Multicultural Summer Wedding Ceremony in Virginia: Esther + Julius

posted by ally

I don’t think I could love this colorful and cultural wedding in Virginia more if I tried. I’ve been pouring over these gorgeous images from Pier23 Photography since the minute I opened them, and I don’t plan on leaving this page anytime soon. Can you blame me? Esther and Julis’ wedding celebrations kicked off with a traditional Korean Paebaek wedding ceremony was followed by a mix of modern and traditional with hues and grays and purples throughout. Translation: a whole ton of pretty! Come back later this morning to see their reception with an incredible view!

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Thank you so much Esther and Julius 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:

Ceremony Venue: Open Door Presbyterian Church
Officiant: Reverend John Cha
Reception Venue: Top of the Town
Photography: Pier23 Photography
Floral Design: Columbia Florist Gallery
Stationery: Paper and More
Bridal Attire: White Swan Bridal Boutique
Veil and Jewelry: Le Duet
Makeup: Susan Lim Makeup Artist
Bridesmaids’ Attire: Brides and Grooms Inc.
Groom and Groomsmen’s Attire: Men’s Wearhouse
Catering and Linens: Main Event Caterers
Cake: Anne’s Cakery
DJ: DJ Voss
Transportation: ING Limousine
Favors: Koryo Bakery
Photobooth: Sillyshotz Photobooth

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: Pier23 Photography

Say It With Video

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

Rustic Vineyard Wedding Reception in Virginia: Tanya + George

posted by ally

Welcome back to the second half of Tanya and George’s wedding in Virginia. (Hold on! Don’t go any further until you check out their rustic vineyard wedding ceremony first!) With pops of terracotta orange, this wedding is filled to the brim with rustic and autumn-inspired details and colors captured by BePhotography. I love how Tanya describes her DIY wedding escort cards as part of their wedding brand—loving the shabby chic creativity!

Rustic Virginia Vineyard Wedding

Vineyard Wedding in Virginia

From Tanya: We love the outdoors, especially in the mid-Atlantic fall season. We both gravitate towards the antique, rustic style, so after learning about the Winery at Bull Run, we knew it would fit our style perfectly. We visited the Winery quickly after learning there was only one October date left and immediately fell in love with the atmosphere. George loves history, I love anything rustic, so it became a no brainer that this was the venue for us.

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I am in marketing, so of course I somewhat “branded” my own wedding! I also made the escort name cards and glued tiny shabby flowers on the corner, hanging them on handmade pallet boards.

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

Venue: Winery at Bull Run
Photography: BePhotography
Stationery: Minted
Floral Design: Haley Tobias Events
Bridal Attire: Marisa from Love Couture
Veil: Love Couture
Shoes: Badgley Mischka
Bridesmaids’ Attire: LulaKate
Groom + Groomsmen’s Attire: Men’s Warehouse
Catering: Purple Onion Catering
Band: Bachelor Boys Band
Live Painter: Katherine Gressel
Photobooth: Pixilated Photobooth

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 Credit: BePhotography

Details & Design

Hiring a wedding planner just might be the best decision you’ll make! Click here to find your perfect wedding planning match.

Rustic Vineyard Wedding Ceremony in Virginia: Tanya + George

posted by ally

It’s a perfect morning to cozy up to this rustic vineyard wedding in Virginia, don’t you think? As an outdoors-loving couple, Tanya and George quickly fell in love with scenic views of The Winery at Bull Run, and knew they wanted to say their “I do’s “ among the fall foliage. BePhotography was on hand to capture all the pretty details, including a DIY wedding project by the bride – just wait ‘til you hear how she made it! I love our crafty readers! Don’t forget to come back later this morning to check out their vineyard wedding reception, too!

Rustic Virginia Vineyard Wedding Program Rustic Virginia Vineyard Wedding Rings

From Tanya: Knowing we would be getting married in the peak foliage season, right away I knew I wanted neutral colors with pops of the reds/oranges you see in the changing leaves. I came across the perfect terracotta color for bridesmaid dresses and that helped develop the color palette and all details moving forward.

