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Images: Vness Photography | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

Today we have an awesome, modern Washington DC wedding feature for you thanks to Vness Photography! Dana and Bart met through a mutual friend at a roller derby match (love) and decided pretty early on that they wanted to have their wedding reception at a restaurant to help make planning easier. When it came time to pick the place, Logan Tavern seemed to make the perfect place as they actually had their very first date there too! Check out all the fun details from this intimate, modern DC wedding below!

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From the couple?

Overall, we tried to keep things really simple, but meaningful, and focus on the guest experience.  For example, we hunted for small glass vases and candle holders at thrift stores and used those for our centerpieces, just sticking some sea glass, flowers, or candles in each one.  We also used wine corks I already had to hold the table seating cards – we tried to incorporate meaningful wine corks where possible, like giving my grandparents’ table a cork from Oliver Winery (Bloomington, IN) because that’s their last name.

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We both love color, but didn’t feel too strongly about which colors (or sticking to any in particular) until my maid of honor found that great blue and green dress she and my sisters wore.  That settled it!  I mean, how great are those dresses?!  It didn’t hurt that my favorite color is green and Bart’s is blue, so everything just sort of fell into place.

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We decided to do our first look photos at the Kennedy Center and then to take bridal party photos at the Jefferson and Lincoln Memorials because we wanted some classic DC wedding photos!  We loved using the Kennedy Center’s terrace because no one else was out there (didn’t hurt that it was cold and cloudy that day…) and we got some fantastic photos.  We love how the contrast between the concrete terrace, the metal railings, and the lush greenery really comes through in our photos.

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Click inside for the rest of this adorable, low key Washington, DC wedding!

The Proposal:

Simple, but romantic. Bart came over early to make dinner at my apartment because we had to get up early the next day to drive to Rochester for my mom’s birthday party. He also opened a bottle of wine he brought back from his recent travels to Argentina. I got home from work and apparently he was anxiously waiting all evening for me to use the bathroom so he could plug in the white lights he had set up on the “balcony” (read: fire escape) of my apartment and get everything ready. When I finally stepped away from dinner for a few minutes, he ran out to set everything up and when I came out, I found him standing out there with flowers and a present for me! He had framed the ticket from that first roller derby match and had written “Will you marry me?” on the back. Bart proposed there because I told him a while ago that’s where I first knew I loved him – when we were first dating, we would sit out there on warm nights and talk for hours. Of course I said yes!

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We’re big on equality and not doing things solely for tradition’s sake, so that resulted in a couple offbeat/nontraditional details for us.  We both walked down the aisle with our parents, more as a symbol of moving from one stage in our lives to another, with the support of our families, rather than anyone “giving” anyone away.  Bart also had his sister stand up on his side because they are very close.  We are also in the middle of the long, drawn-out legal process of combining our previous last names to make a new last name!

We were also able to incorporate an Islamic marriage rite into our Catholic ceremony by having our parents come up to the altar to sign a nikkah, a Muslim marriage certificate.

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Bart and I planned our wedding in 6 months, which seemed to take forever to us, but is a pretty short timeline by modern wedding planning standards so many of the more traditional wedding venues we initially checked with were already booked for every Saturday in 2015!  I think that was for the best in the end because we really wanted something unique in downtown DC that wouldn’t break the bank and we were eventually sold on having it in a restaurant.

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The idea of hosting our reception in a restaurant appealed to us for a number of reasons: once you book a restaurant, you don’t have to make lots of little decisions about tables, chairs, flatware, catering, decorations, etc. – a restaurant comes with all that built in!  You also know that the food will be great and our guests would get to choose their dinner and dessert selections from a limited menu, more like an actual restaurant experience than having to decide on their meal weeks in advance.

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We chose Logan Tavern for all these reasons, but also because it had special meaning to us as the location of our first date :)  We were SO GLAD we chose Logan Tavern because they were fantastic to work with and Andy Phan helped us pull off an amazing reception that we continue to hear good things about from our friends and family.

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Given that I can be fairly crafty and we wanted to keep our budget down, I tried to DIY as many elements of our wedding as possible.  So here goes:

  • Basically anything paper at our wedding was my creation.  I designed and printed the invitations on colored card stock paper, then stamped and embossed them to add a little flair.  I did essentially the same process for our rehearsal dinner invites, signs at the church and at the reception, table seating cards, the wedding programs, and the nikkah.
  • I also made a couple elements of my attire because I couldn’t handle the exorbitant costs of anything a bride wears!  I made the beaded sash I wore around my waist with a combination of ribbon, beads, sewing, and gluing.  I also made the veil that I wore during the ceremony.  Both projects weren’t too hard, just very time-consuming because I did a ton of research, read a lot of online tutorials, and then spent hours hunched over fabric, lace, and ribbon!
  • I designed the guys’ peacock boutonnieres based on something I saw on etsy and loved because it matched our color scheme and looked super fun.  Again, I balked at the $11/boutonniere price tag and thought “I can make that for less!”  So I did.  And I made Bart’s sister a matching hair clip to boot.
  • Finally, I also made our cake.  I have a ton of dietary restrictions, so I knew picking out a cake that I could eat without getting sick would be a complicated process.  Then it dawned on us – by doing a seated meal at Logan Tavern, our guests had a menu of entrees and desserts to choose from, so no one would even have room for wedding cake at the end of the night!  I decided to make a small, simple cutting cake that I could eat and it worked great.  I also made the cake stand by super gluing together a pretty plate we found at a thrift store and the base was a candleholder.

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1 comment

  1. This is amazing! How did you find a church that would marry a catholic and muslim? That’s the problem we’re trying to work out now!

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