Images: Ridge and Ramble

Today’s wedding gives me all the feels! I love when couples incorporate so many personal touches into their wedding day, and Mike and Anna did just that! They, and their families, were so lovely to work with throughout the planning process. And just look how dreamy their ceremony in grove was! I love that they chose to walk each other down the aisle, and they capped off the night with DC legends, Granny & The Boys! What more could you want for a wedding?!?!

To catch their full love story, check out Mike & Anna’s neighborhood engagement session from a couple weeks ago.

There were so many choices to be made, but there were a handful of *must-have* terms when we started envisioning the day; we wanted a non-traditional wedding with enough elements that were familiar to our families. We did not have a set theme, but we knew we wanted everything to feel intentional, we wanted to stay as local as possible, and we wanted our guests to leave feeling like, “that was very Mike and Anna.” 

While we had been set on getting married in DC proper, we wanted to explore all of our options, and our parents convinced us to check out Woodend Sanctuary. Neither of us ever imagined getting married in a mansion setting, but the outdoor grove was stunning! We fell in love with the grove and outdoor space, and what it would look like for our October wedding. The built-in tent in case of a rainy day also appealed to our more practical planning side. A portion of the venue fees are a donation to the Audubon Society so that was a plus (and tax-deductible!). 

My oldest, and best friend’s mother agreed to officiate, but put us to work on building the whole ceremony ourselves. She would approve the final draft, but it was all in our hands. She happens to be a judge, so the logistics of officiating were a breeze, but she sure did give us plenty of homework to write the ceremony, and it was worth it. We opted out of a wedding party, and ended up walking each other down the aisle.

Our floral arranger, Arrin, is a good friend and former coworker back when I used to work at Big Bear Cafe. She’d been doing incredible work for their private weddings, and learned an incredible amount on foraging/utilizing natural foliage to create pieces. We first just wanted to meet with her for advice on how to tackle wedding flowers, and it (thankfully) turned into her taking on the project herself. We knew we wanted seasonal and local flowers, and we knew what colors we did and didn’t like, but neither of us had a strong desire to pick out specific flowers and designs. She put together a vision board, we loved it, and she ran with it from there. Incredibly easy and stress free. The table arrangements also make use of potter and wood pieces from another mutual friend, Katie. Anna and I loved that we could have friends’ talents featured throughout the day. 

For music, we knew we did not want too many slow songs, and we absolutely did not want any family member to request the chicken dance. We knew it was important that the music also felt “Mike and Anna” and “DC.” The decision was easy for us. We asked our favorite DC house band, Granny and the Boys, to play. You may know them from their weekly set at Showtime in Bloomingdale. They were a blast!

We had food from many of the places we’ve traveled to and lived, cut out all red meat, and made sure there were plenty of vegetarian options. We are both quite indecisive, which was a theme throughout our wedding planning, but this really worked out in our favor when it came to our cake(s). We headed over to Ellē Bakery in Mt. Pleasant, ordered one of each of their cakes, and customized a special one for our cutting cake. We collected an assortment of cake plates from family members and it made a beautiful display. The goat cheese cheesecake and the carrot cake were real crowd pleasers! My aunt does calligraphy, and made personalized tent cards describing the ingredients, and whose cake plates were on display.

Because I work in coffee, I wanted to make sure the caterers had “the good stuff.” Guests could have a cup at the wedding, and half of our favors were just enough coffee to make a pour over at home. The other half of the favors were M&Ms in our wedding colors–and all the boxes had stickers featuring our cat and dog. 

Most importantly, we wanted to have a fun and relaxed day without having to worry about any of the logistics, which is why we knew finding the right coordinator was key. We had interviewed several coordinators who, although clearly pros at what they do, did not really seem to get our vision or understand that we wanted something less traditional. Kara, at CapRo, never questioned our vision, supported us developing our ideas but never pushed us, and made sure our day was stress-free and beautiful. 

Vendors:

Photographer: Ridge and Ramble | Day-of Coordinater: Kara, Capitol Romance | Venue: Woodend Sanctuary & Mansion | Caterer: Spilled Milk Catering | Cakes: Ellē | Florist: Tint Floral | Decor: Material Things Studio | Band: Granny & The Boys | Violinist: Healing Strings Studio | Officiant: Family Friend | Hair Stylist & Makeup Artist: Carly Fisher, Pins-n-Brushes |

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