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Real Weddings

Real Wedding: Caroline Manne & Kyle Herrig

A shared law class sparked the romance for this pair.

By Caroline Cunningham All photographs by Eli Turner.

Caroline Manne and Kyle Herrig’s first meeting can only be described as awkward. Both were taking the same lecture class at George Washington University's law school, and Caroline sat in the front of the room, Kyle right behind her. Caroline packed her giant textbooks in a back-friendly rolling Vera Bradley bag that wasn’t so friendly when it came to sneaking into class late—which she did frequently. On this particular day, as she dragged her bag down the auditorium row to find her spot, Kyle kindly picked it up for her, swinging it over the seats and depositing it safely by Caroline’s seat, saving their classmates’ toes any further injury.

Soon after, Kyle approached Caroline at the gym, referencing their mutual class. Once Caroline got over the fact that Kyle thought of her as the "wheely bag girl” and Kyle got over his bruised shins and toes, the two went on a first date to Café Divan in Georgetown and were soon inseperable. Four years later, Kyle asked Caroline to go hiking in the Shenandoah National Park. It was there, at an the peak of Hawksbill Summit, that he got down on one knee and asked her to be his, forever.

Caroline and Kyle celebrated their nuptials just over a year later, on May 25, 2014, at the St. Regis. The day was bathed in purple hues and the scent of lavender, thanks to dried buds at every place setting. Although their original plans to take portraits in Lafayette Square were scuttled by a “suspicious bag” in the vicinity, nothing could ruin their day. The couple snapped gorgeous photos elsewhere, boogied to their favorite tunes, courtesy of the Jangling Reinharts, and sent their guests off full and happy with late-night milkshakes and sliders.

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Shows & Events

Bridal Trunk Shows This Week: Monique Lhuillier, Amsale, and Austin Scarlett

Local gown sales to help you go down the aisle in style.

By Caroline Cunningham Photograph by Shutterstock/bikeriderlondon.

Washingtonian Unveiled on January 25 has you covered on quartets, caterers, and everything in between, and you may spy the dress of your dreams at the Oscar de la Renta runway show. But as you head toward the aisle, here are some other trunk shows that are scheduled for this week to help outfit you and your bridal party.

Monique Lhuillier Bridesmaids

Gather your best girls to find the gowns that’ll complement your own. Check out Monique Lhuillier’s 2015 collection of elegantly draped chiffon dresses in pastel and jewel tones.

Carine’s Bridal Atelier. 1726 Wisconsin Ave., NW; 202-965-4696. January 22 through 24, by appointment only.

Amsale Bridesmaids

The celebrated bridal designer’s spring line of bridesmaids gowns highlight reds, corals, and pinks, with a spectrum of cuts that’ll flatter every lady in your line up.

Bella Bridesmaids. 8001 Wisconsin Ave., Bethesda; 301-664-6436. January 22 through 25, by appointment only.

Austin Scarlett Trunk Show

The Project Runway star turned his attention to couture bridal, and the results are stunning. Take a look at his vintagey, Paris-inspired collection of gowns at this two-day trunk show.

Hitched Bridal Couture. 1523 Wisconsin Ave., NW; 202-333-6162. January 23 through 24.

Meet Designer Matthew Christopher

Stop in at Love Couture Bridal this weekend to meet bridal couture designer Matthew Christopher. Shop his collection and receive 10 percent off your purchase, as well as free custom measurements so your gown fits flawlessly.

Love Couture Bridal. 12500-B Park Potomac Ave., Potomac; 301-610-5683. January 23 through 25, by appointment only.

Flower Girl Princess Appointments

Help the smallest member of your bridal party shine on your wedding day with the help of Soliloquy’s bridal consultants, who will style your flower girls and junior bridesmaids and provide 10 percent off purchases.

Soliloquy Bridal. 754 Elden St., Herndon; 571-449-2580. January 23 through 25, by appointment only.

Robert Bullock Bride Trunk Show

The designer’s spring 2015 collection will be on display for brides-to-be to check out his simple, classic silhouettes, from a layered organza ball gown to a slim ivory lace A-line dress.

Blush Bridal Boutique. 15125 Washington St., Suite 212, Haymarket; 703-753-8303. January 23 through February 1, by appointment only.

Real Weddings

Real Wedding: Elena Taube & Paul Bailey

It was love at first sight for these two, who met at a conference.

By Caroline Cunningham All photographs by Susie & Becky Photography.

Elena Taube, a political analyst in DC, first spotted Paul Bailey at a work conference. The surroundings may have been less than romantic, but she knew immediately he was the one she’d waited her whole life to meet. “It was if I had met him before in a dream, and I always felt we’d find each other,” she says. “It was so exciting to realize that time had come.” Paul, attracted from the start to Elena’s beautiful blue eyes and blonde hair, quickly fell in love with the amazing personality behind her lovely exterior.

