Welcome back to part two of Amanda and Jason’s regal and lovely wedding in Baltimore! Amanda and Jason held their Maryland wedding ceremony and reception at The George Peabody Library in Baltimore. If you missed their wedding ceremony in the library, be sure to check it out here. The ivory, black and gold wedding palette fit the historic and memorable backdrop to a tee, and the details were plentiful, including the bride’s hand at calligraphy! The couple opted for custom signs at every turn, including one with a bible verse that fit the feeling of love they had. They also kept the entire affair very personal with nods to states of significance and their last name too! I love the edison bulbs hanging over the reception tables for spectacular lighting that brought all of the thoughtful and sparkly details to life and light! A big thanks to wedding photographer, Meaghan Elliott Photography, for sharing Amanda and Jason’s beautiful Baltimore wedding day with us!
From the bride: Our main priority was booking my dream wedding venue, The George Peabody Library. Once we were given wedding date options from the venue, our next wedding planning priority was choosing a date that our photographer was available. My favorite memory from our wedding day was when our photographer came and stole my groom and I away from the cocktail hour and let us enjoy our wedding reception all set up and ready to go. The DJ was playing slow music while we just stood in the middle of the library taking in all the details. I will never forget it being just the two of us and him spinning me on the dance floor.
Obviously, a wedding budget it always a focus when planning a wedding and you are always trying to find the best deal. However, one thing my husband and I agreed on was that when it came to a photographer we wanted the best, not the best deal. Meaghan Elliott Photography was amazing and captured every moment of the night.
Congratulations to Amanda and Jason! Thanks for sharing with us your historic library wedding reception in Baltimore!
The following Baltimore wedding professionals contributed to their wedding:
We are headed to Baltimore today for a lovely and grand wedding in Maryland! Amanda and Jason said “I do” at The George Peabody Library in Baltimore, Maryland, a dramatic wedding venue rich in history and gorgeous in design. The couple’s black, ivory and gold palette was just as elegant as they imagined it would be in such an incredible wedding day, complete with a first look along the Inner Harbor. Hello, dreamy! They even had a few pops of purple for an unexpected color twist. But, it was the regal backdrop that the library (a priority for the couple and the bride’s dream wedding venue!) created, which really set the tone for celebrating – and celebrate they did! We can’t get enough of the couple walking down the aisle in that incredible space! Special thanks to Meaghan Elliott Photography for capturing all of Amanda and Jason’s big day details and sharing them with us!
From the bride: For our wedding, I envisioned a very elegant and classic theme. Black, ivory, and gold… everything! We wanted to create a romantic, yet fun, wedding night for everyone to enjoy.
One of the things our groomsmen loved was that we choose to put them in black and white vs. anything too girly. I must say, they all looked so sharp!
Congratulations to Amanda and Jason! Thanks for sharing your grand library wedding ceremony with us! Stay tuned, up next you’ll see their chic wedding reception too!
The following Baltimore wedding professionals contributed to their wedding:
Welcome back to today’s rockstar, music-lovin’ wedding in Virginia! Mai-Lan and Bill opted for a close-to-home wedding ceremony and reception at the beautiful Clarendon Ballroom in Arlington, where they infused a gothic design into their wedding day. In case you missed their stunning wedding ceremony (and all of Mai-Lan’s red wedding dress!), be sure to check it out here. After their weddding ceremony, the ballroom was flipped in a wedding reception filled with music and dance (the groom is in a cover band!) and even the bride got up to sing a tune or two! The personal touches were everywhere during their wedding, including 1,300 cranes folded by the bride! The handmade cranes strung about the ballroom, bring not only a decor element to life, but good luck too. The couple also shared favorite movie quotes throughout their wedding and opted for a less formal wedding meal service so that the emphasis would be on connecting, sharing, and of course, dancing – love that! Thanks to Nat Wongsaroj Photography for capturing Mai-Lan and Bill’s rockstar inspired wedding so beautifully and sharing it with us!
