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A Washingtonian Wedding

Getting Hitched? There’s An App for That

Technology is embracing the bride-to-be with simple, super-helpful apps to help navigate you to the big day.

By Chelsea Boone

Planning your wedding can be one of the most exciting and stressful things you will ever do. From organizing your guest list to finding the perfect dress to getting in shape to look your best in that dress, it seems like a bride-to-be’s job is never done. To make your planning a little less stressful, we’ve rounded up some of the best apps for brides.

The Knot Wedding Planner

This app has virtually everything a bride needs to plan her big day. It lets you make a to-do list, helps you allocate your budget, and even manages your guest list. The app also features tons of photos from which to draw inspiration for your dress, hairstyle, decor, and more, and you can save and organize your favorite picks. There’s also a countdown to help build the excitement as you get closer to walking down the aisle.

Available for: iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. For Androids, try a similar app called Our Wedding Planner

Price: Free

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A Washingtonian Wedding

Expert Tips for Reprioritizing Wedding Planning

From trimming the guest list to preventing Pinterest overload, how to get coordinating nuptial details off to a fresh start this year.

By Kate Bennett A newlywed couple from an Events in the City–planned wedding. Photograph by Rebekah Murray.

For the start of 2013, we asked a handful of area wedding planners what they would suggest if they could retool a couple-to-be’s top five resolutions for tackling their nuptials. We’ll be revealing the helpful (and entirely doable!) answers in this space over the next two weeks.

First up is Laura Ritchie and the team from Events in the City.

1) Lose ten pounds . . . off your guest list: Keeping a tight guest list of important people, family, and friends is the key to a successful and budget-conscious planning endeavor. Keep your lips sealed around the office and random neighbors—and especially in the presence of your brother’s flavor-of-the-month girlfriend. These acqaintances can change over time, and you may feel obliged to invite them, even if you only verbally promised a spot ten months earlier. Make sure you edit wisely!

An intimate barn-style reception, from EITC. Photograph by Timmester Photography. 

2) Sleep does a body good: So do a balanced diet, regular exercise, and a realistic health goal for your wedding. It’s great to have a catalyst to get you in shape, but your wedding should not be a reason to try a crash diet or buy a dress that’s three sizes too small in the hopeful anticipation of it fitting. We recommend investing in your health so you can be your best you for your important day—what better reason is there? For an extra boost, consider hiring a dietitian or a nutritionist to give you tips, or even splurge on new workout clothes to inspire you to get to the gym.

3) Stay true to your wants and needs: Oversharing and gathering too many opinions can cloud your judgment and true desires. Whether it’s picking your wedding dress or selecting your linens, keep the tag-alongs to an absolute minimum so your dream is always in the forefront, rather than your bridesmaids’ distaste for pink.

4) Portion control on Pinterest: It’s a big world out there, and, my goodness, there is lot to choose from! It can be exciting to start your wedding board, but keep in mind that you should be deleting photos and editing along the way; after a year of planning, the clarity of the board can suffer from overload and confusion. We always recommend separating boards by vendor and specific category—that way, when you are consulting with your baker, he or she isn’t getting bombarded with shots of bridesmaid updos or your next DIY bathroom project.

A fun idea from EITC for a nautical-inspired wedding. Photograph by Rebekah Murray.

5) Style it right: You are the center of attention at the bridal shower, ladies’ luncheon, engagement pictures, and countless family affairs. We love treating our clients to the advice of a personal stylist, which can only help ensure they look their best. Your definitive style should boost your confidence—which is something every bride-to-be should exude.

A bride poses happily with her bridesmaids. Photograph by Katie Stoops. 

Special thanks to the team at Events in the City. 

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Real Wedding: Sarah & Claiborne

This couple is a perfect match for the wonk-y world of Washington.

By Natalie Grasso Claiborne Guy and Sarah Stockdale steal a moment for a kiss on their wedding day. All photography by Hay McKenna Documentary Weddings.

