Versatile Venue: The Loft at 600 F

posted by Alex Hamilton

United with Love recently hosted a re-launch event to celebrate new ownership and a new look (coming soon!) at one of DC’s most versatile event spaces downtown and we can’t say it enough: we are in love! The Loft at 600 F is a super chic space that can be transformed for any occasion that you can dream up. We love the brick walls and hardwood floors, comfy lounge furniture, and high ceilings present in this unique space. There are even three floors for you to choose from when you are dreaming up the perfect design plan for your event. Their website contains floor plans (a must have when planning out your spatial strategy!) so you can easily and quickly decide which floors would be best suited to your soiree. The Loft at 600 F is a hidden gem located in Chinatown/Penn Quarter so you will be close to all of the DC action, with easy access to public transit and great restaurants for the perfect after party! This adaptable space can be used for any or all of your special wedding festivities in the DC area.

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 (L) The Loft at 600 F (R) M Harris Studios

Wedding: The Loft at 600 F is perfect for those couples who are looking for a very intimate feel on their wedding day. With the general aesthetic of the space and the size of each floor, this venue is very cozy and homey for your smaller wedding. You can utilize one floor for the ceremony and another for the reception or host cocktail hour on a different floor while flipping the ceremony space for a formal reception; the possibilities are endless with this space! This venue is also the perfect spot for a rain plan backup, in case you are nervous that the weather will be acting up day-of.

Rehearsal Dinner: Renting out one floor for a catered rehearsal dinner would be an amazing start to your wedding weekend! We also love the idea of hosting your dinner on one floor post rehearsal and renting out a second floor later in the night for a cocktail party for out of town friends and family. You can include those who have traveled distances to be with you, without having to include them in the more family and bridal party focused rehearsal dinner.

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Clarence Chan via The Loft at 600 F

Elopement Celebrations & Vow Renewals: If you don’t want your wedding day to be a huge fuss, or you decided to get married just the two of you in some beautiful exotic location, you can still have an amazing party after the fact! This space is perfect for elopement celebrations or vow renewals.

Engagement Parties: Now that you’re officially engaged, we know you want to show off that rock! An engagement party is the perfect place to do this! Invite your closest friends and family members for a party that is all about you two! Make it a rager and rent out all of the floors with an awesome DJ and constant dancing or have a close intimate dinner party with killer food and heartfelt toasts. Any way you choose to celebrate your engagement here, you can’t go wrong.

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Bonnie Sen via District Weddings

Bridal Showers: Grab all of your best gals and rent out a floor or two for a fun filled bridal shower! You can have all of your favorite food’s brought in by a fantastic caterer for a brunch, lunch, or dinner or you can hire other vendors for the day such as hair and makeup artists for makeovers, or a professional mixologist who will help you create (and test!) some fun signature cocktails.

Engagement Photo Sessions: The natural light in this space is absolutely insane. Your photographer will thank you a million times over when they find out that you booked The Loft at 600 F for your engagement photos. Not only will be you be shielded from the elements, but the décor in this space can go from chic, to modern, to rustic all on the same day! Craving outside photos as well? You’re super close to all of the iconic DC photo spots on the National Mall too.

 

Be sure to check out more wedding vendors in the DC area that we highly recommend. If it’s wedding inspiration and ideas that you are looking for, we’ve got that covered too! Check back daily for new content.

 

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

Location, Location

The DC area has so many fabulous wedding venues! Click here to use United With Love’s guide to find your wedding spot.

Cheery Bayside Maryland Wedding: Erin + Jeremy

posted by Tabitha

Erin and Jeremy’s cheery Maryland waterfront wedding at Silver Swan Bayside is the perfect mixture of summertime nautical and pottery barn chic. The couple used a natural color story of tan, yellow, and white to transform the already picturesque setting into a nautical summer soiree. Their outdoor wedding ceremony took place on the boardwalk in front of the bay on a cloudless perfectly sunny afternoon. Erin and Jeremy radiated such joy in their photos, that you can’t help but smile as you walk through the happiness of their wedding day! Our favorite moment from their day was their special reception sendoff with sparklers before they were whisked away by boat on the Maryland bay! How fun would that exit be?! Thank you to Kim Newton Weddings for sharing today’s nautical Maryland bayside wedding with us!