From the bride: Music has been a huge part of our lives, so we wanted a wedding with a rockstar, gothic-inspired vibe. My wedding dress was red, so that helped define the color palette for our wedding! We picked shades of red, charcoal, and black for our wedding palette and added pops of gold and silver for accent colors.
We opted for a cocktail style wedding reception with small plates and carted hors d’oeuvres. For seating, we went with a mix of high tops and 5’ round tables, since we wanted to encourage our wedding guests to mingle. For the wedding party and family, we placed a 30’ kings table in the middle of the wedding reception area and we lined it with ornate piano black pillar candle holders and lush arrangements of burgundy and deep red florals.
We put personal touches wherever we could at our wedding. I folded over 1,000 origami cranes (1,300 actually!) as a personal nod to a childhood hobby, and also because I thought the effect would be really cool. They were strung over the bar area and individually placed in random places throughout the wedding venue. Legend has it that folding that many cranes also brings eternal luck and good fortune, so that’s also a plus!
Being avid movie and TV watchers, we framed quirky, favorite quotes and placed them on each of the tables and high tops. I also designed our wedding programs and hand painted our wedding cake toppers.
After dinner and toasts, my husband and his cover band, Over the Line, took to the stage and performed a full set before DJ Jaime played out the the rest of the night. I even sang a song with the band! It was so fun to see our close friends and family rocking out together and to get the opportunity to perform at such a fun venue!
Advice from the bride for other Washington DC area wedding couples:
It’s so easy to get caught up in the minutiae when planning a wedding, especially when you’re as detail oriented as me. Don’t sweat the small stuff! Make sure you both agree on a wedding budget from the start that’s realistic and achievable, but know that you may need to be flexible and willing to compromise along the way. Prioritize what is important to you!
I’m still amazed at how expensive weddings can be and it’s so easy to get swept up in the details. Having a wedding planner and leaning on close friends and family really helped us maintain our sanity throughout the process.
Lastly, I highly recommend considering a first look if you aren’t traditional when it comes to seeing the each other before the ceremony. It not only helped to calm the nerves, but also allowed us to have a few private moments to really soak in seeing each other for the first time. We hired a stretch limo to take us and our wedding party into Georgetown for group photos. It was really fun to get a quick photo session with our bridesmaids and groomsmen before heading over to the wedding venue. It also gave us a chance to hang out with our guests during the cocktail hour since we’d already taken our group photos earlier in the day. I love that our wedding photos were taken in multiple locations over the course of the day and night and therefore had such a variety of scenery, tone, and lighting.
Congratulations to Mai-Lan and Bill! Thank you for sharing your wonderful dance party, we mean wedding reception with us!
The following Washington DC area wedding professionals contributed to their wedding:
Modern, moody, romantic and ultra personal, that’s what today’s featured wedding in Virginia is all about! Mai-Lan and Bill wed indoors in a beautiful black, red, white, and silver wedding ceremony and reception at the Clarendon Ballroom in Arlington. Combining their shaired love of music, the couple was going for a rockstar, gothic inspired theme for their wedding and they pulled it off flawlessly! Mai-Lan is one fabulously fashion-forward bride – she wore red on her wedding day and paired it with a fabulous pair of shoes! She looks stunning as her wedding dress pops off the page in this bright and celebratory wedding dress color. But, all this talk about fashion and I can’t take my eyes off of the couple’s first look photos before their wedding ceremony. Mai-Lan and Bill spent some time outside in the city of Arlington with their photographer (a priority for the pair) and the photos are clearly worth a 1,000 words! A special thanks to Nat Wongsaroj Photography for sharing Mai-Lan and Bill’s sophisticated and stunning wedding ceremony with us!
From the bride: Our main priorities were choosing the right photographer and finding a local venue in Arlington, Virginia. Most of our wedding guests were local to Arlington, so we wanted to pick a fun and convenient location that was just a cab ride away. Although it was a splurge, Clarendon Ballroom was a perfect fit since it is in the heart of Arlington – a place we have called home and have fostered so many friendships and wonderful memories over the years.
