Everything You Need to Know About Wedding Planning Packages

posted by Alex Hamilton

One question we get a lot is “What is the difference between each wedding planning package option and which one is right for me?”  We recently featured some great advice from local DC area wedding pros on why hiring a wedding planner is a great idea and we wanted to follow that up with some information on next steps – picking your wedding planning package! First of all, we want to start off this conversion with some wedding professional titles so you know the difference between an Event Planner, an Event Designer, and an Event Coordinator. Although these terms are often used interchangeably, it’s good to know the similarities and differences. Once you have a hang of these titles, reading the general package descriptions can help you to make an informed decision on which wedding professional and package is the best fit for your wedding day!

View More: http://carlyfullerphotography.pass.us/beach-club-styled-shoot

Carly Fuller Photography via our Boho Chic Rustic Beach Wedding Inspiration

Event Planner – An event planner is typically someone who has the expertise to support you in every aspect of creating and implementing your event – from finding your venue to hiring your vendors to creative design and flawless implementation. The analogy that many of my clients find helpful is that of the Event Planner as the Coach – the central figure with the vision to select the best team of players, the leadership to organize and inspire them, and the depth of experience to help them succeed against all odds.

Event Designer –This title is starting to be used interchangeably with Event Planner, but it best describes someone who is an expert in developing the creative vision of an event. This person might be compared to an Interior Designer – someone who creates an overall vision, from color palette to personal details, and then contracts others to implement the vision. I’ve seen florists, décor rental companies and event planners all refer to themselves as Event Designers. While there can be a lot of overlap, most couples looking for professional support in planning their wedding will benefit more from someone who offers event design as part of their planning expertise.

Event Coordinator – The use of the word Coordinator or Coordination implies that the planning has already been done and this person will simply be organizing, confirming and implementing the plans you make. This term fits best with those who are hired for Month-of planning packages. A great coordinator sets the event up for success with walk-throughs and meetings prior to the date of the wedding.

Virginia Wedding misa me photography Top of the Town (1)

MISA ME Photography via our Simple and Colorful Wedding Reception in Arlington

Now that you are well versed in the titles of DC area wedding professionals, we have compiled some explanations of what is commonly included in local wedding planning packages. Of course, there can be variations from company to company, but generally the below are some guidelines that can help fine which one is best for you leading up to and on your special day! We also have some pro advice from Margo of Bright Occasions, one of our amazing UWL vendors! She is giving some great advice on the benefits and limitations of each package.

Full Service Planning – Typically, this level of service includes everything from finding the venue to hiring the right vendor team to creating the vision and managing all of the logistics. A Full Service Planner will be able to advocate for you two throughout the entire process and will be able to steer you in the right direction. If you think you will need assistance choosing vendors, balancing your budget, coming up with the perfect design plan, and putting together all of the details, a full service planner is probably the best option for you. With this package you can be a little more hands off (if you’d like) and can leave all of the technical details such as invitations, RSVP cards, vendor discussions, etc. to your planner.

“A full wedding planner is there for every step of the process from helping with the budget and selecting the venue, to hiring all vendors, event design, event management and coordination of vendors during the engagement process and on the wedding day. A full wedding planner is instrumental in shaping the event and recommending the best vendors for their clients, while still allowing their clients to make the big decisions and create a wedding that is reflective of their style and personality. There are so many benefits that a planner can provide from saving a client time and money to reducing their stress and streamlining the process. One drawback is that this service may not fit as well into a tight budget, so couples that have limited funds should discuss both full and partial planning options with their wedding planner.

Partial Planning – A partial plan will allow you to be more hands on than a full plan and can be very customizable. Your planner will help with vendor decisions and will give give tips and advice throughout the entire process but will not be involved in each and every aspect of the wedding planning process. A great deal of the responsibilities will still fall to the couple while the planning points them in the right directions. The planner will still be highly involved the month of, organizing vendors, typing up loose ends, and making sure everything goes smoothly.

Partial planning has the most variables, in terms of the areas of help your wedding planner will provide. But generally this is help with hiring some of your vendors and may also include event design and consultations regarding other wedding planning areas. Partial planning typically also includes event management and coordination of vendors during the final month and wedding day. The benefit of this type of planning is that typically the client can pick the areas they most need wedding planning help with. One drawback is that clients may not know what areas they need help with when they are first starting to plan their wedding.”

