Today’s DC wedding feature is making it pretty easy to get back into the swing of blogging post Key West (minus my frozen fingers in this 40 degree weather, it was a balmy 80 in FL!). Josh & Annie wanted a laid-back, fun and local wedding that incorporated three themes: participation, impact, and meaning. I just LOVE that they shared these 3 main focus points as the most important factors in their wedding planning. What did they mean by those three words, well I’ll let them tell you in their own voice:

Participation. We wanted to find ways to involve our friends and family and interests as much as possible. Rather than spend a lot of money, we wanted to use the wedding as a way to re-connect us to people and to spend time doing what we enjoy.

Impact. We wanted to minimize the environmental impact and try to keep it local.

Meaning. It sounds silly to say, but we wanted to make sure the wedding had meaning for us, not just our family or guests.

And boy did they accomplish this beautifully! A special thanks to Knotty Photos for sharing the images and details for Josh & Annie’s Washington DC wedding feature! Enjoy.

Josh & Annie’s Personalized, Local DC Wedding at Josephine Butler Center

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Photography: Knotty Photos | Wedding Coordinator: Margo with Bright Occasions | Venue: Josephine Butler Parks Center | Catering: Rachael with R&R Catering & Chef Richard Webber | Pies: Curvy Mama Pies | Cake: Andrea Mueller | Officiant: Cantor Ellen Schwab | Band: Gina DeSimone & the Moaners | Hair Stylist: Melissa at Trim Salon | Silhouette Artist: Alex with Tiny Paper Portraits | Pinwheels: DIY | Ketubah: Designed by friend | Chuppah: Painted by Michelle Bercovici, Pillars designed by Dave Haffner | Rings: David Vanover, Etsy | Beer: Chocolate City  Brewery

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How they met:

Josh and Annie were introduced by their mutual friend, Danny Marx in 2011. The first encounter was when Josh brought homemade sausage to an informal gathering at Annie’s house. Naturally, Annie responded with joy and suggested that the sausages be beer boiled and fried in bacon grease (stored in her WWII style grease container). Josh was impressed.

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The proposal:

Josh proposed at the Brewers Art in Baltimore. His pre-proposal plans did not go exactly as planned. First, they missed a turn on their kayaking trip on Dundee Creek (outside Baltimore) and ended up paddling for 10 miles instead of the intended 4. Which turned their romantic dinner at Helmond into more of a re-hydration exercise. Then it started to rain. Defeated, we dipped into Annie’s favorite Baltimore bar and found ourselves laughing and having a great time, despite the bad luck. So Josh decided “why not”, leaned over in the barstool (the floor was dirty), took out the ring and popped the question. She said yes. Then they took shots with the bartender.

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The bride & groom’s favorite moments from their wedding day:

Annie’s favorite moment: My favorite moment was probably walking up the stairs together after the ceremony, and walking into the reception room set up, with our friends and family there. The tables were set with the centerpieces we had grown, and the pinwheels I made, and suddenly the product of all of this work was right before us, and it looked amazing. It sounds corny, but it really was how I had pictured it.

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Josh’s favorite moment: I liked it when our officiant forgot to fill the first cup of wine and told Annie and I to “fake it” when taking our first sip. It broke the ice a bit and helped make me feel settled. But my highlight was probably the dancing. After the ceremony was done, I wanted nothing more than to just dance with everyone and enjoy the evening with our closest friends and family there.

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Click inside for the rest of Annie & Josh’s awesome local & personalized Washington DC wedding at the Josephine Butler Parks Center!

On their venue selection:

The event was held as Josephine Butler Park Center, which is run by Washington Parks and People. We loved the venue, and they support other non profits. And Josh likes that they are carbon neutral and purchase clean energy from Clean Currents.

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The ceremony included some special DIY projects:

The Chuppah was painted by Michelle Bercovici. The pillars were designed and constructed by Dave Haffner. It just looked amazing, and it meant so much to know all of the work our friends put into making it. They literally came that morning with hammer and nails and built it on the spot. The Ketubah was designed by their friend Will McHenry and includes their own commitments to each other. Everyone wass invited to sign as witnesses after the ceremony.

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We encouraged folks to donate to the Human Rights Campaigns Wedding Registry. Josh designed the wedding website, on google sites. We tried to avoid “” as much as possible.

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The DIY Projects:

The pinwheels. All together I think 8 different friends helped make them and it probably took more than 20 hours. And they looked so cool. The ball jars were designed by the bride and served as the glass for the evening. The Rings were made by local artist David Vanover, who we found on Etsy. He incorporated metal from several family heirlooms.

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 Margo Fisher with Bright Occasions was our amazing Day of Coordination, and made sure the day ran smoothly and coordinated our friends and vendors while we were busy getting married. She also worked closely with our caterers, R&R catering, who pieced together our food with theirs into a great menu.

Catering included homemade and local foods. The sausage and pate were made from scratch by Richard Webber, good friend and chef at Bibiana in DC. The pickles were made by Danny Marx, the man responsible for introducing Annie and Josh. The beer was from DC’s brewery, Chocolate City Brewery. The pies were made locally by Catherine Gerwertz of Curvy Mama Pies. Rachael Lincoln from R&R Catering helped accommodate a variety of odd requests.

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The centerpieces were a mix of different herbs and were grown by Josh with love and care. Guests are encouraged to take a centerpiece with them at the end of the evening.

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Glasses of wine: The wine glasses that Annie and Josh chose came from Kocise, a town in Slovakia, where Annie’s maternal grandmother is from.

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Silhouettist Alex Vernon added a bit of whimsy and old-timiness to the wedding and everyone marveled at uncanny portraits he could create in just minutes, and gave our guests and amazing memorabilia. One friend called it “the new hipster photo booth”

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Live swing music provided by Gina DeSimone and the Moaners & swing lessons offered by Jay Wilkes and Ashley Raspor after dinner.

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Congratulations Annie & Josh! Thank you for sharing your amazing, local & offbeat DC wedding with us! I loved all your crafty choices and those 3 words that kept you grounded and in-tune with your wedding planning. A special thanks again to Knotty Photos and ALL the amazing DC wedding vendors that made this wedding & feature possible!

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