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From the Bride: I absolutely love beach and nautical everything! I would describe my wedding as Coastal Living meets Pottery Barn. Oh and did I mention I’m obsessed with Pottery Barn?! I knew I wanted to get married on the water somewhere and so we found the perfect venue right on the Chesapeake Bay, right outside of city center Annapolis called Silver Swan Bayside. I wanted a classy, simple, modern nautical/beach themed wedding which is where the style from Coastal Living and Pottery Barn come into play. My colors were definitely appropriate for the whole Nautical theme – navy, light tan, white, and hints of yellow and green here and there.

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Instead of having the bridesmaids and groomsmen come down the center aisle, we had them come down the opposite sides of the boardwalk and lined up facing the center point of the boardwalk where the alter was located. Being the bride, I was the only one that walked down the main aisle with my dad. The groomsmen all wore Sperry boat shoes, including the ring bear, it was so cute. There was also a live, 3-string orchestra playing for our ceremony music, it was beautiful! We also had lanterns and seashells lining the aisle. More nautical/beach items at the card and reception tables.

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As for our flowers, I noticed at previous weddings that brides love to use roses and hydrangeas (I mean don’t get me wrong, I think they are gorgeous flowers) but I knew I wanted to do something a little more unique. Therefore, the reception tables had long stems of Bells of Ireland in tall vases with other flowers and I think that really set my flowers apart from others. There was also a candy bar that contained all kinds of sweets matching our color theme. We also had personalized koozies for people’s drinks, and a fire pit for guests to just hang out and relax around. Bottom line, I wanted everyone to have that laid back vibe and to just enjoy a beautiful summer night on the water.

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I would have to say that my number one memory is looking at my husband at the end of the aisle for the first time and just seeing through each others faces how blessed we were to have one another. And the stunning weather we had that day. There was no wind on the water, a beautiful sunset during the ceremony, and a million stars that filled the sky. And just dancing the night away with friends and family!

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My husband and I left on a nice boat, we had a captain so we didn’t have to worry about getting the boat back safely to our destination. It was such a beautiful night as well, not a cloud in the sky and so many stars out that night. As I look back though, I wish we would of splurged on the DJ a little more, we had a friend who had a DJ background but didn’t have all the special equipment that was needed. The music was still great to dance to and the reception was so much fun, but my advice to future brides is to definitely spend a good amount on a DJ that will accommodate to your style!

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Congratulations to Erin and Jeremy! Thank you for sharing your nautical Maryland bayside wedding with us!

The following Washington DC area wedding professionals contributed to their wedding:

Wedding Planner: Kim Newton Weddings
Photography: Sam Stroud Photography
Beauty: Updo’s for I Do’s
Bridal Shoes: Michael Kors
Bridal Gown: J Crew Bridal
Ceremony and Reception Venue: Silver Swan Bayside
Linen Rentals and Lighting: Silver Swan Bayside
Grooms Suiting: Express / Shoes: Sperry Topsider
Mens Attire: Mens Warehouse
Honeymoon: St. Lucia

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

Photo Credits: Sam Stroud Photography

Details & Design

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

Save and Splurge: Balancing Your Wedding Flower Budget

posted by Alex Hamilton

Jennifer Morris, owner of J. Morris Flowers in Leesburg, VA understands that couples work within their wedding budget to choose the central elements of their own unique wedding. “Our 2016, Washington, D.C. area wedding clients want to have some idea about what to expect when they walk into our studio and as they discuss their wedding plans with other types of vendors.”

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Birds of a Feather Photography

Weddings are meant to be perfectly personal. “The colors, flowers, cake, music and guests fill their wedding site in a very individual way for just one day. The elements chosen reflect the personality of the couple and are often a result of a compromise or two. The bride has always dreamed of being married under a stunning arch of flowers and the groom knows the day will only be complete for him with a six piece band.”

