Intimate Multicultural Wedding Reception in Washington DC: Shawn + Mark

posted by ally

What happens when two local grooms set out to throw an intimate and cultural wedding in Washington DC? Crazy beautiful things, let me tell ya! With DuHon Photography on hand to capture all the fun, Mark and Shawn pulled off an intimate affair with plenty of color and personal details. (Make sure to check out their traditional Jewish wedding ceremony first!) I’m especially loving their use of the Chinese “double happiness” symbol (a traditional marriage symbol!) tucked in throughout the details of the day from the wedding program to the chopsticks at dinner! Too cute!

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From Shawn: The goal was to have a wedding that was a fun celebration and reflected us as a couple and drew upon our respective cultures. Keeping that in mind throughout the entire planning process influenced everything we did–from the food, color palette, music, to order of events.

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The Chinese “double happiness” symbol (used at weddings) was featured prominently— on items from the menus and programs to chopsticks. 

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Although blasphemy in most wedding circles—we actually skipped flowers except corsages and boutonnieres. The reasoning behind this was threefold—the venue was so beautiful that it needed little adornment, it’s a Chinese tradition to serve food family style (so there was a food centerpiece, surrounded by beautiful platters of food), and we used candles and mason jars filled with ‘firefly’ lights on the cocktail hour tables.

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The hora was actually incredible. Almost everyone took part. Being lifted up onto chairs by our groomsmen, fathers, siblings, and some our best friends gave us both an elevated view of the crowd as we spun around in circles. We’ll never forget the buzz of that moment.

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Shawn’s wedding planning advice for other DC-area couples:

Make the wedding your own. A long engagement can really help make planning easier and less stressful. And finally: don’t stress out on your wedding day—enjoy it! 

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Thank you so much Mark and Shawn for sharing your wedding reception with us! The following Washington DC area wedding professionals contributed to their wedding:

Venue: Carnegie Institute for Science
Officiant: Rabbi Zemel of Temple Micah
Photography: DuHon Photography
Stationery: Wedding Paper Divas
Grooms’ Attire and Shoes: Suit Supply
Accessories: J.Crew and Brooks Brothers
Hair: Charmed Salon
DJ: Shea Van Horn
Cake: Fancy Cakes By Leslie
Cocktail Hour Catering and Linens: Main Event Caterers
Reception Catering: Seven Seas Chinese Restaurant
Lighting: DIY Uplighting

For more vendors, please visit our Washington DC area wedding vendor guide and for even more local ideas visit our wedding inspiration galleries or check out our other Washington DC area real wedding features.

Photo Credits: DuHon 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.

Intimate Multicultural Wedding Ceremony in Washington DC: Shawn + Mark

posted by ally

This wedding in Washington DC right here? If you ask me, it’s the perfect way to kick off 2015. That is, of course, if you like to begin the New Year with a heavy dose of pretty and a handsome couple! It’s Jewish traditions meets Taiwainese-Chinese cultures meet all kinds of awesome for Mark and Shawn’s multicultural affair, and DuHon Photography was behind the lens capturing every bright and bold detail that you’ll be pouring over all morning long. Make sure to check back in this afternoon to see their personal and intimate wedding reception.

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From Shawn: We wanted our wedding to reflect us as a couple and our respective cultures. We also wanted it to be a laid back event, just a big celebration shared with close family and friends.

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We put a lot of effort into every detail of the wedding, trying to infuse it with something that reflected our cultures or something we shared together as a couple. In our wedding program, we had a page explaining the traditions and symbolism that our family and friends saw throughout the wedding ceremony and reception.

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We had to look at several temples in order to find a rabbi who was willing to conduct our ceremony. This was actually a challenge because only one groom is Jewish, not to mention it being a same-sex marriage. Temple Micah was wonderful and made us feel at home. The temple, its rabbis, and congregation warmly welcomed us into their community. The head rabbi conducted a beautiful ceremony that included the Jewish blessings and both grooms breaking glass, which is now inside mezuzahs in our home.

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To add a personal touch and to further incorporate our respective backgrounds into the wedding day, we had a table with family photographs (such as pictures of Mark’s parents’ wedding, Shawn’s grandparents’ wedding, and childhood photographs of both grooms.

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We had our cocktail hour first, before the ceremony. We did this because it was Saturday and we needed to start the ceremony at a later hour (because of the Jewish sabbath and rabbi). This had several extra benefits though–everyone had already eaten a little bit, was already having a good time, and no one was late for the ceremony. So when we started the ceremony, everyone was already in a way warmed up–feeling in a more celebratory than cold/sober mode.