I’m a photography enthusiast and artist at heart, so picking the right photography team who could capture our wedding day in a creative style that aligned with our design aesthetics was also really important. Our wedding planner, Sara Franklin, recommended photographer Nat Wongsaroj with rave reviews. After checking out his work and chatting with him face to face, we knew he was the one for us! He has an amazing eye for composition, is a delight to work with, and clearly loves his chosen profession. We love his work and continue to follow his ever expanding portfolio.
I’m a little biased, so my favorite wedding day detail was my red wedding dress!! That said, what I remember the most from our wedding day was the exchanging of our vows. Prior to our wedding, a sage friend advised us to be ever present on our wedding day and to absorb as much as we could. I really took that advice to heart and am ever grateful for her wonderful words of wisdom.
Congratulations to Mai-Lan and Bill! Thank you for sharing your red and black and stunning wedding ceremony with us. Stay tuned, up next we’re showing you their dance party wedding reception too!
The following Washington DC area wedding professionals contributed to their wedding:
Good morning DC area wedding lovers! Curl up with your lattes and join us for another Sunday Brunch from one of our fabulous sponsors, Tidewater Inn. We are taking a trip out to the gorgeous the Eastern Shore of Maryland today to check out a beautiful wedding location. Tidewater Inn boasts a premiere downtown location in Easton, Maryland. With stunning views for your wedding, Tidewater Inn lets you celebrate an unforgettable wedding day where every detail is taken care of from start to finish. From an intimate garden courtyard wedding ceremony to a grand ballroom reception, Tidewater Inn will create a unique Eastern Shore wedding celebration that will be remembered for a lifetime. Tidewater Inn offers 95 well-appointed guests rooms and suites, rehearsal dinner and post wedding brunch locations all to round out your wedding weekend. For more on Tidewater Inn, be sure to visit their website or check out all their past features on United With Love.
We hope that you’ll check out Tidewater Inn as your wedding location 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.
I just love Elizabeth and Jackson’s wedding engagement session in Virginia! Why, you may ask? It combines two of my favorite things – an adorable dog and a vintage feel! Elizabeth and Jackson met a few years ago while on opposing teams in an Arlington social sports league, where they quickly bonded over their small town upbringings. For their wedding engagement session, the duo asked Mohamed of Boraie Photography to capture not only Carpool (the restaurant in Arlington where they met) but other parts of Arlington, the city that they now consider home. Their six-year-old Boston terrier, Victory, joined in on the fun as well! Elizabeth and Jackson are planning a winter wedding in Virginia and we wish them the best!
We have a sweet and simple love filled wedding in Washington DC for you today! Rhonda and Bernard eloped in front of a small group of family and friends at the beautiful Heurich House Museum in Dupont Circle. From a unique, long sleeve wedding dress to a petite, rustic wedding cake, even though this wasn’t a big wedding, the details of their special day didn’t go undone or unnoticed! And, the best detail of all was clearly the love felt in the room between the bride and groom and their guests – the people who made their wedding in DC exactly as the couple wanted it to be. Special thanks to Pop! Wed Co. for sharing and Maggie Winters for capturing every intimate moment and sharing this couple’s love with us!
From Rhonda: We just knew that we wanted something really intimate for our wedding. Neither of us ever wanted an enormous wedding with second and third cousins and friends of friends whom we’ve never met experience such an intimate moment. We also didn’t want to be stressed out or experience, nor an extra job, which wedding planning usually is. That’s when were told about the Pop! Wedding Co. idea by a co-worker. She said that we would be able to explain to them what we wanted for our wedding, and they would help bring our vision to light. Our wedding day description to them was quaint, intimate and romantic.
My husband wore his recently deceased grandfather’s favorite ring. And around my bouquet arrangement, I wrapped my late grandfather’s engraved locket which housed some of his ashes in a tiny urn.
