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Sarah Zlotnick Is the New Editor of Washingtonian Bride & Groom


Washingtonian Media welcomes a new Washingtonian Bride & Groom editor, Sarah Zlotnick.

Sarah Zlotnick rejoined the Washingtonian Media team in February as the Washingtonian Bride & Groom editor and Washingtonian fashion editor. Sarah couldn’t be happier to be back at Washingtonian, where she began her career as an Associate Fashion Editor. Stepping into the reigns as Editor-in-Chief of Washingtonian Bride & Groom, she hopes to expand the online presence of the brand and further celebrate the wide variety of weddings that happen in the Washington area.

Prior to re-joining Washingtonian, she was an Editor at WeddingWire, focusing on wedding fashion, registry, jewelry, and favors. She traveled across the country with the company, speaking to couples on how to plan the wedding of their dreams and vendors on how to appeal to brides and editors in the digital age.

Her work has also appeared in Refinery29, Huffington Post, and Bethesda Magazine, and she has been quoted as a wedding expert by Good Morning America, CNBC, and KEYE-TV Austin.

Contact: Rebecca McFarland: rmcfarland@washingtonian.com | 202-862-3506 | High resolution photo available upon request.

Real Weddings

Real Wedding: Elegant Spring Wedding at the Congressional Country Club

Kristina D’Ambrosio and Patrick Adrian wed on May 17, 2014.

By Caroline Cunningham All photographs by Kate Haus Photography.

When Kristina D’Ambrosio visited her friend in Charlotte for a weekend, she was planning on being the third wheel for the duration of her stay. But Kristina was pleased that her friend’s boyfriend brought around his attractive roommate, Patrick Adrian, to spend the weekend with them. Kristina and Patrick hit it off immediately, but it wasn’t until eight months later, when Kristina returned to Charlotte to celebrate the same friend’s engagement, that she spoke to Patrick again.

This time, when Kristina and Patrick parted, neither wanted to see the other one go. “I remember we hugged each other goodbye, and for some reason neither of us let go—it had to be at least a three minute hug, not to mention all of our friends were watching,” Kristina said. “It was the longest and best hug I can ever remember having.”

The pair had dated long distance for two years when Patrick invited Kristina to Barrel Oak Winery in Middleburg to celebrate his parent’s anniversary. It was pouring rain, and though Kristina had her doubts about visiting the winery, Patrick convinced her to keep to their plans. But once she arrived at the winery, Kristina saw why a little rain wasn’t going to change Patrick’s mind. He brought her to an upstairs room—outfitted with a guitar player, champagne, and roses—where he got down on one knee.

Patrick and Kristina wed on May 17, 2014 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, with a reception at the Congressional Country Club. A roving violinist performed in memory of Kristina’s mother, who had passed away several years prior, and Kristina’s father brought the room to tears with a touching speech about how thankful he was his daughter was marrying such a well-raised young man. The couple danced to John Legend’s “All of Me,” and sent guests home with Italian cookies, a sweet reminder of the day.

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10 Little White Dresses Under $250

As wedding shower season arrives, so does a need for a closet full of white dresses to wear to them.

By Caroline Cunningham

Even if you’ve found “the one” (and by that we mean “the dress”), you are far from finished shopping for white garments. As wedding shower season arrives, it’s important to look the part of the bride while sipping mimosas with your future wedding guests—and don’t forget about a need for rehearsal dinner, going away, and honeymoon dresses. Finding a simple, attractive, inexpensive little white dress can be a challenge with all of the cheap-looking white lace numbers out there, so we did some hunting to track down ten great little white dresses that won’t break the bank.

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Real Weddings

Real Wedding: See Photos from Our Cover Wedding at The Hay-Adams

Mallory Caudle and Philip Hoon married on July 26, 2014.

By Caroline Cunningham All photographs by Sweet Tea Photography.

Mallory Caudle and Philip (Phil) Hoon don’t agree about exactly when they first met. She says it was at a party one winter with a group of friends; he says it was at a restaurant downtown the summer before. But either way, they did meet, and it was at that winter party that they struck up a conversation.

“While her beauty was what initially caught my attention, her infectious smile and engagement during our first conversation had me hooked,” says Phil. A few months later, they ran into one another again, and it was then that Phil asked his dream girl on a first date. Though both a little nervous, they knew this was a romance that would last. “I though Phil was the total package,” says Mallory. “He was (and still is!) smart, charming, enthusiastic, and gorgeous!”

