Images: Lawrence Jackson
Thursday. Almost to the end of my first week riding solo with Conrad and other than some extra grey hairs and a bit of sleep deprivation, it wasn’t that bad. I’m not NEARLY as productive as I was hoping to be (this kid eats SO much and SO often … I forgot), but hoping that will come in the next few weeks. I took Evie to a meetup yesterday for incoming PK-3 and PK-4 students at her new school, which she starts in two weeks (I cannot believe this!) and tomorrow we go to the aquarium! Momming SO HARD this week.
But back to the blog: today (late, but still counts!) we have an adorable, intimate DC wedding at Josephine Butler Parks Center, coordinated by our rockstar, Kara. Adorable highschool sweethearts, Avra & Willie, opted for something much simpler and I love how happy everyone looks in these images. More from the couple coming up!
We were high school sweethearts, and Avra’s friends, Maria and Amanda, both take credit for bringing us together. In reality, it was Maria’s idea and Amanda’s execution that made it happen. Since we’d been together since 2004, we weren’t in any particular rush to get married. At the start of 2017 we decided to start saving for a wedding so we’d have some flexibility when we decided it was time, probably in 2018 or 2019. We slowly told our parents and siblings our plan to get married (eventually) and Willie got his Aunt’s sapphire and diamond ring from his mom (which he unceremoniously handed to me at brunch at DGS one day with his parents.) With Avra’s grandparents getting on the older side, we decided to do a small, intimate family wedding in September of 2017 but knew we couldn’t get a big party together in that short timeframe. The September wedding was perfect and lovely and took a lot of pressure off the March 2018 celebration.
Many of our vendor choices were made based on our values, and causes that we believe in. We picked Josephine Butler Park center because we wanted a venue in the city that we grew up in, lived in, worked in, made big life decisions in, and loved! The fact that the fees go to supporting a local organization was a double bonus on top of how beautiful and perfectly located the venue is. We chose Capitol Romance because we appreciated that you were woman owned and stood for equality and openness and alternative/creative options. Same with our rings from Bario Neal – a woman owned and run business that values equality and sustainability!! We picked Timber Pizza because they are delicious and also owned by friends of friends – we wanted to support the local businesses we love, including using Hill Prince on H St. for welcome drinks on Friday! For dessert, we got halvah from Seed + Mill, a female owned and operated small business based out of NYC.
We did all of the flowers ourselves with help from friends which made for a great pre-wedding week activity. (We actually almost didn’t have any flowers due to the winter storm that blew in on Wednesday that week!!) Avra’s dad made the card box from wine boxes and we put the cake topper from Avra’s grandparents wedding cake on it (65 years ago!) Willie and I picked out special and unique whiskeys for our guests to try and picked out specific beers – a nod to some of our favorite things and Willie’s former bartending life. We also had to have Malort (a Chicago spirit – a nod to our time living there) and pickleback shots, because we do them at home every time we accomplish something or celebrate something. And why not?
Since we were already officially / legally married we had two of our best friends do the ceremony, incorporating readings we selected for some of our closest friends, to keep the ceremony very personal. We used the vows we wrote ourselves in September because we love them. We had a chuppah (traditional Jewish wedding canopy) which was made from a shawl Avra’s maternal grandfather’s mother brought with her from Poland in the early 1900s – which Avra’s parents were also married under.
Avra’s grandparents were unable to attend in celebration in March so we had them on FaceTime throughout the ceremony which was a true technological miracle and they were overjoyed to be involved. They loved waving to everyone as the guests exited the ceremony!
We also went for the casual cocktail style dinner reception because we wanted people up and dancing — we didn’t do any of the traditional moments like first dance or cake cutting (Avra hates cake) so we kept it untraditional – like us! We did keep the horah because what is a Jewish wedding without a horah!
Avra’s parents surprised us with m&ms with our faces on them which were hilarious – we still have a huge jar at home.
The band was rocking and we’re all obsessed with them. They put on quite the show! We had Avra’s best friends from high school give a toast because they have known us since the very beginning and have been there for every moment since.
Day-of Coordination: Kara at Capitol Romance | Photographer: Lawrence Jackson | Suit: J. Lindeberg | Dress: BHLDN | Band: Affirmative Groove | Nails: PaintBox | Rings: Bario Neal | Catering: Timber Pizza | Venue: Josephine Butler Parks Center | Dessert: Seed & Mill and M&Ms | Flowers: DIY, purchased from Wegman’s