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Where & When

Take Wedding Guests Out on the Town With DC Insider Tours

Entertain visiting family and friends with these customizable city tours.

By Caroline Cunningham Photograph by Lissandra Melo / Shutterstock.com

Your aunts, uncles, cousins, and your cousins’ kids are in town for the weekend for your wedding, and you have three options:

  1. Wear yourself out walking them through all the memorials and museums you’ve seen a million times.
  2. Send them out on their own, risking the chance they’ll get lost or be bored and show up at your big event irritated that you weren’t a better host.
  3. Book them a DC Insider’s Tour while you spend the day sipping mimosas and getting your nails done, resting up for the main event.

DC Insider Tours offer guided experiences of the nation’s capital, and they take the “insider” part seriously. Rather than roaming the Mall and snapping an over-done photo in front of the Capitol, your guests will get the juicy, behind-the-scenes details that only a local could provide. From the DC in a Day walking tour that covers the city’s notable neighborhoods and concludes at the White House to the Ghosts, Scandals, and Murder tour that drags more than a few of the city’s skeletons to light throughout Federal Triangle and Lafayette Square, each tour offers a special take on one of the world’s biggest tourist towns.

But DC Insider Tours work for more than just a weekend distraction—they’re also a great way to give your guests a backstory for your nuptials. At your request, the tour can take your guests to the landmarks from your relationship—where you went on your first date, where he popped the question—with the accompanying narrative to share your Washington love story with your friends and family.

Book DC Insider Tours online, or call for more details.

DC Insider Tours. 202-810-4627.

Where & When

Bridal Where and When: August 8 to September 27

A schedule of trunk shows, and sample sales to expect this month and next.

By Valeria Boucas Photograph courtesy of Hitched Bridal Couture.

August 8-9: Oscar de la Renta, Reem Acra, Vera Wang, Peter Langer & J.Mendel Sample Sale

You can scoop up big-name bridal brands at Bridal Salon at Saks Jandel for a whopping 60 percent off, and that’s just the starting sale price. In addition to gowns, veils and other accessories will also be available for purchase. 

August 21-23: Monique Lhuillier Trunk Show 

Shop spring 2015 styles at Carine’s Bridal Atelier, but don’t forget to make an appointment first. Call 202-965-4696 to schedule your time slot and you’ll be able to browse the latest collection from the designer, plus favorites from past seasons. 

August 29-31: Casablanca Trunk Show 

Head to Ellie’s Bridal Boutique to shop a limited amount of gowns available this weekend only. Guests can also take 10 percent off any Casablanca gowns that will be in-store after the weekend. 

September 4-6: Rivini Trunk Show

Be one of the first at Carine’s Bridal Atelier so you don’t miss out on the 12-percent discount. Last-minute shoppers can also take advantage of the sale with 10 percent off on Saturday.

September 19-20: Anna Maier Trunk Show

Enjoy a free muslin with any made-to-measure gown purchase at Hitched. As a special bonus, the boutique will offer Maier’s evening collection for mothers or guests in search of a dress for a formal event. 

September 19-21: Pronovias Trunk Show

For this weekend only, Love Couture Bridal will have a selection of gowns the store doesn’t normally carry. The salon offers 10 percent off on any re-order. 

September 25-27: Jenny Packham Trunk Show

Spring 2015 is in full bloom everywhere, and Rizik’s is no exception. Snatch a super sale from UK-based bridal designer Jenny Packham. 

Have bridal events, sample sales, or trunk shows coming up this fall? Let us know at realweddings@washingtonian.com for a chance to be featured in the next Where and When.

Find Valeria Boucas on Twitter at @valeriaboucas.

Where & When

Event Alert: Book Hill Says I Do

A two-day showcase to help you plan your dream wedding.

By Jordan Muto

Whether you’re just starting to plan or have everything but the last-minute details nailed down for your special day, you’ll find helpful resources at Book Hill Says I Do on April 4 and 5. The neighborhood in Georgetown hosts a two-day event to help get brides, grooms, and their guests get prepared to get hitched.