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Thank you so much Mark and Shawn 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:

Venue: Carnegie Institute for Science
Officiant: Rabbi Zemel of Temple Micah
Photography: DuHon Photography
Stationery: Wedding Paper Divas
Grooms’ Attire and Shoes: Suit Supply
Accessories: J.Crew and Brooks Brothers
Hair: Charmed Salon
DJ: Shea Van Horn
Cake: Fancy Cakes By Leslie
Cocktail Hour Catering and Linens: Main Event Caterers
Reception Catering: Seven Seas Chinese Restaurant
Lighting: DIY Uplighting

For more vendors, please visit our Washington DC area wedding vendor guide and for even more local ideas visit our wedding inspiration galleries or check out our other Washington DC area real wedding features.

Photo Credits: DuHon Photography

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

Paper Goodies

Click here to find a local stationer to design all of your wedding day paper details – from invitations to escort cards.

Sunday Brunch: Rex and Regina Events

posted by kate

Good morning DC area wedding lovers! Are you ready to spend another Sunday morning with one of our great sponsors? Rex and Regina Events is a boutique event management firm providing wedding planning services that reflect gracious hospitality. Rex and Regina Event’s founder, Teresa Lee has over 15 years of experience and is often praised for her meticulous style. Inspired by the hospitality extended at royal courts, Rex and Regina is Latin for “king and queen,” and is all about working behind the scenes to ensure that hosts and guests can celebrate weddings in beautiful, memorable and inspiring ways. For more on Rex and Regina events, be sure to visit their website or check out all of their past features on United With Love.

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  Photography Credit: The Observatory

We hope that you’ll check out Rex and Regina Events for your wedding and event planning 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.

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.

Best of 2014: Wedding Engagement Sessions

posted by kate

You can’t have a seasonal wedding best of’s without wedding engagements right?! I just love the excitement, optimism and romance of a Washington DC area engagement session. 2014 has been quite a year in wedding engagement sessions. For as many traditional wedding engagement sessions we had more unique ones, we featured everything from paint wars to slasher movie inspiration to a Christmas tree farm! We chose a few of our favorites to close out the year with a romantic trip down wedding engagement session memory lane!

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Starting us off is Jenny and Drew’s unique paint war wedding engagement session in Virginia. Photographer Leigh Ann of Saperstone Studios was lucky enough to shoot her sister Jenny’s wedding engagement session with finance Drew. The dynamic duo created their own personal background using every color of the rainbow!

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See more of Jenny and Drew’s paint war wedding engagement session.

Photo Credits: Saperstone Studios

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If this winter weather has got you craving spring, you have to check out Caitlin and Ben’s cherry blossom wedding engagement session. I just love Caitlin’s dress and the cute details, like the bicycle. Photographer Rachael Foster braved crowds of tourists during cherry blossom peak weekend to capture these gorgeous photos on the National Mall.

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See more of Caitlin and Ben’s cherry blossom wedding engagement session.

Photo Credits: Rachael Foster Photography

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Tiffany and Kurt’s Baltimore wedding engagement session showcases one of the most perfect places in the city: Federal Hill Park. Views of the Inner Harbor and the clear love between Tiffany and Kurt makes their wedding engagement session by egomedia photography one to remember!

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See more of Tiffany and Kurt’s Federal Hill Park wedding engagement session.

Photo Credits: egomedia photography

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There’s just something so effortlessly romantic about the rain right? This wedding engagement session with Jeanne and Jason at the Meadowlark Botanical Garden in the rain is just so perfect. The rain, the greenery, the cute touches like the umbrella—Michelle Lindsay Photography captured it all!

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See more of Jeanne and Jason’s rainy day wedding engagement session.

Photo Credits: Michelle Lindsay Photography

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Sydney and Greg’s outdoor wedding engagement session at the McKee-Beshers Wildlife Management Area in Poolesville, Md. is romantic gorgeousness – sunlight, sunflowers, a flowing pink gown. I mean it’s the most beautiful wedding engagement session setting a couple could ask for! Jennifer McMenamin Photography captured these summery photos.

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See more of Sydney and Greg’s outdoor garden wedding engagement session.

Photo Credits: Jennifer McMenamin Photography

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Marissa and Joe’s wedding engagement session was part of our military wedding week in November. Their wedding engagement session in Southern Maryland, captured by Birds of a Feather Photography, was so adorable with their snowy scenery and horse that joined them!

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See more of Marissa and Joe’s romantic Southern Maryland engagement session.

Photo Credits: Birds of a Feather Photography

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Can’t get enough of wedding engagements? Here’s some advice for DC area wedding engagement sessions, fashion advice for showing off your ring (it is wedding engagement season after all!) and advice for planning your wedding engagement shoot.

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

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.