Most budgets have a limit. Couples make tough decisions to reduce the number of tiers on a cake or ask the band to lose a member on the way to the reception in order to meet their budget. According to Jennifer, “Florals and decor are an important part of what the couple and guests see throughout the day. It is the task of an accomplished floral designer to make sure that all the traditional elements are present — bouquets, corsages, boutonnieres, arrangements for the ceremony, and for every table. There are ways, however, to control the cost of these culturally necessary arrangements so that we can include a “splurge” element or two.”

Jennifer suggests that the wedding couple work with every vendor the same way. “Create a list of what is most important to you, then work with your vendor to cover the bases while also incorporating something special.”

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Michelle Lindsay Photography

Save

  1. Dress the wedding party and tables with simple arrangements made from beautiful yet more affordable flower varieties like roses, spray roses, hydrangea, stock and larkspur
  2. Create impact by choosing flowers that truly complement the colors of the day
  3. Make the most of textured flowers and greenery that attract attention
  4. Select simple ceremony decor
  5. Repurpose ceremony decor by using aisle arrangements as centerpieces

Splurge

  1. Work with your designer to create a centrally located signature floral element on the head table or a food station
  2. Splurge on your bridal bouquet. it’s the most important accessory for your dress
  3. Add a suspended floral that mimics a chandelier, or adorn an existing chandelier, armoire, or fireplace
  4. Choose showy blooms like English garden roses, dahlias, anemone or trailing orchids. (Their size and beauty are well worth the extra funds.)

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Erin Kelleher Photography

Create

Jennifer has created a lot of very unique and individual pieces that have started with a glimmer of an idea from a client or a picture that they pinned. Work with Jennifer or your designer to create a special element that is all your own. “We have created so many beautiful things that have come from thoughtful, inspiring conversations with our couples. Some of my favorites have included a hanging florals and decor items, and arches with completely surprising flower varieties.”

Consider

  • A flower-framed mirror with a personal hand-written message from the couple
  • A tapestry or frame of flowers that forms a backdrop for the ceremony
  • An arrangement that both towers and cascades on an appetizer table
  • Special florals and greenery accents for seating charts, welcome signs, and serving tables

Jennifer explains, “Splurge items like these can range in price from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand. In the end they can make all the difference in creating a truly noteworthy event. Gather all your pricing and style options from your floral designer and work with them to find the balance between what you need, and what you really want.”

Looking for more floral inspiration for your wedding? We’ve got the best in the area! Also, all of our DC area wedding vendors are incredibly talented, so don’t forget to check them out as well!

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

Local Wedding Events

From shows to classes, click here to browse our local calendar for an upcoming event in Washington, DC, Maryland or Virginia.

Meridian House DC Wedding: Hannah + Ben

posted by Tabitha

Happy Monday everyone, we hope you had an amazing weekend full of love and laughter! We are kicking off June with a month full of amazing DC area real weddings and tons of advice posts in response to all of the wonderful feedback from our survey! We are starting off today with a wedding that not only had lovely reception florals and design, but was full of entertainment and dancing inspiration! Ben and Hannah were married at the iconic Meridian House in the heart of the District. The bride is a contemporary dancer so having dance as a prevalent part of their wedding was always very important when wedding planning. We loved how they had Isadora Duncan style dancers perform at their cocktail hour, followed by a choreographed first dance together during the reception. We love the idea of having wedding entertainment to surprise guests, but also that is a nod to the true personalities of the couple! Congratulations to the newlyweds and thank you to Birds of a Feather Photography for sharing this beautiful day with us!

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From the Bride: “I wanted to make our wedding feel like we had transported our guests to Paris, and between the venue, decor, music, attire, and Isadora Duncan-inspired cocktail dancers, I think we accomplished that! We were also able to bring lots of personal touches throughout the day, which made our wedding extra special.

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Everything seemed like a blur, but my favorite part of the day was being able to dance the night away with my husband, family, and friends. It was a joyful day and an incredible party, and that’s what we hoped it would be.

