For those of us with an unabashed love for Maryland’s Eastern Shore, today’s intimate wedding ceremony will cure the fix. Think charming, rustic details set against the bayside views of Maryland’s summertime beauty, all captured by His and Her Photography. Melissa and Gordon went the non-traditional route for their Maryland wedding and were legally hitched sixed months prior to their intimate celebration with their nearest and dearest!
From Melissa: Our main priorities were to give our friends and family time to get to know each other, relax, have fun and explore the region where we fell in love. We wanted to be able to actually spend meaningful time with our guests. We searched for a place where we could all be together. Osprey Point was perfect in so many ways – from the staff, to the setting and the food – we couldn’t ask for a better venue. Osprey Point has enough room so we could all to stay on site the whole weekend and get that meaningful time together that we wanted.
Thank you so much Melissa and Gordon for sharing your wedding ceremony with us! Don’t forget to come back later this morning to see their reception. The following Washington DC area wedding professionals contributed to their wedding:
If you’re growing tired of the drab and gray D.C. winter, immerse yourself in Cathryn and Josh’s warm and sunny wedding engagement session in Washington, D.C. They spent the day with Mary at Modern Life Portraits in northwest D.C. First they went to Meridian Hill Park and then to Floriana Restaurant in Dupont Circle, where they had their first date. (For you architecture lovers in the DC area, Meridian Hill Park was named a historic landmark because of its early 20th century Neoclassicist park design!) Cathryn and Josh didn’t have to worry about backdrops for their session—they used nature’s natural beauty! How easy! This cute couple was just married in September, congrats Cathryn and Josh!
Are you thinking about how you want to wear your hair on your wedding day? I just really love those wedding hair styles that look so easy and beautiful, but you know they took a lot to get it that way! I went to some of the best wedding hair stylists in the Washington DC area and asked for some ideas and suggestions for wedding hair styles. I complied a group of some of the most elegant and super romantic wedding day hair styles that I’ve ever seen! (It is kind of fun to see all these pretty styles in one spot…or maybe I’m just a dork like that! ) From long to pulled back and low, this is the ultimate collection of romantic wedding hair styles for weddings in the Washington DC area!
So gorgeous! What did you like the best? Will you wear your hair up or down? Make sure you check out our list of the best wedding hair stylists in the DC area for all of the beauty pros who can make it happen on your wedding day!
I heard that one of the things that you wanted to know more about are the unexpected costs of planning a wedding in the Washington DC area. I’m talking about the little things that come up that you weren’t necessarily planning for in advance. I think we all probably know to budget for wedding expenses like food and drinks and, of course, a gorgeous wedding dress. However, there are some unknown costs that might seem small taken on their own, but put together with all of your wedding expenses can really add up. Take a look through this list of unexpected wedding costs and start to work these items into your budget. Now, you can’t say you didn’t know about these costs!
1 – Gratuity
If your wedding vendors do an outstanding job, you can and should feel free to tip them. With around 40 different vendors (Yes, 40!) all contributing to your wedding, tips can add up! Be sure to read our post about tipping wedding vendors in the Washington DC area. This post has more information about how much to tip and who you should tip in the DC area.
2 – Rain Plans
Let’s face it, the weather in the Washington DC area is unpredictable. (As I’m writing this I’m looking out my window at nearly a foot of snow in downtown Washington DC!) If you are having any part of your wedding outside, you should have an indoor or alternative option. Sometimes ”plan b” options include wedding-day rentals like a tent, heaters, and additional space – these things cost money. In most cases, you’ll need to reserve the items or at the very least put a deposit down to hold them.
3 – Albums
There are all types of ways to compile and cherish your wedding photographs. Many photographers charge an additional fee to design and produce a wedding album. Be sure to ask about it in advance, if that is something you might want after your wedding. Also, think about albums for others in your family like parents and grandparents.
