In the fall we shared Marie & Alex’s AWESOMELY nontraditional DC wedding reception party at Policy and now we are super pumped to get to share their beautiful DC wedding ceremony at the Katzen Arts Center (at American University) thanks to The Plannery & Roman Grinev Photography. Similar to their awesome reception, Marie & Alex did things their way – keeping their vendors local and making decisions based on importance to them. Marie shared, “We focused on the details that mattered to us, and both loved how things turned out. ” Amen sister!

Alex & Marie’s Modern, Nontraditional DC Wedding Ceremony at Katzen Arts Center

offbeat dc wedding ceremony katzen arts center


Photographer: Roman Grinev Photography | Wedding Planner: The Plannery | Venue: Katzen Arts Center | Officiant: Rev. Julie Price | Cake Topper: The Bride’s Parents | Dried Bouquet: New Hampshire Woods Creation on Etsy | Bride’s Dress: Purchased through The Brides’s Project

second hand wedding dress bride's project offbeat dc wedding ceremony katzen arts center

On their modern DC venue choice:

Katzen is an AMAZING venue – if you are flexible (it’s only available mid-May through mid-August and you can’t book until January), it’s a beautiful space and the folks there are great to work with.

hughes0158 dried flower wedding bouquet

On doing something nontraditional for their DC wedding:

None of the other traditions were particularly important to us, and we figured with a short afternoon, the fewer “traditional” wedding reception things we did, the more time we could spend with our guests!

hughes0077 offbeat dc wedding ceremony katzen arts center

Rev. Julie Price was a wonderful officiant. She helped us write our own ceremony and it was perfect – beautiful, personal, and a great representation of what we want our marriage to be.

Click inside for the rest of Marie & Alex’s super awesome, nontraditional DC wedding!

offbeat dc wedding ceremony katzen arts center

offbeat dc wedding ceremony katzen arts center offbeat dc wedding ceremony katzen arts center

Immediately after the ceremony was over, we did some quick photos with our family while some friends helped Katie move the chairs out and bring in tables/high boys. In order to signal the transition from the room flip/photo time to opening the dessert buffet, my brother gave a toast and we cut the cake.

In LOVE with these bridesmaids in mismatched royal blue & teal!

mismatched blue teal bridesmaids dresses dry flower wedding bouquets

On keeping things simple and focused on what was truly important:

I am very grateful for my husband’s obsession with opportunity cost and focus on what was really important to us. When we first started planning I went a little off the deep end with DIY decoration ideas, and then thought I could bake a lot of the desserts – all to save money and still have one of those picture perfect weddings. He brought me back to what was really important to us – friends, family, fun – and pointed out that sometimes taking on all the work yourself ultimately costs more than buying some of these items when you consider how much time (and sanity!) they require.

We ended up buying all the food, scrapping a ton of crafts (including a complicated paper lantern contraption we were trying to build for the atrium), and only making the ribbon wands — and I am so grateful. I respect that some people cherish the hours they spent crafting for their wedding and value those little details, but for us, it was worth it to let those things go. Replacing a lot of small details with the balloons ended up being amazing (and kept the flower girl occupied during the ceremony)!

offbeat dc wedding ceremony katzen arts center offbeat dc wedding ceremony katzen arts center

The best part of the offbeat wedding day?

The best part for us still remains the time we got to spend together in between events. We had a romantic first dinner at home, eating Taylor Gourmet sandwiches in our bathrobes before heading to the party. It was so great to relax and reflect together before continuing the celebration!

offbeat dc wedding ceremony katzen arts center

Our wedding day was on my parent’s 40th wedding anniversary, so we did a toast to them as well. The wedding cake topper was used both by my parents AND my grandparents, so it was a special way to bring it all together.

The cupcakes, cookies, treats, hummus and veggie plates, and pies all came from various DC vendors (including Dangerously Delicious Pies, Cava, and Hello Cupcake).

offbeat dc wedding ceremony katzen arts center

We did the send off as a way to signal the end of the reception, since that’s traditionally done by the band/DJ. It also got everyone out of the building so we could sneak back in and do our couples pictures.

offbeat dc wedding ceremony katzen arts center offbeat dc wedding ceremony katzen arts center

Congratulations Marie & Alex! Thank you for sharing all the details of your awesome, nontraditional DC wedding with us! A special thanks again  to The Plannery & Roman Grinev Photography for sharing their images and details with us today.

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  1. Is the woman on the stairs in the black dress sign interpreting the ceremony? I’ve had clients ask the best place to have the interpreter – might need to show them this pic!

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