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As Haley Tobias quickly learned, I LOVE texture and combining colors, textures, and non traditional elements (I couldn’t have enough succulents and non traditional flowers in our bouquets and arrangements!). Our flowers were the perfect display and pops of color for the day (the flowers and the maids!).

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I essentially dumpster dived when I was visiting the winery with my mom and came across these fabulous wooden signs from a previous bride that were being thrown out! With a little paint and retouching, I was able to customize the directional sign and also use the “choose a seat, not a side” sign that was placed next to a wine barrel of our parents and grandparent’s wedding pictures.

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Rustic Virginia Vineyard Wedding Orange Bridal Party

Thank you so much Tanya and George 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: The Winery at Bull Run
Photography: BePhotography
Stationery: Minted
Floral Design: Haley Tobias Events
Bridal Attire: Marisa from Love Couture
Veil: Love Couture
Shoes: Badgley Mischka
Bridesmaids’ Attire: LulaKate
Groom + Groomsmen’s Attire: Men’s Warehouse
Catering: Purple Onion Catering
Band: Bachelor Boys Band
Live Painter: Katherine Gressel
Photobooth: Pixilated Photobooth

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 Credit: BePhotography

Mmmmmm!

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

Tidal Basin Wedding Engagement Session: Erin + Chris

posted by kate

There’s nothing I love more in mid-winter than a beautiful springtime wedding engagement session to make me feel warm! Erin and Chris’s story is certainly heartwarming, too! They were in the Peace Corps in Zambia but missed meeting there. Instead, they met just shortly after Erin moved back to the DC-area. Funny how that happens! The two have a tradition of wandering the National Mall in the early evenings with a bottle of wine to walk and reconnect and this tradition is precisely why Chris proposed near the Tidal Basin! They wanted to replicate this date for their wedding engagement session with Lissa Ryan Photography, so the rest is history. Just look at the last photo of Erin and Chris walking off into the sunset—so perfect!

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Congrats Erin and Chris!

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: Lissa Ryan Photography

Say It With Video

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

Secret Garden Themed Wedding Inspiration

posted by ally

Today’s garden wedding inspiration has me counting down the days ’til spring! Inspired by a “Secret Garden” theme, this rock star team of Washington DC area wedding professionals set out to style some garden wedding inspiration outside, but Mother Nature had other plans! Of course, a little rain never hurt anyone so this dream team brought the garden indoors! So, if you’re hosting an outdoor wedding in the coming months and are worried, let these pretty photos from Photojournalism by Rodney Bailey put your mind at ease.

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The following Washington DC area wedding professionals contributed to these wedding ideas:

Venue: Oxon Hill Manor
Photography: Photojournalism by Rodney Bailey
Event Styling: HJ Planners
Floral Design: Bergeron’s Florist
Bridal Attire: Carine’s Bridal Atelier
Hair and Makeup: Bridal Artistry
Groom’s Attire: Lustre Formal Wear
Flower Girl’s Attire: Blush Bridal Boutique

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: Photojournalism by Rodney Bailey

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!

How to Cut Your Wedding Guest List

posted by ally

Last week we talked about how to create a wedding guest list and with that checked off on your wedding planning to-do list comes one more daunting task: cutting the guest list down. But fear not, cutting down your list can be simplified if you know where to start. Once again, we turned to some of the top wedding planners in the Washington DC area and asked for their advice. What do you suggest your clients do to trim the guest list down? Here’s what they had to say…

Photo Credit: Rebekah J. Murray Photography from Waterfront Wedding in Maryland

Set the Rules and Stick to Them

Keeping in mind the kind of wedding you want to have and your venue’s capacity, setting rules up front will help keep your guest list in check. Also need to communicate these rules with your parents. — Vicky at Event Accomplished

Cutting the guest list can be easy if both you and your fiancé stick to general rules that you both agree to in the beginning of the planning process. Here are a few examples: No children under age 12 except for those in the bridal party. No plus ones, if they are not in a serious relationship. Don’t invite a guest if you haven’t been in contact with them in over a year. — Shawn at TreBella Events