4 – Gifts
It is true that you will be getting the bulk of the gifts on your wedding day. However, there are some gifts that you might be giving. There are not set prices for these types of gifts, but certainly something you’ll want to budget for. It is very nice to give a gift to everyone in your wedding party and your wedding ceremony participants. You might also want to think about gifts for each other. Gifts are also nice for friends and family members who helped with the wedding. Other gifts include wedding favors and welcome bags for your guests.
5 – Dress Alterations In addition to the cost of your wedding dress, you will most likely need to have alternations done. Wedding dress alterations include hemming it so that it doesn’t drag on the ground and fixing the sleeves and straps. Alternations will ensure that your dress fits you perfectly, like a glove!
6 – Extra Guests
The more guests you add to your list, the more money it will cost. Adding a few extra guests can really add up, especially in the Washington DC area. More guests means more food, more staff to serve the food, more linens, more centerpieces, more drinks, more escort cards, more drinks and more, more, more! Just as by cutting 10 guests from your guest list, you can save some money, you can contribute to budget over-runs just by adding 10 guests. (Be sure to read my list of 5 ways to save money on a DC area wedding!)
7 – Postage The design and production of wedding invitations are one cost, and the cost to mail them out to your guests is an additional cost. If you are doing a typical invitation suite, you’ll need two stamps per set: One for the invitation and one for the RSVP card. A USPS first class stamp is currently $0.49 and for two stamps for 200 invitations that is $196. However, most wedding invitations are too heavy for a first class stamp and sometimes the envelop is an odd shape, so these stamps will cost more. Be sure to factor in postage to your final invitation costs.
8 – Hotel Rooms for Yourself
You will need a place to stay for your wedding and if you aren’t staying at home, that means a hotel. You might need the hotel room for a few nights throughout the weekend. Hotel rooms in the Washington DC area aren’t cheap and hotels do book up during peak tourist season, so planning advance for this is key. Think about where you want to stay during your wedding weekend and then factor in hotel rooms for yourself into your overall budget. (For more on hotels, be sure to read our post on hotel room blocks for weddings in the Washington DC area.)
9 – Vendor Needs
There are a few little things that you might need to pay for your vendors such as parking and meals. Your vendors will be working a long day for you, and you’ll need to feed them. Your caterer should take care of feeding them, but the meals can cost anywhere from $15 to $60 per person. You might also be on the hook to pay for the parking for your wedding vendors, including your vendors like hair and make up artists and entertainment. These are typical costs, but maybe not costs you were expecting. These is probably the last things you want to deal with at the end of the night, so just ask about it in advance so you can be prepared.
10 – Taxes
For all things, you’ll have to pay taxes. For big-ticket wedding items like your venue, food and beverage, the taxes can be quite a bit of money. Taxes in Washington DC are up to 10%, so if you are on a super tight budget you might save some money with a wedding in Maryland and Virginia where the taxes are 4-5%. Be very aware of initial proposals that don’t include taxes. You will be charged taxes in the end, but sometimes the first few proposals don’t include tax to make the overall cost look lower.
11 – Last Minute Items
It is the week or two before your wedding and this is the time that you are paying for rush shipping to ensure that everything arrives on time. Or, even worse, this is the time that you are panicking and adding things onto your wedding day. This can be little things like your wedding garter or jewelry or craft supplies to complete any DIY projects you are working on. It can even be the last minute “I think I want a wedding video!” Either way, do your best to think of everything you’ll need for your wedding in advance to avoid last minute scrambling and extra costs.
That’s about all of the unexpected wedding costs that I can think of! What did I miss?! What are some costs to planning a wedding in the Washington DC area that you were not expecting or that you were surprised to learn about?
Maybe it is all the snow, but I can’t help but be inspired by all things winter lately! There are so many gorgeous things that you can do with flowers in the winter for weddings, especially a winter wedding in the DC area! (Don’t forget to check our post about the best flowers to use for winter weddings in the Washington DC area) Here is a round up of some of my favorite winter wedding bridal bouquets from some amazing wedding floral designers in the DC area. Cozy up and dig in, it’s gorgeous!
