Geraldine & Michael’s Modern, Gatsby-Themed DC Wedding at the Arts Club of Washington

  • 1
  • February 09, 2017

Images: Snowdrop Photography

It’s hard to pick a favorite thing to talk about in today’s DC wedding. A modern take on the Great Gatsby for their theme, lots of personalization, and DC-themed touches. You know when couples say “we wanted to infuse our personalities into our wedding”, that they’re the perfect fit for Capitol Romance. We’re almost to the weekend Romancers and I know all of you are out there fighting the good fight – so he’s some great escapism for your day ~ love, laughter & rad DC wedding details!

From the photographer: Geraldine and Michael exemplify “cool.”  As a DC-based couple, it was important to them to incorporate their city into their Gatsby-themed wedding.  Ted’s Bulletin poptarts were placed on each guest’s plate, Zombie doughnuts took the place of the wedding cake, and instead of using the Arts Club as the backdrop for photos, they traveled to their favorite DC spots for some gorgeous shots.  Top it off with vintage details throughout, and these two allowed this thrilled planner to bring the 1920’s to DC in the most unique way possible.

From the couple:

When we started the wedding planning process, we had a lot of disparate decor ideas based on our interest in travel and books, but nothing that could be pulled together to make a coherent theme.  We were self-funding our wedding and had recently purchased a home, so venue affordability was key.  We visited more than a dozen venues in person before seeing the Arts Club.  The Arts Club was one of the first places that came up in our online search, but we didn’t like the pictures on their website so we put it at the bottom of our list.  After being disappointed by so many other venues, we decided to give the Arts Club a try on a whim, and we are so glad we did!  It was love at first sight.

The summer before we got married, we attended a wedding during which the priest mispronounced the name of the couple!  We decided then and there to have our wedding co-officiated by people that we know.  We wanted the people standing with us to know us (and how to pronounce our names), so we chose the bride’s sister and the groom’s brother.  The bride’s sister is a great motivational speaker, and the groom’s brother has officiated weddings before.

The bride chose to be walked down the aisle by both parents.  From her perspective, “both parents raised me and made me the person I am, so I wanted them both to have the honor of walking me down the aisle.

We wrote the ceremony ourselves.  The ceremony consisted of a reading by a Middle Eastern poet, the bride and groom reading letters to each other, and personalized vows.

We wanted our wedding and ceremony to reflect who we are as a couple.  We work overseas and wanted to incorporate elements from our time abroad into our wedding.  Instead of ties or bow ties, the groom and his groomsmen wore ascots, inspired by the groom’s time in Uganda and the outfit he wore that earned him “Best Dressed Gentleman” at the Royal Ascot Goat Races.

We’re both history geeks, and the venue’s history as the home of President James Monroe (and site of his inaugural ball) and speakeasy in the basement immediately inspired us to go with a Jazz Age/Great Gatsby theme.

Instead of table numbers, we named each table after writers and playwrights from the 1920s.  The venue and outdoor garden are beautiful on their own so we didn’t need too much in the way of decor, but a few feathers and glitter never hurt anyone :)

The groom designed the drink signs and the dinner menu in Photoshop and used a local shop to print them.  The bride’s gift to the groom was from LoveBook Online, a website you can use to create to make personalized books for loved ones.

For the dessert, it turns out that cake is really expensive, so instead of a cake we decided to have donuts from our (now closed) neighborhood vendor Zombie Donuts.  We got several different kinds, so there was something for everyone.  We even cut into a doughnut with a “Treat Yo Self” topper.

Vendors: Planning, Design and Florals: Alexandra Nesterak | Photographer: Snowdrop Photography | Caterer: Arts Club of Washington | DJ: Robert Gladden | Hair: Rachel Joyce Organic Salon | Makeup: Jennifer Thorpe Beauty | Hotel: Hotel Lombardy | Poptarts: Ted’s Bulletin | Donuts: Zombie Coffee and Donuts

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