dc wedding

Abby and Scott's Carnegie Institution for Science Wedding

Photo by Sam Hurd

Photo by Sam Hurd

I really love December weddings. And I especially love December weddings at Carnegie Institution for Science, a venue so gorgeous, you don’t care if it’s cold outside! Abby and Scott got married this past December. After a first-look and some photos both at the hotel and the venue, they signed the ketubah and then were off to get married. They opted for an in-the-round ceremony which beautifully highlights the Carnegie’s rotunda. After cocktails they had a lovely dinner by Design Cuisine - I adored all of Abby’s choices for linens and design. She brought in some great green colors that accented the season, but also didn’t go to far into the wintery route and brought in some lovely blues as well! Enjoy these romantic and stunning photos by Sam Hurd, and enjoy dreaming of that cozy, cold weather that will be here before we know it!

Abby and Scott’s Vendors:

Venue: Carnegie Institution for Science, Washington, DC

Coordinator: Katie Wannen, The Plannery

Caterer: Design Cuisine

Photographer: Sam Hurd

Music: DJ Mark Maskell

Florist: Highway to Hill

Make-up: Alison Harper & Co

Unique Wedding Activities

One of our most popular blog posts is the post I did about our family’s annual tradition of hosting our own lip sync battle (yes, seriously). It made me realize a round up of some of our favorite unique wedding activities that we’ve seen The Plannery clients do over the years could be fun and provide some inspiration for those looking to add a little twist to their wedding day. So check out some fun options below and get inspired!

Wedding Professional Performances

Photo by Justin McCallum

Photo by Justin McCallum

Yup - we’ve had some clients really go all out. My favorite was the wedding we recently featured that hired a very famous Beyonce drag performer to surprise their guests after their first dance. It was insane and amazing and so much freaking fun!

Wedding Silent Disco

Silent Disco Wedding

Tarra worked a wedding (that will be featured on our blog soon!) where they did a silent disco! I love this idea, especially for any venues that have sound/noise restrictions! Such a fun way to work past those limitations and still have an awesome, unique wedding!

Wedding Flash Mob

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I once got an email from the mother of the bride asking me to help with a surprise - she and a ton of other family members had put together a flash mob to surprise the bride during the reception with a huge dance to celebrate. It was so much fun and the bride loved it - it definitely got the dance party started, too! This obviously takes some rehearsal and planning/prep work, but it’s worth it if you know someone who loves dancing and loves surprises :)

Wedding Lip Sync Battle

I obviously had to include this one. One of our couples did a huge, hilarious lip sync battle at their holud, the night before their wedding. People really ran with it, including ridiculous costumes…

Wedding Performance by a Bride or Groom

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This one is personal for me - my husband surprised me with a song he'd written me at our wedding. But we’ve also had one of our clients who was a musician with the US Army Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps, surprise her husband with a performance. Whatever your talent is - it’s a fun time to share it with your new partner!

Mascots!

You can’t go wrong with inviting local mascots to the wedding. I’ve had brides invite them to surprise the groom, I’ve had them act as ushers, and I’ve had them simply join the dance party (which even got some local press!). They’re also always a fun photo opp for guests, too!

Fun accessories!

Light up wedding bracelets

One of my weddings bought these amazing bracelets that were gifted to all guests that lit up, changed colors, and flashed at different times based on the music that was being played. It was super fun and made it feel like a real dance party

Adam and Ryan's Carnegie Institution of Science DC Wedding

Photo by Justin McCallum

Photo by Justin McCallum

Adam and Ryan signed on to work with me back when I was about to have my 2nd baby! I helped them get started - nailed down the venue and some of the major vendors, had my baby (!), then came back to help them out with the rest of their planning. And I’m SO blessed and thankful that they took a chance on a very pregnant woman. This might have been one of my favorite weddings of all time. They were so much fun to work with and I knew that their love and their wedding would be so special. Justin McCallum’s awesome photos capture every moment, big and small. They started the day with some photos around the Carnegie Institution of Science. Then after signing the license with friends and family, they had a beautiful ceremony in the round. One of my favorite details was that they’d ordered two custom gobos - one for during the ceremony (which listed both of their “maiden” names), and one after, pronouncing them, The Hunters :)

After the cocktail hour, their wedding party had some of the most fabulous entrances I’ve ever seen, including their officiant walking in to Like a Prayer, the ring bearer dancing, and of course, Ryan clacking that fan.