Wedding Coordination – This can vary widely from simple wedding day supervision to actual planning or coordinating prior to the event. For many, this is synonymous with Month-of and Day-of Coordination, below.

Month-of Coordination/Planning – This is generally synonymous with Day-of Coordination as well because it is extremely difficult for a coordinator/planner to jump in ONLY in the day of the wedding. This package includes one month of support immediately prior to the wedding, including full support on the wedding day. This time frame allows for the Professional to be involved in the final walk-through, timeline development and vendor confirmation, as well as the standard ceremony rehearsal supervision and wedding day supervision. A Month-of Coordinator/Planner generally pulls everything together to give you a stress free wedding while allowing you to feel like you

“Most professional wedding planners and coordinators in the DC area provide coordination for the final month and/or around 4-6 weeks from the wedding day + the wedding day. So it’s not typically a “day-of” service. In that final month, the planner will meet with the client and caterer to do a final walk-through and discuss the layout and flow of the vent. They will contact vendors and confirm arrival/set-up and breakdown. And they will help their client create a timeline of events for the wedding day. The benefit of this is huge; a wedding planner or coordinator will allow a couple to celebrate worry free and be in the moment throughout their wedding day, rather than dealing with set-up or any issues that may arise. The drawback is that most of the planning is set, so it may be too late to make changes that could better the event. You also won’t develop as close of a relationship, since you are only working together for the final month. And you typically won’t be able to go to your planner or coordinator for planning help that you may want and need before those last 4-6 weeks.”

We hope that this has helped to clear up many of our reader’s questions on DC area wedding planning and a big thank you to Margo of Bright Occasions for her awesomely detailed explanation of each type of planning package and her thoughts on the pros and cons of each!

 

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

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Longview Gallery DC Wedding: Jihan + Heter

posted by Tabitha

Welcome to another beautiful wedding week of inspiration here on United with Love! We are excited to share great DC wedding planner advice tomorrow alongside 2 beautiful real weddings from some of our favorite DC wedding photographers this week. Jihan and Heter met on a rainy winter night in 2008, and after a 6 year courtship in New York City, Heter proposed to Jihan under the Brooklyn Bridge. Their engagement led them to a perfect sunny day in D.C. last fall, where they were married in front of their closest friends and family at the iconic Washington National Cathedral followed by a reception at Longview Gallery. The couple knew that they wanted to balance traditional and unconventional for the wedding feeling so with the help of their planning team at A. Dominick Events, they paired the traditional cathedral, as the bride is an NCS alumni, along side the industrial feel of the art gallery for their reception to make a perfect collaboration. Thank you to the newlyweds and Duhon Photography for sharing today’s lovely wedding with us!

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From the Bride:We wanted a wedding that truly reflected our personalities — laidback and fun-loving — that was also “city chic.” At the time of our wedding, we lived in New York City, and I loved all the industrial wedding spaces there. That said, I had always known I wanted to get married at the Washington National Cathedral (I was class of 2003 at NCS), so we had to balance a traditional ceremony with a non-traditional reception venue. When Aimee Dominick suggested we look at Long View Gallery, I fell in love with it immediately. It conveyed the vibe we wanted perfectly. In the end, it worked out and was completely “us.”

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Tips from the Bride:

1. Definitely hire a wedding planner! Aimee Dominick helped us with a lot of vendor recommendations and made the day of completely stress free.
2. Decide what’s important to you and focus on that. Everything can’t be important so set priorities of what you’ll notice and care about and scale back on everything else.
3. Don’t check the weather. You can’t change it so vow to make it one thing you won’t worry about. It didn’t rain on our wedding day but I decided pretty early on that it was simply not something I was going to fret over or check compulsively.

 

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Lighting was a huge priority for me. Moreso than flowers or other decor elements. I knew I wanted a LOT of candles all over the place and we had string lights in the dinner/dancing room. I scaled back on flowers to make that happen. I was also obsessed with designing our invites instead of using a site like Wedding Paper Divas or Minted. Two other main priorities were food and music — we wanted the dance floor packed all night so we brought in DJ Mode from NYC; he had worked with my husband at a few corporate events and kept the dance floor packed all night.

