Capitol Wedding: Tess & Joe’s Offbeat, Dr. Seuss Inspired Virginia Wedding

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  • January 31, 2013

“We are all a little weird and life’s a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love.”  - Dr. Seuss

No truer words have ever been spoken, or I guess in this case, written. I love so much about this Dr. Seuss quote, and so did Tess & Joe. So much so, that they decided to base their entire Northern Virginia wedding upon Dr. Seuss and his quote about mutual weirdness and love. This offbeat wedding feature has a ton of color, fun, love, and CANDY. Just wait until you see their Dr. Seuss inspired candy display!!

A special thanks to the amazing Leo Druker Photography & Two Bright Lights for making this feature possible!

Tess & Joe’s Offbeat and Colorful, Dr. Seuss Inspired Northern Virginia Wedding in Manassas

Other Vendors:

Catering: Helga’s Catering

Cake Designer:  Edibles Incredible

Brooch Bouquets: Always & Forever Brooch Bouquets

Corsages & Boutonnieres: Songs from the Garden Etsy Shop

 How they met:

Joe and I met through a mutual friend. . . of sorts. We were both invited to the same football get-together on Facebook. I love football, so why not? For Joe, my picture on the “invite list” was reason enough to attend. A cute girl who loves football and doesn’t mind hanging out with “the boys?” Must be a keeper. He introduced himself at the party and the rest is history. We began dating a week later, and three years later we were married.

^uh how much do i LOVE Tess’ striped & funky socks?!

The proposal!

Joe’s proposal is quite the story. Being the gentleman that he is, he knew that he would have to ask my parents for their permission for my hand in marriage. The week before Valentine’s Day my mother sent Joe a text with some tips on gifts for me (i.e., my hints). He responded back with a text message stating he needed to talk to my parents about a gift he had planned. (By the way, my mother still has that text message saved on her cell phone.) To keep me out of the loop, my parents came down to our house for a visit. We had been tackling routine homeowner maintenance issues and Joe made me think that there might be “squirrels” in our attic. As my mother and I sat inside talking girl talk, Joe took my Dad outside to “look for squirrels” and at that time asked for my hand in marriage. He told Dad that he had big plans for the next day, Valentine’s Day, for proposing (candlelight dinner, flowers, the works), and was delighted when my Dad told him that he and my Mom were in total agreement.

My parents left an hour later and less than twenty minutes later, on February 13th, Joe came running down the stairs, got down on one knee next to my La-Z-Boy chair and asked me to marry him. He was so excited he did not want to wait another 24 hours to give me my ring. No muss, no fuss, just the two of us. And it was absolutely perfect.

 We decided on an October 2012 date. My Mom and I sat down and while we knew the date dictated Fall, Joe and I were not big fans of orange/yellow/magenta/pumpkins/corn stalk themes. I settled on a “Enchanted Forest” theme and set out to gather ornate antique bronze leaf patterned table lanterns,patchwork pumpkins, moss and felted acorns for table centerpieces. Silk flower bouquet and boutonniere samples were made up in my favorite colors, shades of plum and apple green.

Something was off. I liked the concept but not so much. What really bothered my Mom was Joe saying, “Do whatever you want.” She wanted him to be as enthusiastic about the planning as we were.

 I sat down one evening to search the Internet for wedding vow ideas. Several examples of Dr. Seuss rhyming vows popped up. Taking it one step further, I Googled “Seuss” and “love.” The following appeared:

“We are all a little weird and life’s a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love.”

That was it. This fit Joe and I to a “T.” Joe loved it. With a bit of trepidation I approached my Mom with the idea of a Dr. Seuss wedding. She was thrilled that we had found something we truly felt was “us” and the “Enchanted Forest” disappeared. We hit the books and found that Dr. Seuss’ “Oh, The Places You’ll Go” was a popular springboard for life changing events:

Congratulations !Today is your day. You’re off to Great Places! You’re off and away!A wedding was born.

 Click inside for the rest of Tess & Joe’s amazing, offbeat Dr. Seuss wedding from Leo Druker Photography. You won’t want to miss the bright colors that adorned every corner of the reception venue!