The intimacy of our wedding ceremony was my favorite detail. People get so wrapped up in celebrating with family and friends and walking around kissing, hugging, and greeting everyone, but forget their partner. We were able to actually indulge in one another. It was truly about us!
We never wanted to splurge on anything. We both always talked about how a down payment on a house was way more important than spending it on a wedding. We both knew that we could experience that same amazing feeling people get on their wedding day, without having to spend thousands of dollars. So, we skipped the big wedding reception and opted for a romantic dinner with just the two us. I will say that my wedding dress and the photography were our two big ticket items.
Rhonda gave us a bit of advice for other Washington DC area couples:
It’s extremely expensive to have a wedding in the Washington DC area. I would advise looking into non-traditional wedding venues. Most places will always say, “Yes.” I would like to accredit Pop! Wed Co. for making literally everything possible. They were amazing!
I hope you aren’t too hungry, because today we are talking restaurants in the Washington DC area and what they can mean to your wedding. Between elopements and smaller weddings, having a wedding in Washington DC, Maryland and/or Virginia at a restaurant is becoming more and more popular. Plus, I think we all know that the DMV is having a little moment in the restaurant scene as it seems like a new, hip and yummy restaurant is opening every week!
I’m not talking about rehearsal dinners or engagement parties, which are also great options for restaurant service. I’m talking about having your wedding at a restaurant. This could be the wedding ceremony and reception, or most likely just your reception. If you are thinking about having your wedding reception at a restaurant, there are few things that you need to know and should at least take into consideration before the big day. Everything can be worked out, you just need to know to ask.
I must give a special shout out to the ladies at The Dandelion Patch for hosting me a while back for their Tips on Tuesday wedding planning series. We had a lively discussion at their stationery shop in DC and the issue of restaurants and wedding came up quite a bit. There was an engaged couple planning their wedding at a restaurant in Falls Church, Virginia and they had lots of questions. I paid attention and did a little of my own digging and thought it was best to address it in the form of a blog post! If one couple has questions, chances are good that more couples planning a wedding at a restaurant in the DC area might need some help too. So, thank you to The Dandelion Patch for hosting and the sweet couple for attending with so many great wedding planning questions!
Here goes with the things that you need to know and know to ask about having your wedding at a restaurant in the Washington DC area…
If you read nothing else in this wedding advice post, please read this: restaurant food is not catering food. There can be a huge difference between the type of food that can be provided at a regular dinner service at a restaurant, and the type and style of food that is prepared for large groups of people at catered events. Not all foods can be prepared in large quantities and served hot at the exact same time.As you discuss your wedding menu and make your food selections, be mindful of why certain items might not be available for large groups or why the chef might be hesitant to serve certain foods.
Questions To Ask
Restaurants are not your typical wedding spaces. Restaurants are experts at nightly dinner service, not necessarily experts in the needs of a typical wedding. A great question to ask is: How many weddings have you had here? If there answer is none, then you know that you need to start from the beginning and make sure that everyone is in the loop all the way through and that your wedding needs are being met. If they have had a few weddings in the past, be sure to ask about things that worked well and things that could have been better, so that you can build your wedding on their expertise and experience.
One of the best parts of using a restaurant for your wedding is that the space is likely already totally beautiful, with great tables and chairs in place. When you do check outa restaurant for your wedding, be sure to go and look at it in person during the time of day that your wedding will be. Is the space private or semi-private? If its semi-private, can anything be brought in (screens, pipe and drape etc) to make it more private. Is it is the “chef’s table” in the middle of the kitchen? Is it its own room or just a large table in the middle of the dining room? Is there ample lighting? What does the decor look like? Will the restaurant provide candles, or menu cards? You’ll want to know exactly what you are getting into so that there are no disappointments.
