Images: Victoria Selman
Romancers! I am still riding high from the amazing DC Wedding Week event on Wednesday, Coffee & Conversations. We had such an amazing panel, and I hopefully served well as MC, as it was my first time moderating such an event! I loved meeting so many new vendors and it was SO refreshing to see such a TRUE representation of the real DC wedding industry scene, in the crowd. We followed that up to an AH-MAZING show at 930 club last night, and thus why this blog post isn’t hitting the blog until LATE Friday, when I had plans of having it up Thursday morning … such is my life this week.
There is a long hot bath in my future tonight, as I gear up for wedding season tomorrow. Thankful for Amanda for helping me out to survive the JBPC stairs ;) Anyway, for today here’s an AWESOME one of our #CapRoWeddings – a winter affair at JBPC, and really the SWEETEST couple with an even sweeter group of family and friends. Thank you for letting me be a part of your day Becky & Todd!
It felt natural for us to plan our wedding in D.C.– it’s where we met and where we’ve started building our lives together.
While Becky is from Tennessee, Todd’s family lives in northern Virginia, so it was still close to home for some of our family. We originally thought of some really creative things we wanted to do — get married on Kingman Island where we had our first date and were engaged (we would have been the first!), in a beer garden, or at the beach bar restaurant near the marina, but those things all ended up being more expensive or less feasible than we’d thought. Also, we wanted to get married in January, which knocked a lot of creative, casual outdoor options out of the running.
We knew we wanted to have a big (for D.C.) wedding, and we really felt like we were running out of options. We visited Church of the Holy City, which was surprisingly affordable and flexible for non-members. We loved the beautiful space–high ceilings, beautiful stained glass, a warm, intimate feel. It instantly felt right to us both. We also loved the idea of having a sacred ceremony in one space and then transitioning to the reception where the party vibe would kick in.
We decided on Church of the Holy City, but we still had to figure out where to have our reception. THEN, we saw the story of a couple who’d gotten married at Josephine Butler (on Cap Romance’s blog!) and had a cocktail style reception. I had never thought of that as an option before, but it just clicked! Todd and I had one of our first really awkward hang outs there (the kind where you’re not sure if it’s a date … swing dancing anybody?!) and that was also the spot that he first introduced me as his girlfriend to his co-workers at a holiday party (it was news to me too, haha!) We loved how close the two spaces were to each other as well.
My friend Madison Hartley (Hart floral) is a florist and she came up with the idea of our main theme which was ginkgo leaves. Becky’s all time favorite color is that a mustard gold, and the leaves, which are ancient — (they pre-date dinosaurs!) and help with memory, seemed like both a beautiful, unique motif as well as a symbol for the commitment that we were making to each other.
We wanted our ceremony to be a central part of the wedding–it was one of the only elements of the day we felt we could modify to our hearts desire without any added cost or huge hassle. We didn’t want to create too much of a distinction in our friends of who was in the wedding and who wasn’t since we felt really close to a lot of people, so we only our siblings stood with us at the alter (Todd’s brothers and Becky’s sister). (One thing we were really glad we did do was have a large rehearsal dinner the night before at Lauriol Plaza to invite a lot of close friends and extended family, then we had an open meet and greet in a room at Mission Dupont so all of our out of town guests could drop by. It was SO nice to see people before the day of and I felt like I got to spend more time with people that way.)
Becky’s nieces were flower girls (the youngest one didn’t quite make it down the aisle), Todd’s uncle played the piano (Ben Fold’s “The Luckiest” for the processional), Becky’s mom and dad walked her down the aisle, our friends Greg Justice and Jodi Lane Bradford sang “Comg Thou Fount” for an opening hymn that the guests could join in on, and Greg, Becky’s sister Katie Hall and Todd’s brother Taylor Grabowsky sung the Wailing Jenny’s “One Voice” during communion after the vows. Amanda Munroe, Becky’s roommate of six years read scripture, and their pastor Matthew Watson officiated. Their friends arrived early to help set up candles and stayed to pass out hand warmers and flags. It really did feel like a community event with so many loved ones coming together to make it happen in the record low temperatures of a bomb cyclone.
Probably the highlight of the ceremony was that I had never seen Todd cry before. I’m quite emotionally free and cry often, so I always gave him a hard time about wanting to see him cry. He basically promised me it wouldn’t happen and told me not to expect it so I wasn’t disappointed. So when I got to the alter (and was, of course, crying) and I saw that he was crying too, it was just the sweetest moment to me. I loved seeing him cry happy tears, I think I was so excited that I pumped my fist in the air!
We also had a few bike details since we sort of bonded over bikes early in our relationship. When we exited the church our guests waved paper flags and rang bike bells.
We really ran with her idea, gathering thousands of ginkgo leaves to press and dry for the bouquets, boutonnieres, the flower girls baskets, and the arrangements over the fireplaces at JBPC. It was fun to have something physical to do during all the planning and now whenever we see ginkgo leaves we’re reminded of our wedding. Madison also foraged other foliage for our wedding including lunaria which she used over the mantles, in table arrangements, and in the flower girl crowns. It was fun to feel like we had some hands-on, unique elements in our wedding.
For table decorations, Todd made 150 wooden photo blocks which we were able to use in our arrangements (they held photos of us together and photos of us as kids) and then we gave them to guests as favors. It’s been so fun to hear that our friends love using them, some people have even asked us if we had leftovers they could take off of our hands! (We did!)
We chose Timber Pizza Co. to cater our wedding because we wanted it to feel casual, and Todd loves pizza, like a lot. We were able to purchase our own alcohol through ACE Beverage and hire Timber’s bartenders to serve it, which saved us money. We had one signature cocktail, a boulevardier, which was delicious and also quite potent. Instead of a cake we opted for Baked & Wired cupcakes which are some of our favorite D.C. treats! We skipped a lot of traditional reception elements like the bouquet toss, but we did have first dances and speeches from our matron of honor and best man. We had a good number of kids there and were able to use a small room for coloring and kids snacks, which we were really glad about. Our DJ, Zach, was the best ever and we were basically able to have an amazing dance party all night long–that was one of our top priorities. He got the dance floor going so well that our guests spontaneously lifted us both up on chairs towards the end of the night in what may be one of the highlights of my life.
Photographer: Victoria Selman | Day of Coordination: Bree at Capitol Romance Wedding Coordination | Venue: Josephine Butler Parks Center | Catering: Timber Pizza Co. | DJ: Zach at Pike Productions | Flowers: Family Friend | Ceremony Venue: Church of the Holy City | Rentals: DC Rental