Happy New Year!

posted by julianne

I can’t believe that it is 2015! Where does the time go?? I hope that you had an amazing New Year’s Eve celebration last night. I’m looking forward to an incredible year on United With Love! I can’t wait to share all the wedding goodness that we have planned. Here is to another year of happiness, health and wedding planning in the nation’s capital area! Nothing says new year’s quit like a sparkler exit, am I right?

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Photo Credit: Amber Kay Photography from Marli + Chris’ wedding in VA

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.

New Year’s Eve Wedding Inspiration

posted by julianne

“Tis New Year’s Eve and I hope that you are yours are getting prepped for an incredible night of festivities! If you are getting married on New Year’s Eve in the Washington DC area next year or just looking for some ideas for a festive wedding celebration, check out some of the new year wedding ideas we have featured on the blog…

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New Year’s Eve Wedding Ceremony

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Photo Credit: Rachel May Photography

Check out these ideas for a New Year’s Eve wedding ceremony and wedding reception in Virginia!

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New Year’s Eve Wedding in Washington DC

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Photo Credit: Joseph Allen Photography; Floral Design: Petal’s Edge

Check out Sarah and Ilana’s NYE wedding ceremony and wedding reception in DC

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Best Sparkler Exits

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Photo Credit: The Observatory

Check out some of the best wedding sparkler exits that we’ve had on the blog!

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DIY Confetti Poppers

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Photo Credit: Rachel May Photography

Learn how to make these DIY confetti poppers for NYE or anytime!

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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.

Best of 2014: Editors’ Favorites

posted by ally

We’ve had so much fun looking back at some of our favorite real weddings in the Washington DC area season by season, but today we’re doing something a little different! It’s always hard picking from a year’s worth of fab local weddings but there are some that we just have to share – they’re just too good not to! Juli and I (somehow!) narrowed it to our top four favorite weddings. Here we go…

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Sarah and Stephen are boaters, so the Eastern Shore of Maryland was a perfect fit for their elegant, vintage inspired wedding day. I can’t get enough of their dreamy first look and portrait photographs captured by Cassidy DuHon Photography. In addition to all of the gorgeous florals and these dreamy portraits I was telling you about, this couple threw quite a party for their friends and family!

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See more from Sarah and Stephen’s intimate wedding ceremony and summer wedding right here!

Photo Credits: Cassidy DuHon Photography

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From the lush floral design to the dreamy garden ceremony setting, I can’t be sure of what my favorite detail of Samira and Chad’s vintage-inspired day is! Filled with pretty blooms and gorgeous string lighting, this wedding in Virginia is a serious show-stopper with some steal worthy style that will be all over your Pinterest page.

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See more from Samira and Chad’s traditional Persian wedding ceremony and elegant outdoor wedding right here!

Photo Credits: Rebekah J. Murray Photography

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Sarah and Mike’s at-home wedding is as sweet as they come! Intimate and meaningful, every detail dreamt up by this adorable duo is completely personalized. This adorable duo and their small wedding party headed to EatBar in Arlington, where they rented out the back room and and arranged for a sampling of some of their best dishes, set out buffet style in lieu of a formal sit down dinner.

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See more from Sarah and Mike’s backyard wedding ceremony and casual wedding reception right here!

Photo Credits: Sanderson Images

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Elizabeth and James’ elegant spring wedding from Victoria Ruan Photography featured a romantic setting with elegant touches for a fun and personal wedding that combines the best the of Washington DC and England. We’re talking morning suits and fascinators paired with presidential table numbers and Washington DC wedding drink flags!

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See more from Elizabeth and James’ spring wedding ceremony and elegant wedding reception right here!

Photo Credits: Victoria Ruan Photography

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Next up in our “Best of 2014″ series is some of our favorite wedding engagements from Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia that we featured on the blog this past year, as well as some of our favorite advice posts. Stay tuned! It was an amazing year and we are excited to highlight it all! Cheers to you, 2014!

In the meantime, visit our Washington DC area wedding vendor guide and for even more local ideas visit our wedding inspiration galleries or check out our other Washington DC area real wedding features.

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.

Best of 2014: Winter Weddings

posted by kate

This week, we are revisiting some of our favorite moments from the real weddings in the Washington, DC area that we featured. Finally, here we are at winter!. I can’t believe 2014 is nearing its end—the year just flew by! There’s been so many beautiful, take your breath away events on the blog this year. It was so hard to pick only a few favorites. Read on to experience our picks for the peaceful, serene, gorgeous winter weddings from 2014.

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Christine and Mark got married in Baltimore in the middle of a snowstorm! They achieved romantic perfection with their small, intimate wedding surrounded by family and friends photographed by Kirsten Marie Photography. How cozy do their photos look?!