When it comes to finding the perfect Maryland wedding venue and inspiration, look no further than Melanie and Matthias beautiful day captured by Sarah Culver Photography. Though simple and intimate, Melanie and Matthias’ wedding is so lovely and romantic, wouldn’t you agree? I dare you to find a courthouse wedding that’s as chic as this sweet celebration of love! There is just something about a courthouse wedding that is so romantic and intimate…
From Melanie: We wanted to keep everything simple but still feel that this is our special day. We have been a couple for 18 years. When we moved to the US from Germany 10 years ago we thought we would stay for only three years. Our (tentative) plan was to get married once we’ve moved back to Germany and to celebrate our wedding together with family and friends. But three years became 10 years, so we eventually decided it was time to tie the knot without a big ceremony. We decided on a quiet courthouse wedding, just the two of us. Given that our family and friends were not with us that day it was important to us to have a professional photographer with us to capture the event.
I wore my mother’s pearl bracelet. It meant a lot to me to wear something that once belonged to her at my wedding. She was very moved when she saw her bracelet in the pictures.
We just wanted to spend a wonderful, memorable day together at a nice location close to home. Annapolis is such a beautiful and quaint little seaside town at this time of the year. Having a courthouse wedding allowed us to focus exclusively on the event and what it meant to us to finally get married after all these years.
Apart form the ceremony we had not made any plans for the rest of the day and we enjoyed the spontaneity that came with it. We had a fantastic lunch at a traditional restaurant and ended the day with oysters and martinis at a lovely bar close to our house. It was a very romantic day.
Trust your instincts. Don’t have a pompous wedding just because you feel it is expected from you. After all, it is supposed to be your day.
I wanted a small bridal bouquet made from ranunculus (my favorite flowers). It almost didn’t happen because of a snowstorm that delayed all flower deliveries just a day before our wedding. I got lucky though and a local florist secured a last-minute ranunculus delivery to create a beautiful bouquet!
Melanie’s wedding planning advice for other DC area couples:
Trust your instincts. Don’t have a pompous wedding just because you feel it is expected from you. After all, it is supposed to be your day.
Thank you so much Melanie and Matthias for sharing your wedding ceremony with us! Don’t forget to come back later this morning to see their reception. The following Washington DC area wedding professionals contributed to their wedding:
Welcome back to the second part of Kim and Erik’s elegant, fall wedding celebration. Did you miss their outdoor wedding ceremony?? (I’ll wait until you go back and check that out!) For their wedding reception, Kim and Erik envisioned a simple elegance paired with metallic tones. The outcome was right on trend and incredibly stylish! I’m not sure what my favorite detail is – the lush floral décor, the sparkly wedding cake or the monogram cut-out adorning the sweetheart table. I am in love with every photo from Kristen Gardner Photography!
From Kim: Simple elegance was the vision for our wedding. Incorporating warm metallic colors in the bridesmaid dresses and the table decor was the vision I had to kick off the fall season.
My favorite memory from the wedding day was our first dance. It was a time to exhale and hold each other for the first time knowing that the hard work and plans were now in the past and all we needed to do at this moment, was to simply be in the moment and celebrate!
Thank you so much Kim and Erik for sharing your wedding ceremony with us! The following Washington DC area wedding professionals contributed to their wedding:
Did you have a great President’s Day off!? We are kicking it up a bit this Tuesday! There is nothing I love more than a truly glam and stylish wedding in the Washington DC area, and today’s wedding from Kristen Gardner Photography is right up my alley. Kim and Erik’s fall wedding at the Trump National Golf Club in Virginia features a seasonable wedding color palette of warm browns and metallics that created an elegant atmosphere. Be sure to come back later this morning to see more from their simply elegant wedding reception!
From Kim: We splurged on a classic car for a grand entrance and exit to the ceremony. The custom invitations were also very expensive and incorporated gold floral designs.
Thank you so much Kim and Erik for sharing your wedding ceremony with us! Don’t forget to come back later this morning to see their reception. The following Washington DC area wedding professionals contributed to their wedding: