Images: Polyakov Photography

I am so excited to share Richard & Taylor’s wedding today! A couple weeks ago, we shared their super cute, sushi-filled engagement session. They’re a pair after my own heart, with a love of food, so it is only fitting that they celebrated their wedding at Iron Gate Restaurant. Hands down, its the best vendor meal I’ve ever had! Not only were they one of the best couples to work with, but they have also become good friends. We’re actually meeting up with them for dinner tomorrow night! So let’s kick off the weekend with their intimate, romantic wedding. I don’t blame you if you find yourself drooling over their pictures! Stay healthy, my friends!

As soon as we talked about getting married, before Richard proposed, we knew we’d get married at Iron Gate. We went to Iron Gate for our first date, and went there the night we got engaged! It’s not only one of our favorite restaurants in the city, but a perfect venue for folks who want an intimate wedding with an emphasis on food and feeding your guests REALLY WELL.

We knew we wanted family style meals–a shared feast with the people we love passing plates over candlelight, and under the beautiful vine covered veranda of the Iron Gate patio. I can’t convey how good the food was–but it was the best wedding food I’ve ever had. We still have friends tell us that our wedding was one of the best meals they’ve ever had. Shout out to Chef Anthony Chittum who is a genius! 

We didn’t do flowers because Iron Gate itself is so gorgeous. The only decorations we bought were a 50-pack of lavender tea lights which gave the entire night a soft glow and smelled great. 

The ceremony was short and sweet. Taylor walked down the aisle to Bright Eye’s, “First Day of my Life”, Richard cried a lot, Taylor tried to resist crying, everyone else cried. Taylor’s best friend Juliana officiated, and was funny and efficient as hell, and having her up there with us was so reassuring. We decided to have our moms speak during the ceremony, and our dads speak during the reception. Both of our moms were incredibly nervous and everyone started crying (we did not anticipate so much crying but it was emotional!) as soon as either of them started speaking. 

Our guests enjoyed cocktail hour in the “secret garden” patio while the families moved outside to take some quick photos. Our photographers, Polyakov Photography, were amazing. They knew that we wanted family photos, but didn’t want to spend more than 15 minutes being pulled away from the rest of our guests, and they got the photos done quickly and beautifully. 

We were introduced as Mr. and Mrs. Duenas to Japanese Breakfast’s, “Everyone Wants to Love You,” which was emotional for us because we met at a Japanese Breakfast concert at the Black Cat. Music and food are our shared love languages so we made sure that during both the cocktail hour and dinner we had a playlist of songs we love. 

We did our first dance to “Astral Plane” by Valerie June. First dances are very awkward! Before we got married I don’t think we really considered that the first dance is an intimate moment with your new spouse where everyone just quietly….watches you dance for two minutes. “Astral Plane” is a delightful and short song and about a minute in we told the DJ “have everyone else dance too!” 

Ultimately, our wedding was exactly what we hoped it would be: a romantic night of food and dancing with the people we love where we celebrated our absolute luck at finding each other. Thank you to Kara for answering our astounding number of questions, and becoming our dear friend in the process.


Photographer: Polyakov Photography | Venue: Iron Gate Restaurant | Day-of Coordinator: Kara, Capitol Romance | Cake: Buttercream Bakeshop | DJ: DJ M-Dot, DJ D-Mac & Associates |


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