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See more of Christine and Mark’s snow-covered wedding ceremony and wedding reception here!

Photo Credits: Kirsten Marie Photography

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Vanessa and Dan’s sophisticated traditional Jewish wedding ceremony warmed me up just looking at the photos! The duo put such meaningful, personal details into their ceremony and reception, photographed by Love Life Images. I loved the details on Vanessa’s dress and how perfect are those navy blue bridesmaids dresses?!

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See more of Vanessa and Dan’s wedding ceremony and reception here!

Photography: Love Life Images

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Everything about Margaret and Christian’s wedding in DC is so sweet – from the Sunday brunch ceremony and reception, to her beautifully hand-knit “something blue” shrug, to the happy couple walking in the snow covered streets of DC. This wedding is a winter wonderland of love and perfection! All photographed beautifully by Katie DeLorme Photography.

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See more of Margaret and Christian’s snowy DC wedding ceremony and wedding reception.

Photo Credits Katie DeLorme Photography

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Sarah and Ilana’s black-tie wedding in Washington DC took place on New Year’s Eve. How awesome is that?! The two went for a winter glam theme and absolutely nailed it! Soft touches like flower choices complimented the city already decorated for the holidays. Love the photos from Joseph Allen Photography so much!

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And, check out their beautiful chuppah designed by Petal’s Edge

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See more of Sarah and Ilana’s sophisticated black-tie wedding and reception here!

Photography: Joseph Allen Photography

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Winter weddings are just the coziest! Be sure to come back because although we are done with rounding up our favorite weddings by season, we still have the best engagements from Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia that we featured on the blog this past year, as well as some of our favorite advice. It was an amazing year and we are excited to highlight it all!

In the meantime, visit our Washington DC area wedding vendor guide and for even more local ideas visit our wedding inspiration galleries or check out our other Washington DC area real wedding features.

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.

Best of 2014: Spring Weddings

posted by kate

This week, we are revisiting some of our favorite moments from the real weddings in the Washington, DC area that we featured. I love having all four seasons living in this area, and spring in DC is arguably the best spring in the country! I love the warmer temperatures, cherry blossoms and flowers blooming wherever you turn! (For all you upcoming spring brides, just in case you missed it, here’s our spring makeup how-to.) Here are my favorite spring weddings in Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia that make me wish for those cherry blossoms!

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Britney and Patrick’s intimate garden wedding in Washington DC was all about the lushness of spring. With the lush greenery and bright flowers photographed by SRW Joyce Photography, I started to get nostalgic for spring! How cute are those balloons too?! I loved Britney and Patrick’s garden wedding, because it just seemed to me what spring was all about: whimsical fun and being surrounded by your friends and family!

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See more of Britney and Patrick’s intimate garden wedding ceremony and reception here!

Photo Credits: SRW Joyce Photography

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Amelia and Paul’s outdoor wedding in Virginia had perfect spring touches: tulips, peach colors dotting the wedding design and it all took place in Virginia’s horse country. I adored the fact that they had their wedding reception in a tent, outdoors under the stars. Their relaxed, laid-back vibe of their wedding just made me think spring! Enjoy their beautiful photos by Deb Lindsey Photography.

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See more of Amelia and Paul’s outdoor wedding ceremony and wedding reception here!

Photography Credits: Deb Lindsey Photography

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Sarah and Aaron’s wedding in Washington DC caught my eye because I just love the architecture of the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle. Emily Clack Photography captured the beauty of the church and the gorgeous, classy details of Sarah and Aaron’s wedding. Don’t miss their bright pink bridesmaids’ dresses, which are a perfect choice for a spring wedding, don’t miss her stunning bouquet! The bright spring sunshine just added to the beauty of this wedding.

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I’m so in love with her bouquet by Petal’s Edge

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See more of Britney and Patrick’s wedding ceremony and wedding reception here!

Photography Credits: Emily Clack Photography

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Talisha and Monica’s intimate outdoor Maryland wedding was simple and beautiful. Deb Lindsey Photography snapped all the gorgeous details in blue and yellow. They even honored Talisha’s African American roots, taking part in the traditional jumping the broom ceremony!

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See more of Talisha and Monica’s wedding ceremony and wedding reception here!

Photography Credits: Deb Lindsey Photography

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Oh, how we love springtime in the DC area! Be sure to come back, because we are going season by season and rounding up all of our favorite weddings from Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia that we featured on the blog this past year. It was an amazing year and we are excited to highlight it all!

In the meantime, visit our Washington DC area wedding vendor guide and for even more local ideas visit our wedding inspiration galleries or check out our other Washington DC area real wedding features.

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.