests were greeted by the grooms at the entrance to the historic property which looks onto the White House, and with two specialty cocktails, the French 75 and a Modern Old Fashioned, in hand for everyone. The grooms’ escorted in their mothers to a string quartet while their dads awaited at the altar, serving proudly as their best men in the courtyard ceremony. Dinner was held in the courtyard under a clear top tent and guests enjoyed toasts from the grooms’ fathers before a stations style meal, featuring Indian Curry, Mediterranean Mezze and Steak House Bites. We love how Bellwether Events utilized the blue color story on the guest escort cards using the blue toile fabric boards. The florals from Elegance and Simplicity were the perfect amount of blue to really pop against the August day! Thank you to Connor Studios and Bellwether Events for sharing this quintessential DC Decatur House wedding with us today!
Congratulations to Ron and Jon! Thank you for sharing your Decatur House Washington DC wedding with us!
Last night I celebrated 7 years of marriage – even writing that sounds crazy and a little unbelievable to me. It has flown by in the blink of an eye and I am amazed at the way life has changed in those years. I am the proud (and exhausted!) mommy to a 4 year old boy and an 8 week old boy who both keep me on my toes. We have moved three times since the wedding and gone on countless vacations and date nights to keep things interesting! Even after all of these years I can still remember walking down the aisle and how I felt standing there saying my vows with perfect clarity. I want to share a few wedding tips and advice that I believe still ring true years later!
Be True to Yourself
Every wedding should be a reflection of the couple and their story together, so it’s important to not lose site of yourself when planning. Blogs and Pinterest can be valuable tools to find inspiration but don’t make wedding decisions based only on what is trendy or in style in the moment. Reflect on your own personal style and tastes before making final choices, and really ask if the idea you’re swooning over online really makes sense for your wedding. For me, a pink and teal color palette along with brown suits for the gentleman were very in style at the time. Not tan, but dirt of the earth brown! I seriously considered a color story of brown and pink for our wedding simply because it trendy. I ended up veering away from that idea and moved back to purple and ivory, which fit us much better as purple is my favorite color! I couldn’t imagine looking back on my wedding photos now and seeing my husband in a dirt brown suit!
Know When DIY is Worth it
We had a serious budget for our wedding so going into planning I knew I had to be conscious about what needed to be DIY and where we could splurge. DIY is a great way to add specific décor elements without breaking the bank, with the caveat that the projects are able to finished successfully. When DIY goes wrong it can become cost prohibitive and an eye sore, so making sure to plan what is feasible is key to DIY projects. Also, it is helpful to decide as a couple how much time you want to dedicate to any wedding projects. Working on different elements together can be a great way to bond over the wedding but can also add unnecessary stress if you are not crafty, patient people. We loved the idea of pocket-fold invitations, but knew that the set we fell in love with was outside of our budget. Instead, we decided to create our own pocket-fold invitation set. While we were able to create really lux invitations for half the cost, in hindsight the hours and HOURS and hours of work on the invitations was likely not worth it to me when all was said and done. Other projects we DIY’d including favors, table numbers, and sparkler tags were well worth the money saved and added a personal touch to the wedding.
Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
Imagine standing at the altar saying your vows to your soon to be husband when you see a large passenger bus roll into the parking lot through the windows behind him. You know that can’t be right though, because you booked a vintage trolley for your grand exit from the church. Instead of focusing on the rest of the ceremony you become stressed about the transportation and lose sight of a special moment of your day. Yes, that exact scenario happened to us. Being an overly type-A personality, it was hard for me to relinquish control of the wedding to a coordinator and I allowed a small mistake on the transportation company’s part overshadow the end of my ceremony. In hindsight, I regret not having a coordinator to allow us to really enjoy our day and not sweat the small stuff.
