Wedding Day Menswear

posted by Alex Hamilton

We all know that fun and patterned socks are a go-to for menswear on your wedding day because they’re an easy way to show personality and make for a great photo opp. These days, however, menswear has evolved, and grooms are looking for wedding day fashion and groomsmen gifts that make a statement and show off their personalities. We set out to round up the DC area’s classic and more unique picks for men! Don’t forget to also check out what local grooms and groomsmen are wearing on the big day in our DC Area Real Weddings!

wedding-menswear-leo-and-lees-shirts

via Leo & Lee’s

Leo & Lee’s: Leo & Lee’s brings the military tradition of the “party shirt” to the mainstream – it looks like a standard white formal dress shirt with a jacket on, but take the jacket off to reveal the amazing patterned sleeves on this custom party shirt. We were excited to find out about Leo & Lee’s, a local DC company that has taken the men’s dress and tuxedo shirt to a whole new level! What we love most about these shirts is that they are made in the USA (donating a portion of proceeds to a military charity), custom crafted based on your sleeve and neck measurements (they offer both slim and regular fit) and are made of 100% premium cotton. You can get even wilder and send in your own fabric, add monograms or a custom pocket, for a truly unique wedding look. These shirts keep grandma happy during formal wedding photos, and then the jackets come off for one-of-a-kind photo opportunities and epic dance floor moves after a big reveal! Leo & Lee’s is even happy to provide you with 10% off your purchase using promo code UNITEDLOVE10.

Würkin Stiffs: Of course grooms and groomsmen want to look stylish on the big day, but oftentimes they want to be able to cut loose as well, post ceremony. We love Würkin Stiffs because they totally get that.  From their Magnetic Power Stays, to multi-functional patterned Microfiber Pocket Squares, Würkin Stiffs offers products that speak to any men’s style just as much as their livelihood. They place importance on functional design, and offer men personality-packed products to express their own style but with all of the function! We know how easy it can be to find bridesmaid’s gifts, but what do you get your groomsmen for being by your side on the big day? We love the idea of gifting some of these wallets, cuff-links, tie clips and other suit necessities.

lapel-menswear-tuxlapel-menswear-closeup

via Lapel

Lapel: Lapel is a local tuxedo and suit rental brand boasting fit, style, and service in a no pressure environment. With their very own designs, they opened a store in Alexandria offering classic styles with a modern slim fit, using a high quality 130s wool. They also designed their own shirts, velvet slippers, real patent leather shoes, and silk neck-wear; Lapel really is a one stop shop! Recently they have received a large number of requests to buy their tuxedos so keep an eye out for a new version that they will begin stocking in a few week for purchase!

Bonobos: We love Bonobos because of the large array of different options. Because they are a men’s only brand, they really know how to cater to different personalities. Whether your style is sharp and classic like a three piece suit or all about comfort and movement on the dance floor, they have a specific fit for you. At Bonobos you can either walk into a physical store and purchase, order online, or make an appointment for an impeccably fitted suit. There are stores in both Georgetown, DC and Bethesda, MD.

Deals & Discounts

Looking for a little price break? Click here to check out United With Love’s list of local discounts for your wedding day.

Salamander Resort Virginia Wedding: Gabby + Tony

posted by Tabitha

Vibrantly colorful and full of love are the perfect description for Gabby and Tony’s Middleburg Virginia wedding. From the moment we laid eyes on her phalaenopsis orchid pink bridal bouquet we were head over heels for their big day! Gabby and Tony wanted to incorporate personalized touches to their wedding day, which could be found on the wrap of the brides bouquet which was her mothers to Italian treats in the wedding welcome bags as a nod to their Italy heritage. Their wedding was held at the prestigious Salamander Resort which is located in Middleburg Virginia. The resort boasts a wide variety of options for couples getting married, which the bride utilized by having a horse drawn carriage bring her into the ceremony for her grand entrance. They were married in front of a beautiful all white arch that paired perfectly with the lush greens of the venue property. After a romantic and personal ceremony, guests joined the couple in the grand ballroom surrounded by vibrant pops of pink and orange décor. We love how the couple were never afraid of color when designing all aspects of their day, especially the sugar flowers that adorned their multi tier wedding cake. Thank you to Katelyn James Photography for sharing another beautiful wedding ceremony and reception with us today!

