Old Town Hall Wedding: Congratulations Katherine and CJ!

June 5, 2012

Katherine and CJ were married on a beautiful day at the Old Town Hall in Fairfax, Virginia.

Before the ceremony, Katherine and CJ shared a first look. This moment ended up being Katherine’s favorite part of the day, “It was so exciting to see him for the first time and to have a few minutes as just the two of us.”

CJ and Katherine were high school sweethearts. They met in physics class in Minnesota.

After a year of dating and getting to know each other, they were split by distance. A move and separate colleges made for nearly 5 years of building a long-distance relationship. Because of the miles apart, they didn’t get to spend many holidays together, especially Valentine’s Day.

Katherine shared with me the story of how CJ proposed. ”During my senior year of college at FSU, I was disappointed that CJ and I would be spending our 4th Valentine’s day apart so my two roommates and I decided to take a girls trip to St. Augustine for the weekend.

The day we were supposed to leave I had my bags all packed and stood waiting at the front door.  My then roommate (and now maid of honor) came back from the campus saying we couldn’t leave yet because someone had hit her car. I went down to the parking lot with her to check it out and there was CJ standing with a bouquet of roses. I was in complete disbelief because he was supposed to be in Minnesota working. I thought he had surprised me with a Valentine’s Day visit but little did I know there was more to his surprise.

He got down on one knee and proposed. I have never been more shocked in my life.”

The ceremony began with the bride’s 10-year-old brother walking down the aisle and playing Here Comes the Bride on his guitar. It was so sweet!

The reception was held on the main level at the Old Town Hall and began with some custom cocktails with handmade straws.

The style for the wedding was very classic with a nod to southern charm. Katherine adds, “I wanted something really personal and inviting.  It is such a big occasion and I wanted it to be really meaningful for us and our guests.” With so many handmade details created by Katherine and her mom the wedding really felt personal.

The southern charm shined through on the menu with buttermilk chicken, Virginia ham and pulled pork and in decor through silver candy dishes, crystal vases and rustic elements like burlap and natural baskets.

I love how Katherine’s dress moved on the dance floor during their first dance to Can’t Help Falling in Love with You by Elvis. CJ really spun her around!

Rather than hiring a DJ for the wedding, the couple asked Katie and Logan, a duo featuring two acoustic guitars and dynamic vocal harmonies to play during the ceremony and throughout the reception.  They were wonderful! But Katherine’s brother stole some of the spotlight, becoming the musical hit of the evening. He played a few songs including Secret Agent Man. He was great!

As guests left the Hall they were handed assorted whoopie pies, chocolate with buttercream and oatmeal with marshmallow cream, annnnnnd…


Congratulations Katherine and CJ!

Special thanks to all the vendors:
Venue: Old Town Hall, City of Fairfax
Caterer:  Purple Onion, Katy Almond-Martinez
Musicians: Katie and Logan
Officiant: Diane Stanley
Flowers: Kathleen Scarritt, Bride’s Mother
Bridal Gown: David’s Bridal, Bride’s Rings: Shane Co. , Shoes: Nina
Bridesmaid Dresses: David’s Bridal

Suits: Jos. A. Banks, Groom’s Ring: Helzberg

Striped straws: Sweets and Treats Boutique with tags handmade by the bride and her mom

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Newton White Mansion Wedding – Congratulations Angela and Miles!

May 31, 2012

Angela and Miles had a beautiful wedding at the Newton White Mansion in Mitchellville, Maryland. The day began with preparations in the bridal suite.

Over in the groom’s suite, Mile’s prepared for the day.

He was surprised with a special gift from the bride, custom cufflinks made with a photo of his father.

Angela and Mile’s shared a first look before the ceremony.

The couple had many favorite moments from the wedding day:

Miles said, “Dances with the parents, photo booth, first look photo, chilling with the groomsmen before the ceremony, photo cufflinks, and the bride’s entrance!  If I had to pick one out of that list, it would be the first look photo.”

