September 2011 was the 5th wettest September on record and had only 2 days that qualified as sunny days. One of those days fell on Liz and Mike’s wedding day and it couldn't have happened to a more wonderful couple. As the ladies spent the morning in the Bride’s suite overlooking Freedom Plaza watching the movie Bridesmaids, makeup artist Nikki Frasier of "Beauty and the Bride" and hairstylist Thania of "My True Beauty" were hard at work glamming each one of them up.
Once everyone was dolled up, the bridesmaids, bride and mother of the bride slipped into their stunning dresses all provided by our friends at Love Couture. It was then time to head over to the grand Mellon Auditorium, where the ceremony and reception would be taking place. We love The Mellon because it's stunning and because of their fabulous staff!
Guests and bridal party were transported to the Mellon with the help of Unipark. Unipark also served as our valet company as well. As guests entered the lobby of the Mellon, they were greeted with sleek white furniture and large wedding photos of family members hanging along the walls. Programs were designed to resemble sports programs and included fun facts about the couple and their bridal party. Details of the individuals in the hanging wedding photos were also included. Such a fun, personal idea!
The ceremony looked as if it came out of a storybook with tall trees decorated with white flowers scattered throughout the guest seating, a gorgeous white chuppah covered with crème roses provided a beautiful backdrop on the stage, a white aisle runner lined the aisle and a spotlight followed the bride as she walked to her future husband. Rick Davis from Amaryllis outdid himself with the design!
Five flag boys carrying signs saying (one word at a time) "Here Comes The Bride" led the bride’s processional. Music for the ceremony was performed by pianist and musical savant, Richard Blumenfeld, who we discovered through Andy Kushner Entertainment. He played modern songs such as "Lucky" by Jason Mraz, "Pale September" by Fiona Apple and "Bad Romance" by Lady Gaga.
As a surprise to the couple (and guests), the bride’s mother and I worked together to bring in a surprise choir, the 18th Street Singers. They dressed as wedding guests, sat among the guests and at the end of the ceremony, they each stood up to sing "All You Need Is Love", acapella-style similar to the wedding scene in the movie Love Actually. Everyone was surprised! Some guests even stood and sang along with the choir.
While guests enjoyed cocktails and hors d’eourves in the Green Rooms, the main hall was transformed from the ceremony to an elegant GaGa inspired affair. Trios of tables surrounded the trees that were once scattered in the ceremony. Square mirrored tables were spread throughout the reception decorated with candles and flowers. The oval head table was placed in the center of the room with a shiny black GaGa style linen. All the tables were topped with black-rimmed china and black etched champagne flutes.
Guests dined on a delicious dinner prepared by Ridgewells Caterers. Pop Culture Strings by Andy Kushner Entertainment provided beautiful music while guests dined. The beautiful (and tasty) vegan, gluten-free cake was provided by DC’s Sticky Fingers. Donations to Anacostia Watershed Society to plant a tree in the guest’s honor were the guest’s favors. Each guest received a tree cookie and favor card at their place setting.
The guests were sent, along with their invitations, a 4x4 inch square in order to decorate however they would like and mail back along with their RSVP. Once all squares were collected, Korry of Capital Décor sewed them all into quilt that we displayed at the reception for all guests to see.
DJ Aaron Couch and MC Andrew Larris kept the party going all night long. Bridesmaids got into the spirit by doing a karaoke version of "Addicted to Love."
For the after party, we moved the guests upstairs to the 3rd floor outdoor terrace for more dancing while late night snacks were passed.
Lighting for the ceremony and reception was provided by John Farr Lighting and created a perfect mood throughout the evening. Thank you to the talented Rick Davis of Amaryllis for designing a gorgeous ceremony and reception. Thank you to everyone for making this wedding such a success! A special thanks goes out to my assistants for the day Laura Weatherly, Krista McClain and Emily Metzger. Thanks to Douglas Benedict Photography for sharing the lovely images with us and letting us share them with you!
Congratulations Liz and Mike!