Old Town Alexandria Engagement Session: Joe + Julie

posted by Tabitha

We hope you have had a wonderful week and if you are getting married today, Saturday, or Sunday, congratulations and best wishes! We are wrapping up this weeks springtime wedding inspiration with a delightful Old town Alexandria engagement session. Joe, Julie, and their adorable dog Gumbo roamed the quaint streets of Alexandria under the blooming spring trees to capture these sweet images with their photographer Lauren Werkheiser. We are so fortunate to live in an area with such amazing architecture and landscapes, that even the simplest cobblestone streets make for the best backdrops. We love Julie’s unique engagement ring and how Laura captured it along with the nods to their nautical theme! Congrats to the couple and best wishes on their wedding day!

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All About The Dress

There are so many beautiful wedding dress choices! Click here to check out the many local bridal boutiques in the Washington DC area to help you find your dream dress!

Goodstone Inn Springtime Wedding Inspiration

posted by Tabitha

One of our favorite Virginia wedding venues and a hidden jewel in the countryside is the Goodstone Inn. We love the raw nature of the cascading ivy walls and rolling hills that surround the picturesque space, so when Lelia Marie Photography sent us this beautiful inspiration springtime photoshoot we couldn’t resist sharing it with our readers. To compliment the earthiness of the outdoor venue, the team behind today’s shoot pulled together elements found in nature such as gemstones, muted jewel tones, and lush cascading florals. Thank you to Lelia Marie Photography for sharing this springtime inspiration with us today!

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

Photography: Lelia Marie Photography
Planning and Design: MayJune Events
Beauty: Enlightened Styles
Bridal Gown: Ava Laurenne Bride
Stationery: Mayla Studios
Venue: Goodstone Inn
Floral Designer: LynnVale Studios
Rentals: Paisley and Jade

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: Lelia Marie Photography

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

Hey, Mr. DJ!

Keep that dance floor packed! Click here to use United With Love’s vendor guide to find the right local DJ for your wedding.

Vintage Glam DC Wedding Elopement

posted by Tabitha

Washington D.C. has so many beautiful restaurants and unique non-traditional wedding venues for couples to escape to for intimate wedding elopements. Today’s wedding elopement inspiration took place at DCanter, located in D.C.’s bustling Eastern Market area; it’s perfect for an elopement because it offers a beautiful tasting room for smaller events. We love the look of the romantic florals from Fifty Flowers and Designs by Oochay and the vintage place settings that covered their cozy dining tables.

Pink depression glassware, gold flatware, and pearl napkin rings (that tied in with the brides gown!) were used to create a bright romantic look that didn’t compete with the focal point of the room, the purple chandelier. Wine inspired elements such as the favor bar and the watercolor tones used on the cake and stationery brought in a modern edge to this vintage glam shoot. Just because elopements are traditionally smaller, more intimate events does not mean that the details have to fall to the wayside. Creating a personal moment for your closest friends and family is key! Thank you to Katy Murray Photography for sharing this special elopement with us today!

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

Designer: 12in12 Design Group
Photography: Katy Murray Photography
Hair: Felicia Renee Beauty / Makeup: Makeup by Kevan
Bridal Gown: Hitched Salon
Vintage Stamps: Etsy
Venue: DCanter Wines
Floral Designer: Designs by Oochay
Calligraphy: Scazzero Illustration
Cake: Sweets by E

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 Credit:  Katy Murray Photography

 

Location, Location

The DC area has so many fabulous wedding venues! Click here to use United With Love’s guide to find your wedding spot.

Design Advice: Working With Your Wedding Venue

posted by Alex Hamilton

Today we are handing over the reins to Bellwether Events’ Janice Carnevale so she can discuss how to design your wedding around the venue of your choosing, instead of trying to fight against it with decor, florals, lighting, and more! Thank you to Kristi Odom Photography for the spectacular photos of Janice’s event.

……..

I’m excited to be on United With Love today talking about how to work with your wedding venue when creating your wedding design. This is not a post about how to turn a bland ballroom into an eclectic French garden, or how to transform a rustic working barn into an elegant and traditional ballroom. (That is a wedding advice post for another day!) I’m here today to talk to you about the importance of working with what your wedding location has to offer and to give you a few tricks for getting the most out of your wedding location.

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Picking a venue for your wedding that compliments your desired wedding day design vision is important if you are on any sort of budget. Most engaged couples don’t have unlimited funds to create a total transformation of their wedding venue. So if you can, select a wedding venue that ties into the look, feel and vibe you are going for already. The less you have to do to transform a space, the happier your budget will be.

