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Washington Real Weddings: Danielle and Chad
A rustic-chic wedding with nature-themed decor—and a musical surprise. By Kim Forrest
Comments () | Published December 13, 2011

Rockville couple Danielle, an anchor and editor at Clear Channel Radio’s Total Traffic Network, and Chad, a network administrator, first met at a bar in Bethesda; their first date was cooking dinner at his apartment. More than a year after a romantic proposal just a block away from the bar where they met, the couple married on September 30, 2011, at the Audubon Naturalist Society at Woodend Mansion.

“We didn’t really have a clear vision of exactly what type of wedding we wanted until we saw Woodend,” says Danielle. “From there, it evolved into a wedding with natural elements and a bird-and-branch theme.”

“We didn’t really have a clear vision of exactly what type of wedding we wanted until we saw Woodend,” says Danielle. “From there, it evolved into a wedding with natural elements and a bird-and-branch theme.”

The 6 PM ceremony was held outdoors at Woodend before 100 guests. In lieu of traditional programs, Danielle painted a black canvas with the ceremony details.

“One of the most memorable parts of the day was walking down the aisle with my father and mother to ‘Marry Me’ by Train,” she says.

At the cocktail hour, held inside the mansion, guests received escort cards that had been “planted” alongside African violets in custom-made glass terrariums to take home as favors. Hors d’oeuvres such as miniature crab cakes and sesame chicken cones were served.

The reception featured a mix of tall branch centerpieces and low mossy tablescapes. Topiary table numbers were a nature-inspired touch.

Guests enjoyed dinner, especially the corn soufflé, and were wowed by the unusual frosting-free wedding cake.

“I saw a picture of a celebrity wedding cake with no icing, and I insisted on having it replicated no matter how crazy anyone thought it was,” says Danielle. “And people just loved it!”

The biggest surprise of the evening came during the couple’s first dance. The groom's mother and brother* enlisted singer-songwriter Charlene Kaye to perform the newlyweds’ first dance song—Kaye’s single “Dress and Tie”—live, as a duet with Chad’s brother David. Kaye then performed Etta James’s “At Last.”

“I was floored,” says the bride.

Vendors

Photographer: Leo Druker Photography via Two Bright Lights

Ceremony and Reception Location: Audubon Naturalist Society at Woodend Sanctuary

Gown: Enzoani, purchased at Love Couture Bridal

Hair: Kindle & Boom Salon in Rockville

Makeup: Blend Make-up Artistry

Bridesmaids Dresses: White by Vera Wang, purchased at David’s Bridal

Groom’s Suit: Hugo Boss, purchased at Nordstrom

Invitation Designer: DwellStudio for Wedding Paper Divas

Floral Designer: Edge Floral Event Designers

Caterer: Occasions Caterers

Cake: Cakes by Carolyn

Surprise Entertainment: Charlene Kaye

Ceremony and Reception Music: DJ Flounder

*This post originally said the bride's mother and groom's brother surprised the bride. We apologize for any confusion.

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A Washingtonian Wedding
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Posted at 02:12 PM/ET, 12/13/2011 RSS | Print | Permalink | Comments () | Washingtonian.com Blogs