Happy SIXTH Anniversary to Monica and Dave!

A secret about Monica and Dave’s wedding: Monica knew about Style Me Pretty before I did. Thank goodness she was ahead of her time and got me on the wedding blog bandwagon. Back then we really only had The Knot and a number of magazines!

This was the first wedding I had worked at St. Francis Hall and I love returning  to this Washington DC venue (I get to work there almost every year) and remembering Monica and Dave’s beautiful wedding here. Their wedding was not the first time I’d worked with Kurstin Roe, and we continue to make beautiful weddings together to this very day, if I do say so myself. I think this was also the wedding where I fell back in love with Don’t Stop Believin’, thanks to Sound Nation. Certain songs at certain weddings really stand out in my memory, and the picture below perfectly captures that memory.

 

groom wipes away a tear at the start of the wedding ceremony

after the ceremony, groom looks at his wedding ring, bride laughs

bride and groom with vintage rolls royce, lincoln memorial in the background

bride and groom sing along with the band

 

More wedding vendors who were awesome at this wedding, as seen above:

Petal’s Edge

Regal Limo

Happy FIFTH Anniversary Nikia & Andre!

Confession: I had to look up the year of Nikia and Andre’s red and purple Baltimore wedding to figure out which anniversary this was. And I was surprised that their wedding was only 5 years ago. This wedding feels like it happened ages ago to me. I love their Willy Wonka-inspired wedding so much and haven’t work with as fun of a theme since then. The American Visionary Arts Museum in Baltimore was the perfect setting for this whimsical and eclectic wedding design, and I would love to be back at AVAM more often – I’ll be back in July and it will be my first time back since this wedding. Thanks to A Britton Photography for the beautiful wedding pictures. You can see more of their photos and hear from Nikia here.
bride and groom holding red and purple big balloons

wide shot of the wedding ceremony

half of a wedding cake

Strathmore Mansion Wedding in Maryland: Tatiana and Steve

I have Tatina and Steve’s real wedding photos from a beautiful space at Strathmore Mansion in Kensington, Maryland to share! This couple wed in early June and the weather was a perfect day in the DMV with no cloud in the sky. Their wedding ceremony was at the chapel at Georgetown Prep, the groom’s alma mater, and then the couple and along with their wedding guests headed directly across the street for a fun wedding reception at the Strathmore Mansion. The groom’s boutonniere was made by Elegance & Simplicity and featured hops and wheat as a special nod to his love of all things beer. Even though their wedding venue was traditional and classic in design, they wanted a wedding reception that was rustic and eclectic to fit their personal tastes. You can see their rustic touches in the bridal bouquet on through to the individual flower vases used for the escort cards as well as in the tall, branchy centerpieces and whimsical floral and fruit centerpieces. It was a beautifully fun and personal day for all and I was so honored to help Tatiana and Steve with celebrate their wedding. Special thanks to their wedding photographer, Debi Parker, for sharing Tatiana and Steve’s gorgeous wedding day images with us.

plain-white-invitation-strathmore-mansion-wedding-maryland-Bellwether-Events

wedding-dress-strathmore-mansion-wedding-maryland-Bellwether-Events

bride-strathmore-mansion-wedding-maryland-Bellwether-Events

groom-strathmore-mansion-wedding-maryland-Bellwether-Events

white-boutonniere-strathmore-mansion-wedding-maryland-Bellwether-Events

cermony-strathmore-mansion-wedding-maryland-Bellwether-Events

church-cermony-strathmore-mansion-wedding-maryland-Bellwether-Events

bride-groom-strathmore-mansion-wedding-maryland-Bellwether-Events

escort-cards-strathmore-mansion-wedding-maryland-Bellwether-Events

flower-escort-card-strathmore-mansion-wedding-maryland-Bellwether-Events

bride-chair-sign-strathmore-mansion-wedding-maryland-Bellwether-Events

floral-fountain-strathmore-mansion-wedding-maryland-Bellwether-Events

orange-flowers-strathmore-mansion-wedding-maryland-Bellwether-Events

tall-centerpiece-strathmore-mansion-wedding-maryland-Bellwether-Events

personalized-favor-strathmore-mansion-wedding-maryland-Bellwether-Events

portrait-strathmore-mansion-wedding-maryland-Bellwether-Events

Thank you so much to Tatiana and Steve for letting us sharing in your special wedding day! The following wedding vendors in the Washington DC area contributed to their wedding:

Planning: Bellwether Events
Photography: Debi Parker Photography
Floral Design: Elegance & Simplicity
Ceremony Venue: Georgetown Prep
Reception Venue & Catering: Strathmore Mansion

Photo Credits: Debi Parker Photography

Happiest First Anniversary Laura & Connor!