Timing is Everything
Once you have had a little time to bask in that new bling and all of its glory, know that timing is key to getting your best vendors. Vendors who can only work one wedding in a day are your most important bookings and should be handled first. After finding your perfect wedding venue and date, jump into locating your photographer, officiant, entertainment, and videographer. While we had about a year to plan, we knew getting married in April put us in the beginning of spring wedding season and therefore our vendor options might be limited; we jumped into finding our top choice photographer and venue right away. Because we didn’t drag our feet on the planning we were able to hire our favorite photographer and venue with our first choice wedding date!
Keeping with Tradition
My sorority has a tradition of passing around a “loving cup” which is when we all take turns drinking from a bottle of champagne while singing a traditional AOII song. Albeit a little cheesy, I loved being able to share that moment with my closest sisters who were at our wedding and it’s one part of the reception that really still stands out to me. Traditions come in all shapes and sizes, from charm pulls to burying the bourbon for good luck. Some people still toss the bouquet or say traditional decades old vows that their parents and grandparents said before them. Whatever your tradition, I believe that you should always find time for it within the wedding, you wont regret it later. (Unless its a money dance- let’s let that tradition die!)
What They Say is Real
“It flies by so fast!” I bet you have had countless married friends and family members tell you this, but honestly it is the truth! There are so many small moments I still remember vividly but for the most part, the wedding day flew by with the snap of a finger. I could not believe how fast the day went and when it ended how much I wanted to do it all over again. My very best advice is to definitely take a mental snapshot of the moment before you walk down the aisle; it is hands down one of the most special moments of the day. Everyone in that room loves you and your soon-to-be spouse dearly and they are all there to celebrate the start of your new life together!
Best Advice of All
While planning, someone said to me “the wedding is only one day, the marriage is for life.” Seven years of married life later, this still rings true. The wedding was the greatest party we ever planned but if we learned one thing it was that communication and compromise is the key to success. We really talked about what we wanted to see for our wedding and made sure to take into consideration what was important to each other and our families when planning. If your future mother in law is insisting that her son, the groom, escort her down the ceremony aisle but you have another vision, maybe its time to consider a compromise. That moment likely means so much to her and will start your time as her daughter in law off on the right foot! That same mentality of communication and compromise is what has helped us to have seven great years together. All marriages have rocky roads, and whenever we find ourselves in a rut we take it back to the same principle of communication and compromise that helped us when we first started.
Overall, planning your own wedding may be stressful or time consuming but I can guarantee that in the end everything will come together and you and your love will have an amazing time; I know we did! Be true to yourselves, communicate with your husband or wife to be, and don’t forget to have a little fun! Oh, and don’t worry, if you begin to lose a little wedding planning steam, we here at United with Love can get those creative juices flowing again!
The abundance of barns, rustic venues, and historic manor house venues in Northern Virginia is what makes it such an amazing area in which to host a wedding. Because of this, it is no surprise that on their second venue tour when looking for the perfect wedding location, Brad and Katie fell in love with Riverside on the Potomac. The property holds a fully refurbished stunning horse barn for weddings and receptions as well as gardens and pond side patio for ceremonies and cocktail hours. They immediately knew this was the place that they would say their vows in front of friends and family. The couple wanted to infuse their country lifestyle with an elegant wedding, and we have to say they completely succeeded! The bride and groom also scoured local vintage and antique shops in the surrounding town of Lucketts to add personal elements to the day such as love quote wedding signs around the property. Thank you to Katelyn James Photography for sharing another lovely Virginia wedding with us!
From the Bride: “I would describe our wedding as rustic elegant. After selecting our colors, it was easy to combine our “country & rustic lifestyle” into an “elegant wedding.” We knew we wanted to have an old barn with a great outdoor scenery. The only challenge we had was finding a barn with both bathrooms and air conditioning. Riverside on the Potomac was one of the few we researched that had both of these elements.”
“Photos and venue are the two things that we splurged on. Pictures will last forever, so we knew that had to be great. Katelyn James and her husband Michael were absolutely spectacular.
