Images: Sarah Gormley Photography

Happy Valentine’s Day! I’m not one to normally make a big deal out of Valentine’s Day, but with my parents in town, Justin and I are taking advantage of having babysitters, and we’re heading out to dinner. I think the last time we went out, just the two of us, was for our anniversary back in July, also when my parents were visiting.

Today’s wedding takes me back to my pre-baby days, though I was 8 months pregnant. It was a crazy day – I had dropped Justin off in Annapolis for a bachelor party, came home to change, lost my phone, coordinated Matt & Erin’s wedding (without a hitch), located my phone, which had been picked up by an honest teenager, picked up Justin in Annapolis, and then we went to retrieve my phone. Suffice it to say, I was like a duck that day – calm and cool on the surface, but my wheels were spinning inside. Enough about all my drama that day though. Let’s check out Matt & Erin’s stunning wedding!

The year we got engaged, Matt and I went to 6 weddings. When we started planning, we sat down to think about what we remembered and enjoyed from each of them. It’s very easy to get caught up in every detail while planning, and we wanted to know from the beginning which pieces we’d care about and which we could let go. Ultimately, it was important to us that our guests (many of whom were traveling) could get a window into our life together in DC, while relaxing together and enjoying a fun party.

We chose DC because it cut down on at least one logistical hurdle, which was that Erin refused to travel for her own wedding. Matt’s family is native to the region, many of our friends are nearby, and it made for an exciting destination for everyone else. Also, the expected weather was compatible with our preferred late-spring date.

We got engaged and started planning the wedding pretty soon after moving to DC, so finding a venue for our ceremony was also about finding a church for ourselves in general. Holy Trinity appealed to us because of how connected to the DC community they are, and how much they focus on social justice initiatives. It felt like the right place to make our commitments about how we wanted to spend our lives together.

River Farm is a stunning venue in Alexandria with tons of gardens, a meadow leading down to the Potomac, and lots of trees. It’s almost hard to believe you’re still in the city. We loved that it had plenty of outdoor and indoor space — no need to worry about a rain plan — as well as separate areas for music/dancing and for sitting to catch up with family and old friends. It also didn’t hurt that on a day we were visiting a bald eagle soared over us. Very cool!

We used shades of green with accents of grey, pink, and white, and Erin made a custom monogram for us. While we didn’t focus on making design pieces “match” along the way, we were able to keep everything working together by sticking to that springtime palette. In particular, Erin wanted her best women (her sisters) and her bridesmaids (her best friends) to pick their own outfits — no matching required. I worked with Brideside to match our palette with a bunch of colors across their collections and let everyone go shopping.

Our cake came from Tout de Sweet, a French pastry shop from Matt’s hometown of Bethesda, MD. We were really impressed with everything they made and with their ability to accommodate a wide variety of dietary restrictions, chiefly gluten-free cakes. As an additional dessert offering, we ordered macarons to set out alongside the cake. They were so popular that they instantly disappeared. While neither of us had a macaron that night, we made sure to grab some extras when we stopped by the bakery the next day.

Erin was really excited to find and support local, women-owned businesses whenever possible. We booked Sarah Gormley, our photographer, more than a year out because her work is just that incredible. You know exactly how a moment felt when you look back at any of her images. Our bouquets and boutonnieres were from Little Acre Flowers. They only work with DC-area farms, and everything they do is so fresh and pretty. (I seriously will not consider using anyone else to send flowers to anyone in the area!) Suzanne Eden and Ky Washington did our makeup and hair — all natural, making sure we each felt like the best versions of ourselves. And obviously the Capitol Romance team was essential. Kara (and our bonus-assistant Alisha!) took care of everything on the day-of without a single hitch. We literally got to show up and just enjoy every second. I can’t imagine pulling this off without them!

The few pieces we made ourselves were things we knew we could do pretty far in advance. It was important to us that once family and friends started to get to town, we could spend our time with them. Erin designed simple table numbers and a photo guestbook, we compiled special photos from our parents’ and grandparents’ weddings, and we made our own centerpieces. We wanted our table decorations to live on past the wedding, so we went with small potted plants that we encouraged local guests to take home. It’s been so nice to see them in people’s gardens and window sills every so often since then.

We got married on May 4, but we did not pick that date for the Star Wars significance. Even so, our friends surprised us during the dance party with inflatable Death Stars and tiny lightsabers, and they convinced our DJ to play the Star Wars Disco Theme (yes, that is a real song). 

Vendors:

Photographer: Sarah Gormley Photography | Ceremony Venue: Holy Trinity Catholic Church | Reception Venue: River Farm | Caterer: RSVP Catering | Florist: Little Acres Farms | Day-of Coordinator: Kara, Capitol Romance | DJ: DJ Stylus, DJ D-Mac & Associates | Desserts: Tout de Sweet | Invitations: Minted | Save the Dates: Canva | Hair Stylist: Modern Green Goddess | Make-up Artist: Natural Makeup Chic | Transportation: Cul de Sac | Bride’s Dress: Love Couture Bridal | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Brideside | Groom’s Suit: Charles Tyrwhitt | Groomsmen’s Suits: Generation Tux | Groomsmen’s Ties: Tie Bar | Wedding Bands: Brilliant Earth

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