Wishing the happiest first wedding anniversary to Laura and Connor today! I hope the weather in Chicago is warmer than DC right now! I was lucky enough to work with Laura’s older sister Pippa and her delightful husband Brian on their wedding a number of years ago, and so honored to be called again when Laura and Connor got engaged. They picked Oxon Hill Manor for their wedding venue, which I had not worked at before, and was surprised at how beautiful the property is! I hope to be back there again. Laura and Connor picked many of the same wedding professionals that Pippa and Brian had hired, including Occasions Caterers, Sidra Forman and Michelle Lindsay Photography so it was great to have this stellar team back together again. Below are a few photos from their beautiful day. Here you can find a full feature of their wedding on United With Love.

Oxon Hill Manor Maryland wedding Bellwether Events bride portrait Oxon Hill Manor wedding Bellwether Events bride and bridesmailds Oxon Hill Manor Maryland wedding Bellwether Events bride Oxon Hill Manor Maryland wedding Bellwether Events groom and groomsmen

Laura and Connor opted to not see each other before the wedding ceremony, but they did write letters to each other to read that afternoon. I love this idea and wish more of my couples did it – whether they do a first look or not!

Oxon Hill Manor Maryland wedding Bellwether Events emotional bride Oxon Hill Manor Maryland wedding Bellwether Events emotional groom Oxon Hill Manor Maryland wedding Bellwether Events bride silhouette Oxon Hill Manor Maryland wedding Bellwether Events outdoor ceremony

Connor’s family has a tradition of using an heirloom sabre to cut their wedding cake and Laura and Connor did not disappoint! How awesome is this cake cutting picture!?!

Oxon Hill Manor Maryland wedding Bellwether Events cake cutting sabre

 

Happy anniversary Laura and Connor! I hope you have a great day and an even better year this year! Many thanks to Michelle Lindsay for always being so generous with the pictures. Here is a short list of some of wedding vendors who worked so hard on this wedding.

 

Photography: Michelle Lindsay Photography
Ceremony + Reception Location: Oxon Hill Manor
Wedding Planner: Bellwether Events
Florist: Sidra Forman
Caterer: Occasions Catering
Hair/Make-Up: Alison Harper & Co
DJ: MyDeejay
Videography: Thomas Bowen Films
Stationery: Minted
Bridal Gown: Matthew Christopher
Bridal Salon: Nordstrom Tysons Corner Wedding Suite
Bridal Shoes: Benjamin Adams
Headpiece/Veil: Sister’s Veil
Jewelry: Nina
Bridesmaid Dresses: J. Crew
Groom + Groomsmen Attire: Jos A. Bank
Officiant: Gail Epes (family friend)

Happy First Anniversary Erin & Jay!

My Pi Day couple from 2015 is celebrating their FIRST wedding anniversary today! Yay! Their full wedding will be shared on United With Love next month. But for now, please enjoy this Hotel Monaco DC wedding ceremony recessional gem from Kurstin Roe. Happy, happy day to Erin and Jay!

Hotel Monaco DC Jewish wedding ceremony

Destination Wedding in Edinburgh, Scotland

I have an intimate destination wedding in Edinburgh, Scotland to share with you today! Alex and Anthony’s destination wedding was a fun-filled and ultra personal celebration of love as they were was surrounded by only their closest friends and family on their wedding day.

Before I share the gorgeous wedding photos from Orange Lemur, let me tell you a little bit about this couple. Alexandra, who goes by Alex, and Anthony were friends for many years before they started dating. Anthony decided to propose marriage to Alex on a rainy day at the National Zoo in Washington, DC. Anthony is English and his parents were unable to travel to the U.S. for the wedding. They couldn’t go back to his home country to marry because England requires a period of residency in order to obtain a marriage license. Scotland, however, is close enough to the groom’s parents and family, and allows couples to mail in their marriage paperwork in advance of arriving in country. So, they settled on a destination wedding in Edinburgh!

A few days before their wedding ceremony, we all traveled to Scotland to help them prepare for the wedding and celebrate. It is rainy everyday in Scotland, call it the local charm, but these two didn’t care and it added to the gorgeous setting on their wedding day. Thank you so much to Orange Lemur for sharing Alex and Anthony’s destination wedding photos from Scotland.

AlexandraAnthony 0003 Scotland destination wedding Bellwether Events 2 getting ready

Their DIY wedding stationery was inspired by Penguin Publishing’s iconic orange trim. Alex and Anthony infused their wedding day details with their favorite fictional characters, from the wedding invitation’s postage that had Harry Potter and Batman photos, to their LEGO wedding cake topper to their vintage horror movie poster-inspired reception table numbers. It was truly a personal wedding celebration in a destination setting that everyone who was nearest and dearest to them could attend!