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From the Bride: “Our vision was to incorporate bright colors with a splash of glitz and most importantly, paid homage to our Italian culture. Aside from making sure the day was memorable to the two of us, we wanted to ensure that our guests thoroughly enjoyed themselves as a way to say thank you for their endless support and love.”  

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The bridal bouquet was wrapped in a piece from the Mother-of-the Bride’s wedding dress and the groom was dressed in his military uniform. I also had two of my sorority sisters pin our sorority’s badge to the inside of my wedding dress over my heart. My parents and grandma were each given personalized handkerchiefs with individualized notes on them. We incorporated our Italian culture through the food by having a gelato bar and serving risotto as a side of the main course. We also added bottles of pink limoncello, wine from Andrea Bocelli’s vineyard, and homemade biscottis and pizzels to the hospitality bags.

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Tips from the Couple: “Enjoy the process! Often times we get caught up in the minute and major details, but t the end of the day, never lose site of why you are going through this process in the first place!”

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Congratulations to Gabby and Tony! Thank you for sharing your vibrant Salamander Resort wedding with us!

The following Washington DC area wedding professionals contributed to their wedding:
Photography: Katelyn James Photography
Invitations: Paper Talk 
Veil & Jewelry: Kleinfeld Bridal
Bridal Gown: Kleinfeld Bridal
Ceremony and Reception Venue: Salamander Resort
Beauty: Salon at Salamander Resort
Floral Designer: Lavender Green
Band: Doctors Orders
Bridesmaid Attire: Nordstrom
Ceremony Strings: Cherry Blossom String Quartet
Wedding Cake: Jason Reaves
Groomsment Attire: Mens Warehouse
Honeymoon: Hawaii

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: Katelyn James 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!

Happy Weekend!

posted by Alex Hamilton

We had some really great content this week – especially focusing on your wedding budget, which we know you may need help with! Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for more in the future! Let us know what else you might be interested in seeing in the comments below!

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Paired Images

Some links for your weekend from our favorite blogs…

…what you missed right here!

…and oldies but still useful goodies!

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.

Iconic DC Engagement Session: Brendan + Nick

posted by Tabitha

We love today’s DC monuments engagement session, especially the fact that the couple snuck in some shots with their adorable dog before heading into the city! Destined to be enemies according to OkCupid.com, Nick and Brendan met for the first time over drinks at El Centro in Washington, DC. This meet up quickly turned into four hours at Matchbox where the two discussed their interests, friends, family, and the inherent value in saving your favorite books for your future children. Since then they’ve been keeping each other in balance.  Brendan asked Nick to marry him at the bottom of Pilgrim Monument in Provincetown, MA while on vacation with friends. They are planning a nautical-style beach wedding back at the home of their engagement in Provincetown in the fall. We wish them both all the best and thank you to Deb Lindsey Photography for sharing their sweet DC engagement session with us.

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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: Deb Lindsey Photography

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

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!

Budget Advice: Splurging and Saving

posted by Tabitha

credit: Kristen Gardner Photography

Credit: Kristen Gardner Photography

Budget planning for an event as large as your wedding can be overwhelming and daunting to say the least. We asked a few of our favorite DC area wedding planners for some words of advice to hopefully help in planning for the unexpected, and where to splurge a little. The one advice that we hear most from our featured DC real wedding couples is, to prioritize what aspects of the wedding are most important to you as a couple and shift your budget to accommodate. Thank you to our wonderful United with Love vendors who helped give insight in planning a great budget!

……….

Question: What wedding budget item do you feel is most forgotten about, or under estimated by brides? And why is it important to remember?

