Joshua and Christopher were married in a ceremony at the Thomas Jefferson Memorial followed by a reception at Woodend Sanctuary in Washington, D.C. and Chevy Chase, Md. on June 21. “There was no other choice of site,” Joshua said. “Being able to get married in our nation’s capital at our favorite monuement, the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, meant the world to us. What really made the venue perfect for us was how the house and surrounding grounds flowed together. The simple and natural feel of it all spoke to us.” The grooms wore different custom-made three-piece suits with floral patterned ties. One wore a navy blue, while the other one wore tan. “We loved them,” he said. “Everything from the beautiful lining to the distinctive buttons and lapel pins made the suits stunning. They fit us perfectly, and we felt like a million bucks.” Guests, approximately 145, sat in white folding padded chairs organized in a half-circle to witness the exchanging of vows before it was official! “Walking down the grand staircase and being announced to our family and friends while they cheered for us was just the most surreal, wonderful moment,” Joshua said. “It felt great to shake off the formalities of the day, greet everyone, and thank them for being there to celebrate with us.” Cocktail hour began on the 40-acre property that dates back to 1699. Fun fact: It was designed by architect, John Russell Pope. “We were just tickled with the food,” he said. “The hors d’oeuvres were so unique and tasty! There were smoked trout puffs, onion tartlets, and sausages wrapped in pastries to name a few. Laura did such a great job of finding Finnish foods.” Tables were decorated with white linens and napkins, moss centerpieces and numbers, lanterns, and koozies, which served double-duty as favors, at each place setting. “There was no specific color scheme,” Joshua said. “We just wanted to have the feel of blues, purples, and pinks of the wildflowers. Our florist, Suzann, embraced our theme when we first spoke with her. Her vision and enthusiasm brought everything into harmony, making it feel as if we were celebrating our midsummer wedding in Finland.” A two-tiered buttercream-frosted cake was cut and served for dessert. In lieu of a traditional guest book, locks were placed onto a wire window panel. The newlyweds’ best advice? “Break in your shoes, but really the best advice that we received and that we want to pass on is to enjoy planning together — every bit of it,” he said. “It took us eight months to plan a wedding that lasted a fleeting three days. We made so many memories getting to know our vendors, exploring ideas, and playing off each others’ strengths to come up with an amazing weekend. Your wedding is just one perfect day, but your time planning is an adventure.”
Candace and Jason were married at The Yacht Club at Marina Shores in Virginia Beach, Va. on April 19. “Honestly, everything about the venue was gorgeous!” Candace said. “It had me at hello, but if I had to pick one thing about it, it would have been the water.” The bride wore a satin mermaid wedding gown with crystal beading on the front and back, accessorized with a drop dangling earrings and a fingertip-length veil, while the groom wore a dark gray three-piece suit, accessorized with a white tie and pocket square. Bridesmaids looked oh-so lovely in their blush long crinkle chiffon dresses and carried bouquets of roses, hydrangeas, and peonies wrapped in teal fabric around the stems. The ceremony was set up like a half moon so each and every guest could see. Notice at the end of the aisle the wooden “This is how our story begins” sign? The way Jason’s face looked when I walked down the aisle was all I needed,” she said. “I felt like, in those two moments, there wasn’t anyone else around, and it was just him and I in our own little world.” Following the nuptials, the newlyweds released doves. “It was very important to me to remember our loved ones who couldn’t be there,” Candace said. Inside the ballroom, reception tables were decorated with chevron runners, lanterns, candles, and of course, starfish picture frames. Plus, just look at the cake! A-M-A-Z-I-N-G.
1. What was the one thing about your venue that made you know it was the one?
The minute I saw the venue I fell in love. I never actually looked at other venues. I knew I wanted something on the water and a unique location. When I ﬁrst walked in, the ﬂoor to ceiling windows of the rotunda had me hooked! The beautiful views of the river along with the sunset make for an incomparable backdrop for any event.
2. Which three details from your wedding were your favorites?
1. The s’mores bar was my most favorite thing. I mentioned it to Shaina at Omar’s Carriage House and left the rest up to her. She came up with the layout, design, and details all on her own. She did a fantastic job, and everyone had so much fun making them.
2. I’m OBSESSED with my cake. I didn’t want to cut it.
3. I chose to sit my bridal party and their dates at a big table “family style.” You don’t see this done at too many weddings and this was something that was important to me. I’ve been in weddings before where my date has to be sat all alone because I’m at the bridal table. I wanted everyone to be included and wanted to enjoy eating and sitting with all of our close friends and family.
3. Give us the one moment in your wedding day you can’t stop thinking about.
I can’t stop thinking about the wedding ceremony itself. Having all of our family and friends there watching us ﬁnally get married. It was so meaningful to have someone that is a personal family friend be able to marry Austin and I. I think about our vows. We wrote them together, and I think about how heartfelt the moment was when we stated those vows to each other