Thursday, July 30, 2009

A White House Wedding!

Before you get too excited, the wedding didn't take place at The White House (how cool would that be?) but the bride is the President's Director of Domestic Policy so it seemed like most of The West Wing turned out for the event. This is a continuation of the original blog I posted right after the wedding when it appeared in the Post and the NY Times. Now I have photos!

The wedding of Melody and Marland capped off an amazing Spring/Summer wedding season for me. I have had the most amazing clients and truly wonderful events all year long and this wedding was the cherry on top. First off, I adored the couple and had the best time working with them. They were both funny and fun and knew exactly the type of wedding they wanted (which makes my job so much easier). They were also fast decision-makers and had exquisite taste (two more big pluses in my book). Plus, they were very conscious about being as eco-friendly as possible and insisted on sourcing as much locally as possible.

Melody and Marland wanted a beautiful and joyfully reverent ceremony followed by an elegant yet fun reception, both with some surprises for guests and plenty of WOW factor. And that is exactly what they got!

June 13th was a gorgeous day and everything was going well: the set-up at The Mellon was buzzing right along, the bride was calmly having makeup done by Carl Ray and we were on schedule. We knew that the Gay Pride parade would be blocking off streets between the hotel and church so we had already rerouted every limo and shuttle to avoid hold-ups. With the help of the amazing Park Hyatt staff and security and my fabulous assistants Alison and Grace, everyone was loaded smoothly into cars and made it to the church early and before any roads were closed.
The ladies at Peoples Congregation United Church of Christ helped ensure that the ceremony went off without a hitch. The church looked stunning with flowers coordinating with the stained glass windows and the ceremony music was gorgeous. At the end of the ceremony, we surprised the guests with the St. Martin's Catholic Church gospel choir singing "Rejoice" from the balcony as the bride and groom kissed. Guests were clapping and singing along with the choir's amazing energy. I've never seen people come out of a ceremony smiling so wide! Another special detail about the gospel choir: they use all proceeds for community outreach in the city.

After the ceremony, the couple took the wedding party and did some shots at the monuments with Greg Gibson while guests enjoyed cocktails at The Mellon.

As you probably know if you've been following the blog, I love The Mellon! Each wedding I have done there has been so different. What I loved about this wedding was the simplicity of the decor. The bride and groom love a clean modern look so Jeff with Capital Decor and Events created three different tablescapes that incorporated orchids, river rocks, bamboo and water. We used a mix of steel gray linens on rounds and long rustic wooden tables with rock runners. Then John Farr Lighting made everything look sultry and amazing with just the right lighting.

For a fun detail, some tables had a single orchid tucked into the napkins, some had a smooth black rock on top and some had crisscrossed bamboo across the plate. The natural elements mixed with the modern created a fabulous look! We even clustered couches and mirrored cube tables around the dance floor to create a sleek lounge environment.

Carolyn Bushmeyer designed the wedding cake with scrollwork taken from the bride and groom's custom invitations. The couple chose carrot cake for the inside (yum!) with one layer of plain vanilla for those less carrot-inclined. The unflappable Joel with Occasions Caterers worked with us to create an amazing menu (the bride and groom are true foodies) and one that was completely locally sourced. Nothing came from more than 100 miles away! The couple wanted the dinner to be memorable; we even served the entree in black bento boxes. After dinner, waiters passed mini ice cream cones and tiny cherry cobblers. I am a huge cobbler fan (as is the bride) so this was right up my alley!

After dinner and some lovely toasts and dances, local celebrity hip-hop DJ Chuck "Dirty Hands" took over and kept the dance floor hopping.

When guests needed a break from the hip-hop scene, they could retreat upstairs to the balcony lounge we set up with funky furniture and lighting (and some low-key jazz). The weather was perfect and what view could be better than looking out at the monuments?

This was truly a magnificent event and one I was honored to be a part of. Thanks to Melody and Marland for letting me be a part of their gorgeous wedding day.
A huge thanks to the amazing Engaging Affairs team who helped me throughout the day and night: Christine, Ashley, Maeve, Grace, Erica and Alison. Big shout-outs to the fabulous vendors who make my job fun: John Farr Lighting, All Stage and Sound, UniPark Valet, makeup artist Leah McKay (who took care of all the bridesmaids), American Sedan who provided all the transportation and successfully navigated around a parade, Sugarplum Tents for the catering tent at The Mellon, and The Park Hyatt and Amal Zaari for taking great care of the guests and hosting a flawless rehearsal dinner and brunch.
And lots of hugs and kisses to phenomenal photographer Greg Gibson, who graciously maneuvered around lots of newspaper paparazzi to get the most amazing shots so he could share them with us. Thank you!