If you want to have a restaurant (or one room in a restaurant) all to yourself it is often referred to as a “buy out” where you’ll have to meet a food and beverage minimum (before tax and gratuity) in order to guarantee this privacy. At first, this minimum might seem high, but it can actually be quite competitive or even reasonable compared to what you might spend renting a wedding venue, bringing in tables/chairs/linens/equipment, and then the costs of food/labor from a special event caterer. At a restaurant, you can use the timing of your event as a negotiating tool, if you are willing to have your meal either on the early or late side of dinner service. If a restaurant can turn the tables, and do a full dinner seating to the public either before or after your dinner, you will have negotiating power when it comes to the cost.
Because a restaurant might have a lunch or brunch service before your event, or a meal service the following day, you must ask about their set up and breakdown policies. You will most likely have items to drop off in advance, such as place cards, small decor items and the like. For example, can your florist drop off the florals ahead of time? Will someone be there to receive them and place them on the tables? Will they know what to do with flowers? These are things that can be worked out, but need to be discussed in advance. Another note about decor: how big are the tables and how much decor will fit on them? This is particularly important to consider if your chosen restaurant does a family style meal service. In this case, you’ll need to have room for decor and the food.
Speaking of set up, what other items will you need for your wedding that the restaurant might not have on-hand? Will you want to have music playing or extra lighting? Special table linens? Part of the appeal of having your wedding at a restaurant – besides the food, of course – is the ease of not having to bring in items, such as tables, chairs and decor. But, maybe you want some extras, so be sure to ask about their policies.
Cakes & Drinks
When it comes to dessert and drinks, you might want to bring in your own items. What is your restaurant’s policy on bringing in outside food and drink? If you have your heart set on a certain wedding cake, will you be able to bring it into the restaurant? If they allow it, who will cut the cake? And is there a cake cutting fee? The same goes for wine, are you allowed to bring some in, if so how much, and what is corkage fee? Again, these are all things that can be worked out, but you’ll need to know to ask the questions in advance so that everyone is on the same page.
About The Service
The private event manager at the restaurant that you’ve been working with for months before your wedding might not be there on the night of your wedding. So, it is a great question to ask who will be serving you and your group that night. You should be prepared that the event manager might not be there, so they will need to brief the manager on staff that night of your wedding.
So, that’s about all that I can think of when it comes to restaurants and weddings. What did I miss? Have you attended a wedding at a restaurant? How did it go? More importantly, what restaurant will you celebrate at in the Washington, DC area?!
Welcome back to Jennifer and Dave’s classic and timeless wedding celebrating this city we all love! They hosted their Washington DC wedding ceremony and reception in grand style in front of lots of loved ones and friends. In case you missed their beautiful wedding ceremony, be sure to check it out here. After their ceremony, they turned the room and their wedding reception celebration was full of personal details, special Washington DC inspired touches and surprises, including a groom’s cake with a nod to Dave’s favorite sports team! I adore the fun flags handed out to guests to help shower the couple with love, when they weren’t cutting a rug on that packed dance floor, that is! You know we especially love how they incorporated plenty of local DC themed details too, right down to the table names and locations! A big thanks to k. thompson photography for sharing their wonderful wedding in the nation’s capital with us.
From the bride: My husband hates having his picture taken! He made it clear that he was willing to invest in a wedding photographer who made him comfortable and didn’t feel like they were on top of us all night, but would capture the evening in a way that allowed us to look back fondly through our wedding album. To that end, Kelsey was worth every penny! The wedding food was also important to us. Well Dunn blew away our expectations on that front. Finally, we wanted a wedding venue that screamed, “Washington DC!” We think the Carnegie Institute for Science really was perfect for that aspect.
We used old maps of Washington DC that were from Eastern Market as part of our reception seating chart and in many of our accent tables. I surprised Dave with a NY Yankees inspired cake as we’re both huge Yankees fans! A lot of our other wedding details were great Etsy finds, including the flags, bride/groom signs and more.
This bride’s advice to other Washington DC area couples:
Prioritize your wedding early! We knew what we wanted to spend our money on and locked things like our photographer, our food and the venue down almost immediately. This freed us up to be creative and flexible along the way throughout our wedding planning.