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Congratulations to Jihan + Heter!  Thank you for sharing your industrial meets traditional DC wedding with us!

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

Wedding Planner: A. Dominick Events
Photography: Duhon Photography
Hair Stylist: Mia Shanelle
Makeup Artist: Dawn Newsome
Bridal Gown: Monique L’Huillier
Ceremony Venue: Washington National Cathedral
Reception Venue: Longview Gallery
Floral Designer: Saivita
Invitations and Calligraphy: Bright room Studio  / Day of Paper Calligraphy: Lettering by Lynne
DJ: DJ Mode
Rentals: DC Rental
Lighting: John Farr Lighting
Favors: Design Cuisine
Catering:Design Cuisine
Draping: Drape Kings
Jewelry: BHLDN
Shoes: Stuart Weitzman
Bridesmaids dresses: Jenny Yoo/ BHLDN
Groom’s Tux: J. Crew
Groomsmen Tuxedos: The Black Tux
Transportation: First Priority Tours / Rolls Royce: Regal Limo
Videography: Dolce Studio Films

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 Photoraphy

 

Dessert Table

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Happy Weekend!

posted by Alex Hamilton

We hope you had a spectacular week full of wedding planning and inspiration! If you haven’t had your fill just yet, be sure to check out all of the awesome weddings, inspiration, and tips from DC area wedding pros that we posted this week!

Photo by Wale Ariztos Photography (www.waleariztos.com) Photo by Wale Ariztos Photography (www.waleariztos.com)

Wale Aritzos Photography

Some links for your weekend from our favorite blogs…

…what you missed right here!

…and oldies but still useful goodies!

Details, Details!

From forks to chairs, click here to use United With Love’s local guide to find a rental company to complete your wedding day.

Chill Point of Rocks Engagement Session: Sando + Oliver

posted by Tabitha

You guys, I want to be as effortlessly stylish and chill as today’s Maryland Engagement Session couple Sando and Oliver. Laid back, adorable, and utterly in love, the couple met with their photographer Emily Gude to roam the waterside of the Potomac River. With so many beautiful locations for DC engagement photos in the area, we love that they picked the sun drenched river with a raw edge of train tracks and graffiti art for an awesome change up from the traditional area standbys. And can we just talk about how amazing her engagement outfit is? We adore everything from the hat to the bright bold lipstick! Congrats to the happy couple and thank you to Emily Gude Photography for sharing with us today!

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Credit: Emily Gude Photography

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!

Surprise DC Wedding Proposal!

posted by Tabitha

One tip for anyone getting ready to propose to the love of their life – hire a photographer to capture the surprise moment! We absolute love being able to have a behind the scenes look at Wasi and Farheen’s DC wedding proposal from Akbar Sayed Photography. Here is a look at what went into capturing such a special, yet secret, moment from the DC wedding photographer himself!

“Wasi contacted me and explained that he wanted the moment that he proposed to his love captured. Wasi is from Toronto and Farheen is from Bangladesh and would be in DC for a cousin’s wedding and it just so happened that he was coming down for a friend’s graduation at the same time. Not being a local, he relied on me to come up with a plan of action that would set the stage for a iconic DC proposal.  He told me ahead of time that he planned to take her out for a picnic and then wanted to end the day with the proposal.  I immediately thought that he should have his picnic on the Washington Monument lawn followed by a proposal with the Monument as the backdrop.”

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“In a effort to not tip Farheen off, I made sure to look as touristy as possible and also brought a long range zoom lens along.  Even with the zoom lens, I needed to get closer so I had to improvise a bit.  I found a couple of sisters who were taking pictures on the lawn, so  I told them Wasi’s proposal plan and that I needed to get closer.  As soon as they found out about the surprise proposal plan they were more than happy to help. As they made their way down past the reflecting pool I was on the other side of the water. Once again, some strangers were happy to help disguise me! On a side note, aside from the actual proposal the willingness of people to help was one of my favorite takeaways of the day.  Once Wasi and Farheen made their way to the pre-planned spot, Wasi got down on one knee, proposed with a beautiful ring from Tiffany’s and the rest is history!

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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.

