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.”
Kirsten and Jesse were married at the Chesapeake Bay Beach Club in Stevensville, Md. on July 12. “Jesse and I love the water and spend a lot of time boating, fishing, and crabbing,” Kirsten said. “When we walked out onto the Beach House lawn and looked out to see the Bay Bridge, we knew it was the one! The view was just stunning. We loved how the Tavern also overlooked the Chesapeake Bay with huge sliding glass windows. Even the reception ballroom too.” The bride wore a strapless mermaid Vera Wang wedding gown, accessorized with her hair in an updo, floor-length veil, sash, and a pair of Jimmy Choo peep-toe wedges, while the groom wore a tan suit, accessorized with a matching bow tie and pocket square. Bridesmaids wore short navy blue Lily Pulitzer dresses and carried bouquets of roses and hydrangeas. Guests were greeted with aisles lined with the letters K and J as well as pomanders. “The ceremony decorations were a favorite detail, done by 2hands studio, with ivory draping and three gold chandeliers hanging from various heights underneath the trellis,” she said. Once the exchanging of vows were sealed with a kiss, it was official, only 165 witnessing. Cocktail hour began with lawn games such as corn hole followed by the reception shortly thereafter. Tables were decorated with sequin chevron linens, tall centerpieces, floating votive candles, gold numbers, and menu cards at each place setting, surrounded by chiavari chairs. “The moment when I first walked into the venue the day of the wedding, I couldn’t believe how gorgeous everything was and how it had all come together,” Kirsten said. Dinner featured a mixed baby field greens salad with red and yellow teardrop tomatoes and micro flowers dressed with a balsamic vinaigrette, filet mignon paired with a jumbo lump crab cake and fresh vegetables. A four-tiered fondant-frosted cake was cut and served for dessert. But that’s not all — boxes of chocolates were also passed out as favors. “We had a flip flop station with navy blue flip flops wrapped in pink ribbon,” she said. “It was a huge hit. I would recommend a flip flop station at every wedding!” The sign in front of it even said, “A little treat for those dancing feet and for you to keep.” The newlyweds’ best advice? “To remember that the most important part of a wedding is getting to spend the rest of your life with your best friend,” Kirsten said. At the end of the night, they jetted off to their honeymoon in St. Lucia.
Laura and Uk were married at Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort, in Soufriere, Saint Lucia on June 14. No doubt it was a destination. After all they did get engaged in Paris! “We were visiting Paris, where I used to work,” Laura said. “On our first night of a two-week trip, we went to dinner at the top of a museum right next to the Eiffel Tower. We went onto the rooftop deck to check out the sights, and I was taking photos. When I turned around Uk was down on one knee.” They choose a venue that was located within a tropical rainforest. “We loved the hotel, Sugar Beach, because of the beautiful architecture and design, and of course, the gorgeous beach.” The bride wore a sweetheart tulle a-line wedding gown with illusion straps, accessorized with her hair half-up/half-down in loose curls, fingertip-length veil, jeweled sash, and a pair of Betsey Johnson bow peep-toe high heels, while the groom wore a light gray suit with a white button-up shirt, accessorized with no tie. Bridesmaids wore short coral peplum dresses and carried bouquets of ginger and anthuriums. Guests were greeted with welcome bags filled with sunscreen and aloe, and bonus: a hangover kit, just in case of emergencies. Despite the rain showers, the ceremony took place on the sunset deck overlooking panoramic views of the volcanic Anse des Pitons. A steel bass band performed during the processional and recessional too. Once the exchanging of vows were sealed with a kiss, it was official! The reception followed shortly thereafter. The colonial-themed restaurant tables were decorated with white linens, floating candles in staggered vase centerpieces, and lace doily-inspired place cards at each setting. “Having our close family and friends travel all the way to celebrate us,” she said. “We even did a sunset boat cruise one night that was a blast.” The newlyweds’ best advice? “Do a rehearsal walk down the aisle,” Laura said. “We skipped that, and it caused unnecessary anxiety for me at the actual ceremony.” At the end of the night, they exited amongst a sea of wish lanterns and jetted off to their honeymoon in Sweden and Denmark.