Dinner by Main Event Catering was delicious, as was their stunning custom cake (which incorporated their married logo) by Fluffy Thoughts.

And then… it was the best part of the night. Adam and Ryan did their first dance to Beyonce’s XO, and then announced the incredible Riley Knoxx. This infamous Beyonce performer surprised the guests with a 20 minute set and kicked off the dance party like no one else. (and BTW, she also appears in Taylor Swift’s new music video!). It was legit one of the best weddings I’ve had the honor of being a part of - I need more Beyonce in my life (who doesn’t??).

Thank you and congrats again to Adam and Ryan for allowing me to help plan and organize this awesome day! And a special shout out to Scorpio Entertainment. They not only kicked ass as DJ but had a ton of other elements to coordinate - like Riley’s performance/lighting/sound, the special logo lighting, etc - and nailed it all.

Adam and Ryan’s Vendors:

Planner: Katie Wannen, The Plannery

Venue: Carnegie Institution of Science

Caterer: Main Event Caterers

Photographer: Justin McCallum

DJ, Lighting, and Sound: Scorpio Entertainment

Florist: Highway to Hill

Cake: Fluffy Thoughts

Hair/Make-up: Ebonie Jones

Performance! by Riley Knoxx

Ellie and Nicholas, Longview Gallery, Washington DC Wedding

Photo by Sarah Gormley

Photo by Sarah Gormley

Ellie and Nicholas got married at Longview Gallery, one of my favorite non-traditional wedding venues in DC. They were such a unique couple - their wedding hashtag was #acrosstheaisle - a nod to the fact that she’s a Democrat, and he’s a Republican. You can’t get more DC than that!! Their day started with some photos in the area (by the incredible Sarah Gormley). After a beautiful ceremony, they had cocktails in the back gallery while we flipped the ceremony space into the dining room - so they could eat the incredible meal from Well Dunn! Dancing and sweet treats (including mini Jeni’s ice creams…yummm) followed. He is in the military, and they honored that part of him not only by using his sword for the cake cutting, but with their cake toppers (incredible yoga soldier statues! Yoga for her, soldier for him). My most favorite detail, however, was their “guest book” - two posters for guests to sign: one of Reagan, the other of Obama.

Enjoy this awesome DC wedding! And congrats again Ellie and Nicholas!

Ellie and Nicholas’s Vendors:

Venue: Longview Gallery

Coordinator: Katie Wannen, The Plannery

Caterer: Well Dunn

Photographer: Sarah Gormley

DJ: DJ Evan Reitmeyer

Florist: Uncloudy Studios

Ceremony Music: Tiffany Rose Violin

Hair/Make-up: Ariel Lewis

Liz and Kyle's Blind Whino Washington, DC Wedding

Photo by Carly Arnwine

Photo by Carly Arnwine

Liz and Kyle were married on the most perfect summer day in D.C. in August at The Blind Whino (now CULTURE HOUSE DC), their kickass venue that I swear has a life of its own. While I was busy setting up for their ceremony and reception, this couple along with their fun-loving and ultra-fashionable wedding party, took some absolutely stunning pre-ceremony photos. Can someone please get me a room at the Canopy by Hilton Washington DC aka The Wharf?! What a hotel lobby and what a pier, their first look could not have been cooler. If that wasn’t cool enough, we all know the Blind Whino for offering some of the best photo ops in the city.

My specific favorite elements of this wedding were the dresses, the ceremony florals, live band, and candy bar. Liz’s dress was out of this world - modest, tasteful, and drop dead gorgeous as were her bridesmaids. One I will remember for a long time.

The vast greenery designed by Sill Life really made this ceremony for me. It was so dramatic and so unique. Just breathtaking and perfect for this venue. There were some concerns about the lighting or lack thereof in the space particularly during the ceremony, but I found everything to be quite warming and theatrical in the best way.

The jam band that Kyle found and made sure would play at his wedding was something everyone from this event will remember. They were phenomenal! I believe a DJ was important to others involved, so I especially liked our compromise and plan to have the band play pre-ceremony as guests arrived as well as through cocktail hour making it extremely lively and fun. After dinner, guests returned downstairs for dancing and CANDY! After all of the weddings I’ve done, I am pretty sure this was my very first time setting up a candy bar and I loved every bit of it.

Congrats again to Liz and Kyle!

