FLORENCE BENZ & TAYLOR LOCHRANE April 29, 2016 Ceremony: St . Peter’s Church Reception: St . Francis Hall Photography by Joy Asico THE COUPLE In the fall of 2012, Swiss-born Florence spent a few months interning for a European agency based in DC. Taylor had also just arrived in DC after earning an engineering degree in Florida. The pair met when they both went solo to an event at the Swiss Embassy and then saw each other every day until Florence returned to Switzerland. After a cross-Atlantic relationship, Florence came back to DC and got a job at the Swiss Embassy. Then, “on a cold, snowy morning in December 2014, Taylor took me to Great Falls and proposed,” says Florence. “It was the best view and the best promise ever.” THE PARTY Following a civil ceremony in Switzerland, the duo plotted a wedding day in DC that, says Florence, “was a celebration of our mix of traditions, mainly English with a touch of French.” The ceremony took place at St. Peter’s Church, and then on to St. Francis Hall at the Franciscan Monastery for the reception. A rustic, shabbychic theme meant a long head table festooned with dusty-pink peonies, roses and eucalyptuses from Petal’s Edge florist, as well as a ruffled table scarf that Taylor nicknamed “Big Bird.” The first dance, a nod to bride’s French-Swiss heritage, was a modern rendition of Edith Piaf’s “La Vie en Rose.” Guests left with a sweetsmelling memory in the form of handmade candle favors from Etsy’s Modparty. WHAT THEY LEARNED “It was overcast the day of the wedding, but this made for amazing photos. People looked less shiny!” says Florence. THE HONEYMOON The couple has plans for a 2 ½-week tour of South Africa, and then four days on the beach on Mauritius island this December. –Jennifer Barger WEDDING RESOURCES Wedding Planner Alexandra Nesterak Events, alexandranesterak.com Florals Petal’s Edge, petalsedge.com Bridal Gown Elizabeth Dye, Lovely Bride, lovelybride.com Bridal Hair & Makeup Modern Bridal Studio, modernbridalstudio.com Bridesmaids’ Dresses ASOS, asos.com Catering, Cake & Linen Rentals Purple Onion Catering, purpleonioncatering.com Entertainment DJ Craig Wood, localwildlife.com Invitations Minted, minted.com JENNIFER CASTILLO & JUSTIN C. THORNTON September 3, 2016 Ceremony: St . Aloysius Church Reception: The Watergate Hotel Photography by Len and Jacqui DePas THE COUPLE Jennifer met Justin on her first day at Boston College when he spotted her and helped her move in to her dorm room. They’ve been together ever since. “We literally grew up together,” says Jennifer. After college, they moved to DC, but when it was time for the proposal, they returned to where it all began. Justin got down on one knee on the Boston College campus (after luring Jennifer there under the guise of a campus tour for her sister) and asked for her hand. THE PARTY They wed at St. Aloysius Church at Justin’s alma mater Gonzaga College High School, before heading to The Watergate Hotel. The couple wanted a sophisticated aesthetic for their 230 guests and selected The Watergate’s brand-new ballroom because of its modern feel. The couple wanted to celebrate Jennifer’s Dominican heritage and thus included touches such as serving empanadas during the cocktail hour and spinning Spanish music during the reception. The pair also paid tribute to DC. They gave guests salt and pepper shakers in the shape of the Washington Monument and Capitol building as favors. Guests posed in a MirMir photo booth, which takes black-and-white airbrushed photos, and danced well into the evening. Before the reception ended, guests were served milkshakes. WHAT THEY LEARNED “Very early in our wedding-planning process, we learned to let things go and not sweat the small stuff. Let it go and it will sort itself out in the end!” says Jennifer. THE HONEYMOON The couple honeymooned in Southeast Asia, including stops at the Mandarin Oriental, Singapore and The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong. –Katie