Vendors will be on hand to aid you in making decisions, from selecting invitations at Dandelion Patch to picking the perfect dress at Lovely. Brides can visit Salon Ilo for hair and makeup suggestions, Patisserie Poupon and Macaron Bee for cake and dessert tastings, and Bacchus Wine Cellar for beverage samples. 

Be sure to check in at either Urban Chic or Sherman Pickey during the event to receive a gift bag with special offers. Participating stores will offer discounts, as well as gifts with purchase. Register for the Bridal Bliss raffle to be eligible to win a prize from participating stores.

No RSVP necessary. April 4 and 5, Book Hill neighborhood, Wisconsin Ave., NW.

Where & When

Event Alert: The Ultimate Ring Showcase at I. Gorman Jewelers

Shop the entire ring collections of 11 designers at this two-day event.

By Jordan Muto Photograph courtesy of I.Gorman Jewelers.

The hunt for that all-important piece of jewelry could get a lot easier with a stop at I. Gorman on April 11 and 12. The jeweler hosts an Ultimate Ring Event at its DC store, where you can sip Champagne while shopping the entire ring collections of 11 designers, including Omi Prive, Kirk Kara, and Precision Set.

Think you’ll need help choosing? The event offers attendees the opportunity to work with designers to customize their selections. Loose diamonds will also be available, which can be matched with several settings options for a unique engagement or wedding band.

Throughout the two-day event, the Wine Specialist holds a Champagne tasting; if you find one you like, a 15 percent discount will be offered on any cases ordered at the event.

No RSVP is necessary. To find out more information, visit I. Gorman’s website or email info@igorman.com.

I. Gorman Jewelers. 1133 20th St., NW; 202-775-8544.


Q&A: Bridal Designer Johanna Johnson

Just in time for the trunk show at Hitched, we caught up with the Australian designer to talk about this season’s prettiest wedding trends.

By Irina Grechko All photographs courtesy of Johanna Johnson.

For brides looking to channel old Hollywood glam on their big day, Johanna Johnson is a go-to for her minimalist silhouettes, ultra-luxe fabrics, and stunning embellishments. The Australian couture and bridal designer has quickly made a splash stateside with celebrities on the red carpet (Pink, Chrissy Teigen, and Maria Menounos are just some of the celebs who wore the designer this award season) and fashion-forward brides alike since opening a studio in New York last year.

Before the brand's trunk show at Georgetown's Hitched on March 21 and 22, we caught up with Johnson, who shared the inspiration behind her latest collection and revealed this season’s hottest bridal trends.

How would you describe a Johanna Johnson bride?

Individual, independent, lover of luxury, fashion, and fine dressing.

How are your bridal designs different from other wedding designers’ work?

The quality and make of our gowns stands alone. The fabrics, weight, stone work, hand-beading, and hand-finishing, along with my ‘old world’ approach to the DNA of our design, are what set us aside.

What’s your favorite part about designing wedding gowns?

The pure joy, excitement, and emotion our clients experience with choosing their gown.

What was the inspiration behind your latest collection?

The architecture of Art Deco, specifically my “muse”—New York City.

Do you have a favorite gown of the ones that will be on display at the Hitched trunk show this weekend?

The Garbo gown [photo above] embodies everything modern-day bridal should be—”less is more,” elegant, embellished, and old Hollywood glamour.

What are some of the bridal trends that you are seeing this wedding season?

For our clientele, no matter the style of gown, it’s all about “adornments” that can be worn again and cherished as heirloom pieces. Our wide range of accessories allows our brides to style their look individual to their personality.

And now, the quick-fire round:

Veil or statement headpiece?

Wear the headpiece over the veil, then remove the veil and rock the headpiece on its own.

Floor-length or short gown?


Feathers or embroidery?


White, cream/ivory, or color for gown?

“Vintage” ivory.

Statement neckline or statement necklace?

Statement neckline.

V-neck or cap sleeves?


To attend the Johanna Johnson trunk show on March 21 and 22, make an appointment by calling Hitched Salon at 202-333-6162 or e-mailing info@hitchedsalon.com.

Where & When

Even More Can’t-Miss Bridal Events and Samples Sales in September

The best bridal events to attend now until the end of the month.