Starting on the night of the first presidential debate of 2008 and culminating at the altar just in time for the 2012 election season, Sarah Stockdale and Claiborne Guy’s love story has unfolded like a four-year term. Sarah, 30, is the manager of policy and legislative services at the Ferguson Group, a bipartisan federal government relations consulting firm. She grew up in Derwood, Maryland, attended Gettysburg College, and moved to DC after graduation. Claiborne Guy, 34, is a public policy analyst at WorldatWork, a global HR firm. He grew up in Alexandria, attended the University of Georgia, and lived in Key West and Charlotte for several years after college before returning to Washington.

Their respective moves back landed them five houses apart on the same street in Glover Park, where Claiborne often spotted Sarah hanging out on her front porch as he walked past with his dog. They had been introduced before—they shared a handful of mutual friends—and after a number of run-ins in the grocery store and at their favorite bars, and now these sidewalk sightings, Claiborne began stopping by Sarah’s for neighborly front porch chats.

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Real Wedding: Jessie & Rick

A formal ceremony finds its perfect venue at the Corcoran Gallery of Art.

By Kate Bennett Jessie and Rick on their wedding day. All photographs courtesy of Muriel Silva Photography.

When Jessie, who is in high-fashion sales, spotted Rick, an investment banker, from afar one night, she had a feeling she had to meet him. However, the evening slipped away without the opportunity to say hello, so Jessie had to pass along a message to Rick via one of his friends. It did the trick. By the next morning Rick had already called to set up a date, and later that evening the two met for dinner at Masa 14. A second date at The Source quickly followed, and the couple have been nearly inseparable since. An engagement on the tennis court at Kennedy Recreation Center sealed the deal, and the couple began to focus on envisioning their elegant nuptials, which took place in April at the Corcoran Gallery of Art.

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Real Wedding: Jackie & Sam

A combined love of food and art was the recipe for a chic, colorful wedding at the Corcoran.

By Natalie Grasso Jackie and Sam strike a pose with their bridesmaids and groomsmen at the Corcoran Gallery of Art. All photographs courtesy of Alexandra Friendly Photography.

“Your friend Jackie is amazing,” Sam Hiersteiner texted to the friend who had just introduced him to Jacqueline Ionita. It was early 2008, and Sam was intrigued. A few weeks later, he threw a party and made sure to invite Jackie. “He served an amazing homemade chocolate cake that made quite the impression on me,” Jackie recalls. It was a fitting start to a relationship that would blossom over good food.

The two became friends first, meeting each week for dinners that lasted for hours. “The first time I felt like I was romantically interested was during one of our meetups at Old Ebbitt, and our first real date was at Hank’s Oyster Bar,” says Jackie, 30, a native of Hunt Valley, Maryland who moved to DC in 2004 to complete her BFA in painting at the Corcoran. She has just stepped down as director of Hamiltonian Gallery, a contemporary-art gallery at 14th and U streets, to focus on obtaining her master’s in interior design at the Corcoran.

Sam, 31, grew up in Kansas City, Kansas, and moved to DC in 2003 after graduating from Wesleyan University in Connecticut. He is a vice president at the Glover Park Group, a strategic communications firm, and moonlights as a food writer. “Anyone who knows me knows the term ‘foodie’ probably doesn’t do justice to the obsession I have with everything culinary,” says Sam. “And I knew early on that Jackie shared some of that love.”

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Real Wedding: Real Weddings: Lina & Adam

When faced with the uphill climb to matrimony, it wasn't the bride the groom had to impress, but her family. Luckily, his efforts had a happy ending.

By Amanda Yeager Lina and Adam on their wedding day. All photographs by Muriel Silva Photography.

Lina Stoman first met Adam Kerr in 2007, when they were both working for Lockheed Martin; she thought he was cute but also a little self-important. “He was really into his work, very sharp and very focused,” she remembers.