Four years of dating later, they were in Chestertown visiting his parent’s home. It was July, so they went out on a boat to watch the log canoe races. Phil set up a GoPro under the pretense of filming the boat races. “Phil asked me to sit up front, which I did find odd,” says Mallory. “He said he wanted to have me in the video with the sailboats in the background, so I just shrugged it off and sat up front.” But when Phil went up to join her, he brought a ring with him. He was so nervous, he could only get out four words: “Will you marry me?”

The couple wed on July 26, 2014 with a celebration at The Hay-Adams. To bring in a bit of eastern shore flair, Mallory and her mother filled jars with crab seasoning from Chestertown and used oyster shells as escort cards, and Phil wore a custom Craig Paul suit with a fish-patterned fabric lining.

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Expert Advice

The Best Processional Music for Your Ceremony

Perfect Harmony String Ensemble share their top requested ceremony songs.

By Caroline Cunningham Photograph by Justine Ungaro.

Ceremony music is what sets the tone of your wedding—it's one of the first things your guests will encounter before the wedding begins, and it's the last thing they'll hear as you parade down the aisle with your newly wedded spouse. But for those who are not classical music aficionados, selecting the songs you and your that the bridal party are going to walk down the aisle to can be overwhelming.

That's why we checked in with the pros, Perfect Harmony String Ensemble, a local professional musical group that has performed hundreds of ceremonies since they first formed in 2007. While they are able to play any classical music requests, they also specialize in taking a pop song or movie soundtrack and transforming it into a beautiful piece for a quartet.

For a couple that's interested in booking Perfect Harmony String Ensemble for their wedding, the group provides them with a music guide that offers song recommendations for every portion of the ceremony. Additionally, the Perfect Harmony String Ensemble is willing to arrange and perform pieces not among their repetoir, so even music written for other instruments can be transcribed for their group.

If you're planning your ceremony, here's a few of Perfect Harmony String Ensemble's most-popular pieces to get you started.

Classical Processional Selections:
Canon in D by Pachelbel
Air (from "The Water Music") by Handel
Sheep May Safely Graze by Bach
Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring by Bach
Air (from Suite #3 in D Major) by Bach
Bridal Chorus
Trumpet Voluntary

Contemporary Processional Selections:
A Thousand Years by Christina Perri
At Last by Etta James
The Wedding (from "Legends of the Fall") by James Horner
Halo by Beyoncé
La Vie En Rose
A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes (from Cinderella)
Marry Me by Train

Recessional Selections:
All You Need Is Love by The Beatles
Starlight by Muse
Viva La Vida by Coldplay
Cantina Band or Throne Room (from "Star Wars") by John Williams
Marry You by Bruno Mars
Paparazzi by Lady Gaga
Moondance by Van Morrison
Love Story by Taylor Swift
A Whole New World (from "Aladdin")

To hear the group perform some of these pieces, head to their website to give them a listen. Additionally, check out Washingtonian Bride & Groom's Spotify playlist of the best 15 processional songs.

Engagement Photos

Fall Engagement Photo Session in Georgetown

Kathleen Goulding and Ryan Ward plan to wed on May 2, 2015.

By Caroline Cunningham All photographs by BB Shots Photography.

When Kathleen Goulding’s friend canceled on Ryan Ward for the lacrosse date party at their college, Kathleen agreed to fill in, accompanying Ryan to the event. Ryan was immediately attracted to the easy-going and confident girl, but there was one problem: she had a boyfriend. When they parted for the night, they didn’t see each other for several months—until fate stepped in again, putting them in the same class. This time, they decided to be friends, and remained so for the rest of college.

But one year out of school, they both felt a change in their relationship. “We knew we had feelings for each other, so we went to dinner at Faccia Luna in Arlington to talk and decided to give dating a try,” says Kathleen. “We were both worried that dating might ruin our friendship if things didn’t work out, but decided it was worth the risk.”

They quickly realized that this new relationship would last. The pair had dated for four years when Ryan asked Kathleen to go hiking at Cascade Falls. The snow on the ground and the cold winter temperatures meant that they had the trail to themselves as Ryan got down on one knee and asked Kathleen to marry him. Little did they know, another hiker in the distance caught the moment on camera, and was able to send them a picture as a memento of their proposal.

Ryan and Kathleen are planning their wedding for May 2, 2015. For their engagement photos, they wandered Georgetown and DC monuments with Becca Bronkema of BB Shots Photography to capture their Washington romance.

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Expert Advice

5 Tips for Picking a Personalized Wedding Cake

RareSweets founder Meredith Tomason shares her insider tips.

By Caroline Cunningham Image courtesy RareSweets.

Among the influx of luxury retail opening left and right at CityCenterDC, there’s a new local bakery on the scene. RareSweets opened in CityCenterDC in December under the guidance of Meredith Tomason, a pastry chef with the French Culinary Institute and a stint at Magnolia Bakery among her credentials.