The pair only needed a year to confirm their assumptions that they’d found their soul mate. At Christmastime, Paul asked Elena out to dinner. Following their meal, they walked to see the National Christmas Tree and Menorah. Bringing Elena between the two holiday monuments—symbols that resonated with Elena’s Jewish-Christian faith—Paul got down on one knee and asked her to marry him. As soon as she said yes, a horse and carriage pulled up and swept the happy couple away on a moonlight ride through the city.

The pair wed a year and a half later at the National Cathedral, holding their ceremony and a cocktail party on August 23, 2014, with a formal reception the following day. They wed under a chuppah held by their closest friends, dined on a cake covered in decadent blossoms and intricate lace, and celebrated with family who had crossed international waters to be with them on the happiest day of their lives.

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Real Weddings

Real Wedding: Christina Karonis & Matt Radio

Perfect weather made for amazing late-summer nuptials at DAR Memorial Continental Hall.

By Caroline Cunningham All photographs by BB Shots Photography.

When Christina Karonis met Matt Radio on a bar crawl in Arlington, she was immediately attracted to his smile and sense of humor. A magical first date at Matchbox in Chinatown led to an equally spark-filled relationship, and after three years of dating, Matt took Christina on a getaway to Orlando. As they pulled up to their dinner spot, the Reunion Grande Hotel, Matt was so preoccupied with what was to come next that he forgot to put their rental car in park when he got out. Christina, who was still seated in the passenger seat, had to yank the car into park before she started rolling away. Despite the rocky start to the night, the rest of it went off flawlessly—Matt proposed, they ate a celebratory dinner, and then walked out onto the resort’s rooftop deck just in time to see the firework show from a neighboring theme park.

The couple’s wedding took place ten months later on a gorgeous day in mid-August. Matt and Christina snapped some pictures at the World War I memorial before their reception at the Daughters of the American Revolution Memorial Continental Hall. Guests sipped rosemary lemonade with vodka and Prosecco and ate cake topped with an ornament the bride's grandparents had used in their wedding. At the end of the night, Christina changed into a white flapper-inspired dress, and she and her groom departed to begin their married life together.

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Shows & Events

Bridal Trunk Shows This Week: Joanna August, Stella York, and More

Local gown sales to help you find your dream dress for less.

By Caroline Cunningham Photograph courtesy of Monique Lhuillier.

As you’re gearing up for Washingtonian’s Unveiled bridal showcase, check out some other local bridal trunk shows to help get your wedding planning underway.

Accessories Trunk Show

Check out the latest in veils, belts, jewelry, and clutches by designers Liancarlo, Siman Tu, Maria Elena, Homa, Paris, Peter Langner, and Cheryl King. Receive 10 to 15 percent off purchases.

Carine’s Bridal Atelier. 1726 Wisconsin Ave., NW; 202-965-4696. January 13 through 16, by appointment only.

Ceremony by Joanna August

Take the designer’s simple, elegant gowns for a twirl at this trunk show featuring her latest colors—baby blue, emerald, and fuchsia—as well as new styles, such as the convertible Ava dress.

Bella Bridesmaids. 8001 Wisconsin Ave., Bethesda; 301-664-6436. January 15 through 18, by appointment only.

Angel Rivera

Find “the one” among Angel Rivera’s timeless silk, lace, and beaded gowns and receive 10 percent off your purchase.

Soliloquy Bridal. 754 Elden St., Herndon; 571-449-2580. January 16 through 18, by appointment only.

Hayley Paige

Tiered tulle, cashmere lace—Hayley Paige’s 2015 collection just may contain your dream dress. Shop the collection and receive 10 percent off your order.

Love Couture Bridal. 12500-B Park Potomac Ave., Potomac; 301-610-5683. January 16 through 18, by appointment only.

Stella York

Get an exclusive preview of Stella York’s fall 2015 collection, never before seen online or in print. Appointments will only be granted to brides with wedding dates after August 30, 2015.

Ellie’s Bridal Boutique. 225 N. Washington St., Alexandria; 703-683-8697. January 16 through 18, by appointment only.

Bliss by Monique Lhuillier

From pale grays to rosy pinks, embrace a bit of bridal color with Monique Lhuillier’s 2015 collection at Nordstrom’s trunk show.

The Wedding Suite at Nordstrom. 8075 Tysons Corner Center, McLean; 703-761-1121. January 16 through 18, by appointment only.

Real Weddings

Real Wedding: Kendal Berner & Shawn Colligan

These former coworkers returned to the site of their first date for a romantic, elegant celebration.

By Caroline Cunningham All photographs by Genevieve Leiper Photography.

When Kendal Berner found out that her W Hotel colleague, Shawn Colligan, had tricked her into getting drinks with just him, rather than with a group as planned, she almost backed out of it. But the woman who didn’t believe in dating coworkers decided to give it a shot, and she soon changed her tune over drinks and appetizers at the Four Seasons. “Managers and guests kept coming up to us all evening to say hello, and they surprised us with a bottle of Champagne to enjoy,” says Kendal “Needless to say, I was swept off my feet right away.”