“For tented outdoor weddings, funds needed to execute a rain plan.  Understandably, brides don’t like to confront the fact that it might rain on their wedding day.  However, it is so important to think about plan B and to set aside funds needed for extra equipment and services that might be needed in the event of rain.  For example, rain might mean additional tenting for the ceremony and cocktail hour.  Rain also might require marquees, or tented hallways, running from the catering tent to the dinner tent and from the dinner tent to restroom facilities.  Sometimes, heavy rain can make flooring an absolute necessity, depending on how water drains at the wedding site.  Heavy rain can also complicate vendor load ins, making it impossible for heavy trucks to move across soaking wet grass without getting stuck or tearing up the property. ”  Allison of Pineapple Productions

Credit: Connor Studios & Sugarplum Tent Company

“Don’t forget about all the little detail items! These include all of your day-of signage and frames, any cocktail napkins or drink swizzle sticks, table numbers, ribbon for welcome bags, etc.  All of the components for these pieces can start to add up and a lot of couples underestimate the true cost! Secondly, don’t forget about wedding insurance. Even if your venue doesn’t require it, for a few hundred dollars, it’s always a good investment for the unknown! “ Kelley of Kelley Cannon Events

“I think many folks forget to plan for gratuities. We live in a culture that tips service providers who meet or exceed expectations. When it comes time, often in the last few weeks before one’s wedding, creating a tally of all those folks can become a list of dozens of people, resulting in up to thousands of dollars in tips or gifts. I always have my clients plan for this in advance within their initial budget!” Janice of Bellwether Events

“Rentals are often underestimated when making budget plans. Stand alone venues allow you to customize and bring in your own rentals, especially if working with a catering company. Many couples don’t realize how many glasses are really needed for an open bar, or extra tables for service and miscellaneous décor like gifts and the guest book. These items add up quickly, and can fluctuate depending on your final numbers so make sure to leave room in the budget to accommodate.” Kristen of Roberts & Co. Events

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Question: Beyond photography/videography, what is one or two items or vendors that you think are always worth the investment when allocating wedding funds?

“Lighting!  Lighting does so much to set a warm, welcoming atmosphere.  It can transform an event space, even a drab one. Plus, proper event lighting allows guests to see and appreciate all your wedding decor, from large statement pieces to the smallest table top details.  Most importantly, good lighting will enhance your wedding pictures and ensure that they are as beautiful and vibrant as they can be.” Allison of Pineapple Productions

“End of night transportation for the couple is always worth the money.  It’s easier to avoid having to wait on an uber or cab, especially if you are having a special send-off, a hired, dedicated vehicle for the bride and groom is the way to go. Transportation companies offer one way transfer town cars, which is a great way to avoid hour minimums on limos or buses. Kelley of Kelley Cannon Events

credit: Ralph Alswang Photoraphy

credit: Ralph Alswang Photoraphy

“With all the rain we’ve been having recently I can’t help but immediately think that a tent with a platform floor sounds like a great investment right about now. My clients who have invested in good tents and raised floors have never had buyer’s remorse, and those un-sexy budget items have often saved the day in the event of inclement weather. “ Janice of Bellwether Events

“A wedding planner or wedding coordinator, and I’m not saying this just because I happen to be one. I have been told by so many clients and friends of clients, that the one vendor they were so happy to have was a wedding planner/coordinator. And conversely, have been told by people who didn’t have a planner/coordinator, that they regretted that decision come the wedding day. A coordinator will save the couple so much time and energy and really allow them to fully celebrate and be present day-of, they will also be able to work with all vendors and provide experienced event management to carry out their clients dream wedding. A good planner, among so many things, will provide invaluable advice and guidance and keep their clients on track throughout the process. A good wedding planner or coordinator is not the venue contact, caterer or friend who dabbles in event planning. You get what you pay for, so choose someone who is a professional wedding and event planner!” Margo of Bright Occasions

“A textured upgraded linen over a plain twill-cotton linen is always worth the splurge. Typically only $12-15 more per table will help elevate your entire reception room and make it more personalized and lux looking. If you don’t have the budget to do all of your guest seating tables, upgrade dessert tables, and auxiliary tables such as escort card and bar tables. Secondly, welcome items for your hotel guests is a delightful treat that starts the wedding weekend off. From a simple combo of cookies and a hand written note with the wedding itinerary to a curated box from Marigold and Grey, guests appreciate you putting in the extra touches to appreciate their time for the weekend.” Kristen from Roberts & Co. EVents.

 

 

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!

Budget Advice: Breakdown by Percentages

posted by Alex Hamilton

We recently opened up a survey to all of our readers asking what they might need the most help on when planning their DC area wedding. We have gathered all of your thoughts, options, and questions and found that an overwhelming number of brides and grooms are looking for some budgeting help. From when to spend and when to splurge to the precise breakdown of vendor prices, it is clear that we needed to give some guidance in this department!