RareSweets is a traditional daily bakery, marketing plenty of delicious treats—seasonal glazed donuts, blondies, coffee cakes. “My concept behind our bakery was to bring classic American desserts and baked goods from the past into the present,” says Tomason. “Many of our recipes are based on flavors and desserts that have been forgotten. These Rare findings are what we are Sweetly bringing to our customers each day.”

Tomason is working to expand the bakery’s offering of wedding and celebration cakes, and after years in pastry industry, she’s an awesome resource for brides looking for unique ideas for their cake.

Meredith Tomason, a veteran pastry chef, opened RareSweets in December.

You can have your traditional cake—but be creative with it.

“Couples are trying to be a bit more forward thinking with the presentation and flavor. 'Naked' cakes seem to be popular, as well as a display of smaller cakes that all carry a similar theme but may have different flavors or decoration. I think people are finally realizing they can express their own creativity in cakes, and thus think outside the box of a white wedding cake. I think dessert bars are also increasing with popularity. There's definitely an added sense of guest interaction and playfulness that comes with a dessert bar. I think it's a fantastic idea.”

Think seasonal.

“I'm happy to see that a lot of couples are thinking more seasonally with their wedding cake flavors—pumpkin for the fall, cherries for the late spring. Our bakery is based around seasonality and half of our cake menu changes with the seasons. This trend is right in line with what we offer our customers every day.”

Use other parts of the wedding for inspiration.

“My favorite cake to date is one that incorporated details from the bride's dress. This was the dress that her mother-in law wore on her wedding day, and the flavor of the cake was the favorite flavor of the bride's family. I love the idea of tying generations and the two sides of the family together through the cake. It truly made for a memorable celebration.”

It’s possible to have a gorgeous cake and still be budget-friendly.

“If you are in love with an image of a cake, but you know its out for your budget, figure out what elements of that cake are really what your eye is drawn to. Ask your baker to try and incorporate those elements into a simpler version of the cake. Another tactic is to have a smaller cake on display that is exactly what you are looking for, and some cakes for service in the back. These cakes can be served to your guests. This way, you have the best of both worlds.”

You don’t have to make everyone happy.

“Don't be afraid to order the interesting flavored cake instead of the crowd pleaser. Don't be afraid to add personal touches to your cake. Remember, the cake or dessert is one of the last chances to make a memory for your guests at your wedding. Make it the sweetest memory of all!”

Stop in to visit RareSweets and try some of the delicious desserts. Mention that you read about RareSweets on Washingtonian Bride & Groom, and get a free cup of their fine La Colombe drip coffee with your purchase through the end of April.

RareSweets, 963 Palmer Alley, NW; 202-499-0077.

Anniversary Photos

Adorable Anniversary Shoot at Manassas Battlefield Park

Turns out cake really can stay delicious one year later!

By Sarah Zlotnick All photographs by Hay Alexandra Photography.

Who says your wedding is the only occasion worthy of professional photography? Here at B&G, we love a good anniversary shoot—it’s the perfect way to commemorate your love, and great opportunity to have photos of each other in something other than a white dress and tux.

In honor of hitting the one year mark, Centreville couple Danielle and Christopher Schubert spent an hour with photographer Hayley Smith of Hay Alexandra Photography at Manassas Battlefield Park. They dressed in nice but not-too-dressy outfits (love that Danielle’s look is a playful twist on the bridal ball gown), and brought champagne and the first layer of their original wedding cake along for the occasion. As it turns out, the dessert can indeed hold for 365 days.

“It was even better than what I remembered it tasting like!” says Danielle, a White House nanny.

Overall, the session was a chance for the couple to spend some quality time honoring the commitment they made at their Fairmont Hotel wedding.

“I feel like the first year is so important and so exciting!” says Danielle, a White House Nanny. “We wanted a way to show that the first year of marriage is something to be celebrated.”

The couple also exchanged anniversary gifts. Christopher gave Danielle a Kate Spade watch and two Alex and Ani Bracelets. Danielle engraved a pocket watch with “365 days down. . . Forever to go . . . I will love you until the end of time.” As a joke, she also picked up a toilet paper roll from Etsy that read Happy First “Paper” Anniversary.

The Details

Photographer: Hay Alexandra Photography

Danielle’s Skirt: Space 46

Danielle's Shirt: Bloomingdale's

Danielle's Shoes: Jimmy Choo

Danielle's Necklace: Target

Cake Topper: Cake Topper Connection

Shows & Events

11 Bridal Trunk Shows to Score Deals on Your Dress

Try on designer gowns for size at these April sales.