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We were able to weave a lot of personal touches into our day, but I’ll focus on one: I’m a modern/ contemporary dancer, and so dance was an important theme throughout the evening. During cocktail hour, I surprised our guests with performers who danced in the Isadora Duncan style–it felt like Greek statues had come to life! The whole thing was very ethereal and magical.

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My husband’s and my first dance was also a surprise to our guests. We had secretly choreographed and rehearsed a fun first dance, and no one knew it was coming! I was even able to surprise my husband during our first dance when I brought out all of my bridesmaids and dancer friends from college on the dance floor for a flash mob.

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Tips from the couple: Everything books up so quickly here in DC! Be sure to give yourself plenty of time to book the vendors you want early on.

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Congratulations to Hannah and Ben!  Thank you for sharing your romantic Meridian House wedding in Washington DC with us!

The following Washington DC area wedding professionals contributed to their wedding:

Photography: Birds of a Feather Photography
Videography: James Bonato Video
Beauty: Modern Bridal Studio
Bridal Gown: Jim Hjelm / Salon: Ellie’s Bridal
Bridal Shoes: Badgley Mischka / Bridal Veil: Etsy
Venue: Meridian House
Floral Designer: Succulents and Saffron
Printed Materials: Minted
Ceremony Musician: Classic Guitar Ceremonies
Cake: Fluffy Thoughts
DJ: Even Reitmeyer
Officiant: Say I Do Your Way
Catering: Main Event Catering
Day of Coordination: DC Soirees

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

Photo Credits: Birds of a Feather Photography

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

Say Cheese!

With many incredible wedding photographers in the DC area, click here to use United With Love’s local guide to find the right one.

Happy Weekend!

posted by Alex Hamilton

We hope that your week has been fantastic since it started off with such a great holiday! In honor of our armed service members we wanted to share some military wedding inspiration with you this week so most of our posts are military themed. Enjoy!

DCFilmPhotographer-16

Lisa Blume Photography

Some links for your weekend from our favorite blogs…

…what you missed right here!

…and oldies but still useful goodies!

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.

Military Wedding Stationery: What you need to know

posted by Tabitha

**Editors Note: We loved this post from 2014 so much that we wanted to re-share with our newly engaged couples trying to navigate Military Stationery for their wedding day- enjoy!**

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Welcome back to another installment in our military wedding week mini series—we hope you’re learning lots as we explore tips, advice and inspiration for military weddings in the Washington DC area. Today we’re talking wedding stationery tips  and what you need to know. Military wedding etiquette for stationery follow many of the same guidelines as civilian weddings, so the main differences lie in the use of titles, ranks and branch of service identification for one or both partners, and that of any of their parents as well. On that note, let’s get started…

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Photo Credit: Kurstin Roe Photography from Hand Painted Washington DC Invitations

Military Rank + Branches of Service

Include the ranks of military personnel if either partner is a member of the military. This also applies to a wedding host, or parent(s) of either partner who are members of the military. For senior officers, the rank appears before the full name; for junior officers, rank appears underneath the name; for enlisted personnel, exclude the rank. (Note: Military titles, branch of service and the phrase “United Stated” should never be abbreviated—always spell it out in its entirety!).

  • If one or both are senior officers, their titles appear before their names, followed by the branch or service on the line below:
    Colonel Ross Eustace Gellar
    United States Air Force
  • If one or both are junior or company-grade officers, their titles appear underneath their names, followed by the branch of service on the same line:
    Rachel Karen Green
    Second Lieutenant, United States Air Force
  • If one or both are enlisted personnel, rank is usually omitted. The full name is written on one line, with the branch of service on the line below:
    Phoebe Buffay
    United States Air Force

Invitation Wording

The invitation style for military weddings follow the same traditional format as civilian wedding—the wedding hosts, followed by the names of the couple, etc. If either parent is an officer in the military, use the appropriate rank; however, when an officer’s name appears with a spouse’s name, the branch of military service is not included. If the couple is hosting their own wedding, use their rank and branch of service.