Romantic Carnegie Library Wedding: Temitope + Olly

posted by Tabitha

Today we are bringing you a romantic lavender and blush wedding at the iconic DC wedding venue Carnegie Library. In the heart of the city, the families of Temitope and Olly came together to celebrate the joining of two loves in a truly romantic day. Bringing in elements of their heritage from Nigeria, paired with the prettiest color story, we absolutely love the story told within their wedding photos. Temitope told us that although she did not have a full vision for the wedding leading into the planning, her groom knew exactly what he loved and wanted which helped drive their overall look and feel for the day. We love when a groom has a distinct perspective on the wedding day, as it should be a compromise of two families coming together in look and feel! Working with their DC wedding planner team at RAE Affairs, they created an intimate yet memorable day together. Thank you so much to RAE Affairs and Wale Aritzos Photography for sharing this beautiful wedding with us today!

Photo by Wale Ariztos Photography (www.waleariztos.com) Photo by Wale Ariztos Photography (www.waleariztos.com) Photo by Wale Ariztos Photography (www.waleariztos.com) Photo by Wale Ariztos Photography (www.waleariztos.com) Photo by Wale Ariztos Photography (www.waleariztos.com) Photo by Wale Ariztos Photography (www.waleariztos.com) Photo by Wale Ariztos Photography (www.waleariztos.com) Photo by Wale Ariztos Photography (www.waleariztos.com) Photo by Wale Ariztos Photography (www.waleariztos.com)

 

From the Bride: “Even though we are both from Nigeria, we are from different parts of the country. I am Yoruba which is from the western part of Nigeria and my husband is Itsekiri which is from the southern part of Nigeria so we tried to reflect our cultures in our wedding. My mother wore a traditional Nigerian outfit that depicted her Yoruba culture and my mother in law wore a traditional Nigerian outfit that depicted her Itsekiri culture. My brother also wore a traditional Nigerian outfit from our Yoruba culture called the Agbada and had some articles of clothing that belonged to my late father which was important to him and me. It was my way of incorporating my father into the ceremony. We also served Nigerian food.

Photo by Wale Ariztos Photography (www.waleariztos.com) Photo by Wale Ariztos Photography (www.waleariztos.com) Photo by Wale Ariztos Photography (www.waleariztos.com) Photo by Wale Ariztos Photography (www.waleariztos.com) Photo by Wale Ariztos Photography (www.waleariztos.com) Photo by Wale Ariztos Photography (www.waleariztos.com) Photo by Wale Ariztos Photography (www.waleariztos.com) Photo by Wale Ariztos Photography (www.waleariztos.com) Photo by Wale Ariztos Photography (www.waleariztos.com) Photo by Wale Ariztos Photography (www.waleariztos.com) Photo by Wale Ariztos Photography (www.waleariztos.com) Photo by Wale Ariztos Photography (www.waleariztos.com) Photo by Wale Ariztos Photography (www.waleariztos.com) Photo by Wale Ariztos Photography (www.waleariztos.com) Photo by Wale Ariztos Photography (www.waleariztos.com) Photo by Wale Ariztos Photography (www.waleariztos.com) Photo by Wale Ariztos Photography (www.waleariztos.com) Photo by Wale Ariztos Photography (www.waleariztos.com) Photo by Wale Ariztos Photography (www.waleariztos.com) Photo by Wale Ariztos Photography (www.waleariztos.com)

Photo by Wale Ariztos Photography (www.waleariztos.com) Photo by Wale Ariztos Photography (www.waleariztos.com)

Favorite Memory: “This is one is hard to pick, between getting to dance to Iyawo Mi by Timi Dakolo for our first dance, getting emotional dancing during my father daughter dance where I got to dance with my brother as he represented our late father, or reciting our vows. it is tough to pick but I guess I would say my husband and I’s favorite memory would be reciting our vows

Photo by Wale Ariztos Photography (www.waleariztos.com) Photo by Wale Ariztos Photography (www.waleariztos.com) Photo by Wale Ariztos Photography (www.waleariztos.com) Photo by Wale Ariztos Photography (www.waleariztos.com) Photo by Wale Ariztos Photography (www.waleariztos.com) Photo by Wale Ariztos Photography (www.waleariztos.com) Photo by Wale Ariztos Photography (www.waleariztos.com) Photo by Wale Ariztos Photography (www.waleariztos.com) Photo by Wale Ariztos Photography (www.waleariztos.com) Carnegie Library DC wedding-Wale Ariztos Photography (103) Photo by Wale Ariztos Photography (www.waleariztos.com) Photo by Wale Ariztos Photography (www.waleariztos.com) Photo by Wale Ariztos Photography (www.waleariztos.com)

