It’s funny how connections are made sometimes. A year or so after my wedding, my videographer told me he got an inquiry for another wedding in DC that found him, through me (and this was when little ole Capitol Romance was brandy new!). Fast forward and now you have Jen & Brent – the same couple that found Tim through me, are now back on the blog sharing their seriously awesome, video-game infused DC wedding!
Their love story was so awesome, that the Washington Post’s On Love section decided to feature it too (with a few wedding shots). After Tim sent me their wedding video (below) I just knew I had to know more about their awesome, DC wedding and share all their video game wedding details here!
Jenn & Brent’s Offbeat, Video Game Themed Washington DC Wedding
Photography: Nancy Anderson Photography | Videography: Tim Alan Smith | Ceremony: Sixth & I Synagogue | Reception: Clarendon Ballroom | Flowers: DIY through Potomac Wholesale | Cake: A friend
The love story:
Jennifer and Brent tried in vain to get friends to accompany them to a lecture by inventor Ray Kurzweil at Sixth and I Synagogue. So each went alone. Two years later, they were married.
On the bride’s awesome choice of keds:
During the bachelorette party / bridal shower, I had everyone sign my white Keds. I have always had problems when wearing heels, so I wanted the day to be completely comfortable!
The couple loves video games – so the green mushrom 1-up cufflinks were a must for the groomsmen:
We chose green to match the jade engagement ring. I wore my grandmother’s jade necklace and earrings on the day of the wedding.
On having their wedding at Sixth & I – even though neither are Jewish!
The Sixth and I Historic Synagogue in DC’s Chinatown was where we originally met (as you know!) for the documentary screening (titled “Transcendent Man”), and it was also where we got engaged.
Furthermore, it was where we actually got to meet Ray Kurzweil when he came into town for a book signing last November. We waited in line to get our book signed… and to give him a wedding invitation :) It was only appropriate to invite the man who was the reason for our initial meeting.
As we told him our story, the Director of Communications at Sixth and I (Jackie Levanthal) was standing next to him listening. They were both slack jawed as we told them the whole thing. Excitedly, she jumped in and said, “That is the cutest story I have ever heard! You two should get married here!” However, we had already sent out invitations at that point, and were planning on having the ceremony at the Unitarian Universalist (UU) Church of Arlington. We thanked her for her gracious and generous offer. It was such a wonderful feeling to have them share in our excitement.
LOOK at that stunned groom!
Click inside for the rest of Jenn & Brent’s offbeat, video game themed DC wedding – including a TON more details AND their wedding video sneak peak!
As fate would have it, we were not notified of all the construction that would be taking place at the church until a month before the wedding. (Long story!) The invites had already been sent, but we wanted to at least try to find a more aesthetically pleasing location without chain link fences and porta-potties in the half-finished parking lot.
All the other UU churches in the area were booked for the day. We knew it was a long shot, but we decided to write an email to Jackie to see if Sixth and I would be amenable to the idea. She wrote back almost immediately.
We opened the email with bated breath. She said that she wanted to get back to us right away because she knew how tense we must be. She informed us that Sixth and I only performs Jewish or Interfaith weddings, and that she would need to have it approved by one of the rabbis. Unfortunately, the head rabbi was in Israel, and she did not think it was likely.
We were a bit crestfallen, but willing to make the best of it (after all, at the end of the day, we would be MARRIED!). We went ahead with our planning, with our minds set on the UU church.
Then, two days later, Jackie wrote us saying that they had an all-hands staff meeting and she sang our praises to the group, telling them about our story and the special sentiment that Sixth and I held in our hearts. With that, they agreed to allow us to be married there!!
On their DIY bouquets:
We went to Potomac Floral Wholesale for all the flowers, and made the bouquets ourselves to save on costs.
How cute are their little chair escort cards? Jenn said they decided to make them chairs in honor of the fact that they were both passionate about education and education reform!
This might be my favorite detail (next to their alternative bouquet/garter toss ideas coming soon…), instead of a registry, they highlighted 3 charities and a 4th “Jenn & Brent Future Life Together Fund”:
We had QR codes on the displays too. For each of the three charities, the code would link to the organization’s site. For ours, it linked to… a Youtube video of a pig rescuing a drowning goat. Brent picked this because I was born the year of the pig and he was born the year of the goat :)
For their card box, Jenn’s friend made a replica nintendo gamecube!:
An extremely crafty friend of mine (she was also the one who made the cakepops) helped to recreate a Nintendo Gamecube that served as our card receptacle.
Ok now this is awesome too – instead of throwing the bouquet and the garter, they threw a Companion cube and a 1-up mushroom:
I threw a Companion Cube from the video game Portal 2. It was “for LOVE”, so all women, single and married, would be blessed with more love in their lives.
Brent threw a 1-Up Mushroom from Mario Brothers. It was “for LIFE”, so all men, single and married, would be blessed with better health.
Perhaps one of the biggest surprises throughout wedding planning was meeting Ray. We exchanged emails the night of his book signing, and to our surprise, we were pen pals for quite some time! He was incredibly warm, and a TOTAL romantic! He told us the story of how he met his wife, and how he proposed to her.
About two weeks after we met, we received a FedEx package in the mail. It was an inscribed compendium of all his books! We made sure to take a photo with them on the wedding day :)
(this is the pic at the top of this post!)
Even more, about three days before the wedding, he shipped a movie-sized poster of the “Transcendent Man” in a glass frame, complete with a wedding blessing. It was more than we ever expected!
The invites were probably my favorite “craft” for the wedding. We designed it with one of my college roommates who is in her third year of architecture school. We told her that we wanted to try to make a “mad lib” out of the story of how we met.
These were SO fun to read as they were sent back! We got the zaniest, most creative responses from our wedding guests.
At the wedding reception, we displayed our favorite 10 RSVP cards and had the guests vote on their favorite. There were other categories as well, such as “Best Handwriting”, “First Responder”, etc. The prizes were documentaries and cake pops that were made by another friend.
We also scanned every single RSVP card we received and made a book of them using BLURB. We displayed them at the reception so that guests could look up their own RSVP card that they submitted, as well as read others’. We thought it would be a great laugh.
On our very first date, we met at a bookstore and then played Street Fighter 4 because we both love video games. Our favorite game growing up was Street Fighter 2, so the cake toppers were characters from that game. However, a graphic artist friend of ours created this painting for us, which represents the characters we played that fateful night from Street Fighter 4. The irony: I am the green one :)
The cake was baked by my childhood friend, Karynn Lippert. She is an aeronautical engineer who bakes for fun. We could not have asked for a more skilled baker! She also made my veil. Her flight arrived into DC on Friday night around 7PM. She got up at 2AM on Saturday and baked until around noon on Sunday
Congratulations Jenn & Brent! Thank you so much for sharing your seriously awesome, offbeat DC wedding with us! I loved all the video game inspired details! A special thanks to Nancy Anderson for the images.
Click for the awesome wedding video sneak peak from Tim Alan Smith!