We only looked at two venues and the second was Riverside On The Potomac. As soon as we saw it, we knew it was perfect for us. Between the 1930s Ford, the huge rustic barn, and the 90 acres of land including a pond, we felt right at home.
As far as priorities go, we focused on ourselves and made decisions along the way that would overall make us happy. We cannot thank our vendors enough because they were a rockstar team.”
“Our gifts to each other were spectacular. Brad has been wanting a brand new 30-06 rifle and Katie surprised him with a new Ruger American 30-06. Now he is hunting every year deer season looking for that 12 point buck!
As for Katie, she received her gift from the best man, Jason Livingston, while she was getting pictures taken with her bridesmaids after getting ready. Katie opened up 3 boxes. The first was an elegant black dress. The second was fancy black heels that went with the dress. The third was Brad’s ipad with a video message saying “Guess what, we are going to the 49th Annual Country Music Awards in Nashville, Tennessee.” It was an unforgettable trip!”
“We made a few trips to The Old Luckett’s Store in Leesburg, VA shopping for rustic items and weather wood. We made all of our signs which was a big project. We also put flowers in mason jars, cowboy boots, and lanterns. The bride’s mom also made two huge beautiful wreaths for the old shed doors down by the pond. We also made our plate chargers. We received an outrageous quote for chargers, so we decided to go buy 160 of them for cheap and spray paint them gold. They turned out perfect!
On another note, we also created our own wedding website at wix.com. We wanted to be unique and not simply use theknot website.”
Tips from the Couple: “Don’t lose sight that the wedding is about you two! Make decisions together and make ones that you give you the most happiness.”
Favorite Moments of the Day : “Seeing each other for the first time at the ceremony. We did not do a first look because we wanted to be ‘traditional.’
At the end of the night, our Ford F150 was decorated with white streamers, signs, and window paint. We hopped up on the tailgate and were driven away to the hotel. The reason why this was a favorite detail was because Katie and I became a couple and got engaged in the back of that truck. Now we can say that we left that night in the back of that truck married to our best friend.”
Congratulations to Katie and Brad! Thank you for sharing your Loudoun County Riverside on the Potomac wedding with us!
The following Washington DC area wedding professionals contributed to their wedding:
I think spring is starting to peek its sunshine rays out and we are seeing the last of the winter sludge! Wedding season is in full gear, and we can’t wait to see all of the beautiful images from our favorite DC area wedding vendors! Keep an eye out in the upcoming weeks as we are getting ready to unveil the new and improved United with Love! If you follow us on Instagram you might have caught our new branding this week, we would love to know what you think! Have a great weekend and see everyone on Monday!
It wouldn’t be spring in the district without the beautiful cherry blossoms and a sweet DC inspired engagement session on the Tidal Basin. It is so easy to get jaded with tourists and traffic surrounding the blossoms, but the sweet pink blooms will always stand as one of our favorite engagement session backdrops! Today’s DC area wedding couple, Amber and Matt, met through their church and the beginning of their relationship was established through emails sent back and forth while Amber traveled throughout Europe. As soon as Amber returned to the states, they were inseparable! Matt proposed earlier this spring and in his own words said, “Amber was more interested in the ring than answering my question, but I took that as a yes!”
Not only did couple and their photographer, Meghan Rose Photography, hit the tidal basin just at the peak of cherry blossom season, but also included an outfit change and a quick ride over to Georgetown to make sure their photos had two completely different looks. We love how they used color to provide a juxtaposition in their session. The first half of their session was taken in gray & pink, soft pastel colors, and right at sunrise among the cherry blossoms, while the second half of their session was bright, cheery, and oh-so-colorful with Amber’s fun & playful pop of red lipstick (her signature look, she says) and blue floral skirt! Thank you to Meghan Rose Photography for sharing their DC engagement session with us and best wishes to Amber and Matt!