Christina and Kyle were married in a traditional church ceremony at St. Maximilian Kolbe Catholic followed by a reception at Triunfo Creek Vineyards in Agoura Hills, Calif. on August 16. “We knew that Triunfo Creek Vineyards was over venue right when we drove onto the property,” Christina said. “Kyle is from Seattle, and I’m from Minnesota. We both knew that we wanted a rustic, cozy, and cabin-like vibe for our wedding day, and it was all of those things and more. When we were at the venue for the first time, we both felt this magic and excitement on the property that we knew our family and friends would be able to feel as well.” The bride wore a strapless sweetheart lace mermaid wedding gown, accessorized with her hair half-up/half-down in loose curls, fingertip-length veil, and a pair of boots, while the groom wore a gray suit, accessorized with a tie. Bridesmaids wore short blush chiffon dresses in various necklines and carried bouquets of garden roses, hydrangeas, astilbes, dahlias, and seeded eucalyptus. Guests were encouraged to choose a seat and not a side when they arrived for the ceremony. “Kyle and I come from a very musical family, and his brother sang and performed a beautiful song that they put their own twist on for us,” she said. Once the exchanging of vows were sealed with a kiss, it was official! Cocktail hour began with none other than hors d’ouevres such as cheese and meats and of course, wines. “We had giant Jenga, corn hole (each set had a Minnesota and Washington state border decal, which was cool), and beer pong. People played those all day and night.” The reception followed shortly thereafter in the lawn. Tables were decorated with white linens, gold centerpieces, wooden numbers, and votive candles, surrouned by cross-back chairs. “Right as the sun was going down, the sky had this purplish-blue glow, and the lights draped over the tables were twinkling against the sky gorgeously, and it was such a magical moment where my dad was about to give his speech,” Christina said. “I just got to look over the crowd, who had made the trip from Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Chicago, New Jersey, Wisconsin, Colorado, and China. It was such an amazing and overwhelming feeling having all of them in the same place to celebrate with us.” A three-tiered buttercream-frosted cake was served for dessert concluding dinner in addition to an assortment of other sweets. The newlyweds’ best advice? “Find a venue you love, and a good wedding planner,” she said. “Everything else will fall into place organically. Make a checklist of everything you need to do and focus on getting one thing done at a time. It will feel like a never ending process if you are trying to do it all at once.” At the end of the night, they jetted off to their honeymoon in Hawaii.
Chelsea and Joey were married at The Grace Maralyn Estate and Gardens in Atascadero, Calif. on July 26. “The Grace Maralyn was the perfect venue for us because it felt like we were having the wedding in our own backyard, but the amenities and the details made it a much better version,” Joey said. The bride wore a strapless lace a-line wedding gown, accessorized with her hair down in loose curls, jeweled headpiece, floor-length veil, and a pair of t-strap peep-toe high heels, while the groom wore a dark gray tweet vest and pants, accessorized with a tie. Bridesmaids wore mix ‘n’ matched short mint dresses in various necklines and carried bouquets of roses, hydrangeas, scabiosa pods, and seeded eucalyptus wrapped in ribbons. Guests were greeted with a chalkboard sign that said, “Find a seat, not a side. Today, we’re family!” and encouraged them to grab a paper cone filled with lavender for the toss. “The moment we first saw each other while Chelsea was walking down the aisle,” he said. “The anticipation of the entire day and everything leading up to that, seeing her in her dress, looking as beautiful as ever, and having Florence and The Machine playing in the background, it felt like a scene from a movie. We both lost it a little bit.” During the ceremony, a unity candle was lit. Once the exchanging of vows were sealed with a kiss, it was official! Cocktail hour began with signature Mr. and Mrs. cocktails — my dear watson and the howdy stella. The reception took place shortly thereafter in the lawn. Tables were decorated with white linens, burlap runners, gold vase centerpieces, wooden numbers, picture frames, votive candles, and homemade jars of jelly, which served double-duty as favors, at each place setting, surrounded by folding padded chairs. “We loved having everything happen at one location,” Joey said. “The ceremony and the reception flowed together seamlessly because we didn’t have to worry about moving 100+ people to another location. It definitely kept the party going.” Dinner included a greek salad, Santa Maria tri-tip steak and chicken breast with salsa and roasted vegetables, roasted potatoes, and garlic bread. Dancing took place in the barn. A three-tiered fondant cake was cut and served for dessert in addition to caramel apples and fruit tarts. “It might sound silly, but having a photo booth was a really fun extra,” he said. “We were able to look at all the photos afterwards and see our family and friends having a great time througout the night. It was nice to know how much people were enjoying themselves.” The newlyweds’ best advice? “Give yourself plenty of time to plan things out and be as thorough as possible, but be okay with the outcome regardless,” Joey said.