Angela added her favorites, “The first look photo, taking just our pictures in the garden after the ceremony, and our first dance!  If I had to choose just one, it would be our first dance.”

The ceremony was held on the outdoor patio and began with the processional and a very special song that was played while Angela and her father walked down the aisle.

Miles and Angela recorded the song “No One Else,” originally recorded by Amel Larrieux. He played the piano and she sang. Angela told me, “Everyone was so surprised to hear that was me singing when I walked out! ”

Music is one of their favorite things and they thought it would be unique to include their talents in the wedding.  The song was included on a CD that guests received as a favor.

Miles and Angela met October 16, 1999, when maid of honor, Theresa Lewis, invited her best friend, Angela, and her visiting neighbor, Miles, to go to Dave & Buster’s. They played games and talked about music. Before Miles left to go back to Atlanta, where he lived at the time, they went on their first date to see the new movie, “The Best Man.”

After many phone calls and a few more visits home, Miles came back to stay in 2000 and they’ve been together ever since!

Miles proposed on July 4, 2011, when the couple went to see the fireworks and have dinner at the Chart House at Annapolis City Dock. After dinner, the waiter sat a chocolate lava dessert in front of Angela with a ring box at the top edge of the plate. Angela continues, “Miles got down on one knee and asked me, “Will you be my wife?” He put the ring on my finger and I said YES!!!!!”

At the reception, guests enjoyed a custom candy bar and specialty M&Ms.

Angela and Miles had their first dance to All I Need to Get By by Marvin Gaye & Tammy Terrell, nice and slow, and then surprised everyone by getting down on the dance floor!

A photo booth was set up during the cocktail hour and reception for guests to take fun photos with these props. The booth was a huge hit and many guests came back for multiple photos!

Check out the slideshow including a “future trophy wife!”

Congratulations Angela and Miles!

Photography by Jessica Schmitt and Eric Swartz
Special thanks to all the vendors:
Venue: Newton White Mansion, Mitchellville, MD
Officiant: Rev. Charlie Smith of Mt. Olives United Baptist Church, Washington, DC
Caterer: Putting On The Ritz Catering
Coordinators: Sherri Simmons and Tracie Wright
Flowers: Mitchellville Florist and Dunkirk Florist
Cake: Desserts By Gerard
DJ: DJ Crucial
Bridal Gown: David’s Bridal   
Formal Wear: Carrington Formal Wear, Prince Frederick, MD
Custom-made Cufflinks: Cuff-daddy
Bride’s shoes: 
My Glassslipper / Bride’s Veil – Etsy, Simple Beauty Veils
Bride’s Makeup: Iris Lewis (Bride’s friend) / Bride’s Hair: Concepts The Salon, Nakia Spriggs
Photo Booth Props: Party City

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Georgetown Glamour – Congratulations Erin & Joe!

May 29, 2012

Erin and Joe had a very glamorous wedding at the Ritz-Carlton in Georgetown.

Each pair of the bridesmaids’ shoes are unique and so GLITZY!

I love a bright POP of color! All the flowers were bursting with beauty and personality.

Orange details added a bit of whimsy to the elegant atmosphere.

Erin and Joe met at NYU School of Law. They now call DC their home. I had the pleasure of meeting them last September for their engagement photo shoot in Old Town Alexandria.

Erin and Joe, you guys look SO GOOD!

Erin shared with me, “The morning of the wedding we were super nervous.  We both woke up at 3:30 am, and when we couldn’t get back to sleep we laid in bed for hours chatting about last-minute worries and plans. But we were so happy that everything just turned out beautifully, including the weather!

Even though we were having our ceremony and reception at a fancy hotel, we tried to include elements — from an instrumental version of a rock song for the bridal processional to handmade arts and crafts place cards and “Oreos in a Blanket” for favors — that kept the atmosphere lighthearted and fun. We wanted everyone to leave our wedding feeling like the event was uniquely Erin and Joe. And with the love and support of family and friends from near and far, we think we pulled off a wedding that was a genuine expression of ourselves and the type of life we hope to have together.”

