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Real Weddings

Real Wedding: Perfect Pastel Wedding Overlooking Trump National Golf Club

Lavender bridesmaids dresses and gold accents played up the gorgeous setting.

By Caroline Cunningham All photographs by Timmester Photography.

According to Amanda Condit and Daniel (Dan) Dorl, AT&T can do more than connect you with someone via a cell phone—it can help you meet your soul mate. Amanda’s parents met working for AT&T in 1985, so when she developed a crush on her co-worker, Dan, she didn’t hesitate to ask him out. “I could tell he was very driven but laid back as well,” says Amanda. “I wanted to know more.”

She asked him to grab drinks after work at Pazo in Baltimore, and Dan was immediately taken with her fun, outgoing personality. They sat at the bar and talked for hours. “Two different people commented to us something like ‘You two look like you are on a first date!’” says Amanda. “We looked at each other and said, ‘Well, I guess we are!’”

They had dated for almost two years when Dan planned a dinner out with friends. At the last minute, one of their friends called to cancel, so Dan changed their reservation at BLT Steak to dinner for two. “I got suspicious when a car then pulled up to the restaurant,” says Amanda. They road to the Botanical Garden at Bartholdi Park, where Dan found a secluded spot, and asked Amanda to be his wife.

They wed 11 months later at St. John’s Episcopal Church with a reception at the Trump National Golf Club. The guests enjoyed cocktail hour on the terrace overlooking the gorgeous property, then spent evening dancing, watching a slideshow, snapping pictures in the photobooth, and at the end of the night, they took home M&Ms, personalized with the couple’s names.

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Real Weddings

Real Wedding: Military-Themed Wedding at the Army Navy Country Club

Kacie Zbur and Porter Jones wed on August 8, 2014.

By Caroline Cunningham All photographs by Jan Michele Photography.
The first time Kacie Zbur and Porter Jones met, they were walking down the aisle together. They weren’t the ones getting married, however—Porter’s older brother was marrying Kacie’s college best friend. Porter, a marine, hadn’t been at the rehearsal dinner due to the fact that he had just returned from deployment to Afghanistan. But when he saw who his escort was, he was immediately smitten. “She was the prettiest girl at the wedding,” he says.

They spent a Saturday together roaming DC, with a visit to the Air and Space Museum, a display at the planetarium, dinner at Capital Grille, and a comedy show at the Kennedy Center. By the end of the night, they both knew it was love.

Almost two years later, Porter celebrated Thanksgiving with Kacie’s family. After they all gathered around the table, Kacie’s father announced that Porter had something important to say. “He got down on one knee in front of the whole family and proposed,” says Kacie. “I was speechless but nodded yes, and the room erupted in cheers!”

The couple wed on August 8, 2014 at the Army Navy Country Club in a military-inspired bash. Their seating chart was based on all of the places Porter had been deployed, and photos of relatives who had served where scattered throughout the reception. Porter wore his Marine Corps dress blue alphas, and enjoyed having so many of his friends and colleagues, normally on duty around the globe, all in one place.
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Wedding Registry

Survey: What You Wish You'd Known About Registering

Complete our survey to win a $65 gift card to Varnish Lane.

By Caroline Cunningham Image courtesy Shutterstock.

There’s a lot of work that goes into concocting the perfect registry—researching products, reading reviews, deciding on bedding patterns and whether or not you need everyday dishes and fine china.

Here at Washingtonian Bride & Groom, we want to make it easier for the next generation of couples who are looking to put together their ideal wish lists.

And that’s where you come in. If you tied the knot within the last year in the Washington, DC metropolitan area, then we want to hear from you!

Please fill out our brief, ten-question survey to share what you love, wish you’d gotten, or regret about how you handled your registry. If you complete the survey, you may be featured in the next issue of Washingtonian Bride & Groom, as well as have the opportunity to win a $65 gift card to Varnish Lane, Friendship Height’s new waterless nail salon.

Find the survery here.


Having Trouble With Your Wedding #Hashtag? There's Now a Tool for That!

Use this generator to creating a memorable hashtag for your big day.

By Sarah Zlotnick Illustration by Alli Arnold.
Not one of those lucky couples whose last names combine to form a perfectly witty pun about marriage? Not a problem. WeddingWire, the Chevy Chase-based vendor review behemoth that also offers free wedding planning tools, has come to the rescue with their Wedding Hashtag Generator.

Officially released the week of February 23, the tool is user-friendly and fun. Fill in a few basic details such as your names, nicknames, wedding state, and setting, then click "Show me the hashtags!" to see your options.