PICK YOUR STYLE

First, identify the style of your desired wedding venue and determine how it fits within your wedding celebration’s design. Do you want a formal, more elegant wedding? Or, do you want to get married outside in a garden setting? Before you sign on the dotted line with a wedding venue, put some thought into your wedding’s design. Make sure that your wedding venue fits into your overall design. If you booked a rustic barn, I hope you are planning to use natural textures and loose, mixed flowers. If you secured a historic mansion, I hope you’ll consider metallics and soft neutrals for your wedding.

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WORK WITH WHAT YOU HAVE

Second, look at what already exists in your wedding’s location and work with what it already has to offer. Dramatically changing a space can be done, but it is expensive. You will save yourself money by making the space work for your wedding, not against it. Does you your wedding location have tall or low ceilings? Expansive windows with a rooftop view? (I’m thinking of the Newseum in downtown Washington, DC.) How about architectural features such as columns or chandeliers? (The Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington DC comes to my mind.) Maybe there is a bold carpet in the wedding reception room (Such as the carpet in the Paris ballroom at the Hotel Monaco in DC) or beautiful hardwood floors? (I’m thinking about DAR right near the White House in Washington, DC.)

Once you have a good assessment of what your wedding venue has to offer, decide what you want to point your wedding guests’ eyes towards and what you want to distract them from. Tall ceilings in an event space typically beget tall centerpieces, unless you don’t want to obstruct a rooftop view. Conversely, low ceilings generally feel less claustrophobic with low centerpieces. A bold carpet can be muted with the use of a dark, coordinating linen on all your tables. Are you in love with the dark hardwood floors of your wedding venue? Use a light colored linen for your reception dinner tables to contrast and draw the eye to those beautiful floors.With your wedding location, talk to your wedding planner, florist and rental company about what their recommendations are. What will work in your wedding space? What can you take advantage of and play up for your wedding?

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JUST ASK

Third, be sure to ask your venue about the props, decor, rentals and other items that they already have in their inventory for you to use on your wedding. Take particular note of these smaller things that your wedding venue offers, such as tables and chairs or mounted decor. The less you have to do and rent for your wedding, the more you invest in other areas of your guests’ experience.

My clients saw that Riverside on the Potomac had a whole bunch of fun small props like the wooden chicken and the metal rooster and knew that we would be able to incorporate them in the tablescape. And since the venue provides perimeter benches in the cocktail hour space, we brought in some DIY throw pillows that also played on our rustic theme. Another great example of making use of what a wedding location already has is the Hay-Adams Hotel near the White House in Washington, DC. They recently renovated their ballroom and built the event space’s ceiling to accommodate rigging for hanging decor. If you are dreaming about a hanging chandelier of flowers or a wave of ribbons for your wedding, then this is a wedding venue you could consider.

Maybe it is as simple as using the chairs that come with your wedding venue. If you’re on a budget for your wedding and the gold chivari chairs are free at your wedding location, then use them, even if it means tweaking your decor plan a little bit! Whether it is already installed or you can rent it directly from your wedding venue, you’d be penny wise to take advantage of the “perks” that your chosen wedding location already has.

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LIGHTING

The last piece of wedding planning and budget advice that I have for you about how to work with your wedding location is to consider lighting. Flowers, props and rented decor are not the only ways to accent a wedding venue. Lighting is a great way to highlight or downplay areas of your wedding venue. Hate the chandeliers? Don’t turn them on. Instead use uplights, pinspots and a dance floor wash to light the room instead. Does your wedding location have beautiful columns or a ceiling that you want your wedding guests to notice? Shine a light on it. It doesn’t even have to be a light with color; sometimes a simple white light is best.

There are so many different wedding locations here in the DC area to choose from that there is no need to force your location into your desired vision. From big to small, indoor to outdoor, rustic to traditional, there is just about every style of wedding location in the DC area to choose from. Engaged couples can find just about any type, style and budget location for their special day and then make that venue work for their wedding!

Thank you to Bellwether Events’ Janice Carnevale for taking the time to guest write for our blog today! Check out our other advice posts with the help of our local DC area wedding vendors!

Photo Credits: Kristi Odom Photography

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

Sparkle & Shine

Using United With Love’s vendor guide, click here to find the perfect wedding sparklers at the area’s jewelry shops.