Virginia Wedding Rebekah J Murray Photography Pink and Purple Flowers (2)Virginia Wedding Rebekah J Murray Photography Fall Ceremony Floweres

Rebekah J Murray Photography

Our couples really run the gamut when it comes to specific budgets, so we thought it would be best to provide a budget breakdown suggestion based on percentages so that you can see exactly how your dollar amounts can be allocated. We have also included a few general averages but it is worth noting that these percentages and averages vary greatly depending on the DC area wedding vendor that you are working with and also the aspects of your wedding that you decide to prioritize. The following list is only a suggestion and starting point for what you can except in the Washington, DC area.

Virginia Wedding Rebekah J Murray Photography Pink and Purple Flowers (3)

Rebekah J Murray Photography

Attire
Total: 5 percent

Includes: wedding dress, shoes, hairpiece, jewelry, tux

Ceremony
Total: 2 percent

Includes: officiant fees, marriage license, location fee

Photography + Videography 
Total: 10 percent

Includes: coverage during ceremony and reception and album

Flowers/Decor
Total:
10 percent

Includes: bouquets, boutonnieres, floral arrangements for ceremony and reception

Music
Total:
5 percent

Includes: music for ceremony, cocktail hour music, DJ for reception

Average Price in DC Area: DJ Servicesw Starting at $1,650 for 4-6 hours

Paper Goods
Total: 4 percent

Includes: save the dates, invitations, programs, escort cards, signs, favors, thank you notes, postage, calligraphy, guest book

Transportation 
Total: 3 percent

Includes: couple and bridal party transportation, guest shuttle, parking attendants

Venue
Total: 10 percent

Includes: wedding location rental fee

Catering
Total: 35 percent

Includes: food, drink and rentals (chairs, plates, linens etc.)

Cake
Total: 2 percent

Includes: cake or other dessert, server or cutting at venue, knife, topper

Average Price in DC Area: Starting at $4/head *Only need to allocate cake for 65% of guests

Wedding Rings
Total: 3 percent

Wedding Planner or Coordinator 
Total: 8 percent

Includes: planning and/or coordination services

Average Price in DC Area: Day-Of Coordination Around $1,700-$2,200

Cushion 
Total: 3 percent

Includes: make-up, hair, welcome baskets, bridal party gifts, parent gifts

 

Stay tuned for more DC area wedding budget tips and tricks coming up over the next couple of weeks!

Mmmmmm!

Give your guests a meal they won’t forget! Click here to find the best wedding caterers in Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia.

Maryland Rustic Farm Wedding: Liz + Will

posted by Tabitha

When this bride and groom started planning their Maryland wedding ceremony and reception, they knew that a laid back atmosphere and chill vibe was crucial to the entire day. They paired their relaxed vision with their parents desire for a more formal reception to create a rustic wedding that was perfect for their guests. A couples often find out, compromise is a huge part of planning a wedding. From the parents vision to the preferences of each the bride and groom, coming up with a plan for a day that guests and the couple will love is so important! Liz and Will created their perfect setting with an outdoor cocktail party that included a bluegrass band and wedding lawn games, coupled with a fully stocked bar of their favorite libations. We especially loved the unique reception centerpieces that were a mix of textures including wood branches, moss, and lush colorful florals against burlap runners. Thank you to Kim Newton Events for sharing this fun, rustic wedding with us today!

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From the Bride: My groom and I are laid-back people who just would have ended up with a grill and a tent if we had planned by ourselves. My parents have been to enough classy events that they also had a vision of something more refined. When those two visions were put together, I feel like we got the best of both and I was really happy with the temporary world that was created.”

 

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“In order to find their table, we had an old palette with hooks set into it. Each person had an old-fashioned key with a tag hanging, which included their name and their table assigned by whoever said the quote. My mom constructed the whole system and completed the calligraphy on the keys. Keys were a theme that ran throughout the event. It is the minor league team who hosted our rehearsal dinner, the symbol of a shared family sorority, and the name of the school that I work at. “

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“The most important part of our wedding was that our guests had a fun-filled and well taken-care-of experience while still maintaining a laidback atmosphere. In order to do this, we held an indoor/outdoor cocktail reception complete with games and a live bluegrass band. My dad strongly advocated that more bartenders don’t add too much to the budget, but can make a huge difference. Walking into a wedding and immediately waiting in line can change the tone of the evening. Along with our families, and friends we just love to dance at weddings. We kicked off the dancing with a few songs before dinner..