For, ahem, research purposes, I decided to see how my Instagram memories would live forever if I married Ryan Gosling. Some of the hashtags were fairly predictable (#SarahWedsRyan, #SandRSayIDo), but the generator also turned out a few gems. My faves: #TakeMetoGoslingTown and #Goslingfest.

"Everyone is using a wedding hashtag these days. " says Jeffra Trumpower, Senior Marketing Manager at WeddingWire. "Our tool takes into consideration the little things—like nicknames couples have for each other—to make it fun and a little sentimental."

Did you try the generator? What was your favorite suggestion? Let us know in the comments!

Real Weddings

Real Wedding: A Festive Indian Wedding at the Congressional Country Club

A Napa Valley proposal led to a festive Indian-Irish wedding bash.

By Angie Hilsman All photographs by Photographick Studios.

High winds and several feet of snow didn’t stop Pooja Trehan and Kyle O’Meara from meeting up for their first date. The two had met on a university-hosted trip to Las Vegas while attending the University of Chicago, and Kyle had asked Pooja out to an Italian restaurant upon returning. After braving the biggest snowstorm in years, the two continued dating.

On a much sunnier day almost three years later, Kyle got down on one knee in the midst of a vineyard overlooking Napa Valley. As Pooja said yes, a butterfly flew by, providing good omen and inspiring the theme for their wedding ten months later. The couple wed on June 7, 2014 with a Catholic ceremony at Our Lady of Mercy Church and a Hindu ceremony at Congressional Country Club, bringing guests together in a blend of their Indian and Irish cultures with a Hindu ceremony altar, guests dressed in saris and kurtas, and the bride changing into a white wedding gown designed by her cousin.

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7 Wedding Cake Ideas to Fit Any Theme

The sweetest slice means finding your top-tier wedding cake.

By Kate Bennett

The sweetness of a wedding's finishing touch is amplified by how perfectly the cake embodies the theme. That's why, in our Winter/Spring 2013 issue of Washingtonian Bride & Groom, we featured seven cakes for any wedding theme. Whether modern, floral, or whimsical, ensure your sugary slice of love is top-tier (and tasty!).

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Real Weddings

Real Wedding: Enchanted Forest Wedding at the Anderson House

Delores Chávez and Evan Siegel wed on September 13, 2014.

By Caroline Cunningham All photographs by Love Life Images.

Delores Chávez and Evan Siegel met in the sixth grade growing up in Potomac, initiating a friendship that lasted all through middle school and high school. Though they both left for different colleges, a chance encounter brought them together again. Delores was visiting friends in New York City, and at a dinner out on the town, she found Evan, who was interning in New York, among the diners. They struck up a conversation over their meal, and after the rest of their group had gone home for the night, Delores and Evan stayed up until dawn wandering the city together.

A year later, Delores and Evan briefly dated, but soon found that long distance was too hard to maintain. But as fate would have it, five years later, they finally found themselves in the same city—New York—where their love had first sparked. This time, they both knew they’d found the one.

Four years later, Evan and Delores were apartment hunting around Capitol Hill as a part of their plans to move back to DC, when Evan suggested a snack break in Stanton Park. He pulled out meats, cheeses, and a bottle of champagne to toast their return home to Washington. When Evan pulled out a small dessert box, Delores initially wondered why he’d packed such a small treat and if he was going to demand that she share. But once she opened it and found a ring inside, she tearfully agreed to share everything with him for the rest of time.

For their wedding at Anderson House on September 13, 2014, the couple transformed their reception into an enchanted forest with moss-covered chandeliers and a clear tent and subtle lighting. In the middle of the celebration, Delores serenaded her new husband with one of his favorite tunes, and when asked what his favorite part of the night was, Evan simply said, “The bride. She looked so beautiful and elegant.”

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Expert Advice

Expert Advice: Syzygy Events International President Julie Shanklin

Custom events that bring dreams to life.

By Caroline Cunningham Images courtesy Syzygy.

Julie Shanklin started her own company over twenty years ago as a young florist looking to expand into all aspects of event planning. Today, after partnering with Vincent DiGiorgio in 2005, Syzygy is an internationally-recognized event design company. From the Naval Academy’s James Bond-themed soiree to a wedding with thousands of white butterflies strung overhead, Syzygy specializes in bringing your vision—no matter how extravagant—to life.

What’s something required to be event designer that most don’t know?

You need patience and to be prepared to do a lot of hard work. Its funny, our company’s blog is called “My O So Glamorous Life,” and everyone thinks you live this life of glamour. I do have to admit it has its perks, but hard work is the stepping stone to the glamourous part.

What makes Syzygy different from any other event design companies?

Our commitment and ability to make renderings into reality sets us apart from other vendors. We always deliver what we promise. We are extremely proud of our capabilities when our art team renders the event, and then we make that drawing come to life. The clients are thrilled to get exactly what they saw in the rendering. We also do custom design, so we don’t just do cookie cutter events.