Colorful Milton Ridge Wedding: Becca + Matt

posted by Tabitha

We hope everyone had a great weekend and enjoyed the sunshine; we are so excited that the rain held off for the first rain free wedding weekend in months! We are kicking off the week with a Frederick Maryland wedding full of color, laughter, and personal details at Milton Ridge. Becca and Matt wanted to host a day that incorporated personal touches from their family such as their wedding cake baked by her sister-in-law and ceremony chuppah created by the groom. Instead of using a singular color story idea, they had a bevy of colors across the rainbow since the Bride is an art teacher. We loved their fun watercolor escort card display during cocktail hour and bright cheery florals! Thank you to the couple and Kira Nicole Photography for sharing their fun wedding with us!

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From the Bride: The priority was the wedding we wanted the ceremony to be a main part not just the thing before the wedding! We spent a lot of time in the planning of our vows and the flow of the wedding. Splurging was probably on the dress! We skipped on a dj and alcohol but I like the way it turned out. I didn’t feel like they were missed.

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My husbands favorite detail was our chuppah! He grew up messianic Jew and we wanted to make sure that God was clearly the center of our marriage. My sister-in-law made our AMAZING Cake and my cousin made our flower arrangement. I created the seating tags and numbers and invites and soap dishes for the favors! I also put together the dj list using the wedding dj app!

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Advice rom the couple: Enjoy it! Being engaged is a wonderful season. Also if you are going the homemade route like we did take things slow, start early and ask for help. I also recommend pre-marriage counseling

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Congratulations to Becca and Matt!  Thank you for sharing your colorful Milton Ridge wedding in Washington DC with us!

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

Photography: Kira Nicole Photography
Videography: Kraainem Productions
Beauty: Jody Rusnak
Bridal Salon: Love Couture Bridal
Venue: Milton Ridge
Cake: Sarah Cairns

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.

 

 

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.

Preppy Spring DC Engagement Session: Colby + Nick

posted by Tabitha

After their first date in 2014, Colby and Nick were practically inseparable and according to the couple, it didn’t take long for them to fall in love. Nick knew that Colby was the woman he wanted to spend his life with and decided to ask her to marry him by surprising her in front of her entire family. He popped the question at a big family summer vacation trip to the coast. The day of the surprise proposal, Colby’s family planned on a huge family photo-op down by the beach. Once they got to the water and everyone was in place, Nick ran to the camera to “adjust the equipment”, skillfully grabbing the ring. As he turned around, Nick got on one knee and asked Colby to be his wife and, of course, she said YES surrounded by her family; how perfect is this for a photo-op?!  The newly engaged couple, went with their photographer, Vanessa Smith,  to historic Georgetown area for their DC engagement session. The colorful rows of homes, the brick walkways, and the brides adorable Lily Pulitzer inspired engagement attire had us in love with today’s couple! Thank you to Vanessa Smith Photography for sharing their session with us!

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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!

Versatile Venue: The Loft at 600 F

posted by Alex Hamilton

United with Love recently hosted a re-launch event to celebrate new ownership and a new look (coming soon!) at one of DC’s most versatile event spaces downtown and we can’t say it enough: we are in love! The Loft at 600 F is a super chic space that can be transformed for any occasion that you can dream up. We love the brick walls and hardwood floors, comfy lounge furniture, and high ceilings present in this unique space. There are even three floors for you to choose from when you are dreaming up the perfect design plan for your event. Their website contains floor plans (a must have when planning out your spatial strategy!) so you can easily and quickly decide which floors would be best suited to your soiree. The Loft at 600 F is a hidden gem located in Chinatown/Penn Quarter so you will be close to all of the DC action, with easy access to public transit and great restaurants for the perfect after party! This adaptable space can be used for any or all of your special wedding festivities in the DC area.

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 (L) The Loft at 600 F (R) M Harris Studios

Wedding: The Loft at 600 F is perfect for those couples who are looking for a very intimate feel on their wedding day. With the general aesthetic of the space and the size of each floor, this venue is very cozy and homey for your smaller wedding. You can utilize one floor for the ceremony and another for the reception or host cocktail hour on a different floor while flipping the ceremony space for a formal reception; the possibilities are endless with this space! This venue is also the perfect spot for a rain plan backup, in case you are nervous that the weather will be acting up day-of.