Make a rule and stick to it for everyone. If kids below 12 are not invited, then that has to be the rule for all kids. On the other hand, if you are not inviting boyfriends or girlfriends, stick with that for everyone. If you make exceptions for some, that is when feelings really get hurt. — Aimee and Cindy at A. Dominick Events

To trim the guest list (depending on how many people need to be cut), here are a few strategies: 1) Keep family invitees to first cousins. 2) Decide whether or not kids will be invited and keep a standard policy on that (exceptions may be siblings children and wedding party flower girl and/or ring bearer). 3) Eliminate coworkers to only those people whom you have an outside relationship with. 4) Eliminate friends who you haven’t seen or spoken with over the last year. – Margo at Bright Occasions

Categorize Your Guest List

We recommend categorizing the list into tiers – must have, like to have, and obligated to have. Then, have a discussion to determine where you can most easily draw the lines. It’s important to remain consistent to avoid offending someone – for example inviting only one aunt and uncle and not your others, risks offending family members. — Elizabeth at Elizabeth Duncan Events

Work colleagues can be a tricky situation, since that often involves a large group of people. It is always nice to include your boss, if possible. For other coworkers, if you don’t socialize with people outside of the office, there’s no need to include them on your guest list. If you do end up inviting a select number of people from your office, make sure and let them know you’re not inviting everyone, so they can be discreet about attending the wedding. — Sara at Bella Notte

It helps to have an A-Team (people you can’t imagine not inviting to your wedding) and a B-Team (everyone else – i.e.- co-workers, extended family, etc.) when creating your guest list. It’s never easy cutting people but it’s best to prioritize the list if you can. – Jennifer of Elegantly Chic Events

Dealing With Plus Ones

For “plus ones,” your rule should be, “no ring, no bring.” This rule shouldn’t apply to your wedding party. They should be able to bring their “plus ones” to your rehearsal dinner and to your wedding reception. For recently married friends or family members, keep in mind that you don’t have to invite them to your wedding if they didn’t invite you.— Kay at Howerton + Wooten Events

You’ll probably have a few exceptions to the “cut by category” rule, but sticking to it as much as possible will help you avoid hurt feelings among those who weren’t invited. While it’s nice to allow single guests to bring a date if they choose, it’s not a requirement. If you don’t have room in your budget or your venue for “plus ones,” then don’t feel guilty about inviting single friends and family members without an unnamed guest. Guests who are unmarried but in a committed or serious relationship, however, should always be invited as a couple. Some couples choose to put their must-have guests on an A-list, then put the “maybes” on a B-list rather than eliminating them altogether. — Stephanie at Pretty Entertaining

Cutting Groups vs. Individuals

Choose a group to cut across the board. Usually cutting out people from work and cousins sometimes is a clear and easy route to take. — Courtney at A Sweet Soiree Events

Cutting one person isn’t going to make that much of a difference, it’s cutting groups of people that make the difference. If you cut 4 couples from your guest list, not only is that 8 less people you’re paying for, but one less table to rent, one less centerpiece to pay for, 4 fewer escort cards/favors/welcome bags. It adds up! — Rebecca at Blue Canary Events

Avoid Hurting Feelings

Be consistent to help avoid hurt feelings in the end. Also, if the only interaction you have had with that friend all year is a Facebook “Happy Birthday!” consider cutting them out, but do consider the effects of leaving off one person from a tightly knit group. When it comes to co-workers, invite only those who you would spend time with outside of work rather than the whole cubicle cul-de-sac. — Ginger at Gingerwood Creative

Don’t invite coworkers or every single fraternity or sorority member. This is where a slippery slope begins and the domino effect of inviting guests can happen. If people ask, which they might, why they aren’t invited be up front and honest. Saying something like we really are keeping it to family and immediate friends” or “We wish we could invite everyone we know but the venue has a limit we need to stay within.” — Laura of Events in the City

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Thank you so much to all of the wedding planners in the DMV who offered such great advice for cutting a wedding guest list. Be sure to visit them on their websites to find out more of their services!

So, what about you? Are you stressed up creating that guest list? What are you doing to get it all together?