  • If the military personnel member is retired, this is indicated after the branch of service:
    Lieutenant Colonel Michael Hannigan
    United States Air Force, Retired
    requests the honor of your presence…
  • If an officer’s name is used with their spouse’s name, the branch of service is excluded from the line below:
    Lieutenant Colonel and Mrs. Michael Hannigan
    request the honor of your presence…

Addressing Envelopes

When addressing wedding invitations, use the full name of the guest and ranks (spelled out in its entirety!) on the outer envelope. With the exception of a military rank, abbreviations can be used on the inner envelope only.

  • Outside envelopes should be addressed with full names, no abbreviated titles:
    Major and Mrs. Chandler Muriel Bing
    or Captain Joseph Tribbiani
  • Inner envelope is addressed with abbreviations:
    Major and Mrs. Bing
    or Captain Tribbiani
  • An invitation to a married couple with the same rank and service:
    Captains Chandler and Monica Bing

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Are you looking for more local wedding ideas and advice? 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.

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!

A Day with the Westin Georgetown D.C.

posted by Tabitha

We always love sharing some of our favorite wedding venues with our readers and this one does not disappoint. The Westin in Georgetown is a fantastic and versatile space with both indoor and outdoor capabilities. We asked them to share one of their favorite weddings from last year and we think what they came up with is stunning. The guest rooms were perfectly light airy for getting ready shots, while the outdoor space lent itself well to the creativity of the photographer, Connor Studios. The outdoor architecture created a beautiful and unique backdrop for the couple’s vows.Westin Georgetown Wedding Connor Studios (17) Westin Georgetown Wedding Connor Studios (25) Westin Georgetown Wedding Connor Studios (11) Westin Georgetown Wedding Connor Studios (13)

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Post ceremony, the couple and their guests moved inside for a seated dinner in The Promenade, the Westin’s main stage for weddings. We love this room for wedding receptions because it can be styled in so many different ways! The couple chose rich reds, creams, and gold accents that worked incredibly well in the space with uplighting on the columns and splashes of candlelight on every surface. After the light and airy ceremony outside, the move into The Promenade had such a regal feel that we can’t get enough!

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We love that the couple used the space at the Westin to fit their aesthetic for the day perfectly; the outdoor ceremony was simply classic and timeless while the indoor reception was elegant and sophisticated with the hardwood floors, rich reds and golds. We love how the Westin brought it all together to create one fantastic party in their two distinct spaces!

The Westin has also extended an exclusive deal for our readers! Use the code WGT2016 for an extra hour of bar and entrée upgrades for any weddings booked on available Saturdays or Sundays in 2016 and early 2017. Limitations subject to Westin availability.

The following Washington DC area wedding professionals contributed to this Westin Georgetown wedding:

Wedding Planner: Cibi Events
Photography: Connor Studios
Ceremony & Reception Venue: The Westin Georgetown
Hair: Tresses by Tracy / Makeup: Makeup Dreams
Floral Designer: Edge
Ceremony Musicians: Audrey Moise, Craig Marlow
Reception Musician: NightLife Band

Be sure to check out more wedding vendors in the DC area that we highly recommend. If it’s wedding inspiration and ideas that you are looking for, we’ve got that covered too! Check back daily for new content.

Photo Credit: Connor Studios

This post is sponsored by The Westin Georgetown.

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!

Guide to Military Wedding Attire

posted by Tabitha

It’s all about Military Wedding inspiration over here and now we are on our favorite topic: the wedding fashion! Most likely, the main distinction of a military wedding is the service members rocking their uniforms with pride. This, of course, depends on the style wedding, the season, and the government-issued uniform requirements. Sound a bit scary? It’s not. As always, we are here to guide you along the way!

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Credit: Luke Eshleman Photography

Formal or Black-Tie Weddings

Mess dress uniform is in appropriate for formal weddings. For most service branches, a black-tie or white-tie wedding entails a dark blue uniform and, depending upon the time of year and branch of service, white trousers.