Liz and Kyle’s vendors

Coordinator: Tarra, The Plannery

Venue: Blind Whino

Catering: BLin

Photographer: Carly Arnwine Photography

DJ: DMV Premier Entertainment

Band: Power Source

Make-up: Amie Decker Beauty

Florist: Sill Life

Kylene and Tony's The Line Hotel, Washington, DC Wedding

Photo by Jess Latos Photography

Photo by Jess Latos Photography

Kylene and Tony were married at the virtually brand spanking new Line Hotel in the heart of Adams Morgan, Washington, D.C. It was pretty clear that having the city as the backdrop (literally) to their wedding was very important to this ridiculously delightful couple. In their own words, D.C. is where they met in 2013, where they fell in love, and where they call home. The Line Hotel’s rooftop offered jaw dropping views for all to take in during their touching ceremony and Jess Latos Photography killed it with capturing all of the feels! The city skyline was also represented on their remarkable 4-tier wedding cake by Buttercream Bakeshop

It would be criminal for me to reminisce about my wonderful experience working with Kylene and Tony without also reminiscing about the Mother of the Bride - aka the GOAT! Special shout-out to Kylene’s mom who was an infectious ball of energy and so much fun to work with. I mean, hello, she ordered blinged out microphones as dance floor props! With Kylene and Tony along for the ride, all of their attention to detail in planning and all of the blood, sweat, and tears paid off. The worrying was all for naught because the day was absolutely incredible.

Congrats to Kylene and Tony! And thank you so much for adding the scrumptious, uniquely flavored popcorn by Stella’s PopKern as wedding favors, they were a huge hit!

Kylene and Tony’s vendors:

Coordinator: Tarra Morgan, The Plannery

Venue and Catering: The Line Hotel

Photographer: Jessica Latos Photography

Band: Encore

Florist: Growing Wild

Wedding Cake: Buttercream Bakeshop

Wedding Favors: Stella’s PopKern

John and Jonathan's Long View Gallery, Washington, DC wedding

Susan Hornyak Photography

Susan Hornyak Photography

John and Jonathan were referred to me fairly last minute by some other clients of mine. I jumped in, super excited to work at Long View again and with this awesome couple - and on the day of DC pride, no less! Such a fun touch for their wedding day! 

John and Jonathan really wanted their evening to feel like a party - and they made some lovely small decisions that helped that vibe follow through. One of my favorites is that they greeted guests at the door prior to the ceremony. A reverse receiving line of sorts, I thought it was such a lovely touch that made guests feel welcome and made it an intimate affair. Their ceremony was also laid out with two aisles - an awesome decision that allowed the room to physically embody these two lives coming together, joining into a wonderful partnership and marriage. 

Post ceremony we had cocktails in the back gallery (with a champs bar, to boot), followed by a meal in the front gallery that featured three different stations for guests to visit which encouraged mingling and chatting. The room was stunning, with an awesome layout and rentals that really reflected the industrial vibe of Longview. 

Post dinner we all headed back to the gallery for The Bachelor Boys and the guys and their guests danced the night away!

Congrats again, John and Jonathan! And big thanks to Susan Hornyak Photography for the wonderful photos.

John and Jonathan's Vendors:

Coordination: Katie Wannen, The Plannery

Venue: Long View Gallery

Caterer: Occasions Catering

Photographer: Susan Hornyak Photography

Band: The Bachelor Boys

Draping: Fabrication Events

Lighting: John Farr

Floral: Uncloudy Studio

Britt and Chris's Decatur House DC Wedding

Photo by Love Life Images

Photo by Love Life Images

Britt and Chris were Partial Planning clients of mine that I adored - sadly, due to my pregnancy, I had to pass off coordination to the fab Rebecca O'Donnell and wasn't able to be there on their wedding day. They were such a fun couple to work with because in some ways they wanted really classic DC elements - black tie optional, a beautiful, historic venue - while also keeping things modern (I loved their green/white floral vibe, provided by Love Blooms). 

Their day started off with a ceremony at the historic and stunning Christ Church in Alexandria, VA. There were some protestors near Christ Church because they were about to take down some plaques memorializing Robert E. Lee - but luckily they were able to run them off so they weren't in the photos! From there they all ventured over to the Decatur House - one of my favorite DC venues for cocktails, dinner and dancing. Dinner was tented outdoors and Amaretto Band did an awesome job - even playing a last minute request of "Hang on, Sloopy" for the Ohio State fans in the crowd.

