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.”
Kyle and Kaylan were married at the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington, D.C. on November 22. “We obviously loved the grand rotunda that allowed us to get married in the round,” Kyle said. “We hadn’t seen this before and loved the idea of having our guests surround us. We also really loved the versatility of the venue. It had about five very distinct spaces that helped make each portion of the night seem unique.” The grooms wore custom-made navy blue tuxedos with black lapels, accessorized with bow ties and cufflinks that said, “Second star to the right and straight on till morning” from the movie Peter Pan. Bridesmaids wore short navy blue satin dresses with illusion necklines and carried bouquets of roses, ranunculuses, hydrangeas, anemones, and seeded eucalyptus, while the groomsmen wore black tuxedos and boutonnieres of freesia. Before the ceremony, the couple opted for a first look. Guests were greeted with a chalkboard sign that described the itinerary. In lieu of separately walking down the aisle during the processional with their parents, they walked in together, hand-in-hand. “Music has always been very special to us and having it be a part of our ceremony was a must,” he said. “Having three of our close friends sing really took our breath away and created a lasting memory.” Once the exchanging of vows were sealed with a kiss, it was official with almost 100 witnessing! Cocktail hour began in the boardroom with a signature drink called “The Getaway” (inspired by Hanks Oyster Bar) garnished with birch straws. Family-style dinner took place in the ballroom shortly thereafter, including a mixed green salad with seasonal fruit, candied pecans, and balsamic vinaigrette, garlic-butter shrimp with creame gouda grits and sliced New York strip steak with a port wine reduction, mashed potatoes, and asparagus. “There were so many things to look at, but I think the most impressive details were the seven-foot tree and candle centerpieces, and striped and sequin linens,” Kyle said. For extra entertainment, a photo booth was provided with props. Bonus: Kyle surprised Kaylan by singing Edwin McCain’s “I’ll Be (The Greatest Fan Of Your Life” with his cappella group. A mini cake was cut and served for dessert. The newlyweds’ best advice? “Utilize your wedding party,” he said. “I think we drove ourselves crazy trying to do everything on our own. These people are your best friends and are usually eager to help. The whole point of having a wedding party is to not have to carry the burden of decision making, do-it-yourself creation, and box toting on your own.” At the end of the night, they exited amonst a sea of jingle bells and jetted off to their honeymoon in Key West.
WeddingWire’s COO, Lee Wang, celebrated his one-year anniversary with wife, Lynn, this past month, which gave us a wonderful reason to share their beautiful DC wedding! Plus, we love sharing weddings that were planned using WeddingWire! Congratulations to Lynn and Lee!
Our Q&A with the couple:
What was the one thing about your venue that made you know it was the one?
The Ronald Reagan Building is just gorgeous. The Pavilion Room is simply beautiful on its own. We didn’t need to add lighting or cover the walls to make it a lovely wedding space. We had our ceremony in the same room and it was completely transformed at night with just the setting of the sun. We had the entire floor to ourselves, which helped seal the deal. We had many out-of-towners coming in and it made the most sense to keep everyone in one place. This allowed us to have a ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception space without leaving the building. We worked with several amazing people at the Reagan Building too. Our coordinators, Courtney, Karen, and Alyana, were outstanding (I mean really exceptional) and made us feel completely confident that we would be well taken care of (and we were!). As soon as we saw this venue it was love at first sight.
What three (3) details from your wedding were your favorites?
It’s hard to list just three things. We loved so many things about our wedding, but we would have to say we loved our venue space – everything about it was perfect for us. The décor from DaVinci Florists completed the look. We had gorgeous tables with breathtaking centerpieces. Everything was elegant and just what we had in mind. We were madly in love with the food from the Reagan Building as well. We selected four passed canapés during the cocktail hour, a duo of salmon and beef tenderloin for the main entrée, and passed sliders as a late night snack for our guests. We received so many compliments on the food that it was easily one of our favorite parts of our wedding day. Our other favorite detail was the music. We loved our DJ, Ross Anderson, from Chris Laich Music Services. He met with us a couple of times before our wedding day to get to know us and our taste in music. The playlist that he used throughout our seated dinner received numerous compliments and so many requests for the playlist afterward. He kept the guests happy and on the dance floor all night long. We were so lucky to enjoy so many things about our wedding day, but a year later we’re still talking about these three things especially.
If you could offer one piece of advice for other couples planning their wedding, what would it be?
My husband, Lee, would tell you to “use WeddingWire” to plan your wedding. While I certainly would agree with that sentiment too (we couldn’t have planned our wedding without it), it wouldn’t be the one piece of advice I would give. I would tell couples to plan the wedding that best suits them. Sure, you want to accommodate your family and friend’s requests, but you’re not going to make everyone happy with everything you do. We planned a wedding that we wanted. We were thoughtful about how certain things may impact our loved ones, but had to accept that we weren’t going to please everyone. You will remember your wedding day (every last detail) for the rest of your lives. Your family and friends will remember it, but not the way that you will. So create a memory that you want to have 50 years from now. And remember to enjoy your day! It really does go by so quickly.
Give us the one moment in your wedding day you can’t stop thinking about.
Wow. That’s a tough one. The entire day from beginning to end was wonderful and there isn’t just one moment that comes to mind. We had a blast spending time with our closest friends and family before the ceremony getting ready and taking pictures. Our ceremony was beautifully done and we could not have been more pleased with the way it turned out. We laughed, we cried, we were married. We really enjoyed sitting down to dinner with our wedding party and their spouses too. At one point Lee wanted to stand up and start greeting our guests at their tables, but I had to put my foot down and tell him “do not move, I’m finishing my soup” (a butternut squash soup with sea scallops…yum!). Dinner was delicious – have I mentioned that already? We enjoyed dancing, drinking, taking photos with everyone and just being with the people we don’t see very often. At the end of the night we all retreated to the patio to smoke cigars and finish the wedding cupcakes. When asked about what memories we have of our day, we go through every moment of the day remembering the wonderful feelings we had. It truly was a magical day. There really isn’t just one moment.
The phrase “love is a battlefield” works wonders with Casey and Gian given their deep family military history alongside the fact that these two met for the first time while playing paintball! This lovely Washington DC wedding started and finished at the National Sheraton Hotel overlooking our Nation’s Capitol and the national monuments. The couple wanted their portraits to be taken in a way that honored their family’s military service so we traveled around to historic locations including the Capitol, The Iwo Jima Memorial, and the Air Force Memorial.
WeddingWire has teamed up with the Washington Bridal Showcase and MIX 107.3 to give one lucky couple from the Washington area a dream wedding, BUT they only have one week to plan!
Beginning December 19th, local couples are invited to enter to win a $50,000 wedding. With the help of our team of wedding professionals, you will get it all, from the dress to the reception and everything in between. Give us a week and we will give you a wedding!