dc wedding blog

Melanie & Adam’s Romantic, Greenery, & Industrial DC Wedding at Longview Gallery

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Images: Taylor & Ben

There doesn’t seem to be much of a wedding season anymore in Washington, DC. I closed out my 2016 season in December, with this GORGEOUS wedding I am about to drop on you today. And I am gearing up for my first two weddings of 2017, in February (!). Just crazy! But winter weddings have always (maybe not-so-secretly) been some of my favorites to blog and now, work. Winter is romantic to me and the mix of cool temperatures & the industrial design of Longview Gallery, against the greenery & warm glow of candles showcased this perfectly.

Andy & I are headed North tonight for a weekend with family. I’ll be spending Friday off the social media grid as much as I can muster, but look forward to seeing all the videos, pictures, and social media posts from the march on Saturday! My heart, soul & spirit will be with all of you marching in DC. I hope to get to the sister march in Hartford while I am in CT. But for now, back to romance:

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We chose a very natural color scheme that paired well with winter and the coming holiday season – and then added gold (because who doesn’t love that?). The flowers that Sweet Root Village put together were absolutely perfect and were exactly what we had only imagined up to the wedding day.

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Wedding Planning Advice: Tell Your Guests the Right Ceremony Start Time

www.melbeephotography.com

Image: MelBee Photography

It’s been a while since I’ve written a long form blog post with some wedding planning knowledge, as I’ve mostly been including short tips into our monthly newsblasts, however, this one has crept up on me twice this year, and I’ve felt compelled to write a full post on it, because it’s important. So here it goes.

Dear wedding planning couples, do NOT write a time on your wedding invitations, other than the time that you want your wedding ceremony to actually start. The game of “oh but guests will be late” doesn’t work because they will be no matter what time you put. Here are some things to consider: if your wedding invitation says the ceremony starts at 5pm, some of your guests (especially ones that aren’t especially city-friendly) will be sure to leave plenty of time, to be on time. At every single one of my weddings, I have at LEAST one guest show up an hour before the ceremony start.

There are two main issues that come of telling your guests an earlier time on your invitation:

1. The ceremony space might not yet be ready for guests, as industry standard gives vendors 2-hours to load in AND set up your entire wedding space. Vendors need those two hours (which are almost ALWAYS cut short by early guests). Sometimes there is no where for guests to go while we are finishing the ceremony setup – so please don’t have your guests arriving any earlier than they need to be.

2. If you put an earlier time on your invites you will likely have some guests waiting for OVER AN HOUR for your wedding ceremony to start. That is not the best way to kick off your wedding day – especially if there is nothing for guests to do other than sit … and wait ….

Personally, as a day of coordinator, I get heartburn when this happens mostly because of reason 1, and slightly because of reason 2 (I am not happy if the guests aren’t happy ~ and bored, impatient guests are not happy), but there’s another factor for me: it gives my coordination team/brand a bad rep. Guests don’t know you put the wrong time on purpose, so instead guests think: oh this day-of coordinator can’t run things on time. If engaged guests are at your wedding, why would they look to hire the company that can’t get the ceremony to start on time? (They likely won’t).

You’ll be less stressed during wedding planning if you can come to terms early, that you cannot control your wedding guests opinions – so don’t even try. Treat your guests like adults and expect that if they want to get to your wedding ceremony on-time, they will. Believe me, it’ll make us ALL happier in the end.

Aaron & Meghan’s Tidal Basin & Georgetown, Washington DC Engagement Pictures

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Images: Lauren Love Photography

I was a bad blogger last week – I apologize (as always). Commuting to Chantilly daily for a week-long training for the day job was much more exhausting than I had estimated. I hope you guys had a great weekend. I took a train on Saturday to meet my mom in NYC and had a BLAST. We walked to Bryant Park, Grand Central Station, The TREE, and then enjoyed dinner, lots of socio-political conversation, and then, laughed for hours at the Puffs off-broadway play (a must-see for you Potter heads) An amazing day, that was only slightly less than perfect by us missing the last bus to NJ and having to take a not-so-cheap cab ride home!

We’ve got a good week on the blog though, and visiting NYC FINALLY put me in the Christmas spirit (aka time to freak out about shopping and buy ALL THE THINGS). The 12 Days of Deals is still going strong on the shop (don’t forget – a new deal each day!) and we have dear friends visiting us this upcoming weekend. So not too many complaints over here :) Now let’s get the week started with some LOVE, shall we?

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How they met:

Aaron was a young attorney at a law firm in Charleston, West Virginia where Meghan started working as a summer associate. They kept their clandestine office romance a secret until Meghan secured a job with a law firm in Washington, DC.

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How he proposed:

Approximately a year before the proposal, Meghan and Aaron enjoyed a nighttime walking tour of DC’s monuments. Amidst the crowds of tourists and rowdy groups of school children, they were drawn to the peaceful glow of the empty and undersized DC War Memorial. Amazed at their sudden solitude and the picturesque setting, they kissed passionately only to hear dozens of “whoooos!” from a large tour group of teenagers that had somehow quietly made its way to the Memorial. To recreate that special moment, Aaron took Meghan on a guided monument tour that ended at the DC War Memorial where he proposed with several excited tourists looking on.