AlexandraAnthony 0993 Scotland destination wedding Bellwether Events 1 rings AlexandraAnthony 0134a AlexandraAnthony 0131 AlexandraAnthony 0020

The beauty of a destination wedding, I’ve discovered as a wedding planner and a wedding guest, is that couples are not always bound to a Saturday event! A destination wedding on a week day or off-peak time means that you can get good deals on wedding vendors and venues that might not otherwise be booked. Your guest are already traveling and taking off of work, why not have a mid-week wedding!? Alex and Anthony had a Monday wedding celebration, which in hindsight was really brilliant. Many of us left the U.S. on Friday night, arrived in Edinburgh on Saturday morning. We recovered from jetlag long before Monday afternoon with enough time to truly celebrate their wedding!
AlexandraAnthony 0119 AlexandraAnthony 0173

Alex and Anthony did a “first look.” However, the pre-wedding ceremony concept of a “first look” has not yet caught on in Scotland, but Alex and Anthony are very glad that they decided to move forward with the idea. There is a quaint park just steps from the hotel in Edinburgh, and the rain stopped only long enough for Jan from Orange Lemur to capture some sweet photographs of Alex and Anthony during their “first look.” I love this image of Alex walking out of the hotel on her wedding day…

AlexandraAnthony 0268 Scotland destination wedding Bellwether Events 3 first look AlexandraAnthony 0272 AlexandraAnthony 0287 AlexandraAnthony 0293 AlexandraAnthony 0303 Scotland destination wedding Bellwether Events 5 first look AlexandraAnthony 0319 AlexandraAnthony 0478

After their first look, they moved inside for their personal and meaningful wedding ceremony. For their wedding ceremony, Alex and Anthony embraced the traditional Scottish wedding. Alex and Anthony opted to have their siblings stand by their sides during their wedding ceremony. Alex with her two brothers and Anthony and his sister, who also resides in England, near his parents.

Scotland destination wedding Bellwether Events 7 ceremony AlexandraAnthony 0614 AlexandraAnthony 0635

Alex and Anthony mailed in their marriage registration paperwork to Scotland weeks in advance, and they picked up their marriage schedule upon arriving in Scotland 10 days before their wedding ceremony. The marriage schedule is similar to a marriage license here in the U.S. and it is then signed by the couple, their witnesses and the celebrant as the last part of the wedding ceremony. After Alex and Anthony signed their marriage schedule, the celebrant led the entire group in a traditional Scottish blessing, complete with a shot of whiskey for all.

AlexandraAnthony 0692 AlexandraAnthony 0769 Scotland destination wedding Bellwether Events 4 staircase

After the marriage ceremony, couples and their wedding guests move to what is called a drinks reception in Scotland. This drinks reception is much like what Americans refer to as the cocktail hour, which is that time after the wedding ceremony, but before the reception starts. However, the drinks reception in Scotland is typically 105 minutes long. Afterwards, Alex and Andy’s wedding guests were seated for what they call a wedding breakfast in Scotland, which was a multi-course seated wedding reception dinner.

Scotland destination wedding Bellwether Events 6 escort cards AlexandraAnthony 0869 Scotland destination wedding Bellwether Events 9 table Scotland destination wedding Bellwether Events 8 cake AlexandraAnthony 0864 Scotland destination wedding Bellwether Events 11 portrait

Toasts and speeches are a large part of the Scottish wedding custom. It is expected for many folks to speak during the wedding breakfast. Both of Alex’s parents spoke, plus Alex’s younger brother and Anthony’s sister. The remarks ranged from hilarious, to touching, to very emotional!
AlexandraAnthony 1147 AlexandraAnthony 1152 AlexandraAnthony 1154 AlexandraAnthony 1163 AlexandraAnthony 1199

After the wedding dinner, there was dancing! Lots of it! And with the Scottish wedding tradition, there was a light buffet with sweet and savory snacks offered by the hotel.
AlexandraAnthony 1247 AlexandraAnthony 1267 Scotland destination wedding Bellwether Events 14 father Scotland destination wedding Bellwether Events 16 mother dance Scotland destination wedding Bellwether Events 13 dance

Thank you so much Alex and Anthony for letting me be a part of your destination wedding day! I wish you nothing but the best and many lifetimes of happiness.

The following wedding vendors contributed to their wedding:

Photography: Orange Lemur

Venue, Catering: The Bonham Hotel

Florals: Rouge Flowers

Cake: Liggy’s Cakes

Hair & Make Up: City Brides

Coordinator: Bellwether Events

Celebrant: Jackie Grant

Harpist: Deborah Shaw

A New Ceremony Reading to Consider

No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.

 

– Justice Anthony Kennedy,

OBERGEFELL ET AL. v. HODGES, DIRECTOR, OHIO DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, ET AL

Happy FIRST Anniversary Jessica and Joe!

