Saturday, February 14, 2009

LA style and a DC wedding

Our dear friend and colleague (and amazing photographer), Justine Ungaro, married TV producer Gary Kordan this Fall. We were privileged to be a part of her wedding planning and to be included on their guest list. We go to a lot of weddings but rarely are we on the guest's side of things so it was a fabulous treat to be able to dance and eat along with everyone else!

Justine and Gary had a perfect day and some of the most gorgeous light I've ever seen. Before the ceremony and reception at Halcyon House in Georgetown, they got ready at The Hotel Helix and did lots of photos at the hotel and around town. Check out the amazing vintage pink convertible they bopped around in! The supremely fabulous photographer, Greg Gibson, shot over 9,000 images of the day. With a couple this gorgeous and cool, can you blame him?

Let me say, first off, that Justine has got fabulous style. Her dress was stunning--very Hollywood glamour. We also loved her birdcage veil and bright red shoes. Even the groom was sporting hightops instead of dress shoes! Her flowers by Janie Medley Flora were sleek and fabulous. We love mini callas and the eggplant ones make such a great statement.

The ceremony was outside Halcyon House at the base of the steps leading up to the house. They were so smart not to worry too much about dressing up an already striking backdrop and simply placed hot pink lanterns up the staircase.
The sun was setting during the ceremony and the light was unbelievable. One of the things I loved most about the wedding how much it was personalized. The bridesmaids each wore a different black cocktail dress; the flower girls wore frilly, hot pink tulle skirts; and Justine and Gary's dog, Oliver, was part of the processional. Bucking tradition, they had a DJ from Chris Laich Entertainment play ceremony music. The groom walked out to "Here Comes Your Man" by The Pixies and the bride walked to "The Luckiest" by Ben Folds. Justine and Gary's good friend, Lisa Loeb, performed a solo and brought everyone to tears. And to prevent things from getting too mushy, at the end of the ceremony the couple recessed to "Back in Black by AC/DC!

The party was just as hip and fun as the ceremony. Syzygy Events and John Farr Lighting transformed the Halcyon House studio into a sultry nightclub with fuchsia uplighting and cool lounge furniture instead of lots of tables. Black chandeliers were suspended from the ceiling and even the bar was tufted with white fabric. The cake, created by Fancy Cakes by Leslie , was as cool as the setting with modern fuchsia and black designs.
Justine and Gary wanted to avoid the typical Washington wedding with a seated dinner and instead had Well Dunn Catering pass fabulous small plates and set up amazing stations featuring everything from sushi to crab cakes and corn pudding. Since I did get to eat, I can attest to the fact that the food was amazing! Another culinary delight was the donut station from Smoothie Time. The cart was set up on the outside patio and made mini-donuts fresh on-site. The idea was to put them in bags with a custom stickers with Justine and Gardy's initials so guests could take them home. They made it to the bags but not many made it home. They were so delicious that we were all eating them on the dance floor!

The donuts weren't the only cool touch. Justine and Gary had an old-fashioned photo booth from PhotoBooth Scrapbooks on site. We all had so much fun goofing off and then putting the photo strips in a guest book for them. I love this idea so much more than the traditional guest book. Who reads those other kind anyway?
As you might have guessed, Justine and Gary are tight with the LA music community so the music at their reception rocked. Local band (and one of my all-time favorites) Gonzo's Nose played 80's hits and kept the dance floor packed. They only took breaks to let some of the bride and groom's friends perform. For most weddings that means a cousin plays an awkward guitar solo but for Justine and Gary it meant that songwriter and American Idol judge Kara DioGuardi took the stage to sing "Pieces of Me." Pretty cool and pretty amazing singer, too.

Justine and Gary definitely had one of the hippest weddings that Washington has seen and that I've been involved with. It was such an honor to be included among the amazing team of wedding vendors they put together. Sara and I had so much fun helping out during the day but we also had a great time actually attending the wedding as guests. For more details about Justine's wedding and her planning, check out her blog, The Unbride.
Big smoochies to Justine and Gary for letting us be a part of their amazing day and for letting us share their pictures!