Advice from the couple: Enjoy your planning process as much as you can but also while planning for your wedding, also do whatever you need to do to prepare for your marriage and pray together towards that day and your marriage, if you can. GET A WEDDING PLANNER, if you can, it helps a GREAT DEAL and finally on the wedding day, everything goes by so fast, so make sure you have LOTS of fun!!! Don’t sweat the small stuff have LOTS OF FUN, you’ve spent too much money not to!

Photo by Wale Ariztos Photography (www.waleariztos.com)

Congratulations to Temitope and Olly! Thank you for sharing your Washington DC Carnegie Library wedding with us! The following Washington DC area wedding professionals contributed to their wedding:

Photographer: Wale Ariztos
Wedding Planner: RAE Affairs
Stationer: Voke Designs
Floral Designer: BCG Events
Hair Stylist: Manneve Bride / Makeup Artist: LoNicely
Bridesmaid Dresses: Adrianna Papell / Nordstrom
Bridal Salon: Love Couture Bridal / Hayley Paige
Catering: Putting on the Ritz / Shiloh Catering
Groom’s Attire: Hiphe designs
Officiant: Jesus House DC
Wedding Venue: Carnegie Library DC
Lighting: The Lighting Source
Cake: Mon Delice 
MC: Jedi
DJ: DJ Zimo 
Custom Bridal Shirts: CC Brand / Invitation Calligraphy: Elizabeth Porcher Jones
Transportation: Martins Limo Service

Videography: Kauri Media

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.

Beautiful Blooms

From bouquets to centerpieces, click here to find a local wedding florist in the DC area to bring your wedding floral design to life.

Q&A: Hiring a Wedding Planner

posted by Alex Hamilton

As promised in our first Q&A Session, Staying Within My Wedding Budget, we are continuing to answer some of our reader’s most pertinent questions! We always have readers asking us if hiring a wedding planner is worth it and we always say yes, yes, yes! We are very pro wedding planner and not just because we have some of the best wedding planners in the DC area, but because it can be helpful in so many different aspects.

The biggest takeaway that we received from our wonderful vendors and local planners is that hiring a wedding coordinator/planner can cut down on your own stress levels, which is fantastic, but most importantly, hiring a wedding planner can allow for you and all of your friends and family members to celebrate and have a good time without worrying about a thing. You are able to focus on marrying the love of your life and spending this special time with those who matter most to you. What can be better than that?

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K. Thompson Photography

Why Should I Hire a Wedding Planner?

Every veteran wedding planner I’ve known has hired another planner for his/her own wedding day. And these are people who know how to plan events but also know the massive value of hiring someone else to run the day for them. I’ve personally planned and/or coordinated the weddings of many, many wedding wedding planner colleagues and corporate event planners. If this isn’t the strongest endorsement of the profession, I don’t know what is! – Laura, Engaging Affairs

A wedding planner knows where to invest time and money and where you can afford to cut back without sacrificing the quality of your celebration. Additionally, a wedding planner trouble shoots on the wedding day so your family and friends can celebrate with you rather than working. – A. Dominick Events

One of the most common concerns of a couple is “How do you know what you don’t know.” A professional wedding planner will be able to explain all of those wedding planning nuances. In addition to this, a professional wedding planner allows the couple to focus on their friends, families and memories instead of the wedding day logistics and details. – Kay, Howerton+Wooten Events

Wedding planners can help with every stage of the wedding process, from setting a budget to navigating the sea of vendors and they also cover event management on the day. I would say most of my clients hire me because they simply do not have the time to do all of the legwork on their own. Planning a wedding is a full time job with a lot of intricacies and details involved. After the wedding, many clients express their gratitude not only for helping them hire an amazing team of vendors, but also for reducing their stress. Having a wedding planner allows couples to celebrate, worry free, and just focus on each other and their loved ones. – Margo, Bright Occasions

View More: http://kristengardner.pass.us/elizabeth-and-paul-wedding

Kristen Gardner Photography

There are many reasons to hire a wedding planner. One is to help you manage your time. The average bride spends 40 hours on their wedding a week. Who can manage that? Let a wedding planner reduce your research time and save you money by pointing you in the direction of vendors that will work within your budget. Your wedding planner will ensure you can actually enjoy your day and not have all the responsibility on your family and friends for setting up decor and escort cards and programs, etc etc. – Katie, Elegance & Simplicity, Inc.