Semi-Formal Weddings

Class-A or Service dress uniform is appropriate at a semiformal event. Like the Mess dress uniforms, these are also dark blue with the option to pair with white pants.

Wedding Party Attire

For brides and bridesmaids, wearing their service uniform is, of course, an option but many military brides opt for traditional bridal attire. One widely utilized option is to choose dark blue hues for the bridal party attire to complement the service uniforms worn by others in the wedding party.

For groomsmen who may be a part of a different service than the groom, their attire is as simple as wearing the uniform most comparable in formality. The groom and best man do not wear gloves, however, the other ushers wear white gloves during the ceremony. Boutonnieres are never worn with uniforms, but military decorations are worn instead.

For parents of the couple who are active or retired officers, they may wear uniforms, however many mothers choose to wear traditional mother-of-the-bride or groom attire.

For non-military wedding-party members, simply wear traditional wedding clothes of the same level of formality as those in uniform.

Guest Attire

Military guests (active or retired) may wear their uniforms or traditional formal attire. For a black- or white-tie wedding, be sure to include “Mess dress uniform invited” on the invitations to request that your guests come in uniform. For a semiformal wedding, include “Class A uniform invited” or “Service dress uniform invited.”

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What are you doing for your military wedding? Do you have any tips to share? Leave a comment and let us know!!

Are you looking for more local wedding ideas and advice? 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.

Pretty & Pampered

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

Naval Academy Wedding: Meredith + Neil

posted by Tabitha

We are excited to share Meredith and Neil’s beautiful Maryland wedding ceremony and reception with you today. We are continuing to honoring our armed forces by sharing their lovely wedding stories! The couple were married at the Naval Academy Chapel in front of their closest friends and family, before moving the party to the Governor Calvert House. We love their sleek purple and gray color story paired against the Grooms sharp military dress. Congrats to the couple and thank you to Borrowed Blue Photography for sharing this lovely military wedding with us!

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From the Bride: “Our goal was to highlight the historical side of Annapolis. I wanted our wedding to have a vintage, but elegant feel. To accomplish this, we incorporated things like mercury glass, candles, and a color palate of purples, grey, and mint.”

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Advice from the couple: “Read vendor reviews and look at the negative ones as well as the good ones. Our day went smoothly because of the wonderful people that helped us. Also, don’t stress over the details – no one will know the difference if things aren’t exactly how you envisioned them.”

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“Our first priority was for our guests to have fun. We added extras to our food budget to incorporate our heritage, such as gnocchi for my Italian family and Black Forest cupcakes for Neil’s family. We also splurged on a cigar roller who hand-rolled cigars. We had corn-hole boards for cocktail hour. Flowers were important to me, but we saved some money by alternating between floral and non-floral centerpieces.”

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“I am not super crafty, but I tried a few handmade items. I made lace covered votives for our cocktail tables. Our invitations were mostly handmade with the help of Cards & Pockets. Neil’s mother is an artist. She made a beautiful watercolor hydrangea (my favorite flower) image that we used on our invitations, programs, and seating chart. We personalized our reception tables with black and white family wedding photos in antique frames. Our favors were mini sugar cookies shaped like Maryland crabs and the Naval Academy logo. I also wore my grandmother’s pearls and carried a rosary that my grandfather made me on my bouquet.”

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Congratulations to Neil and Meredith! Thank you for sharing your Maryland Naval Academy wedding with us!

The following Washington DC area wedding professionals contributed to their wedding:
Photography: Borrowed Blue Photography
Ceremony Venue: US Naval Academy
Reception Venue: Governor Calvert House 
DJ: Mixing Maryland
Stationery: Cards and Pockets
Beauty: Hair for a Special Affair
Floral Designer: rhonda kaplan
Bridal Salon: Lillian Lottie / Gown: Allure Bridals
Ceremony Strings: Chesapeake Strings
Rentals: 2 Hands Studios
Wedding Cake: Cakes by Rachel
Lighting: Event Dynamics
Favors: Sugar Dot

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

Photo Credits: Borrowed Blue Photography

 

Mmmmmm!

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