By Irina Grechko Anna Maier dresses will be at Hitched Salon on September 20 and 21. All photographs courtesy of Anna Maier.

September 19 through 21: Bliss by Monique Lhuillier at Carine’s Bridal Atelier

Stop by Carine’s Bridal Atelier to shop Monique Lhuillier’s lower-priced bridal line, featuring wedding dresses ranging from $2,500 to $3,900. To attend the appointment-only trunk show and take advantage of a 10 percent discount on all Bliss gowns purchased, call 202-965-4696 or e-mail info@carinesbridal.com

September 20 and 21: Anna Maier trunk show at Hitched

Anna Maier wedding dresses will be available for purchase at Georgetown’s Hitched Salon. Brides-to-be can expect breathtaking designs, delicate lace, and embroidered detailing. As a bonus, customers will have the chance to discuss customization options with the bridal designer Charles Bunstine, as well as receive a complimentary muslin fitting with every dress purchased. To RSVP for the fashion event, call 202-333-6162 or e-mail info@hitchedsalon.com.

September 20 through 22: Lazaro trunk show at Love Couture Bridal

Score 10 percent off Lazaro gowns and receive one free custom change when stopping by the brand’s trunk show at Potomac’s Love Couture Bridal. Known for dramatic silhouettes and luxurious fabrics, this label has become a favorite among brides who are not afraid to stand out on their big day. To attend, make an appointment by calling 301-610-5683.

September 20 through 22: Victoria Nicole Trunk Show at Betsy Robinson’s Bridal Collection

Shop feminine and romantic styles from bridal designer Victoria Nicole at Baltimore’s Betsy Robinson’s Bridal Collection. The timeless gowns have gained momentum with brides who like their silhouettes minimal but fall for embellishments and detail. See for yourself when you make an appointment by calling 410-484-4600.

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Where & When

The Best Bridal Trunk Shows, Sales, and Events in September

Can’t-miss happenings for brides-to-be.

By Irina Grechko Image courtesy of Carine's Bridal Atelier.

September 3 through 8: Watters/WToo/Encore trunk show at Love Couture Bridal

Stop by Potomac’s bridal boutique to try never-before-seen gowns from three wedding houses. In addition to a 10 percent discount with every gown purchased, brides-to-be can score additional complimentary or discounted custom changes. Make your appointment by calling 301-610-5683.

September 3 through 14: Tara La Tour trunk show at Hitched Salon

Stop by Georgetown’s Hitched Salon for a chance to find your dream gown at Tara La Tour’s two-week trunk show. An emerging designer on the verge of household name status, Tara La Tour is known for romantic designs and unique detailing. To see for yourself, call 202-333-6162 or e-mail info@hitchedsalon.com.

September 5 through 7: Mystique Jewelers Capitol Hill pop-up store

Old Town Alexandria’s Mystique Jewelers is taking over Capitol Hill’s event space, Tabula Rasa, with a pop-up store. The three-day event kicks off this Thursday night with a cocktail party, during which guests are invited to enjoy Champagne and a private showing of bridal designs from Andrew Meyer. Also on display will be pieces from jewelry designers such as Alberto Parada and Jude Frances. Mystique will also offer a free pair of pearl earrings with every purchase. Find out more here.

September 5 through 7: Marchesa trunk show at Carine’s Bridal Atelier

Blake Lively and countless other celebs have opted for Marchesa on the red carpet. Try your own star look when you visit the Marchesa trunk show at Carine’s Bridal Atelier. Featuring the newest spring 2014 collection, as well as past favorites, the event will showcase the brand’s signature ethereal designs and detailing. To attend the appointment-only event, call the bridal shop at 202-965-4696 or e-mail info@carinesbridal.com.

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Where & When

The Best Bridal Trunk Shows, Sales, and Events in August

Can’t-miss happenings for brides-to-be.

By Irina Grechko

A look from Liancarlo's spring 2014 collection. The designer's gowns will be available at Carine's Bridal Atelier trunk show on August 8. Photograph courtesy of Liancarlo.