Are you looking for more local wedding ideas? Be sure to look through our DC area wedding idea galleries and find wedding advice from local DC area pros. If that isn’t enough, check out our collection of local DMV weddings from the real world and the best DC area wedding vendors who make it all happen.

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

Pretty & Pampered

With United With Love’s local vendor guide, click here to find hair and make up specialists for your wedding day.

Rustic Farm Wedding Reception in Maryland: Jesse + Adam

posted by ally

Welcome back to the second half of Jesse and Adam’s rustic farm wedding in Maryland. (But first, take a look at their outdoor farm wedding ceremony first!) This wedding is the definition of laid-back elegance from the DIY chalkboard signs to the mason jar escort “cards.” And, all of it speaks true to this couple who wanted a celebration that reflected their casual and outdoorsy personalities, all captured by Elliott O’Donovan Photography.

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My sister (a Maryland area small business owner with her own floral design company) created all of our floral bouquets, flower girl crowns, boutonnieres, aisle decorations and centerpieces herself by hand, and I helped her choose the flowers and pick out the centerpiece containers.

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It was especially important to both Adam and me that our wedding was representative of our values and we are so proud to say that all of the food we served was 100% vegan! The vegan caterers at Woodlands Vegan Bistro baked our gorgeous cakes as well all of the food and it was wonderful to get so many complements on the food, given that there were familiar dishes with some probably unfamiliar ingredients for everyone. Everything was incredibly fresh and truly delicious from the cornbread to the beet salad and mock crab cakes!

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

I recommend working with outside-the-box caterers. Catering can be hugely expensive if you go with a company that typically does weddings, especially in that area. We saved a ton by using our favorite restaurant to cater and providing so many of the rentals ourselves!

Maryland Farm Wedding Elliott O'Donovan Photography

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

Venue: Agricultural History Farm Park
Photographer: Elliott O’Donovan Photography
Stationery: Wedding Paper Divas
Programs: Oh Darling Paper
Floral Design: Sweet Blossoms
Bridal Attire: Greta’s Bridal & Formalwear
Bridal Sash: Brown Eyed Girls’ Boutique
Shoes: TOMS
Hair and Makeup: Red Door Spa
Bridesmaids’ Attire: The Dessy Group
Bridesmaids’ Accessories: Beazuness
Groom’s Attire: J.Crew
Groom’s Shoes: Calvin Klein
Ceremony Music: Ballad’ve
Catering: Woodland’s Vegan Bistro
Linens: Amazon
Centerpiece Crates: Country by the Bumpkins
Napkins: Moo Cow Momma
Favors: KaBloomz
Signs: Daisy Patch Primitives

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: Elliott O’Donovan Photography

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!

Laid-Back Farm Wedding Ceremony in Maryland: Jesse + Adam

posted by ally

The pairing of a stunning farm venue with a pretty bunch of pink blooms is a winning combination in my book. Jesse and Adam’s outdoor wedding in Maryland meshes classic and rustic. With handmade details crafted by the bride and florals designed by the bride’s sister, there is plenty of Pinterest-worthy captured by Elliott O’Donovan Photography! And can we talk about the flower girls? I can’t handle the cuteness! Check back in later this morning to see more from their barn wedding reception with an entirely vegan menu!

Maryland Farm Wedding

From Jesse: Adam and I both agreed that a barn wedding was exactly what we envisioned for our celebration, and we had so much fun picking out different details to give it a backyard, rustic feel. We are pretty casual and outdoorsy and we wanted our guests to have space to have a good time, and have the peace and quiet of the farm to make the ceremony intimate.

 Maryland Farm Wedding Flower Girl Floral Crown

Maryland Farm Wedding Pink Bridesmaids

Maryland Farm Wedding White Boutonniere

Maryland Farm Wedding Rustic Floral Decor

Our friends all helped us string paper lanterns in the trees, and I rented a few old barrels to put at the front and back of the ceremony for flowers and programs.