What’s something custom that you created?

We’ve had the opportunity to create custom bars, backdrops, and stage sets for all types of events. We are currently designing a new bar that will feature an infinity mirror design that we are very excited about and another bar to represent Red Rock in Nevada that has rock walls and a water feature.

What are some event themes you’ve seen that are popular among Washington brides?

Urban chic and rustic style are big, and they’re created by using anything from wooden tables to a burst of color and metallics.

How do you transform a space?

We have our own graphic designers and fabrications department. They can transform a cafeteria to an Under the Sea experience by adding video and lighting elements mixed into all of the décor elements. We’ve also created rooms that feel like you are in the artic, by using fabrics and color and cold blast special effects. Nothing is impossible—whatever you dream we can do!

Real Weddings

Real Wedding: November Nuptials at the Hay-Adams

Amanda Kuker and Jordan Gorski wed after dating for 13 years.

By Caroline Cunningham All photographs by The Happy Couple Photography.

Though not many people can say they found their soul mate at age 14, it wasn’t difficult for Amanda Kuker to imagine a future with Jordan Gorski when they met the summer after eighth grade. “Jordan caught my attention immediately when we met outside the local movie theater,” says Amanda. “The whole night, people seemed to gravitate toward him. He was—and is—the type of guy everyone likes and wants to be around, me included.”

Their first date was at the local fairgrounds, going on rides and munching on funnel cakes. From that night on, they were inseparable, dating through high school, college, and graduate school. They settled together in Washington in 2012, and the next year Jordan planned an amazing getaway to Jamaica.

“We decided earlier that year to treat ourselves to a mini vacation,” says Amanda. “When we were booking the trip, I thought to myself, ‘This would be the perfect place to propose. I wonder if he’ll propose? Oh, I hope he’ll propose! but quickly contained my glee.’” Her instincts proved to be right on point: One afternoon during the trip, Jordan invited Amanda to go on a walk to explore the resort’s golf course. It was there, standing among ruins that overlooked that the ocean, that he popped the question.

A year later, the couple married at the Hay-Adams on a beautiful November day. Amanda’s bridesmaids wore glitzy gold and silver dresses, the ring bearer rolled the baby flower girl down the aisle in a wagon, and the ceremony centered on memories from Jordan and Amanda’s many years leading up to their wedding. But despite the stunning venue, delicious cake, and beautiful flowers, Jordan only had eyes for his dream girl. “I had always imagined what Amanda would look like on our wedding day, and she still blew me away,” he says. “I'm glad we had a photographer and videographer capture the moment, because she was all I could focus on.”

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10 Bridal Clutches for Every Budget

Whether you’ve got $50 or $1,500 to spend, we’ve got a classy bag for you.

By Caroline Cunningham Photograph by Shutterstock/freya-photographer.

You’ve got your dress, shoes, and jewelry, but it’s easy to forget that last piece: the clutch. It’ll be by your side throughout the day, carrying all your necessities to ensure that your lips are properly glossed and tears of joy are blotted gently away. In the wide range of bridal clutches, from tacky satin squares to desirable designer versions, there’s a bag for everyone. Check out our list of ten gorgeous designs to find yours.

This petite silver clutch is covered with delicate swirls for a bit of wedding day pizzazz. Tasha Crystal Swirl clutch ($298) at Nordstrom.

This gold glitter box clutch says it all. Kate Spade New York Wedding Belles Ravi ($398) at Kate Spade.

The label lover will fall for this sleek designer clutch. Saint Laurent monogram smooth leather clutch bag ($1,150) at Neiman Marcus.

A little bit of pearl embellishment goes a long way in this scalloped design. Pearl and stone party clutch ($39) at Charming Charlie.

If simple gold is good enough for your wedding band, it’s good enough for your wedding bag. Michael Michael Kors Elsie Crystal Box ($298) at Bloomingdale’s.

Any Art Deco-inspired bride will want this geometric clutch by her side. Kate Landry Hex gold chain frame clutch ($75) at Dillard’s.

This exquisite beaded bag has enough room for all the essentials: iPhone, lipstick, and tissues. Greybloom clutch ($250) at BHLDN.

There’s a lovely vintage vibe to this kiss-lock closure clutch. Jessica McClintock bead and sequin handbag ($59.50) at David’s Bridal.

The chevron pattern in the beading of this bag lends it a simple elegance. Nina Hamilton clutch ($125) at Nina.

The florals blend into the beading of this bag, giving it just a hint of 1970s flair. Marchesa lily enamel and crystal embroidered clutch bag ($2,695) at Neiman Marcus.

Preferred Wedding Vendors