We’re heading out to the country this fine morning – Virginia wine country, that is! Sara and Brett’s wedding in Virginia is the definition of laid-back elegance. From the sunflowers and baby’s breath to the rustic setting of the vineyard, it’s jam-packed with country-inspired wedding ideas beautifully captured by Lelia Marie Photography. And, you’ve just got to love a bride who rocks a pair of cowgirl boots down the aisle! Be sure to join us later this morning as we soak in all the pretty from their elegant rustic affair!
Thank you so much Sara and Brett for sharing your wedding ceremony with us! Be sure to come back later this morning to see their reception. The following Washington DC area wedding professionals contributed to their wedding:
Are you ready for more plum perfection from Lauren and Neal’s wedding in Maryland? (Wait right there! You can’t go on until you check out their traditional Jewish wedding ceremony first!) This fall fête featured pops of plum and green and a buffet-style reception, too! (Our editor, Juli, hit the nail on the head when she predicted foodie wedding trends + family style receptions for 2015!) And good luck trying not to spend all afternoon swooning over this gorgeous gallery from Victoria Ruan Photography – easier said than done, am I right!?
From Lauren: Our main goals were to have a wedding that reflected us and for our guests to have a fun time.
My husband wanted great food and I wanted great music, so we chose to splurge a little in those areas.
Lauren’s wedding planning advice for other DC-area couples:
It was important to us to have a wedding coordinator since we were planning the majority of our wedding from out of state. We couldn’t have pulled off our wedding without Margo’s help! It was crucial to have her recommendations for different vendors within our budget and to help us negotiate contracts.
Thank you so much Lauren and Neal for sharing your wedding reception with us! The following Washington DC area wedding professionals contributed to their wedding:
Happy Monday, darlings! Today we’re ignoring it’s finally spring and jumping two seasons ahead with this gorgeous fall wedding in Maryland. Lauren and Neal’s classic plum wedding, planned to perfection by Bright Occasions, featured pretty purple florals in the prettiest of settings: the dreamy outdoor scenery of Woodend Sanctuary. And, lucky for us, Victoria Ruan Photography was behind the camera to capture every picturesque moment! Come back later this morning to take a peek at their tented wedding reception!
Thank you so much Lauren and Neal for sharing your wedding ceremony with us! Be sure to come back later this morning to see their reception. The following Washington DC area wedding professionals contributed to their wedding:
Good morning DC area wedding lovers! Are you ready to spend another Sunday morning with one of our great sponsors? There’s a gorgeous 600-acre tree nursery set in Somerset, Virginia called The Market at Grelen and it is the perfect place where engaged couples can embrace nature and romance for their wedding day. With a unique garden setting and expansive Blue Ridge Mountain views, The Market at Grelen offers several creative wedding spaces unlike any other venue in the Charlottesville area. Each individual space in Grelen is easily accessible, giving couples the opportunity to have distinctive, separate phases of their wedding day in one gorgeous and unforgettable venue. There’s the a stone terrace bordered by the Blue Ridge Mountains and the tree farm that changes colors with the season, then there’s the lush pick-your-own berry patches and an orchard overlook tent that hosts the perfect place for your wedding guests to dine under the stars. Simply perfection! For more on The Market at Grelen, be sure to visit their website or check out all of their past features on United With Love.
We hope that you’ll check out The Market at Grelen as a location for your wedding in the Washington DC area. Join us again next weekend for Sunday brunch with another fantastic supporter of United With Love! We’ll see you back here bright and early Monday morning! If you are interested in joining us for brunch on United With Love, please send us an email.
In honor of today being National Proposal Day, we are celebrating with this Washington DC marriage proposal. So, grab your tissues because this one comes with a super cute story featuring childhood sweethearts captured by Boraie Photography. When Kevin met Susie for the first time, they were five years old. They reconnected after college and the rest is history! Kevin decided to pop the question and chose Constitution Gardens on a lovely Saturday morning, full of sunshine. Susie’s close friends were invited to hide and watch the proposal unfold. They made their appearance after Susie said “yes,” and as you can see, the photos had beautiful results!