A wedding planner gives you great, honest, third party advice. This is our profession, not a hobby, and our careers have resulted in a wealth of knowledge that can save you time, money, and most importantly sanity! – Amanda, Engaging Affairs

Wedding planners take the stress out of planning your wedding. They can do as little or as much as you like, but they provide peace of mind that nothing will slip through the cracks either during the planning process or on the day of. Remember, this is their job and experienced planners have done hundreds of weddings — you will be in good hands with an experienced planner! – Teresa, Rex & Regina Events

One reason to hire a planner is the ability to leverage the expertise of a professional – just like the reason to hire a lawyer or a plumber. Another very important reason is to save you time – they can offer tricks of the trade and help you make more informed decisions. A planner will also make sure you are maximizing your budget and prevent you from wasting money. – Vicky, Event Accomplished

Thank you to all of the amazing local wedding pros who answered our reader’s questions! Looking for more planning tips from DC area professionals? Check out our latest budgeting installments, Balancing Your Wedding Flower Budget and Budget Advice: Splurging and Saving!

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

Dessert Table

Click here to find the best wedding cake designers and bakers in the DC area – your guests (and sweet tooth) will thank you!

Navy and Gold DC Affair: Elena + Andrew

posted by Tabitha

Elena and Andrew were a couple who knew exactly what they wanted when they began planning their DC wedding ceremony and reception. Having grown up around the beltway, today’s bride wanted to embrace the historic area and host a DC themed wedding at the City Tavern Club. One element that they used that we felt was a genius idea was to find love quotes from former US Presidents and First Lady’s to have displayed around the reception for show. Due to the bride’s Italian American heritage, the couple were married at Holy Rosary Church, which is the Italian American Church in DC at which they attend Mass. With so many personal and DC inspired wedding touches, we really fell in love with their big day told through their photos. Congratulations to the newlyweds and thank you to their lovely photography team at Meagan Chase Photography for sharing it with us today!

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From the Bride: We both knew we wanted to get married in the fall and since we met and fell in love in DC (and I grew up in the suburbs in Silver Spring), we knew we wanted a DC theme. We didn’t want it to be over the top, but also wanted to keep it elegant. We started out by picking City Tavern Club as our reception venue. We loved how we would have access to the whole house and that our guests would be able to explore and view historic photos, documents and furniture throughout the night.. We had cocktail hour in the Bliss Room, dinner in the Great Hall and then moved back upstairs to the Bliss Room for dancing. We used the Long Room for dessert and as a place for guests to take a break from dancing and relax. We used an image of the DC skyline throughout our stationary and kept with a navy and gold color palette that reflected the elegance of the house and added a touch of romance.

When we first met, we worked about three blocks from each other near Union Station. We spent many lunch breaks walking the Capitol grounds and through Senate Park getting to know each other. Despite the Capitol dome restoration, we knew we wanted our portraits to be taken in the parks surrounding the building and we are so happy we did. ”

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The food was very important to us. We wanted our guests to have a delicious meal and not a piece of rubbery chicken. The chef at City Tavern Club really came through. The steaks were cooked perfectly, the fish was perfectly flaky and the Butternut Squash Soup…my mouth waters just thinking about it!
Our other priority was a great DJ. Andrew and I love nothing more then a great dance party and we wanted our guests to feel comfortable letting loose on the dance floor. We interviewed several potential DJ’s and ultimately went with DJ Evan Reitmeyer. We immediately felt comfortable with him and he was so concerned with helping create the perfect vibe. From soft music during cocktail hour to getting the older guests out on the dance floor with classics and keeping everyone out on the floor late into the night, he made sure everyone was having an amazing time.