August 2 through 4: Blue by Enzoani Bridal and Thomas Knoell Trunk Shows at Betsy Robinson’s Bridal Collection

Stop by Betsy Robinson’s Bridal Collection for a chance to score ultra-feminine gowns from Blue by Enzoani’s newest collection. Betsy Robinson will also simultaneously host a Thomas Knoell jewelry trunk show for a one-stop bridal experience. To make an appointment, call 410-484-4600.

August 8 through 10: Liancarlo Trunk Show at Carine’s Bridal Atelier

Gowns from Liancarlo, the popular bridal designer known for his delicate beading and flattering silhouettes, will be available at Carine’s Bridal Atelier during a three-day trunk show. To attend the by-appointment-only bridal event, call 202-965-4696.

August 9 through 11: Punk Rock Bride Show at Soliloquy Bridal Couture

Soliloquy Bridal Couture’s Punk Rock Bride trunk show is not intended for brides looking to blend in. Featuring a luxe combination of nontraditional fabrics and unexpected silhouettes, these edgy gowns were made for fashion-forward brides. To attend, make your appointment online.

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Where & When

Can’t-Miss Bridal Events in July

The best bridal trunk shows and sample sales to attend this month.

By Irina Grechko

A look from the Christos Spring 2014 collection. Photo courtesy of Christos.

July 15 to 21: Cocoe Voci Trunk Show at Soliloquy Bridal Couture

Score 10 percent off Cocoe Voci gowns at Soliloquy Bridal Couture. Known for feminine silhouettes and unexpected fabrics, this relatively new Los Angeles-based label has already become a household name among brides and celebrities. To attend, make an appointment online.

July 15 through 19: Accessory Trunk Show at Carine’s Bridal Atelier

Stop by Carine’s Bridal Atelier this week to complete your wedding-day look. Shop headpieces, jewelry, and sashes from designers such as Maria Elena, Peter Langner, and Monique Lhuillier for your big day and contribute to a good cause—10 percent of every purchase benefits the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Call 202-965-4696 to make an appointment.

July 17 through August 28: Wild Wedding Wednesdays at Soliloquy Bridal Couture

Every Wednesday, Soliloquy Bridal Couture offers brides-to-be a Soliloquy Scratch-Off of up to 20 percent off any first-time purchase over $250. Take advantage of the deal by making your appointment online. Promotion is not eligible on alterations and cannot be combined with any other promotions.

July 18 through 27: Christos Trunk Show at Hitched Salon

Georgetown’s resident bridal atelier, Hitched, offers soon-to-be brides a chance to view Christos’s new collection of gowns. Expect breathtakingly beautiful designs with intricate embellishments and beading. Make your appointment today by calling 202-333-6162.

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Where & When

Where and When: June Sample Sales, Trunk Shows, and More

The best bridal events to attend this month.

By Irina Grechko Margoni will be hosting a trunk show featuring their entire collection at I.Gorman Jewelers on June 14 and 15. Photograph courtesy of I.Gorman Jewelers.

June 6: Eat, Drink, and Be Married Event at Pompanoosuc Mills

Join Alexandria’s Pompanoosuc Mills for an evening of bridal fun. A one-stop shop for unfussy brides, this event will feature a local florist, dress boutiques, caterers, a photographer, a dance instructor, a beauty/day spa, a wedding coordinator, a cake maker, and a deejay. To attend and receive a complimentary gift bag, RSVP to Alexandria@pompy.com with the subject line “Eat, Drink & Be Married,” or call 571-321-7495.

June 6 Through 8: Badgley Mischka Trunk Show at Carine’s Bridal Atelier

Shop elegant and sophisticated wedding styles from the ever-popular Badgley Mischka at Carine’s Bridal Atelier. After you find the dress of your dreams, refine your big day’s look with the brand’s comfortable wedding shoes and statement-making jewelry. Call 202-965-4696 to attend the appointment-only event.

June 7 and 8: Anna Maier Trunk Show at Hitched Salon

Brides love Anna Maier’s stunning designs and expertly tailored gowns. See the ethereal, feminine gowns for yourself when you attend the designer’s trunk show at Hitched Salon. The show is by appointment only; call 202-333-6162 to reserve your space.

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