Every time I open WordPress to get one of these prepped blog posts published, I can’t seem to get it across the finish line. I don’t know what is wrong with me! Yes yes yes it’s busy over here, I am likely suffering from burnout, I’ve been a bit too addicted to the misery of my Twitter feed lately, but MAN there’s some gorgeous DC wedding goodness just sitting in my queue and I’ve been depriving you all and for that, I am sorry. But for today I’m pumped to share this SUPER awesome DC wedding from this rad DC couple. (we featured Susannah & David’s record shop engagement over here). Hope everyone is enjoying this beautiful summer day in DC and I’ll hopefully be back with another blog soon!
Although we now live in Munich, it was important that our families and friends be able to attend. Weddings are MUCH cheaper in Germany, but many of our dearest people wouldn’t have been able to attend. So, the aim was to plan a DC wedding on a budget that emphasized FOOD, great pics, and a relaxed atmosphere. We wanted to actually be able to have full conversations with all of our guests–we miss them! Planning from timezones away was not fun, but hiring Capitol Romance helped so much on that front.
We settled on a restaurant wedding for simplicity’s sake: venue, food, booze, decor all taken care of! Republic in Takoma Park was the perfect venue: fit our budget, food was DROP DEAD SCRUMPTIOUS (we sent Susannah’s parents and some friends to test it out, but we had eaten at their sister restaurants before we moved out of the area), it was really attractively decorated, and, again, DELICIOUS FOOD. Their event staff, Katherine especially, knew what was needed and understood the vibe of our wedding. We left a bunch of things up to her, and all her decisions were spot-on. Having the ceremony and reception in the same space made for a really cozy, intimate wedding.
Eventually, we settled on “autumn” as our colors/theme/etc. We set our friends to buy pumpkins and warty gourds for decor accents and table numbers. Our florist provided two massive arrangements and then bud vases with rosemary and greens for the tables, in addition to the personal flowers. Butcher paper was wrapped around the tables kids would be sitting at, and crayons provided for everyone. The kids got a little goody bag too: the babies got new chewable links, and the older kids got a whoopee cushion and Legos. The whoopee cushions were a HIT with everyone, kiddos and adults.
Our glorious cake was made by our good friends Sylvia & Judy! David and I made nerdy science cakes with them (all NASA colleagues of his) for years, and then we together made Judy’s wedding cake a couple years ago. So now it’s a pact that we all make each other’s wedding cakes! This one was a bottom layer of chocolate cake with creme patisserie, middle layer was pumpkin cake with a maple bourbon buttercream and candied pecans, and the top layer was lemon cake with lemon curd. It was so beautiful and so exactly-what-we-wanted that I burst into tears when I saw it. Sylvia made that adorable chocolate portrait of us. Judy decided, the week before, to learn how to make sugar flowers, and made those ranunculus on the cake–not real! Ahhh the talent of our friends!!
Our wedding day coincided with our good friend Jeremy’s 40th birthday, so of course we had to embarrass him in public. After we cut our cake, Judy brought out a teeny cake for him, with another tiny chocolate portrait. We all sang, and he was delighted and embarrassed and it was great.
Our ceremony was totally us. We had no wedding party and walked down the aisle together. Our officiant, Sylvia, is a super good friend of ours and, coincidentally, also lives in Germany. She wrote the most perfect, emotional, silly ceremony. It was beyond what we could have ever expected. We’re both uncomfortable with public emotion (David is the most WASP), and Sylvia managed to bring it out, and then make us laugh in the next moment. I’d also told her I was wearing a floral crown, so she created the most over-the-top Michael’s-craft creation as her Officiant Crown. It was fabulous and ridiculous.
My dress. Good lord my dress. So I am terrible at heels, and I love pockets. I’m also a woman size 16, and like wearing a bra with straps, and do not love a floofy princess dress. They are not me. Dress shopping was not great. So after going to a few salons with my mother, and friend, Amelia, in the US during a visit, I tried the German salons. Eek. So I found the most amazing dress designer on Etsy, located in Romania, Crista Petre. This dress was everything I wanted and hoped for. It was comfortable. It was dramatic, but still practical. It was billowy but substantial. I felt glamorous. The pockets were SO deep I could keep my cell phone/lipstick in one and my wallet in the other. The quality was SUPERB. I contacted Cristina over the summer and had my dress by Sept for my Nov wedding. I loved the shape of her black high-low dress, but I wanted it in white. Cristina took so much effort in sending photos of LOTS of different ivory fabrics, and videos of how they shone and the texture. Later, she did test paint swatches in a variety of blushes, taupes, golds, etc. Finally, she had the idea of blue and it was exactly what I didn’t know I wanted.
David wore a beautifully tailored suit in a rich blue that we got in Munich. He also wanted to be comfortable on his wedding day, so no tie. Instead he wore a richly textured shirt with a patterned inner collar–it was a way cool touch – coordinating pocket square, and then a lush boutonniere.
I also wore the most magnificent autumnal crown. I’ve had short hair 98% of my life, and I wasn’t about to grow it for my wedding. So I hired GlamSquad to give it some curl and volume, and the crown was the accessory. Full of berries and rosemary, it made me so happy to wear it. I wore it on Sunday too, because why not. :P
The one DIY project we did was the Lebenkuchen we made as favors. We did want to bring a bit of Munich with us, so we made 80 gingerbread cookies, and then iced them with each guest’s name. It was a really fun project and we took over our friends, Donna & Jeremy’s, kitchen for a week.
The food was magnificent. It was a brunch-time wedding, so we had coffee, donuts, pastries, bloody Marys, and hot cider with booze additions when everyone arrived, and then after the ceremony there was a ridiculous charcuterie spread. Plus passed appetizers of steamed pork buns, dumplings, oysters (David’s favorite), and fruit. Then came the actual brunch? UGH it was so good. We did family style, which was better for conversation. We had a bunch of food restrictions, so having the wedding at a restaurant was great because all of the servers knew the menu intimately and can tell people what is and is not safe for them. The chef helped us reimagine a few dishes to remove allergens and everything was scrumptious.
Ceremony & Reception Venue: Republic | Photographer: Ashlee Wilcox Photography | Getting Ready Location: The Line Day-of Coordinator: Kara, Capitol Romance | Flowers: Rocking Bird Flower Co. | Dress: CristaPetra | Cake: Friends, Fermi Cake Squad | Hair & Makeup: GlamSquad