Maryland Farm Wedding Seating Sign

Maryland Farm Wedding Flower Girls

Maryland Farm Wedding Programs

Maryland Farm Wedding Chair Floral Decor

Maryland Farm Wedding Here Comes the Bride Sign

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Thank you so much Jesse and Adam 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: Agricultural History Farm Park
Photographer: Elliott O’Donovan Photography
Stationery: Wedding Paper Divas
Programs: Oh Darling Paper
Floral Design: Sweet Blossoms
Bridal Attire: Greta’s Bridal & Formalwear
Bridal Sash: Brown Eyed Girls’ Boutique
Shoes: TOMS
Hair and Makeup: Red Door Spa
Bridesmaids’ Attire: The Dessy Group
Bridesmaids’ Accessories: Beazuness
Groom’s Attire: J.Crew
Groom’s Shoes: Calvin Klein
Ceremony Music: Ballad’ve
Catering: Woodland’s Vegan Bistro
Linens: Amazon
Centerpiece Crates: Country by the Bumpkins
Napkins: Moo Cow Momma
Favors: KaBloomz
Signs: Daisy Patch Primitives

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: Elliott O’Donovan Photography

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.

Rustic Vineyard Wedding Reception in Virginia: Erin + Daniel

posted by ally

With the chill of winter in the air, I am all about the autumn warmth of Erin and Daniel’s wedding in Virginia. (But before you go on, I insist you check out their outdoor wedding ceremony first!) It’s chock-full of rustic details from the DIY burlap pockets for utensils to the to the wood chargers crafted for each place setting. You’ll be pinning these pretty images from their Bluemont Vineyard wedding to your Pinterest board all afternoon—I promise! Cynthia Shipp Photography snapped up all the goodies and you can see it all right here…

Cynthia Shipp Photography Virginia Vineyard Wedding

From Erin: When we were planning our wedding, we knew that we wanted it to be a fun and care free. We wanted to balance a timeless elegant feel befitting a wedding with the openhearted love and joy that Dan and I feel when we are together. We had to make decisions about where we wanted to spend our money and where we wanted to DIY. We chose to splurge on food and drink.

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Rustic Vineyard Wedding Dessert Table

In addition to the yummy wedding cake, we also had a dessert table filled with desserts baked by our family in honor of our Italian heritage including three recipes passed down from departed loved ones – Italian Sesame Cookies for my Great-Grandmother, Pizzelle Cookies for Dan’s Grandmother, and Cannoli for my Grandmother & Grandfather. Fittingly, we also used our dessert table to display wedding photos of our parents, grandparents, and great grandparents.

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Virginia Wedding Photobooth Board

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Each place setting had a burlap silverware pocket that was sewn by my mother and accented with lace and ribbon that matched the invitations. And the wood chargers used in the center pieces were hand crafted by the Daniel’s father.

Virginia Wedding Cynthia Shipp Photography

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

One of the best things about our wedding was the individuality we put into it. Together with our vendors we were able to put together a memorable day unique to us that all our guests seemed to enjoy wholeheartedly. We would encourage any couple planning their wedding to make the day their own. There are lots of traditions, lots of obligations, and lots of feedback whether you want it or not, but in the end, the day is a representation of the bride and groom and should express their love and life together. People left our wedding smiling and saying, “that was so Dan and Erin.” What more could we have wanted?

Virginia Wedding Sparkler Exit

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

Venue: Bluemont Vineyard
Officiant: Rev. Regina Maria Cross
Photographer: Cynthia Shipp Photography
Videographer: David Wardrick
Floral Design: Country Way
Invitations: DIY and printed at Athletic House
Bridal Attire: Allure Bridals from Posh Bridal
Shoes: David’s Bridal
Veil: USA Bride
Jewelry: Colonial Jewelers
Hair and Makeup: Kelly Fink Inc.
Bridesmaids’ Attire: Posh Bridal
Groom and Groomsmen’s Attire: Posh Bridal
Ceremony Music: Anita Hartsock
Catering: Savoir Fare Limited
Cake: Sugardust Cookies & Cake
Favors: DIY
Transportation: A Touch of Class Limousines

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 Credit: Cynthia Shipp Photography

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.