Rehearsal Dinner: Renting out one floor for a catered rehearsal dinner would be an amazing start to your wedding weekend! We also love the idea of hosting your dinner on one floor post rehearsal and renting out a second floor later in the night for a cocktail party for out of town friends and family. You can include those who have traveled distances to be with you, without having to include them in the more family and bridal party focused rehearsal dinner.

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Clarence Chan via The Loft at 600 F

Elopement Celebrations & Vow Renewals: If you don’t want your wedding day to be a huge fuss, or you decided to get married just the two of you in some beautiful exotic location, you can still have an amazing party after the fact! This space is perfect for elopement celebrations or vow renewals.

Engagement Parties: Now that you’re officially engaged, we know you want to show off that rock! An engagement party is the perfect place to do this! Invite your closest friends and family members for a party that is all about you two! Make it a rager and rent out all of the floors with an awesome DJ and constant dancing or have a close intimate dinner party with killer food and heartfelt toasts. Any way you choose to celebrate your engagement here, you can’t go wrong.

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Bonnie Sen via District Weddings

Bridal Showers: Grab all of your best gals and rent out a floor or two for a fun filled bridal shower! You can have all of your favorite food’s brought in by a fantastic caterer for a brunch, lunch, or dinner or you can hire other vendors for the day such as hair and makeup artists for makeovers, or a professional mixologist who will help you create (and test!) some fun signature cocktails.

Engagement Photo Sessions: The natural light in this space is absolutely insane. Your photographer will thank you a million times over when they find out that you booked The Loft at 600 F for your engagement photos. Not only will be you be shielded from the elements, but the décor in this space can go from chic, to modern, to rustic all on the same day! Craving outside photos as well? You’re super close to all of the iconic DC photo spots on the National Mall too.

 

Be sure to check out more wedding vendors in the DC area that we highly recommend. If it’s wedding inspiration and ideas that you are looking for, we’ve got that covered too! Check back daily for new content.

 

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!

Cheery Bayside Maryland Wedding: Erin + Jeremy

posted by Tabitha

Erin and Jeremy’s cheery Maryland waterfront wedding at Silver Swan Bayside is the perfect mixture of summertime nautical and pottery barn chic. The couple used a natural color story of tan, yellow, and white to transform the already picturesque setting into a nautical summer soiree. Their outdoor wedding ceremony took place on the boardwalk in front of the bay on a cloudless perfectly sunny afternoon. Erin and Jeremy radiated such joy in their photos, that you can’t help but smile as you walk through the happiness of their wedding day! Our favorite moment from their day was their special reception sendoff with sparklers before they were whisked away by boat on the Maryland bay! How fun would that exit be?! Thank you to Kim Newton Weddings for sharing today’s nautical Maryland bayside wedding with us!

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From the Bride: I absolutely love beach and nautical everything! I would describe my wedding as Coastal Living meets Pottery Barn. Oh and did I mention I’m obsessed with Pottery Barn?! I knew I wanted to get married on the water somewhere and so we found the perfect venue right on the Chesapeake Bay, right outside of city center Annapolis called Silver Swan Bayside. I wanted a classy, simple, modern nautical/beach themed wedding which is where the style from Coastal Living and Pottery Barn come into play. My colors were definitely appropriate for the whole Nautical theme – navy, light tan, white, and hints of yellow and green here and there.

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Instead of having the bridesmaids and groomsmen come down the center aisle, we had them come down the opposite sides of the boardwalk and lined up facing the center point of the boardwalk where the alter was located. Being the bride, I was the only one that walked down the main aisle with my dad. The groomsmen all wore Sperry boat shoes, including the ring bear, it was so cute. There was also a live, 3-string orchestra playing for our ceremony music, it was beautiful! We also had lanterns and seashells lining the aisle. More nautical/beach items at the card and reception tables.

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As for our flowers, I noticed at previous weddings that brides love to use roses and hydrangeas (I mean don’t get me wrong, I think they are gorgeous flowers) but I knew I wanted to do something a little more unique. Therefore, the reception tables had long stems of Bells of Ireland in tall vases with other flowers and I think that really set my flowers apart from others. There was also a candy bar that contained all kinds of sweets matching our color theme. We also had personalized koozies for people’s drinks, and a fire pit for guests to just hang out and relax around. Bottom line, I wanted everyone to have that laid back vibe and to just enjoy a beautiful summer night on the water.

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I would have to say that my number one memory is looking at my husband at the end of the aisle for the first time and just seeing through each others faces how blessed we were to have one another. And the stunning weather we had that day. There was no wind on the water, a beautiful sunset during the ceremony, and a million stars that filled the sky. And just dancing the night away with friends and family!

