Michelle + Eric knew they wanted a beautiful, modern and classy D.C. wedding. In her words, nothing Etsy allowed! She chose to go with an elegant black and silver color scheme and even incorporated fun, modern centerpieces that were not overly done. This tied in perfectly with their venue at Arena Stage, and truly represented their taste perfectly!
Robin and Michael’s Carnegie Institution For Science wedding was really something! Heather Sala of HJ Planners brought the couple’s vision to life, creating a Downton Abbey themed celebration. How fun is that? Scroll down and read more to hear about all of the details!
Robin and Michael decided to have their wedding in DC because it’s the place that brought them together and the perfect destination for friends and family that are traveling from around the country — and even from around the world when it comes to some of Mike’s friends in the Navy. They chose a January wedding because they both love the winter (so much that they took a ski trip honeymoon to the Ritz Carlton in Vail, Colorado) and their venue, the Carnegie Institution, is not only historic, but lent itself perfectly to their theme.
We began working with Robin and her mom about 9 months before the wedding, and were thrilled when they told us the theme – Downton Abbey! We knew there was so much that could be done and so many fun angles to explore with inspiration from the show.
Downton Abbey is a a British television series set in the English countryside in the early 1900’s. Getting to know the show itself means understanding the time period and setting; the difference between 1915 United States (much more Gatsby and flapper-style) and 1915 England (more lace, pearls, tea cups – generally more conservative). To ensure that all of the vendors selected were on the same page, we asked each to watch the series.
We took an ultra classy, rich in era details approach to Robin’s wedding to make her day truly Royal.
The color palette was pearlescent pink, light gold, and jewel tones of purple, pink and gold.
It was all in the details, from the colors to the menu to the English touches that could be seen everywhere. The venue was grand with large pillars, marble, and a beautiful portico, similar to the feel of the Downton Estate.
The menu included English dishes: Mini Shepherd’s Pies, Beef and Yorksire Pudding Canapes, Goat Cheese and Figs, Rosemary Chicken, Sweet Cream Butter Biscuits, Port Poached Pears and Brie, and Herb Crusted Beef Tenderloin. Each station was laid out in similar fashion to that of Downton’s Dining Room and named according to the characters – Lord Grantham’s Supper, Mrs. Patmore’s Garden, Lady Grantham’s Banquet, and Daisy’s Dessert Delights. Each table was named for a character in the series, as well – Mary and Matthew, Sybil and Branson. And the Signature Drink was the Lady Edith.
We intertwined satin ribbon with jewels and created hooks to give a more luxury feel to the Chiavari chairs. We searched antique stores in Berlin, MD for all of the photo booth props and accent table decor. The photo booth included pipes, hats, necklaces, tea cups, and gloves. Gold sequin linens were brought in to add a modern twist on this historic theme.
Each sign throughout the venue gave guests a reminder of the show with clever sayings. The stationery was a pink pearlescent with gold print.
Robin, the stunning bride, wore the hair piece that Lady Mary wore in the series on several occasions. Her shoes were shipped from London. The dresses for the bridesmaids were jewel toned and each bridesmaid wore a broach. Guests arrived in time period gowns and tuxedos.
The florals were different for every table – eucalyptus in a bell jar, candelabras, lush florals, candlesticks set in crystal holders. We wrapped the bannister to the rotunda in florals, similar to the show’s own bannister garland on Lady Mary’s wedding day.
The escort cards were on silver serving trays, surrounded by pearls, ladies gloves, perfume bottles and feathers. The scotch bar was written on an antique mirror. The favors were English Tea in small tins. Even the dessert diminutives were presented English style on a tiered silver server.
It was an enchanting night, and truly a Royal Affair.
Lauren and Ben were married at the famous Old Ebbitt Grill, which fit their vision for the big day with a fantastic atrium space, a rooftop with monument views, and in-house catering! Their decor gave a nod to the glamorous historic D.C. location.
The holidays season brings family together and this wedding is the perfect example of that joy — It was almost 18 years ago when Ashley and Devin met for the first time at Hebrew School. Their families had already known one another for years since their parents had attended High School together and went to the same Synagogue…but it was Ashley and Devin who truly brought the two families together.
Now, holidays, events, even family vacations and dinners are shared together by both families. Family is a top priority for Ashley and Devin and Ashley even says that “extending the love and joy to our families and friends” was a main focus for their nuptials at the Mandarin Oriental Washington DC.
Pulling inspiration from the couple’s intense love of nature, serene details like the orchid chuppah, white rose floral wall (both by Edge Flowers) Maggie Austin Cakes petal cake and cascading waterfall brought the outdoors inside at the modern hotel.
The food menu was critical and dinner, as well as the cocktail hour hor dourves reflected the couple’s love for cooking Asian-inspired food together on a typical Tuesday night. The true inspiration for the entire wedding day, says Ashley, was “Ultimate Romance.” Hats off to Michelle Lindsay Photography for capturing the big day!
Melissa and Lou met in Georgetown and call it home, so when it was time to select their wedding venue, a Georgetown location was a must. Dumbarton House offered them the perfect combination of a beautiful garden setting for a relaxed and intimate ceremony and the ability to have dinner under the stars on the terrace. This wedding is truly lovely – certain to start your week off right!