The first time Marcus Canady spent time with Angelisse Hutchinson, it was while helping her pick out a dress for her then-boyfriend’s birthday party. He’d connected with Angel through a mutual friend after moving to Syracuse, New York, where Angel lived. Having promised to show Marcus around, Angel invited him on her shopping excursion to Lord & Taylor.
As Angel picked out a few dresses for the party, Marcus convinced her to try on a cream satin number that caught his eye. Angel obliged, but decided it was too dressy and moved on to her other options. “He then asked me to try on the cream dress again, and to my surprise when I came out, Marcus had about ten other random shoppers waiting outside of the dressing room, clapping and nodding in agreement that this was ‘the one,’” says Angel, a corporate talent management manager. “It was so hilarious to me that I had to get it. The funny thing is, I never wore it afterward, and so it just stayed in my closet.” The shopping trip inspired a strong friendship that eventually turned into romance when both Angel and Marcus found themselves single again.
When it came to the proposal two years later, Marcus, a military officer for United States Coast Guard, planned a scheme worthy of a spy novel. In July of 2013 he and Angel were getting ready for a surprise party that Marcus said one of his friends was throwing for his girlfriend at the Westin Washington National Harbor. “Since the attire was semiformal, Marcus asked me to wear ‘the dress,’” says Angel. “ I thought it was so sweet he even remembered I had it and asked me to wear it.”
When the couple got to the hotel, a friend rushed them into a very dim ballroom. Angel began to make small talk with the people at the party, when she felt the energy in the ballroom shift. “All of a sudden the room got very quiet and for some strange reason I felt like all eyes were on me,” recalls Angel. She turned around to face the other side of the room and found Marcus standing in the middle of the dance floor with both of their parents and friends and family from all over the country standing behind him. “I have never seen all of these people in one place before. I was so stunned that I literally stopped breathing for a second,” says Angel. “Marcus asked me to come to the middle of the floor, and right then and there he spoke the most beautiful words imaginable and asked me to be his wife.” Naturally she said yes, and the celebration turned into their engagement party.
The engagement session, captured by JPix Photography, took place at Fort Washington Park, downtown Alexandria, the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, and the Martin Luther King Jr. monument. The couple opted for three looks representing their personalities. “The first shoot represented Syracuse University and included our pup, Johnny Bacon,” says Angel. “The next shoot included bright colors to represent our lively personalities, and the final shoot is where we wanted to show our sophisticated side.” Marcus and Angel will tie the knot on August 8, 2014, at the Newton White Mansion.
When Michael Green met Emily Jones at a mutual friend’s birthday party, the first thing he thought was, “Who is this girl, and how have I never met her?” Michael, who is now in state government relations, quickly made up for lost time by asking Emily, an assistant director of retention and recruitment, out for dinner in Adams Morgan. After two years of dating, he proposed at to her at their home with a serenade. A year later they married in an autumn-inspired ceremony at Maryland’s Smokey Glen Farm.
Exciting news for bohemian-leaning brides! BHLDN, Anthropologie’s wedding brand, known for its ethereal and vintage-inspired bridal designs, is set to open its first location in Washington this spring. The bridal retailer will set up a permanent shop inside Georgetown’s Anthropologie space and stock an assortment of bride and bridesmaid dresses, jewelry, accessories, and decor. Even better: Brides-to-be can expect exclusive-to-Washington items as well as one-on-one consultations with BHLDN stylists. Stay tuned for opening date and more details.
When Gabriel Chodorow-Reich met Abigail Fee in college, he thought she was “cute”; Abigail found him “very smart and kind.” But did they feel a romantic spark? Not so much. The two went their separate ways, and didn’t reconnect until four years after graduation, in Washington, when Gabe was working for the White House and Abigail was in law school at Georgetown University. This time, they recognized their genuine connection, and a first date followed at Matchbox restaurant.
Three years into their relationship, Gabriel, now an economist, planned to propose to Abigail, an attorney at the scenic Glacier Point in Yosemite National Park. He surprised her with a ring while they were watching the sunset over a picnic of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. An elegant wedding at the National Museum of Women in the Arts followed a year and a half later.
A girl’s last night out on the town as a single woman is a big deal—so it’s only natural that as her number-one sidekick you’ll want to throw her a soiree worthy of the occasion. We’ve gathered up some fun items you can’t go wrong with, from goofy games to drinking accessories. Click through the slideshow for inspiration, and get ready for the ultimate girls’ night.
What Daniel Nakamura, owner of Booth-o-Rama Modern Photobooths, loves about photographing people is the moments they don’t notice the camera, when they are purely in their element. “I thought the best way to capture people being their most real and genuine selves was to remove the photographer and put guests behind a curtain so no one could watch,” says Nakamura. “I liked the concept of a traditional photo booth, but I thought just two heads squeezed together was not fun.” So in 2008, he designed and created a large photo booth, equipped to fit up to 12 or 13 people, and launched Booth-o-Rama. We caught up with photo guru, who shared why a photo booth is worth the wedding investment.
When Kristie Murray met Clint Herring during drama class at Chantilly High School, she thought he was cute and a perfect gentleman; he thought she was way out of his league. He couldn’t have been more wrong—they instantly hit it off and began dating soon after. When it came to the engagement, ten years later, Clint, now a firefighter, wanted to surprise Kristie with a proposal worthy of their decade together. After arranging a limo ride to the Morrison House in Old Town Alexandria, he surprised her with 200 ring boxes and a note under a Christmas tree. “The note read, ‘These boxes represent all of the times in the past ten years I should have done this,’” says Kristie, a special-education teacher. “After that, Clint got down on one knee popped the question, and of course I said yes.” A winter wonderland wedding followed less than a year later.
At Washingtonian Bride & Groom, we believe every proposal story is unique and special (we would know—we read dozens of them every day). We also believe everyone can use a little inspiration as a springboard for their own happily ever after. Shot at Georgetown’s Capella Hotel, “And I Said Yes” highlights some creative ways to pop the question with this season’s most mesmerizing engagement rings and wedding bands, from an adorable puppy ring bearer to a surprise fortune cookie. See all the ideas by scrolling through the photos below.
When Kelley Carter and Ornette Coleman met at the age of 15 at an amusement park in Virginia, they had an inkling they could be good friends—but neither suspected they’d end up wanting to spend the rest of their lives together. After becoming pen pals in high school they maintained a close friendship throughout college. It wasn’t until years later, on Labor Day weekend in 2008, that the two finally decided to give romance a shot and went on their first official date to a museum exhibit. After five blissful years of dating, Ornette, a designer and creative technologist, proposed to Kelley, who is in e-commerce product management, one quiet morning in their home. A stunning ceremony in Mitchellville, Maryland, followed eight months later.
It’s not enough to just have the bride, the groom, and the officiant at your ceremony anymore—you also need the proper decor. Many ceremonies now feature elaborate arches under which couples exchange their vows. Whether your nuptials are in a romantic garden, by the beach, or in a beautiful ballroom, we scoured Pinterest for ideas that will inspire. Click through the slideshow to see all the designs.