We have a gorgeous fall wedding to share that took place at the Rock Creek Mansion in Bethesda, Maryland. This Maryland wedding venue is perfect for those looking for a small or intimate venue!

Cat & John got married here with a perfect fall foliage color palette and some really special details. Thanks to Washington, DC wedding photographer, ZADesignz for sharing these images [submitted via Two Bright Lights].

Cat & John’s Intimate Fall Wedding in Bethesda, MD

How Cat & Jon met:

We met through mutual friends at various gatherings that they hosted.  Finally after [Jon] Facebooked me, we became friends, and were inseparable after our first date! :)

in love with the fact that Cat wore Blowfish shoes for her wedding flats ~ these shoes complete my life [they are INSANELY comfy]. if you don’t own a pair … you need to buy some STAT – and they can even be bought at DSW!

How John proposed to Cat:

On Saturday August 14th, John and I attended a friend’s BBQ party. As usual i was goofing around and made a bet with John, he asked me what was at stake, and I said ‘Diamonds’, of course jokingly. He accepted the challenge, and of course I won!

The next day, having completely forgotten about our bet, we went on a scheduled house tour with our real estate agent. At the end of a very long day, we crashed on the couch, and I suddenly remembered about the bet the previous evening, and asked John where my diamonds were? He said “well funny enough (and pulled out a black box) I’ve been wanting to give this to you for awhile” he opened the box, and there was the diamond ring, and he asked “Will you be my wife?”

I calmly answered yes, and was in utter shock. He exclaimed that he thought i would have been screaming and jumping for joy and urged me to call everyone i knew – but i wanted to enjoy the moment with my love!


Cat shares why they chose the orange & red color palette for their wedding:

John and I’s favorite color is orange, and one of the most complimentary colors is deep red. Two very passionate and engaging colors. This suited us well since we elected to get married on September 10, 2011 (09/10/11).

 Click inside for the rest of this intimate fall wedding in Bethesda, Maryland

On selecting the wedding ceremony venue:

We chose a traditional Catholic wedding because both of our families are Catholic, and wanted to select a parish where we could start building into the community.

 Cat shares their wedding party selection:

I was the first of my five sisters ( six girls in the family, no brothers!!!). So when I got engaged, there was no real choice as to who my bridesmaids would be – they all volunteered for the position. I have two older sisters, the second sister got engaged just a little over a month after I had. She originally scheduled to have her wedding in the beginning of next year 2012.

After time went on she elected to move her wedding to august 13, exactly 4 weeks before mine! I had doubts about her ability to help me with my own wedding (at least emotionally – since we all know it can be a very emotionally draining process) with things such as details and comfort… but thank goodness everything worked itself out, and was still very happy to have her as my maid of honor at my wedding…

^ 6 girls in one family! Sheesh!!


Zareth, their photographer, actually helped them design their invitations too! Certainly one way to save some money – would be to have your vendors wear multiple hats [if they can/are willing of course!]:

The invitations were designed by myself and Zareth. We wanted a unique feel to our invitations, and loved the falling leaf and swirls concept (since our colors were orange and red, it played well into a ‘fall’ themed wedding). She put out a fantastic product, despite my inability to always communicate exactly what I wanted.

Once the invitations, RSVP, and directions card were created, they were sent off for print, where we then pieced them together into the format that we were envisioning. We had pocketfold invitations. I highly recommend to have a photographer who is both artistic and highly competent in Photoshop!


Why they chose Rock Creek Mansion for their wedding venue & some advice on hiring a day-of planner:

We chose our venue because in the area it is difficult to find a space that has both indoor and outdoor options, as well as being affordable, and accommodating. The fee included someone to help organize the details of the day, Tables and Chairs, and for a small fee, a day-of-planner.

Our Day-of Planner is my highest recommendation to any bride – she was affordable, enthusiastic, thoughtful and diligent. Given that our budget was around $15,000, places like the Strathmore were out! We were anticipating 80 guests.


This is one of my favorite details from Cat & John’s wedding ~ DIY Smores Favors as their wedding favors!

For our wedding [favor] we elected to have ready to make” s’mores in a box”. Of course ordering them online could be easier… but on the hunt I went to get the best deal possible. I found square see through boxes that I ordered directly from China with very cute orange and red ribbon to tie off the box (I did that for my veil too – cost me $40, as opposed to $300 that David’s bridal wanted!!!).

The day before the wedding we created a process line, with a few of my sisters, my new brother-in-law and put the s’mores together.

They totally look professionally made, don’t they?

Cat & John shared their family heritage by the food selections at the reception:

John’s family background is Cuban/Slovakian. We had that as our appetizers, and then French food as our buffet menu (I’m Franco-American).

This is such an awesome way to infuse your family’s history or heritage into your wedding day!

Cat’s final thoughts on how to stay budget-conscious with your wedding:

There were a lot of budget cuts, and we found fantastic vendors that would work in our budget. I still had roses at every table, and in my bouquet. It’s all do-able, you just have to realize that you’ll put more effort in to find the right vendor.

Congratulations Cat & John ~ and thank you for sharing your beautiful, intimate fall Maryland  wedding with us! Thank you again to Zareth of ZADesignz & Two Bright Lights for sharing the images!



Reception Venue:  Rock Creek Mansion
Invitation Designer:  ZADesignz
Dress Store:  David’s Bridal
Bridesmaid Dresses:  Alfred Angelo

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