By Caroline Cunningham Image courtesy Angel Sanchez.


See the latest from designer Carlos Ramirez with his ultra-feminine designs—lace sheaths, tulle ballgowns, and illusion necklines aplenty.

Carine’s Bridal Atelier. 1726 Wisconsin Ave., NW; 202-965-4696. April 9 through 11, by appointment only.

Caroline DeVillo

Take a couture gown for a twirl in one of Carline DeVillo’s modern designs, such as the drape top Ginger gown or the knee-length Jane lace dress.

The Wedding Suite at Nordstrom. 8075 Tysons Corner Center, McLean; 703-761-1121. April 10 through 12, by appointment only.

Justin Alexander

Shop this timeless collection, featuring preppy bow accents, art deco beaded tulle, and simple silk chiffon a-line skirts.

Blush Bridal Boutique. 15125 Washington St., Suite 212, Haymarket; 703-753-8303. April 10 through 12, by appointment only.

Veil Trends Luxe Retailer

Find the perfect compliment to your gown at this veil trunk show, featuring every kind of cut and shape from Veil Trends Bridal Veils, and receive ten percent off your purchase.

Soliloquy Bridal. 754 Elden St., Herndon; 571-449-2580. April 10 through 12, by appointment only.

Bliss by Monique Lhuillier

Hints of peach, barely-there blue, and light lavender all make an appearance in Monique’s 2015 collection. Fall in love with her lacey constructions at this Baltimore trunk show.

Betsy Robinson’s Bridal Collection, 1848 Reisterstown Road, Baltimore; 410-484-4600. April 10 through 12, call for appointment.

Accessories Trunk Show

Once you’ve got your gown, you need the gems to go with it. Shop the latest in bridal accessories at Carine’s, from jewelry to combs, veils to bird cages.

Carine’s Bridal Atelier. 1726 Wisconsin Ave., NW; 202-965-4696. April 13 through 17, by appointment only.

Heidi Elnora

Shop this Project Runway-veteran’s collection of beautiful ball gowns and receive ten percent the purchase of your dream dress.

Soliloquy Bridal. 754 Elden St., Herndon; 571-449-2580. April 17 through 26, by appointment only.

Romona Keveza

Try on the modern, belt-loving Keveza collection at Alexandria boutique Hannelore’s in this exclusive trunk show.

Hannelore’s of Olde Town, 106 North Lee St., Alexandria; 703-549-0387. April 23 through 26, by appointment only.

Angel Rivera

See this contemporary collection in person, including statement embroidery, illusion backs, and perfect fit-and-flare silhouettes.

Soliloquy Bridal. 754 Elden St., Herndon; 571-449-2580. April 24 through 26, by appointment only.

Leanne Marshall

This west coast designer brings her romantic gowns with their unique tiered skirts out east for this weekend trunk show.

Lovely Bride. 1632 Wisconsin Ave., NW; 202-735-0674. April 24 through 26, by appointment only.

Eve of Milady

For brides who have a flare for the dramatic, Eve of Milady’s sweeping ball gowns will work perfectly to create a dreamy, princess aesthetic.

Betsy Robinson’s Bridal Collection, 1848 Reisterstown Road, Baltimore; 410-484-4600. April 24 through 26, call for appointment.

Real Weddings

Real Wedding: Wedding Overlooking DC Monuments at the Newseum

Melissa Twining and Kevin Clark wed on October 11, 2014.

By Caroline Cunningham All photographs by Cassidy DuHon.

Melissa Twining arrived at the Adams Morgan bar just as Kevin Clark was preparing to leave. Knowing a tall, dark, and handsome stranger when she saw one, Melissa didn’t waste any time walking up and introducing herself. “She was cute and confident,” says Kevin. They soon found out that they both were twins, both were French, and both were interested in a first date.

They met up two days later for kayaking at the Key Bridge Boathouse with some of Kevin’s friends, and then planned on an official first date a week later at Agora. Though it was pouring down rain, they sat on the covered patio and talked for hours while the rain fell around them. A year and a half later, the couple planned a bed and breakfast getaway in Sperryville, Virginia. After going for a hike, they retired to the room, where Kevin ordered in champagne and strawberries. As they sat and enjoyed the view on the back porch, Kevin got down on one knee and asked Melissa to be his wife.

They planned their wedding for October 11, 2014 at the Newseum, decorating with mercury glass lanterns and vases filled with white river rocks and willow branches. After several touching speeches from the bride’s sisters and father, the couple danced to Ray Lamontagne’s “You Are the Best Thing,” which said exactly how they felt about one another.

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Preferred Wedding Vendors