Photos: Andrew Morrell Photography

This rain is unmotivating … as is the current state of our country. But as I always do, I am trying to focus on the things that will persevere – like love. I am headed out the door shortly to one of my only two final consults this year, and I am just going to try and enjoy the smaller moments. We’re also headed to Philly this weekend for a first full my side of the family get together, in quite some time. The rain isn’t making it easy, but again, I’ll try and focus on the extra hugs, and family time. Happy Friday Romancers – check out this awesome, intimate Washington, DC wedding today.

Like many couples in the Covid era, we knew we wanted to tie the knot sooner than later because of the uncertainty surrounding large event planning. My husband, Awenate, is a DC guy. He spent many years working in The White House and went to high school there so, although we live in Detroit where we met and fell in love, it was important for him to marry at his former high school, A Benedictine Monastery by a monk he is close with. Given his history in DC and mine from Detroit, we created an intimate mini-mony with details that reflected both of us (we are very different but it came together seamlessly). And did it all in less than a month of planning (somehow, some way)!  A little Detroit style, a little DC. A little pop culture, a little politics — just like us! It was a mid-February wedding so our palette was generally cool with a warm hint, mostly shown in my floral arrangement and incredible cake — black, white, gray, navy, teal and coral.

The in-a-pinch , out-of-state planning in Covid definitely limited our options here and it ended being completely OK (OK, BETTER THAN OK!) because the room at The Hay-Adams Hotel’s Top Of The Hay restaurant was a gorgeous, simple, elegant backdrop to our minimony reception dinner. Gorgeous views of DC though glass doors, a candle lit dinner table, a chic, sleek baby grand piano and the room’s ambience did more than we could have ever planned! My husband’s mother, a gifted pianist ended up treating us to come music post dinner and everyone sang along.

One of my close friends in Detroit, Lindsay McWhorter, is a floral designer that is very creative, specifically with dried arrangements. She understands my vibe and aesthetic so I knew I had to bring her creations to DC with me. She created my bouquet (which almost didn’t make it to DC with me complete as we were waiting on a gorgeous but delayed delivery of Haus of Stems’ patented  iridescent anthurium — my brother ended up intercepting the package and bringing to me in DC haha! Details!). She did the beautiful personals to match for our tiny bridal party, three corsages four MOB, MOG + MOH as well as a few boutonnieres for my husband and his two best friends that served as his groomsmen. Because my husband’s outfit and mine were chic yet minimal the florals were a crucial accessory due to their unique look and pops of color. They really were perfect.

One of my favorite components of our wedding day is a caricature of my husband and I that I coordinated with a well known, award-winning political cartoonist named Kevin “KAL” Kallaugher. Why? There is a bar in The Hay Adams Hotel (where we stayed + hosted our reception) called Off The Record that my husband and many other DC politicos frequented regularly pre-Covid. The bar, located in walking distance to The White House, is known for their assortment of coasters decorated with well-known political figures drawn as caricatures from  three political cartoonists and KAL is one of them. My husband has a few of the original coasters as they are very special keepsakes from the iconic bar.  I reached out to KAL with my request and we pulled it off (we even Facetimed so he can get my face shape, features, etc.). I printed a large matted board portrait for guests to see as well as small notecards with the image for hand-written welcome notes in our guests’ welcome boxes they were greeted with in their hotel rooms. It was a wonderful surprise to my husband! The boxes also contained some minimony essentials and some of our favorite things: masks made by Primecut, wonderfully fragrant hand sanitizer by Fiele Fragrances a perfumery, Bon Bon Bon chocolates, a wonderful Detroit-based women-owned chocolatier, mini bourbon and tequila bottles, etc. Additionally, I had silver cufflinks engraved with “LO” on one and “VE” on the other, for my husband made in Detroit by Shinola and we gifted our tiny but mighty bridal party personalized Shinola watches with custom engraved notes of affection. 

A band, deejay or dance floor was out of the question given DC Covid regulations so my husband’s mother ended up playing some songs for us on the piano in our reception room. I didn’t think she would but I think the energy felt right and it was beautiful. Everyone sang along.

I knew it was going to be a small wedding and it was going to be out of state so I had to keep it simple but chic as to not travel with tons of baggage in Covid. I own a women’s clothing store in Detroit and my style is usually a bit over the top. For this special day I wanted it to feel timeless but also reflect my sense of style. As a small business owner — in a pandemic to boot – an expensive dress that I will only wear once was simply not an option. That is not how I spend money. I found an A.L.C dress that I loved, it was sold out in white everywhere. But, I ended finding it new with tags on Poshmark! For like $300. This is the type of silhouette I can wear again to an event as it doesn’t look like an obvious bridal gown. I took it to a tailor, Eddie’s Alterations in Royal Oak, MI, and he worked his magic to fir like a glove. The accessories + florals were really what set off the look. I worked with a local milliner, Boswell, to create my wedding day hat and paired it with a classic birdcage veil to give a sense of tradition. For the reception, I added the feather. The earrings were also important — a long drop from AREA (known for their work with crystals + stones) to add a hint of glamour, a modern reverse hoop with a peal stud by Maria Black (a line I carry in my shop) and a small diamond stud in my third hole. I wore shoes I already owned, a gorgeous Tamara Mellon pump and an assortment of rings including my diamond engagement ring + band by Wachler + Sons and some playful pieces from Stone + Strand, Shinola + Double Moss Jewelry. My husband wore a simple, sophisticated black tux, with velvet loafers from Saks (no socks of course), a velvet Paul Smith bowtie.

Photography: Andrew Morrell Photography | Reception Venue: The Hay Adams | Hair: Styled by Sarah Richards | Makeup: Conceptual Beauty |


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