When it comes to your wedding in the Washington DC area, you probably have plenty of out-of-town guests travelling to the area for your celebration of love! What do you need to know about welcoming guests and heelping them navigate the city? Once again, we turned to some of the top wedding planners in the Washington DC area and asked for their advice. How can couples gjve their guests ideas of what to do and where to go? Here’s what they had to say…
It’s a slippery slope between providing helpful information and positioning yourself as their personal tour guide. Be sure to direct questions and inquiries to others, e.g. hotel concierge, wedding planner, maid of honor/best man. — Elizabeth at Elizabeth Duncan Events
A wedding website can be a tremendous help for your out of town guests. The website may contain a page which speaks to hotel accommodations and local attractions. Another option is a “Welcome Basket.” This basket can be handed out to guests who stay in the hotel. It can contain brochures with information on local activities and also goodies for your guests to enjoy during their stay. — Shawn at TreBella Events
Wedding websites and wedding apps are great ways to help your guests plan their trip in advance, more fully enjoy all that DC has to offer, and quickly reference celebration locations on the go. — Ginger at Gingerwood Creative
Creating a wedding website that you distribute to guests (usually on the save the date!) with lots of great info regarding city attractions, hotels, restaurants, wedding info, etc. is a great way to help everyone from out of town plan their trip accordingly. — Jennifer of Elegantly Chic Events
Communication is key here! Include as much info as you can in either print, the web, or an e-mail message such as hotel info, directions, addresses, contact phone numbers too just in case they need to reach someone. — Courtney at A Sweet Soiree
Parking and Transportation
If you have a lot of guests staying at nearby hotels, arrange for shuttle buses to take them to and from the wedding so they don’t have to worry about renting cars, parking, etc. I know they will appreciate the gesture! — Jennifer of Elegantly Chic Events
Book a hotel where the parking isn’t insanely expensive if possible, and that’s close to a Metro stop so they can explore. Include a link to Uber on your wedding web site and explain how to download the app—you can even get a wedding code to give guests a free first ride! And, if you can afford it, please provide transportation for your guests. No, you don’t have to, but it just makes everyone’s lives so much easier if you know when everyone will show up! — Rebecca at Blue Canary Events
Transportation is always important to mention. On welcome bag information cards, we typically suggest how to get there. Simply suggesting “cab or Uber,” “walkable from hotel,” “take the Orange Line to Clarendon” is easy for guests to help figure how to get around or at least give them somewhere to start. — Laura of Events in the City
If your wedding is in DC and some guests are driving, make sure they download the Parkmobile app as DC parking meters are set up with that app. In Montgomery county MobileNOW is another app to be downloaded for cars as their meters are connected to that app. Like Uber, these are not quick apps to download and should be communicated to guests ahead of time. — Katie at Elegance & Simplicity
The more information the better when it comes to transportation and driving instructions. Let guests know before they come to down if you will provide a shuttle, or if parking is difficult near your reception location. It will help them decide whether arrangements like a rental car make sense. — Ginger at Gingerwood Creative
Give up to date information on transportation in the welcome bags including how easy or not easy catching cabs or Uber times in the area will be. You don’t want guests to assume that they can catch a cab easily after the wedding, when in fact your reception venue is off the beaten path in D.C and cabs are not frequent. — Tabitha at Roberts and Co. Events
Creating a Wedding Weekend Timeline
If your wedding is in the city and your guests are from out of town, do yourself and your guests a favor, and put everything as close together as possible. Ceremony, reception, rehearsal dinner. Getting around the city is hard enough for those of us who are experts—imagine your Aunt Ida from Paducah, Kentucky staring at Dupont Circle and just having NO idea what to do. — Rebecca at Blue Canary Events
Keeping the Expense Down
Make sure that your “out of town guests” are well-informed of any potential expenses they might incur. Resort fees, valet parking fees, cash bars, and high city taxes can really blow your wedding guests’s budget if they are unaware of these additional expenses in advance. — Kay at Howerton + Wooten Events
Always plan on guests wanting to stay for a mini vacation when booking your room block. Reserve rooms for a few days before and after the wedding as a courtesy so that they have the option of arriving on Thursday or leaving on Monday so that they can enjoy the city. — Tabitha at Roberts and Co. Events
Wedding Itinerary + Welcome Bags
Book a hotel where the parking isn’t insanely expensive if possible, and that’s close to a Metro stop so they can explore. Include a link to Uber on your wedding web site and explain how to download the app—you can even get a wedding code to give guests a free first ride! Include a map of the Smithsonians and monuments, a letter with your itinerary as well as your favorite coffee shop, cupcake or ice cream place, best places for lunch, where the closest drugstore is, etc. Leave copies with the concierge at the hotel. — Rebecca at Blue Canary Events