I can and can’t believe its already been a year since #notthefootballmannings got married in Old Town Alexandria. While the weather didn’t cooperate with our grand plans, they still had a delightful ceremony at Carlyle House, followed by a festive reception at Virtue Feed and Grain.

I hope you enjoy this great video of Jessica and Joe’s Alexandria, Virginia wedding by Ryan Geldermann.

JESSICA + JOE: Same Day Edit Wedding Video from Ryan Geldermann on Vimeo.

Ritz-Carlton Georgetown Wedding

I am back this week with another wedding where I was lucky enough to do wedding day direction for the sweetest couple. Anne and Ross had the most adorable and personal wedding at the Ritz-Carlton in Georgetown. They hpaired a vibrant coral and aqua color palette with table numbers from BHLDN and a bunch of awesome Etsy-sourced details (that card box!). Edge created some amazing floral designs to complement the creative paper goods. Of course my favorite detail of the whole wedding was the couple’s 14 year old American bull terrier Bridget, who participated in the portrait session and the wedding ceremony before retiring back to the hotel room. Many thanks to Jessica Schmitt for all the lovely photos!

 

01a  Ritz-Carlton Georgetown Washington DC Jessica Schmitt Photography Edge Floral Event Designers Bellwether Events DIY coral and teal 00a  Ritz-Carlton Georgetown Washington DC Jessica Schmitt Photography Edge Floral Event Designers Bellwether Events DIY coral and teal 01b  Ritz-Carlton Georgetown Washington DC Jessica Schmitt Photography Edge Floral Event Designers Bellwether Events DIY coral and teal   01e  Ritz-Carlton Georgetown Washington DC Jessica Schmitt Photography Edge Floral Event Designers Bellwether Events DIY coral and teal 03  Ritz-Carlton Georgetown Washington DC Jessica Schmitt Photography Edge Floral Event Designers Bellwether Events DIY coral and teal 04 Ritz-Carlton Georgetown Washington DC Jessica Schmitt Photography Edge Floral Event Designers Bellwether Events DIY coral and teal 05  Ritz-Carlton Georgetown Washington DC Jessica Schmitt Photography Edge Floral Event Designers Bellwether Events DIY coral and teal 07  Ritz-Carlton Georgetown Washington DC Jessica Schmitt Photography Edge Floral Event Designers Bellwether Events DIY coral and teal 08  Ritz-Carlton Georgetown Washington DC Jessica Schmitt Photography Edge Floral Event Designers Bellwether Events DIY coral and teal 09  Ritz-Carlton Georgetown Washington DC Jessica Schmitt Photography Edge Floral Event Designers Bellwether Events DIY coral and teal 09a  Ritz-Carlton Georgetown Washington DC Jessica Schmitt Photography Edge Floral Event Designers Bellwether Events DIY coral and teal 10  Ritz-Carlton Georgetown Washington DC Jessica Schmitt Photography Edge Floral Event Designers Bellwether Events DIY coral and teal 11a  Ritz-Carlton Georgetown Washington DC Jessica Schmitt Photography Edge Floral Event Designers Bellwether Events DIY coral and teal 11aa  Ritz-Carlton Georgetown Washington DC Jessica Schmitt Photography Edge Floral Event Designers Bellwether Events DIY coral and teal 11b  Ritz-Carlton Georgetown Washington DC Jessica Schmitt Photography Edge Floral Event Designers Bellwether Events DIY coral and teal 11c  Ritz-Carlton Georgetown Washington DC Jessica Schmitt Photography Edge Floral Event Designers Bellwether Events DIY coral and teal   13  Ritz-Carlton Georgetown Washington DC Jessica Schmitt Photography Edge Floral Event Designers Bellwether Events DIY coral and teal 12  Ritz-Carlton Georgetown Washington DC Jessica Schmitt Photography Edge Floral Event Designers Bellwether Events DIY coral and teal

National Museum of Women in the Arts Wedding Reception

Laina and Gene worked with Well Dunn Catering and Edge Floral Event Designers to create their gorgeous and classic wedding reception at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington DC. These stunning photos by Eli Turner will show what a great job this team of professionals did. And that cake! Fluffy Thoughts absolutely killed it on that gorgeous wedding cake with the enormous sugar flower detail. The wedding was capped off with mini desserts and guests went home with personal splits of champagne.

 

The Wedding of Laina and Gene The Wedding of Laina and Gene The Wedding of Laina and Gene The Wedding of Laina and Gene The Wedding of Laina and Gene The Wedding of Laina and Gene The Wedding of Laina and Gene The Wedding of Laina and Gene The Wedding of Laina and Gene The Wedding of Laina and Gene The Wedding of Laina and Gene The Wedding of Laina and Gene The Wedding of Laina and Gene