We took the colors of the rainbow path on the book cover (yellow/orange/purple/blue/green/pink) as our wedding colors. We bought yards of ribbon in each color and carried foot long pieces of each color on every vendor visit we made. Eyes would open wide when they asked our colors and we whipped out color samples for them to keep.

The theme grew on its own. All the vendors introduced to it loved the idea and offered great suggestions of their own.

 We had already chosen Union Church at Brentsville Historic Centre for the ceremony. It is a Civil War era church, seating just ninety people and maintained by Prince William County Park Authority. We felt the need to respect the history of the church while giving our guests an idea of what was to come at the reception.

Dried flower heart shaped wreaths hung from the wall sconces on polka dot ribbons while large pink heart wreaths hung on all the doors. The ring bearer pillows were plum and teal with large peacock fathers tied in their bows.

 The fellows chose teal paisley vests with teal striped ties. Their silk boutonnieres were all different types and colors of flowers. (Designed by Etsy shop “Songs from the Garden” who also created the mothers’ wrist corsages.)

The ceremony itself should have been a give away. Despite the requisite Mom and Big Sister tears, laughter took over. How many wedding photos do you see where the groom has his head thrown back in laughter and the bride is looking to one side biting her lip trying not to smile? Rev. Dan Thompson smiled benevolently throughout the ceremony, saying it was meant to be.

 The bridesmaids each wore a gown in their favorite color of the wedding palette. Under all the elegance, they were wearing multicolor striped knee highs with shiny silver Ryka walking shoes (as was the bride). Their bouquets were works of art by Always and Forever Brooch Bouquets of Stafford, Virginia. Each was made of dozens of different pins and brooches, with cubes, buttons, beads and wire spirals popping up to hint of Dr. Seuss.

The guests were all handed ribbon wands for greeting us as we left the ceremony. We hand made dozens of wands, using all the wedding colors and attaching a large bell to the end of each one. We came out to one of our best friends merrily pulling the rope that rang the church bell in the tower and friends and family ringing their own bells. It was a magical afternoon.

 We had always said of the reception that we just wanted to have one big party and party it was; Jim Hester of the Continental Event Center in Manassas, Virginia outdid himself to present the Seuss theme to our guests. While my Mom (and Dad!) spent countless hours rounding up the “components,” Jim created a wonderland.

His ballrooms were transformed. Purple up lighting along the walls and twinkling laser lights dancing across the ceiling. The tables were dressed in an array of colors; green, turquoise, orange and plum. The chair covers were black with hot pink bands.

 Stan Rosen of Ballroom Balloons in Gaithersburg, Maryland created oversize balloon centerpieces for both the cocktail and dinner hours that were simply amazing; again working with his own set of ribbon samples! He was one of the vendors who went above and beyond; he actually wrote up his colors and then called Mom back saying he had been studying the ribbons and thought he could do better, changing the shades just that little bit to be perfect!

  Pillar candle holders for all the tables doubled as table numbers. Each one was a different color with the number block in a contrasting color.

Menu cards were supported by a twisting/turning silver stand that ended in a heart with multicolored beads strung along the post. They were made to spring and rock gently back and forth.

Our cake was decorated with swirls and curves to mimic those on the book cover in all six colors. It was sensational (thanks to Edible Incredibles of Reston, Virginia) and made even more so by the miniature LED spotlight shining down on it that slowly changed colors on a continuous basis.

The candy bar was a Seuss hit. The candy reflected the party colors and giant size candy bars and lollipops held court. Little Seuss characters peeked out from behind candy containers. Guests filled polka dot bags and tied them with pom pom wired closures.

 Above all this, we had exactly what we hoped for, the party to remember. We have been told over and over again by vendors and guests alike they could not recall ever having so much fun at a wedding.

Looking over our amazing wedding photos (thank you, Leo of Leo Druker Photography, last but certainly not least!), we keep asking each other, “WHAT were we laughing at?” For in photo after photo, we are doing just that. . . laughing. Wholeheartedly.

Which just goes to prove that “”We are all a little weird and life’s a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love.”

Congratulations Tess & Joe – thank you so much for sharing all your wonderful details of your offbeat, Dr. Seuss themed Northern Virginia wedding! A special thanks again to Leo Druker Photography for the wonderful images.

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