There is so much to love about today’s Glen Echo Park wedding feature that I am not exactly sure where to start. One of the brides shares my alma mater [we are!], the reception venue was one of my favorite [Glen Echo Park], the brides were Capitol Romance readers that used my blog to help plan their wedding, AND they are friends with my neighbors! Not to mention that their wedding was seriously kick-ass. I mean, seriously.
Can we just be friends now Rosie & Rachel ?!? ;)
I cannot thank Erin of eKate Photography enough for submitting this awesome Maryland wedding, AND to Rosie & Rachel for all the awesome details. There are a TON of deets below, but as Rosie said herself, “it’s impossible to sum up the best day of your life succinctly!”.
Rosie & Rachel’s Modern & Bright Glen Echo Park MD Wedding
About the beautiful brides:
After being competitors on the rugby pitch all throughout college (Rosie at Penn State and Rachel at Virginia) we finally met in person while playing on an all-star team the summer after we graduated. We hit it off immediately and after a few short months we were inseparable.
The engagement story:
Rachel popped the question on the 4th of July in 2011 when we were vacationing in Wrightsville Beach, NC with some friends. She knew that I loved fireworks, so figured why not do it on the 4th when the display was free! She totally took me by surprise since Rachel had previously joked that we would only get engaged when we both asked each other at the same time!
As I was distracted ooh-ing and aah-ing over the display she got down on one knee in the sand and when I turned around she asked the question.
^love that they coordinated their toe nail polish with eachother’s shoes. Ah-mazing.
I was so surprised I started jumping up and down screaming ‘are you serious???’ because I had to make sure! When she laughed yes, I of course said yes, and by this time the tears of joy were flowing. As we walked back to our group of friends I remembered our previous agreement and immediately got down on my knee to propose to her too! It was probably unnecessary, but hey, rules are rules!
On choosing the awesomest DC area wedding venue:
We chose to get married in D.C. because for one, it’s legal here (yay!) and it’s halfway between Rachel’s family in Atlanta and my family in Rhode Island. We wanted a venue that was fun and unique and Glen Echo Park totally fit that bill (former amusement park turned arts & cultural center, nature park, and dance hall!) We decided to use the Bumper Car Pavilion and when we found out you could rent the carousel as well, we were sold.
^how fun and awesome are their wedding invitations?! love the Washington DC map information card & the little bird motif!
Decorating was a family affair, with lots of DIY!
My mom created Ball-jar flower holders that had the dual-use of lining the aisle during our ceremony and then being used as centerpieces at the reception.
For the ceremony we wanted to stick to a fairly traditional style, but with personal touches interwoven. We had a slightly non-traditional ceremony under a chuppa (made by Rosie’s dad) that incorporated Jewish (Rachel) & Catholic (Rosie) traditions like breaking the glass as well as non-religious readings from ee cummings and Antoine de Saint Exupery by our sisters.
Our officiant was Louise Greene from All Souls Unitarian Church in D.C. and she was amazing and truly captured our story and personalities in the ceremony!
Click inside for the rest of Rosie & Rachel’s ah-mazing colorful Glen Echo Park, MD wedding from eKate Photography. Including a TON of DIY details at the reception!
We both wrote our own vows which we didn’t share until the wedding and that was definitely the most touching and memorable part. I couldn’t believe how many things we had in common in our vows, which only speaks to how perfectly matched we are!
A great surprise to us was at the end of the ceremony when we were pronounced wife & wife, best friends for life (a saying Rachel thought of) and went in for the kiss, our brothers rang strings of bells which my father had secretly hung up on the chuppa. (one of our invite responses was ‘be there with bells on’, which my dad apparently took literally) Having these beautiful bells tinkling around us as we were surrounded by all our loving friends and family was truly a magical and hilarious experience!
We have amazing friends and family and definitely leaned on them to help us out with our big day! To decorate the pavilion our sisters made 100s of simple and colorful tissue-paper flowers.
Our wedding was on August 4th, 2012 so we wanted to go with a fun, bright, summer feel. Since we couldn’t decide on only a couple of official ‘colors’ we thought why not use ’em all. So we had a rainbow-colored wedding party, with sunglasses to match for pics! And all of our decorations were multicolored and fun!
We were also lucky to have lots of “friendsourcing” for many of our vendors. The DJ was a friend of a friend, our cup-cake baker was a neighbor and teammate, the photographer was a former teammate, and our florist was Rachel’s sister-in-law, which gave it a more intimate feel. And tons of friends & family gathered the morning of the wedding to help us set-up and decorate the venue.
After the ceremony we went immediately to the carousel to have a first-ride instead of a first dance.
Beer from our favorite places (hometowns, college towns, and DC) and map signs to represent them:
On keeping their DIY projects in check [I give my couples the SAME advice about coming up with a logo/motif!].
We incorporated tons of DIY projects for our wedding. A recent co-worker who had gotten married gave me the awesome advice of coming up with a brand or logo for your wedding because you can use that in all your different materials. We did just that and we were able to use it not only on the invites but also on the program, signs pointing the way to the wedding, and the many other crazy events we had during our reception.
Another party activity: vote for our new last name since D.C. is a politico town!
Put a pin on the map to show where you came to the wedding from (we had college friends from as far away as Singapore, Peru, and Egypt)
Later in the reception we had our unofficial first dance to Katy Perry’s Fireworks (as a tribute to 4th of July engagement), which we started slow & then went crazy and had friends join in.
So many people have said that the wedding was ‘so us’ which is probably the highest compliment we could be paid. While the DIY crafts were time consuming, it was so worth the effort to have the day we both imagined and to feel so connected to every step and part.
People don’t lie when they say your wedding will fly by, and it’s so nice to reflect back on the entire process building up to the wedding and to see pieces of both of us in every choice we made.
And so ends one of my favorite wedding features of ALL TIME (yes, since starting this blog). There were SO many elements of Rosie & Rachel’s wedding & writeup that seriously have come verbatim from my mouth [the biggest compliment of our wedding being ‘so us’, the DIY projects being worth it, the important/best part of writing your own vows, and I could go on ….] about our own wedding. But really I think I just love how much this wedding reflected the couple and how true to their personalities they stayed.
Congratulations Rosie & Rachel – thank you both so much for taking the time to share all the details of your amazing Glen Echo Park MD wedding with us! A special thanks again to eKate Photography & Two Bright Lights for making this Maryland wedding feature possible!
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