But as they got to know each other, dropping into each other’s offices and chatting during the workday, he started to grow on her. “I remember one day I said I really wanted a Snickers, and then I went back to my office and got busy with work, forgetting about my craving,” says Lina, a brunette beauty of Afghan descent. A little while later, Adam showed up with a Snickers bar.

“That’s when I realized that all of that ‘arrogance’ was really just him trying to be professional,” she says.

The two went on their first date, to Georgetown’s Cafe Bonaparte, about a week after Lina transferred to a new office. “The more time we spent together, the more we realized how happy we were,” she says. “We complemented each other in so many ways.”

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Real Wedding: Real Weddings: Kyosha & Deric

“Get Hitched in Georgetown” winners tie the knot in style at Sequoia.

By Mary Yarrison Kyosha and her bridesmaids strike a pose. All photographs courtesy of Al Forbes.

In late summer 2006, Kyosha Johnson and Deric Canty were strangers attending freshman orientation at Howard University. They were both new to the area—she’d moved from Arizona and he from South Carolina—and though they met before school started, sparks didn’t fly right away.

However, by sophomore year, they’d joined the same professional fraternity and developed a close friendship, hanging out almost daily. By junior year they’d been on their first date (to Vapiano in Chinatown), and in May 2011, Deric proposed.

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Real Wedding: Nikoletta & Ayan

A melding of cultures meant double the festivities for this Alexandria duo.

By Natalie Grasso Nikoletta Theodoropoulos and Ayan Bagchi dance at their wedding reception. All photographs courtesy of The Happy Couple.

Ayan Bagchi and Nikoletta Theodoropoulos’s favorite Jagged Edge song played as they entered their wedding reception at the Four Seasons Washington on March 10, but “Where the Party At” had to be the last question on anybody’s mind. Following two ceremonies that elegantly wove Nikoletta’s Greek Orthodox roots with Ayan’s Indian heritage—wedding planner Alexandra Strawn of Cherry Blossom Events dubbed the day “Bollywood goes Greek”—one thing was certain: The party was there.

“It was an incredible blending of two different cultures and wedding philosophies into one eight-hour event,” says Ayan, who works at a consulting firm. “We had two cocktail hours, two ceremonies, tons of dancing, and amazing food.”

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A Washingtonian Wedding

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A couple finds quiet moments before the excitement of the big day begins.

By Laura Wainman Erin and Ali Fardshisheh share a quick laugh on their wedding day. All photographs by Jennifer Domenick, Love Life Images.

A lot of firsts for Erin Fardshisheh occurred in room F108 at the University of Miami. She sat through her first law school class (property law). She met her first law school friend (a cute boy). And she got her first marriage proposal (in front of a janitor, no less). It just so happened those three firsts dovetailed; the cute law school classmate was the one who popped the question.

"I took great pride in planning the perfect engagement, and I knew it would be difficult to surprise a woman I had been dating for almost four years," says Erin's now-husband, Ali Fardshisheh. "I talked about how we had come full circle, back to the place we first met, and how I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her. When Erin said yes, we memorialized the moment by taking a picture with the janitor."

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A Washingtonian Wedding

Real Weddings: Mary and Ian

Family-oriented details and touches of Brazilian tradition marked this beautiful, over-the-top celebration.

By Kate Bennett Ian Alberg and Mary Morrison share a post-ceremony kiss in front of Sixth & I Historic Synagogue.

When Ian Alberg proposed to Mary Morrison, he really outdid himself. "He did it twice," says Mary, a bubbly, blonde international consultant and former White House staffer. "The first was in New York City at my apartment, which was a total surprise. Then he did it again the following weekend in Washington at the Lincoln Memorial, one of our favorite places." In case you're wondering, yes, she did get two rings. The first reflected Mary's half-Brazilian roots: A diamond eternity band is the traditional symbol of engagement. The second was a more classic American engagement ring, with a round center stone surrounded by a ring of smaller diamonds. The observance of backgrounds and the merging of cultures was a common theme as Mary and Ian planned their November 5 nuptials--both knew they wanted their celebration to reflect elegance, fun, and memorable details.

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