After the pair had been dating for two years, Shawn asked Kendal to get drinks with him once again, this time at POV. He excused himself from the table midway through the night, returning with Champagne, a ring, and a question. A hidden photographer snapped shots of the proposal, and then Shawn whisked Kendal off to a restaurant where their families awaited them, ready to celebrate.

The couple wed on September 20, 2014, at the Four Seasons, where they’d had their first date. Their favorite details: the gorgeous white orchids, a serenade of Leanne Womack’s “I Hope You Dance” by Kendal’s high school dance coach, and Shawn's football-themed groom’s cake. At each guest's place setting was a package of white Jordan almonds, which read, “Five sugared almonds for each guest to eat, to remind us that life is both bitter and sweet. Five wishes for the new husband and wife: health, wealth, happiness, children, and a long life.”

Take a look at the wedding photos below, then check out their wedding video.

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Shows & Events

Washingtonian Bride & Groom Unveiled 2015 Is Almost Here

The biggest bridal event of the season happens on January 25.

By Caroline Cunningham Photograph by Wedding Photojournalism by Rodney Bailey.

For everyone who got engaged over the holidays, Washingtonian Bride & Groom’s annual bridal showcase, Unveiled, is here to kick-start your planning. With the area’s best wedding experts and vendors—from caterers to photographers to entertainers to planners—you’ll find a one-stop shop for planning your big day.

The Bridal Salon at Saks Jandel will host an exclusive Oscar de la Renta bridal runway show, and Champagne, cocktails, and cakes will be yours for the tasting.

Bring a bridesmaid, snag some amazing door prizes, and start building the wedding of your dreams.

Washingtonian Bride & Groom Unveiled will be held at the Fairmont in Georgetown on January 25 from 11:30 to 3:30. The $65 general admission tickets may be purchased here.

Check out photos from Unveiled 2014 below.


Vera Wang White Launches New Spring Collection

See three new gowns from the exclusive David's Bridal collection.

By Caroline Cunningham

Just in time for brides planning their warm-weather nuptials, White by Vera Wang has released some spring ball gowns as options for the aisle. The exclusive David's Bridal collection hits a moderate price range, ranging from $1,389 to $1,498. All three dresses include a take on a tulle skirt, creating full ivory silhouettes for any tradition-loving bride. Scroll down to take a peek at the gowns, then shop the collection online.

Tossed tulle ball gown with floral embroidered bodice, $1,398.
Strapless tiered tulle ball gown with sweetheart neckline and floral applique, $1,498.
Cap-sleeve illusion-neckline ball gown with lace detail, $1,498.

Real Weddings

Real Wedding: Nicole Rusenko & Frederick Ferguson

The bride DIY'd much of the festive decor at this wintry celebration.

By Caroline Cunningham All photographs by Aaron Watson Photography.

Nicole Rusenko and Frederick (Fred) Ferguson’s relationship didn’t start off too smoothly. They met at Capitol Lounge when Fred tried to intervene in a confrontation between Nicole and one of his friends, which only made matters worse, and on their first date at the Willard Hotel’s Round Robin Bar, Nicole insisted on splitting the check after Fred said he wasn’t “really into dating right now.” Thankfully, they agreed on a “re-do” first date, which included a romantic after-hours tour of the Capitol building, and from then on the relationship was smooth sailing. Two years later, on Halloween, Fred asked Nicole to return to the Capitol rotunda for what he said was a ghost tour—and then surprised her by getting down on one knee and asking for her hand.

They celebrated their wedding on December 13, 2014, at Trump Winery, using festive pops of red and an abundance of sparkly gold to incorporate the holiday spirit into their day. The bride DIY'd much of the decor, with glitter-filled ornaments as table numbers, hand-painted dining plates, and place cards with her own calligraphy—and surprised her new husband with a golf cake at the reception. The guests sipped a hot apple cider and whiskey cocktail, enjoyed an outdoor bonfire, and danced the night away.

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Real Weddings

Real Wedding: Nicole & Walt Wong

This brave bride stomped grapes—in her wedding dress—at this winery celebration.

By Caroline Cunningham All photographs by The Willinghams Photography.

When Walt Wong met Nicole Lina for the first time at a dog park after connecting through an online dating site, the only thing that gave him pause was her intimidatingly large Great Dane, Olive. Thankfully, he quickly overcame his fears, and the pair chatted long after the other pups and owners had vacated the park.

A bit more than a year later, Nicole and Walt took a weekend trip to her parents' beach house in North Carolina. They took their dogs on an early morning walk along the shore with Nicole’s parents. During their stroll, Walt handed the dogs off to Nicole’s mom and his camera to her father, just in time to propose with the sunrise as his backdrop.

The couple wed on May 31, 2014, at Potomac Point Winery, which helped guide their theme of the day with wine-glass favors, a sangria happy hour, wine-bottle table numbers, and a ceremonial grape-stomping by the bride and groom. During the reception, the newlyweds showed off their moves learned from the Wedding Dance Specialists in their first dance to “A Thousand Years” by Christina Perri.

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