Congrats again to Britt and Chris - I was so sorry to not be there and see this come to fruition, but Matthew D'Agostino's photos from Love Life Images are the next best thing!

Britt and Chris's Vendors:

Planning: Katie Wannen, The Plannery

Coordination: Rebecca O'Donnell, Blue Canary Events

Venue: Christ Church and Decatur House

Caterer: Main Event Caterers

Photographer: Matthew D'Agostino, Love Life Images

Band: Amaretto Band

Florist: Love Blooms

Transportation: RMA Limo

Hair/Make-up: Modern Bridal Studio

Nasheed and Chris's Non Traditional NMWA Wedding

Photo by Ayesha Ahmad

Photo by Ayesha Ahmad

Ok are y'all ready for part 2? (if you missed part 1, check it out here)

Nasheed and Chris's wedding was insanely awesome. Here are some examples of what you have to look forward to - then scroll on down and enjoy the photos by Ayesha Ahmad of this unique, non-traditional DC wedding: 

  • A first look with fab protest signs and beautiful shots from all around DC

  • Two of the National's Mascots (Abe and George, of course) as their ceremony ushers

  • An elaborate ceremony processional to music such as "Gangsta's Paradise" and a parade of babies who filed in to the tune of "Prince Ali" from Aladdin

  • A uniquely non-traditional, super personal (and hilarious) ceremony which included references to the Hunger Games ("may the odds be ever in their favor"), a vow to "make America great again," and a reading which turned into a performance from Book of Mormon

  • A ceremony that also gave nods to both their backgrounds, with the exchange of garlands and the breaking of the glass (by both of them, thank you very much)

  • A costume change for BOTH the bride and the groom (and check out her BOOTS - and his socks!!)

  • An elaborate first dance which ended in my most favorite song of all time (seriously), "Grow Old With You" by Adam Sandler from The Wedding Singer

  • The kick-ass cover band Go Go Gadjet who rocked it out, along with glow in the dark bracelets the couple provided to guests that would flash and change color in sync with the music

  • Basically the best wedding ever... enjoy!

Nasheed and Chris's Vendors:

Coordination: Katie Wannen, The Plannery

Venue: National Museum of Women in the Arts

Caterer: Main Event and Aladdin Catering

Photographer: Ayesha Ahmad

Band: Go Go Gadjet

Florist: Scentsational Florals

Draping/Platform: Fabrication Events

 

Nasheed and Chris's Non Traditional Holud

Photo by Ayesha Ahmad

Photo by Ayesha Ahmad

Guys. This couple is so near and dear to my heart. I worked with them last year, doing month-of coordination for both their holud and wedding in May of 2017. They reached out to me a YEAR in advance and I immediately booked them even though I normally don't book that far out. That's because their email mentioned their non traditional backgrounds (he's half Italian catholic/half Jewish, and Nasheed's parents are from Bangladesh and Muslim) in addition to references to Aladdin, The Book of Mormon, lip sync battles, and other insanely wonderful non traditional ideas!

So this obviously has to be a two-part-er. Come back on Thursday for their ridiculous wedding. But now, onto the holud. In addition to the holud being co-ed, their email mentioned that it "may or may not include a lip sync battle, roast of the bride/groom, airing of grievances, feats of strength, and/or white people awkwardly trying to do synchronized dances to Bollywood music in lieu of whatever is actually supposed to happen at those things." YES.

It was all of those things, and so much more. Josephine Butler Parks Center was the venue and it was a huge DIY affair. Big thanks to Nasheed's fantastic friends who created her "stage" decor, as well as to my lovely associate Tarra who assisted the hell out of it (including putting out a small fire with her bare hands. That girl is fierce). 

While there were some traditional elements, such as the henna and delicious food, there were also amazing untraditional moments - like all the performances, including a Circle of Life recreation with a very unwilling Simba, lip sync battles (my all time favorite activity), and much, much more. Enjoy this colorful, hilarious evening captured by Ayesha Ahmad Photography!

Nasheed and Chris's Vendors:

Coordination: Katie Wannen, The Plannery

Venue: Josephine Butler Parks Center

Photography: Ayesha Ahmad

Catering: Ravi Kabob and The Italian Store

Staffing: Wright Staffing Company

Henna: Henna Ink