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My husband and I left on a nice boat, we had a captain so we didn’t have to worry about getting the boat back safely to our destination. It was such a beautiful night as well, not a cloud in the sky and so many stars out that night. As I look back though, I wish we would of splurged on the DJ a little more, we had a friend who had a DJ background but didn’t have all the special equipment that was needed. The music was still great to dance to and the reception was so much fun, but my advice to future brides is to definitely spend a good amount on a DJ that will accommodate to your style!

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Congratulations to Erin and Jeremy! Thank you for sharing your nautical Maryland bayside wedding with us!

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

Wedding Planner: Kim Newton Weddings
Photography: Sam Stroud Photography
Beauty: Updo’s for I Do’s
Bridal Shoes: Michael Kors
Bridal Gown: J Crew Bridal
Ceremony and Reception Venue: Silver Swan Bayside
Linen Rentals and Lighting: Silver Swan Bayside
Grooms Suiting: Express / Shoes: Sperry Topsider
Mens Attire: Mens Warehouse
Honeymoon: St. Lucia

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: Sam Stroud Photography

Say It With Video

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Save and Splurge: Balancing Your Wedding Flower Budget

posted by Alex Hamilton

Jennifer Morris, owner of J. Morris Flowers in Leesburg, VA understands that couples work within their wedding budget to choose the central elements of their own unique wedding. “Our 2016, Washington, D.C. area wedding clients want to have some idea about what to expect when they walk into our studio and as they discuss their wedding plans with other types of vendors.”

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Birds of a Feather Photography

Weddings are meant to be perfectly personal. “The colors, flowers, cake, music and guests fill their wedding site in a very individual way for just one day. The elements chosen reflect the personality of the couple and are often a result of a compromise or two. The bride has always dreamed of being married under a stunning arch of flowers and the groom knows the day will only be complete for him with a six piece band.”

Most budgets have a limit. Couples make tough decisions to reduce the number of tiers on a cake or ask the band to lose a member on the way to the reception in order to meet their budget. According to Jennifer, “Florals and decor are an important part of what the couple and guests see throughout the day. It is the task of an accomplished floral designer to make sure that all the traditional elements are present — bouquets, corsages, boutonnieres, arrangements for the ceremony, and for every table. There are ways, however, to control the cost of these culturally necessary arrangements so that we can include a “splurge” element or two.”

Jennifer suggests that the wedding couple work with every vendor the same way. “Create a list of what is most important to you, then work with your vendor to cover the bases while also incorporating something special.”

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Michelle Lindsay Photography

Save

  1. Dress the wedding party and tables with simple arrangements made from beautiful yet more affordable flower varieties like roses, spray roses, hydrangea, stock and larkspur
  2. Create impact by choosing flowers that truly complement the colors of the day
  3. Make the most of textured flowers and greenery that attract attention
  4. Select simple ceremony decor
  5. Repurpose ceremony decor by using aisle arrangements as centerpieces

Splurge

  1. Work with your designer to create a centrally located signature floral element on the head table or a food station
  2. Splurge on your bridal bouquet. it’s the most important accessory for your dress
  3. Add a suspended floral that mimics a chandelier, or adorn an existing chandelier, armoire, or fireplace
  4. Choose showy blooms like English garden roses, dahlias, anemone or trailing orchids. (Their size and beauty are well worth the extra funds.)

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Erin Kelleher Photography

Create

Jennifer has created a lot of very unique and individual pieces that have started with a glimmer of an idea from a client or a picture that they pinned. Work with Jennifer or your designer to create a special element that is all your own. “We have created so many beautiful things that have come from thoughtful, inspiring conversations with our couples. Some of my favorites have included a hanging florals and decor items, and arches with completely surprising flower varieties.”

Consider

  • A flower-framed mirror with a personal hand-written message from the couple
  • A tapestry or frame of flowers that forms a backdrop for the ceremony
  • An arrangement that both towers and cascades on an appetizer table
  • Special florals and greenery accents for seating charts, welcome signs, and serving tables

Jennifer explains, “Splurge items like these can range in price from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand. In the end they can make all the difference in creating a truly noteworthy event. Gather all your pricing and style options from your floral designer and work with them to find the balance between what you need, and what you really want.”

Looking for more floral inspiration for your wedding? We’ve got the best in the area! Also, all of our DC area wedding vendors are incredibly talented, so don’t forget to check them out as well!

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!