Bianco WEDDING RESOURCES Wedding Planner Natalie Chase Schlosser, A Trendy Wedding, atrendywedding.com Florals Jeff Johnson, Blue Vanda Designs, bluevandadesigns.com Videographer Orli Arias, orliarias.com Bridal Gown Lazaro, Rizik’s, riziks.com Bridal Hair & Makeup Latavia Lewis, Elle Alise Artistry, ellealiseartistry.com Bridesmaids’ Dresses Jim Hjelm, Nordstrom Wedding Suite, Tysons Corner, nordstrom.com Groom’s Attire The Tailored Man, tailoredman.com Catering The Watergate Hotel, thewatergatehotel.com Entertainment DJ Roy Barboza, hot969boston.com Linen Rentals Party Rental Ltd., partyrentalltd.com Invitations The Dandelion Patch, thedandelionpatch.com EDWARD ENGLES & MICHAEL HOLZER April 29, 2016 Ceremony: U.S. Tax Court Reception: Carnegie Institution for Science Photography by Lisa Ziesing THE COUPLE Edward and Michael, both avid tennis players, met at an event for the LGBT tennis club, Capital Tennis Association. An evening spent chatting, followed by a Facebook friend request, led to five years of dating. Michael proposed on Christmas morning 2014 as Edward was opening his gift, a set of custom-made cuff links featuring two grooms. THE PARTY The day before the reception, the pair legally wed in the chambers of Judge Joseph Gale, a friend and the first openly gay federally appointed judge. The reception the following evening at Carnegie Institution for Science was a celebration for their friends and family. With help from wedding planner Laura Ritchie of Grit & Grace, the couple planned an elegant affair. A gold and cream color palette set the tone in the dining room, with tables topped with alternating tall and short gold vases of cream flowers and taper candles on gold-and-cream-striped tablecloths. The grooms wore bespoke suits from Trunk Club that included details like “I do” embroidered underneath the collars, and both wore matching blue ties, vests and blue shoelaces for their “something blue.” Edward’s cousins gifted the couple with matching tie tacks with equal signs on them made from his grandmother’s wedding ring. After dinner and dancing, the couple made their exit via a pedicab. WHAT THEY LEARNED “Don’t be afraid to make new traditions and make the day about you! Make the day about what you and what your future spouse wants, not what you think you need to do,” says Edward. HONEYMOON The couple plans to celebrate their honeymoon and one-year anniversary simultaneously with a Mediterranean cruise through Greece, Israel and Italy. –KB WEDDING RESOURCES Wedding Planner Grit & Grace Inc., gritandgraceinc.com Florals Sweet Root Village, sweetrootvillage.com Catering Occasions Catering, occasionscaterers.com Entertainment Shea Van Horn, facebook.com/DJSheaVanHorn Custom Bar Revolution Event Design and Production, eventrevolution.com Invitations Minted, minted.com MACKENZIE WATERS & MICHAEL AYERS October 10, 2015 Ceremony: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Ceremony: Newseum Photography by Michelle Lindsay THE COUPLE In 2012, Mike and Mackenzie met the old-fashioned way—at church. They didn’t start dating until 2014, when Mackenzie was getting her master’s in social work from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. “I was eager to pursue him, and for New Year’s in 2014, it was my resolution,” she says. The couple hit it off, dating long-distance before getting engaged in 2015. “We were just getting better together,” says Mike. Right after Mackenzie got her degree, Mike proposed to her on one knee—in the rain in her parents’ backyard. THE PARTY After an intimate ceremony at the Mormon Temple in Kensington, Md., the couple repeated their vows and exchanged rings in front of a wall of silver, white and gold paper flowers at the Newseum, which they chose for its natural light, DC vistas and contemporary vibe. Wedding planner Janice Carnevale helped achieve the mod-meets-glam mashup with help from Holly Heider Chapple Flowers’ rose-and-fern arrangements in shades of green, purple and violet. Mike and Mackenzie greeted guests with an innovative guestbook: a poster of a tree with “leaves” for them to leave messages on. The reception began with a mocktail hour (think spritzers and a blueberry smash) on the terrace of the Newseum, then continued with a sit-down dinner starring food from Wolfgang Puck Catering, including a local crab salad and beef filets with a unique potato lasagna. Mackenzie’s family loves to DIY, so her mother and father helped her create unusual streamer sticks, with bells and ribbons on them. “We walked out under a canopy of guests waving them, and it was magical,“ says Mackenzie. WHAT THEY LEARNED “Weddings are a lot of work and money; there are so many little things that you haven’t thought of that people notice. It was interesting to go through it, and nice to have a wedding planner’s help,” says Mike. THE HONEYMOON The couple honeymooned on a Royal Caribbean cruise in the Bahamas. –JB WEDDING RESOURCES Wedding Planner Janice Carnevale, Bellwether Events, bellwetherevents.com Florals Holly Heider Chapple Flowers, hollychappleflowers.com Videographer Bowen Films, bowenfilms.net Bridal Gown Amsale, Nordstrom Wedding Suite, Tysons Corner, nordstrom.com Bridal Hair & Makeup Carola Myers Makeup & Hair Artists, cmartistgroup.com Bridesmaids’ Dresses Alfred Sung, Best Bridals, bestbridalsva.com Catering Wolfgang Puck Catering, wolfgangpuck.com Invitations The Dandelion Patch, thedandelionpatch.com ELIZABETH PIKE & EVAN MANNIS November 14, 2015 Ceremony and Reception: The St. Regis Washington, DC Photography by Lisa Rhinehart THE COUPLE Shortly after moving back to DC post-law school, Elizabeth was introduced to Evan through mutual friends. They had their first date at Lincoln restaurant, and three-and-a-half years later, Evan got down on one knee at the Spanish Steps in Dupont Circle. A friend was secretly hovering nearby to catch the surprise proposal on camera. THE PARTY Elizabeth and Evan selected The St. Regis for their ceremony and reception for its elegant aesthetic. Just before the bridal procession began, the lights were dimmed in the Astor Ballroom, and the aisle was illuminated for dramatic effect. The cocktail hour took place in the Astor Pavilion, which was decorated like a rustic Aspen lodge (think luxe faux fur throws and lots of evergreen branches) in a nod to Evan’s love of skiing. For the reception, lavish centerpieces took center stage with white and cream flowers like Sahara roses, Tibet roses, tulips, peonies and phalaenopsis orchids in oversize vases at each of the 12 guest tables. The sit-down dinner included a menu of wild mushroom crusted filet of beef and lemon-marinated Chilean sea bass. The band had everyone on the dance floor all night long, including Elizabeth’s 92-year-old grandmother! WHAT THEY LEARNED “Definitely do a first look. The anticipation and excitement leading up to the moment we turned around and saw each other is almost indescribable. It also provides you with some much needed alone time as a couple during the course of a whirlwind day. The first look ended up being one of our favorite moments of the wedding day,” says Elizabeth. THE HONEYMOON The couple honeymooned at The Palms in the Turks & Caicos. –KB WEDDING RESOURCES Month-Of Coordinator Elizabeth Leibundguth, Cherry Blossom Events, cherrybevents.com Florals Jeff Johnson, Blue Vanda Designs, bluevandadesigns.com Bridal Gown Vera Wang, verawang.com Bridal Hair Peggy Ioakim, Karma Beauty Lounge, karmaerwingomez.com Bridal Makeup Erwin Gomez, Karma Beauty Lounge, karmaerwingomez.com Bridesmaids’ Dresses Amsale, Bella Bridesmaids, bellabridesmaids.com Groom’s Attire Enzo Custom, enzocustom.com Catering The St. Regis Washington, DC, stregiswashingtondc.com Entertainment Amaretto Band, amarettoband.com Invitations Emily Brannon, instagram.com/adorned_
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