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John & Stephanie’s Key Bridge and C&O Canal Engagement Pictures in Arlington, VA

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Images: Aimee Custis Photography

It was a productive weekend at the Ryback household. We cleaned, hung, and put away ALL THE THINGS. It was a nice distraction, but I’d be lying if I told you I was anywhere close to being back to pre-election standards. It’s a short week on the blog with the Thanksgiving holiday. Andy & I are headed to NJ (as usual) for the Turkey break, and I am hoping the family time will continue to help to ease the feelings of unrest and anxiety that I am still holding.

Saturday is also Small Business Saturday – my first as an eCommerce Shop Owner. And naturally we plan to celebrate it with a big ole discount in the online #CapRoShop. The orders have been trickling in (and the reviews too!!) and we’d be downright HONORED to have you purchase some holiday gifts from our shop this season. So be sure you are signed up for our #CapRoNewblasts to get Saturday’s 1-day only Small Biz Saturday discount.

For today we have a sweet engagement session & love story — I actually used to go to the gym with the bride to be, many years ago, in Arlington. DC such a small place :) Well they are both active people and so they decided to pick a place that they run near frequently – the Key Bridge. Be sure to check out Stephanie’s ring too – a family heirloom! Happy Monday all.

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6 years ago, Becca asked John and Stephanie, separately, if they’d like to join a relay team.  The team would be comprised of 12 people in 2 vans running 200 miles from Gettysburg, PA to Washington, DC.  Avid runners, they both agreed!

Their first official meeting was at Northside Social in Arlington, where Becca shared the final team name: “American: Odd ‘N Easy.”  Stephanie thought this was hilarious because of it’s play off the name of the relay: American Odyssey.

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When Stephanie found out John was the clever man that came up with the team name, she immediately asked for his number!  It would take him 2 more years from that point to realize Stephanie was pursuing him…Even after countless invitations to play board games to which John always invited a third party…After all, board games are no fun with just two people!

After 4 years of blissful dating, board gaming, traveling, and cooking, Stephanie was persistently and fervently encouraging John to pop the question.  A week before their 4 year anniversary, and Stephanie’s deadline, John finally did just that!

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While cooking dinner one Saturday night, John told Stephanie it would be a good idea to invite some people to share the meal.  Stephanie asked her sister and her sister’s boyfriend (Jill and Binoy) to join them. Jill said Binoy was on a run, but would ask him when he returned. Knowing that Stephanie wanted to celebrate their engagement with Jill and Binoy, John asked, “If Binoy says yes to coming to dinner, do you want me to propose tonight?” To which Stephanie responded, “Sure!” And with that, John got down on one knee and Stephanie sobbed uncontrollably.

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Meg & Erik’s Washington DC Wedding at The Embassy Suites & Maggiano’s

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Images: Michelle VanTine Photography

Oh there is SO much to love from today’s real Washington DC wedding brought to us by the lovely Simply Breathe Events & Michelle VanTine Photography. A modern ceremony & reception setting with the most gorgeous shade of purple for their color palette and decor. But really, what gets me the most here is the story behind this wedding & couple: Tiffany shared that working with them was like working with your 2 closest friends; they love DC and wanted to incorporate that into the wedding, as well as, honor their family members every way they could. You guys will love this one.

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From bride, Meg:

We are both from the DC area, and really wanted to incorporate our love of DC into our wedding. I grew up in Germantown, MD while my husband grew up in Chevy Chase DC, so we felt having a metro theme was totally appropriate! We named our tables after various metro stops that had meaning to us (i.e. Cleveland Park was where I lived when I first moved to DC, my husband went to school at U of Md, and my father used to work near the Farragut North metro station) We provided explanatory notes to showcase why we chose each metro stop. We also chose to use replica paper fare cards as our place cards to tie everything together!

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We chose to have our wedding in Friendship Heights because it had a lot of meaning for us. My husband used to live there, so we spent quite a bit of time in that area (and at Maggiano’s!) going on dates and just hanging out. We wanted a venue that was easily accessible for both our friends who lived in the city and our relatives who traveled from as far as Alaska, and we felt that the Embassy Suites and Maggiano’s were the perfect combination!

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Our guests could park their cars and walk to the ceremony, and if they wanted to explore the city, hop on the metro. Our ceremony space at Embassy Suites spoke to us because we loved the openness and brightness of the space. It felt like we were outside even though we were indoors! I was way too type A to have an outdoor ceremony and Embassy Suites was the perfect compromise! We chose Maggiano’s because we LOVED their food and knew they would provide us with quality food at a reasonable price, even when making the food for 135 people. Turns out we chose right- our guests raved about the food all night and the next day!

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I chose Calla Lillies for my bouquet and my bridesmaid’s bouquets because they were my mother’s favorite flower. My mother passed away in December 2011, and I felt the Calla Lillies were a lovely, yet subtle, way to pay tribute to her.

One of my good friends had two charms made for me to hang on my bouquet- one with a picture of my mom and one with a picture of my dad. It was like they were able to walk down the aisle with me even though they couldn’t be there. It meant so much that she did that- it was such an incredibly amazing gesture.

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Both of my parents had passed away and instead of walking down the aisle by myself, I asked my best friend Colin to walk me down the aisle. Having Colin walk me down the aisle was special in so many ways- not only is he my best friend (and basically my brother at this point), but my husband and I met thanks to Colin (and Colin’s older brother). My husband’s best friend is Colin’s older brother, and Colin, his older brother, and myself all went to college together.

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CLICK INSIDE FOR THE REST OF MEG & ERIK’S MODERN DC THEMED WEDDING

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