Flowers were not extremely important to us so we didn’t want to spend a ton of money on them. We worked with a florist at Whole Foods-Tenleytown and the end result was simple, elegant bouquets and centerpieces that enhanced the beauty of the historic dining room in City Tavern Club. A big wedding cake was also not very important to us.We wanted a small one to cut (for photos) and to eat on our one year anniversary. We also didn’t want to take away time from dancing so instead of serving a seated dessert, we had a dessert bar across from the dance floor. This gave our guests the opportunity to digest their meal, dance a bit and then refuel with some bite sized treats! The dessert bar featured bite size apple pies (Andrew’s favorite) and bite sized cheesecake (my favorite).”

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I wanted to give my bridesmaids something personal to thank them for being by my side. My mom makes jewelry as a hobby and I asked her to design and make earrings and a matching bracelet. Both pieces were so simple and delicate and it meant so much to have my mom make them, as opposed to buying them from a random store.

About a month before the wedding, we were putting final touches on decorations. I really wanted a romantic feel throughout the house so we focused on lots of candles, but I felt like something was missing. In order to tie in the Washington DC theme, I found a bunch of love quotes from Presidents to their wives/significant others. Lacoya, from Hello Love Events, took the quotes and framed them and then displayed them throughout the house. It was a simple (and cheap!) way to add some decoration and romance to the different rooms where they were placed. ”

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Favorite Moment of the Day: (Bride) Right before the doors of the church were opened, my knees were literally knocking together from nerves. The stress of the day, the torrential downpour outside, and all of the other elements at play had my nerves on edge. As soon as the ushers opened the doors and I started walking down the aisle, totally focused on Andrew at the other end, a calm went from my head to my toes. I’ve never experienced such a feeling of complete calm as I did the moment I saw him and I’ll remember that feeling for the rest of my life.

Groom: I don’t know that I can pin down one just single moment from that day but I think something I will always remember was our first dance. Having that special moment where the world faded away and it was just us was incredibly special to me. For that moment, it was just us dancing like we have so many times before but now it had that added realization that this amazing woman was my dance partner for the rest of our lives.

Together: We hosted an after party at Pinstripes, around the corner from City Tavern Club. We were the last two people to leave the bar and since we were spending the night at The Graham Hotel, we walked the few blocks down M Street to the hotel. We walked down M Street holding hands, me in my wedding dress and Andrew in his tux, passed packed bars and restaurants, reminiscing about the day. It seemed so surreal that the day was over and we were finally married. We were so lucky to have such a beautiful day, surrounded by all of our family and friends. ”

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Congratulations to Elena and Andrew! Thank you for sharing your Washington DC Navy and Gold wedding with us! The following Washington DC area wedding professionals contributed to their wedding:

Photographer: Megan Chase Photography
Wedding Coordinator & Calligraphy: Hello Love Events
Stationer: Fay Street Studio
Floral Designer: Whole Foods Market
Hair and Makeup Team: JKW Beauty
Bridesmaid Dresses: BHLDN / Jenny Yoo
Bridal Salon: Love Couture Bridal / Gown: Pronovias
Bridal Veil: Beccas Bridal Boutique
Groom’s Attire: Nordstrom / Canali / Groomsmen Attire: Menguin
Ceremony Venue: Holy Rosary Church
Reception Venue & Cake: City Tavern Club
Rentals: Linen Table Cloth
Ceremony Music: Maria Marigliano
Bridal Shoes: Kate Spade
DJ: DJ Evan Reitmeyer

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: Megan Chase Photography

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DC Picturesque Engagement Session: Emma + Haleigh

posted by Tabitha

The glow that comes with newly engaged couples is something that we never tire of here at United with Love. Emma and Haleigh’s Georgetown engagement session just radiates with sheer love and happiness and we can’t wait to share it with you! Haleigh picked out a stunning engagement ring that she knew fit Emma’s taste perfectly, and took it home to wait for the perfect moment to pop the question. One evening while laying in bed Emma jokingly said to Haleigh “When are we getting married?” so Haleigh jumped at the moment and after grabbing the ring she dropped to one knee and proposed. The intimacy of getting engaged in the warmth of their home, surrounded by their three furbabies, was the perfect setting for the happy couple. They met with their photographer Krysta, with Norman Photo + Paper, to stroll the waterfront in Georgetown for their DC engagement session and we are excited to share their sweet photos! Thank you to the newly engaged pair for sharing them with us today and best wishes in your upcoming wedding!

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