Their love story began in 2008 when Joe finally got the courage to ask Erin to dance. At an NYC nightclub, Duvet, he waited until the DJ dropped his favorite Usher song and then took her out on the dance floor.

Here they share their first dance as husband and wife to Fall to Pieces by Velvet Revolver.

Congratulations Erin and Joe!

Photography by Jessica Schmitt and Eric Swartz
Special Thanks to All the Vendors:
Wedding Location: Ritz-Carlton, Georgetown, Washington, DC
Coordinator: Kyana Gerard, Ritz-Carlton Georgetown
Flowers and Chuppah: Karin’s Florist
DJ: Karim Clouden, Entertainment Exchange
Chairs: We Party
Bride’s Gown: Modern Trousseau
Bride’s Shoes: Giuseppe Zanotti Design
Makeup: Gina Robinson Mua
Bridesmaids’ Dresses: J Crew
Bridal Jewelry: Bauble Bar
Groom’s Suit: Michael Andrews Bespoke
Groom ‘s Shirt: Saks Fifth Avenue
Ties: Thomas Pink
Groom’s Shoes: To Boot NY
Invitations: Silhouette Blue, Etsy

Star and Lantern Decorations: Handmade by Erin and Joe

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A History Inspired Wedding: Congratulations Allison & Dave

May 16, 2012

Allison and Dave were married on a beautiful day at the Arts Club of Washington. Their history inspired wedding included vintage rings, antique details and presidential centerpieces.

Allison wore some gorgeous shoes! She adorned her Calvin Klein’s with sho clips to create her own stylish pair.

Peonies filled the gorgeous bouquets and tiny buds bloomed out from the top of the boutonnieres.

Allison and Dave shared a first look.

They were so happy to see each other!

The ceremony processional began with the song In My Life by the Beatles, played by the groom’s sister-in-law on the piano.

The bride entered with her father to Real Love by John Lennon.

Allison’s maid of honor read A letter from Ronald Reagan to his wife Nancy on their anniversary, March 4, 1963:

My Darling, This is really just an in-between day. It is a day on which I love you three hundred and sixty-five days more than I did a year ago and three hundred and sixty-five days less than I will a year from now. But I wonder how I lived at all for the three hundred sixty-fives before I met you. 

The wedding bands were passed around to all the guests inside of a book for a special ring blessing, wonderful vows were exchanged and then the couple exited to Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen.

The reception table centerpieces each honored a past president. The head table showcased an illustration of James Monroe, who lived in the Arts Club during his term as our fifth president.

I asked the couple what her favorite moment was from the day. They responded, “Getting to see family and friends, exchanging the vows during a personal and intimate ceremony that we helped to write/create, and rocking out on the packed dance floor.”

Allison also included, “For me personally, it was so rewarding to see all of the little details I have been working on over the past 15 months come together into a beautiful representation of who we are and what we love. The wedding was a labor of love and everything in my head truly came to fruition.”

The first dance was to the beautiful song, Happy by Bruce Springsteen:

“Some need gold and some need diamond rings

Or a drug to take away the pain that living brings

A promise of a better world to come

When whatever here is done I don’t need that sky of blue

All I know’s since I found you, I’m happy when I’m in your arms

Happy, darling, come the dark

Happy when I taste your kiss

I’m happy in a love like this

There’s a house upon a distant hill

Where you can hear the laughter of children ring

Guardian angels, they watch from above

Watching over the love that they bring

But at night I feel the darkness near, I awake and I find you near

I’m happy with you in my arms

I’m happy with you in my heart

Happy when I taste your kiss I’m happy in love like this

In a world of doubt and fear

I wake at night and reach to find you near

Lost in a dream, you caught me as I fell

I want more than just a dream to tell

We’re born in this world, darling, with few days and trouble never far behind

Man and woman circle each other in a cage

A cage that’s been handed down the line

Lost and running ‘neath a million dead stars

Tonight let’s shed our skins and slip these bars

Happy in each other’s arms

Happy baby, come the dark

Happy in each other’s kiss

I’m happy in a love like this”

Congratulations Allison and Dave!

