dc wedding planner

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

How to start planning your wedding

Photo by Jess Latos

Photo by Jess Latos

Talk about your wedding priorities

So you're engaged! Now what? This week we're discussing the first steps every couple should take to get started planning their wedding. First step? Talk to each other and any other family that will be involved (generally parents). It's important to set aside time to really discuss what matters most to you - your priorities and expectations when it comes to vibe, location, and the number of guests. Take notes and see what type of wedding it's shaping up to be!

Establish a wedding budget

So you know your priorities and expectations - what's the next step in getting started with planning your wedding? Budget! Everyone's favorite subject. If you don't have a planner (like us!) to help you, there are lots of sample budgets available online to help you get started. My main piece of advice is to be realistic about both what you CAN and what you WANT to spend. Budgets are also where your priorities come in handy - you may need to cut corners here or there, so decide what matters most so you know where to allocate the most funds

Create a wedding guest list

The third step in getting started with wedding planning is creating your guest list! Create a guestlist spreadsheet with your partner so you can see who you (and other family) really want to invite. You can't pick a venue before you've finalized your guest list - no one wants to find themselves in the bad situation of having to disinvite people because they won't fit, or having too few folks in a huge venue!

Wedding venue

After you've narrowed down your priorities, guest list and budget, the next step is the venue and location. Local wedding cause all family is local and you have a huge family? Destination wedding to a location that matters to you both? Your hometown? Indoor or outdoor? Consider and talk through all the possibilities and what matters to you and your family.

Hire a planner!

The final step in how to get started planning your wedding... is hire us! :) Seriously though - it doesn't have to be us, but a wedding planner is truly a wonderful resource that can help you get started - we help you navigate all the conversations (from wedding vibe, guest list and location), we help you create a budget, and we help to narrow down your options so the whole process isn't overwhelming

Victoria and Brian's Murugan Temple of North America, MD Wedding Ceremony

Photo by Shandi Wallace

Photo by Shandi Wallace

Victoria and Brian were full planning clients of mine - we started working together back in January for a September wedding. I was so excited to work with them because their wedding day was going to be very eclectic - they'd start off with a traditional wedding ceremony at Murugan Temple of North America in Lanham, MD, and end the day with a non-traditional, modern reception at the Newseum. I decided to split this wedding into two blog posts cause it's just too good not to :) So today we'll focus on the morning ceremony and tomorrow we'll dive into their modern reception!

The day started off with Victoria getting ready at the Hotel Monaco. They then proceeded to the temple for various ceremonies throughout the morning (including a saari change!), followed by a luncheon of delicious food post-ceremony at the temple.

I just adore the beauty captured by Shandi Wallace - so much color, joy, smiles, and detail! Enjoy this look into their stunning ceremony and come back next week for a look at their reception...