 

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“Each table had a quote from a favorite book or musician of ours. I had been collecting passages from books for years and my husband is both a literature and jam band lover. We tried to pick quotes that related to our relationships at that particular table. Will‘s parents actually chopped down a tree from their yard and cut the logs into slices. My mom then wrote the quotes in calligraphy and decoupage them onto the slices. Matt, our very talented florist, did a great job incorporating these pieces in with the flowers.”

 

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Best advice from the couple: Get a videography. My dad twisted my arm to get one and there were so many times throughout the night that I just remember thinking, “This is so amazing. I’m so glad it’s being taped.”

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Congratulations to Liz and Will!  Thank you for sharing your beautiful rustic farm wedding with us today!

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

Wedding Planner: Kim Newton Weddings
Photography: Paired Images
Videography: 5ive Star Media
Transportation: KV Limo
Floral Designer: To the 9s
Ceremony Venue: All Saints Episcopal Church
Reception Venue: Walkers Overlook
Bridal Salon: Betsy Robinson Bridal
Bridesmaid Attire: J. Crew 
Grooms Attire: Brooks Brothers

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: Paired Images

Mmmmmm!

Give your guests a meal they won’t forget! Click here to find the best wedding caterers in Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia.

Happy Weekend!

posted by Alex Hamilton

We know that the DC area has been pretty dreary for the past couple of weeks, but it looks like we could possibly be turning a corner! We’re keeping our fingers crossed. Even if we don’t get as much sunshine as we’d like, our weekly roundup is sure to brighten your day! From another week of our UWL survey to wedding desserts, and al fresco inspiration we want to put a spring in your step! Check out some fabulous content below.

desserts-pink-gold-wedding-new-years-eve-Ashlee-Virginia-Events-Rachael-May-Photographydessert-table-pink-gold-wedding-new-years-eve-Ashlee-Virginia-Events-Rachael-May-Photography

Rachel May Photography

Some links for your weekend from our favorite blogs…

…what you missed right here!

…and oldies but still useful goodies!

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

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!

Downtown Leesburg Engagement Session: Vicki + Gary

posted by Tabitha

Gary and Vicki met at work and over time developed a friendship that eventually blossomed into a relationship. After years of dating, Gary proposed to Vicki at Busch Gardens’ Christmas town in front of the beautiful Christmas tree. They are planning on getting married in the spring at the Dominion Valley Country Club. We love their downtown Leesburg Virginia engagement session with Hill Studios Photography. The trees were perfectly in bloom, and they looked so at home in the quaint historic district! Thank you to Vicki and Gary for sharing their cute engagement session with us today!

View More: http://thehillstudio.pass.us/happilyevergearhart View More: http://thehillstudio.pass.us/happilyevergearhart View More: http://thehillstudio.pass.us/happilyevergearhart View More: http://thehillstudio.pass.us/happilyevergearhart View More: http://thehillstudio.pass.us/happilyevergearhart View More: http://thehillstudio.pass.us/happilyevergearhart View More: http://thehillstudio.pass.us/happilyevergearhart View More: http://thehillstudio.pass.us/happilyevergearhart View More: http://thehillstudio.pass.us/happilyevergearhart View More: http://thehillstudio.pass.us/happilyevergearhart View More: http://thehillstudio.pass.us/happilyevergearhart View More: http://thehillstudio.pass.us/happilyevergearhart View More: http://thehillstudio.pass.us/happilyevergearhart View More: http://thehillstudio.pass.us/happilyevergearhart View More: http://thehillstudio.pass.us/happilyevergearhart View More: http://thehillstudio.pass.us/happilyevergearhart View More: http://thehillstudio.pass.us/happilyevergearhart View More: http://thehillstudio.pass.us/happilyevergearhart View More: http://thehillstudio.pass.us/happilyevergearhart

 

Say It With Video

Catch those special moments and relive your wedding day everyday! Click here to find a local wedding videographer.