Special thanks to all the vendors:
Location: Arts Club of Washington
Officiant: A.C. Warden, Capital Ceremonies
DJ: Ed Witles, The Elegant DJ
Florist: Greenworks Florist
Cake: Artistic Cake Creations / Cake Topper: Etsy, BlimpCat
Hair: CourtneyStyles / Make-up: Karen Goss, bride’s aunt
Dress: Justin Alexander, In White Bridal in Lancaster, PA
Shoes: Calvin Klein / Shoe clips: absolutelyaudrey.com

Suits: Jos A. Bank
Invitations: Allison printed and assembled each herself, template from DownloadandPrint.com

Arts Club Artwork, Monroe Gallery: Varieties of Abstraction, Acrylics by Susanne Eisinger 

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Spring Wedding in Rockville: Congratulations Kim & Jon

April 25, 2012

Kim and Jon were married on a beautiful day at Saint Mary’s Catholic Church in Rockville, Maryland.

Kim and Jon have a very sweet engagement story. As Jon tells it, “On the night of the proposal, I went to the jewelry store with my sister, Suzanne, to pick out a placeholder ring for Kim. You see, I am totally clueless about picking out women’s jewelry, so I didn’t want to pick out the real permanent thing without Kim’s input. The plan in my head was to use that ring to ask Kim to marry me, and then later on I would take her back to the store and she could pick out the real thing.”

Later that day Jon went to see Kim and she was very distracted with a new computer. After about a half dozen attempts at getting her attention, he finally was able to capture her focus and asked her to marry him.

He continues, “Over the span of the next 3 hours (which was actually about 10 seconds but felt like 3 hours because of how nervous I was), Kim smiled, laughed, cried, kissed me, hugged me, and pretty much did everything a girl can do without actually giving an answer!

FINALLY she stopped, looked me square in the eye, and said three magic words, “Yes, of course!”

We had some fun with sunglasses and a little attitude.

Behind the church is the old Victorian Rockville Railroad Station. It is a picturesque historic Montgomery County structure built in 1873 and  listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The reception was held just down the street at the Rockville Hilton.

Every dining table was distinguished by a special quote. I love this one by Winston Churchill, “My most brilliant achievement was my ability to persuade my wife to marry me.”

One of Kim’s favorite moments from the day was “Jon playing the beginning of our first dance song.” Jon played the guitar while two of their friends, Jason Thomas and Alfonso Cejudo, accompanied on guitar and trumpet.

After the first few bars of Walk With You by Dispatch, Jon got up and grabbed Kim for a twirl around the dance floor.

Almost everyone in Kim’s family went to Penn State. Almost everyone is Jon’s family went to the University of Maryland. Even their engagement portraits highlighted the rival schools, so it was not surprising that the theme carried over into their wedding.

Kim’s Dad had a very special surprise for the bride during the reception: an appearance by the Penn State Nittany Lion.

In true Turtle form, Jon had nothing to do with the Lion. But he got back out on the floor for The Sugarhill Gang’s Apache (Jump On It)!

What’s up Jon? What’s up?

CHEERS! Congrats Kim and Jon!

Photography by Jessica Schmitt and Eric Swartz
Special thanks to all the vendors:

Dress: Alfred Angelo
Suit: Macy’s Alfani
Officiant: Reverend Douglas Morrison of Saint Mary’s Catholic Church, Rockville MD
Flowers: Wegmans of Fairfax, VA

Reception: Hilton Rockville Hotel 
DJ: mydeejay.com
Cake: Fancy Cakes by Leslie
Limo: Chariots for Hire

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