Points of Interest: you can include a city’s visitors guide. What I like the most is when clients tell their guests their favorite restaurants and their favorite places to visit/activities. I think it personalizes it for your guests. One of my clients wrote out a few options for guests on “What to do on a Friday night in DC.” It was great! — Vicky at Event Accomplished
Think about what your guests might need during their stay and share information about where they can find it. Include contact information for a couple of good hair salons, a dry cleaner, a drugstore, emergency medical facilities, nearby restaurants, shopping malls, and any other businesses your guests may find interesting or useful. — Stephanie at Pretty Entertaining
Having a detailed wedding website that outlines your personal suggestions for how to handle attend your wedding is great for out of town guests. Providing a light itinerary and options for those who don’t know your city via the welcome bag is awesome. Don’t just throw in nine different maps and brochures. Make personalized suggestions and be thoughtful with a range in price as well. — Laura of Events in the City
I almost always recommend that guests come at least two days prior to the wedding to get acclamation to the area and check in. This way they have at least one evening to enjoy the city before the wedding day! DC has so much to offer. Families should definitely be made aware of how the majority of our museums are free…in most major cities around the world, museums have a fee to get in. For the museums that have fees and you know your particular guests might be interested in going (like the Newseum) Call those museums ahead of time to see if they have any discounts available for large groups! You know your guests best! — Katie at Elegance & Simplicity
For guests arriving at the hotel, a nice welcome bag to receive with some nice little personal gifts, or something that reflection of the couple, along with area tourist maps depending on the location. Tourist maps can be found at your local county visitor center or local tourism board. If you want to really customize, have your stationery designer to design custom maps of the area that will match with all of your other invitation stationery. – Tara at Perfect Planning Events
Always include a welcome note at the hotels either in a welcome bag or on its own. Be sure this has a schedule for the weekend and any attire and transportation. It should also list a few places to eat and the couples favorite attractions around town. — Courtney at A Sweet Soiree
Couples can order Washington D.C information Booklets from the D.C Tourism site for only the cost of shipping to include in guest welcome bags. This is a really useful tool for guests who are looking for unique opportunities in the city to site see around the wedding activities. — Tabitha at Roberts and Co. Events
Oh, my dear readers, get your Pinterest board ready because the second half of Courtney and Tom’s wedding in Maryland comes packed with plenty of steal-worthy (and DIY!) wedding ideas. From the mini pie dessert bar to the elegant simplicity of the center paces, it’s hard to choose a favorite! (Be sure to check out their outdoor wedding ceremony, too!) And the best part? Birds of a Feather Photography was on hand to capture every sweet moment.
From Courtney: We wanted our wedding to be full of personal touches and moments that we would remember for a life time.
Dessert stands made from thrift store candle stick holders and phonograph records (phonograph records are thicker than traditional vinyl and cost about $1 at a local antique store – when gluing, use heavy duty glue, not hot glue!
Courtney’s wedding planning advice for other DC-area couples:
Don’t be afraid to plan everything yourself. There are so many tools on the internet that make is easy to do on your own. We decided on a long engagement of 18 months, and I used every minute. Waiting awhile to get married made it so that the vendors I wanted were available on the date we chose.
Thank you so much Courtney and Tom for sharing your wedding reception with us! The following Washington DC area wedding professionals contributed to their wedding:
Packed with a DIY punch, this laid-back wedding in Maryland comes with a touch of rustic elegance! Courtney and Tom wanted to celebrate their love with a casual fall wedding outdoors. The simple but stunning baby’s breath bouquet will have you running out and grabbing a bouquet for your desk. (Because that’s definitely what I’m doing this morning!) And check out those vinyl record ceremony programs made by the bride and her maid of honor – oh, the creativity! I love it. You can see all the pretty captured by Birds of a Feather Photography right here…
From Courtney: My husband and I have been friends for well over ten years. We wanted our wedding to represent what is most important to us: our friends and family. We are not a formal couple, so we wanted our wedding to be casual and fun. Nothing fussy and nothing fancy. Just quality time with all of the people we love most.
I let my bridesmaids pick out their own dresses so that in photographs, they look most like themselves and their dresses fit within their budgets. I told them to wear whatever shoes they wanted because comfort is key.
My maid of honor, Kara, and I made programs made from vinyl record 45’s, popsicle sticks and prints on Kraft paper from Staples for $0.07 a piece.
Thank you so much Courtney and Tom for sharing your wedding ceremony with us! Be sure to come back later this morning to see their reception. The following Washington DC area wedding professionals contributed to their wedding: