Images: Megan Rei Photography

I’m afraid that if I start typing about what’s happening in the world right now, I won’t stop. It’s too much, and it’s consuming and it’s compounded by the feeling that nothing we can do will stop it. So instead of going down that path, I want to try and focus on the things I can control. Reaching out to my Black friends and coworkers, reminding White people that we need to continue to work HARD, speak UP and DONATE, spending time and energy in the places I have influence, to spread love and true inclusion, and finally, continue to recognize that there is still GOOD in this world. There is still LOVE in this world and it’s OK to spend some parts of our day thinking about that and sharing that.

So if here is another reminder, of the LOVE we all so desperately need throughout our days, to help us continue this battle against police brutality, racism, and systemic oppression of BIPOC. Sending love.

One of the main inspirations for the date itself was one of Brian’s favorite songs, “September,” by Earth, Wind and Fire. Luckily, September 21st ended up being a Friday, so we took it! The color palette consisted of plum and silver with an accent of garnet, and the style was classic and modern. We just wanted to put on a good party for our guests to enjoy. We did have a sand ceremony, but we poured it into an hourglass that is now a functional part of our home.

The space itself didn’t require much additional decoration, which is part of what we loved about. The furniture, decorations and lights that were already there were absolutely perfect. We added a few knick-knacks (anything galvanized metal we could find!) and hung some engagement pictures, but that was all we really needed. We DIY-ed the guest book, which was actually fabric squares that guests signed and will be made into quilt, and the sign that explained that. Generally, Juli is pretty crafty and happy to DIY but she and Brian were both trying to be careful not to add anything to stress themselves out. If it was something that could be bought, they usually just bought it!

We created our own wedding logo featuring our initials and the Washington monument, so that ended up everywhere, including on our customized M&M favors! In lieu of a photo booth, we got a tag board and displayed it on a wall at the reception. Anytime anyone posted using our hashtag, it ended up on the screen. It really helped engage the guests as they were all very excited to see their posts on the big screen!

The food was definitely reflective of us – Brian loves BBQ, so we had brisket, and Juli loves macaroni and cheese, so we had a mac and cheese bar. We both love sweets, so the cake was definitely something we focused on as well. One of the signature cocktails was a drink that Brian made up, and is named after him.

Favorite parts of the wedding include the all the laughter that happened during the ceremony, and the fact that the ceremony was easygoing enough that we could enjoy the pleasure of everyone’s company, venturing on the DC metro to take photos before the wedding, and the sand ceremony (even though it took longer than we thought it was going to!). The speeches from the maid of honor and beat man were fantastic, and we really liked the sparkler send off. The whole day was pretty perfect!

Our advice to couples that are planning their wedding is do not let anyone influence you away from what you really want to do. Also, if you get down toward the end and haven’t gotten all the little things you thought you should have done, don’t worry about it. What’s meant to get done will get done, and your day will be memorable anyway! Remember the simple purpose for all this – your vows and marriage to come – the rest is just icing on the cake!

Vendors:

Photographer: Megan Rei Photography | Venue: The Loft at 600 F | Caterer: Catering by Seasons | Cake: Edibles Incredible Desserts | Florist: Wisteria | DJ: Horizon Entertainment | Invitations: Paper Source | Bride’s Dress Designer: Hayley Paige | Bridal Boutique: Lovely Bride DC | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: David’s Bridal | Groom’s Custom Suit: Joseph Abboud | Groomsmen’s Attire: Men’s Wearhouse | Hair & Makeup: Agape Airbrush Makeup & Hair | Jewelry: Tiny Jewel Box |

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