Real Weddings: Brianne and Heath

A bright and whimsical wedding celebration at a bride’s favorite childhood spot.

The couple and their wedding party take a spin on Glen Echo’s carousel. All photographs by Michelle Lindsay Photography

Brianne and Heath first met while working in Florida, they saw the movie Little Miss Sunshine on their first date. The couple moved to Washington less than a year later, so that Bethesda-native Brianne could attend graduate school.

Heath proposed at Glen Echo Park, a place Brianne frequently visited as a child. When it came time to decide on a reception venue for their July 30 wedding, the choice was easy.

“When we moved to the DC area, I introduced Heath to Glen Echo and we both loved its history and Art Deco style,” says Brianne. “I always had it in the back of my mind that I wanted to have my wedding reception there, so I didn’t even look at any other venues.”

The bride worked with her mother to plan a lively wedding celebration with a hot pink, navy blue, turquoise, and yellow color scheme, that fit the couple’s fun-loving style.

“We wanted our guests to be comfortable, and for our wedding to be personal to us,” Brianne says. “I liked that I could add my own touches to Glen Echo, as well as the park’s retro feel. I wanted to aspects of the vintage/carnival feel to show through without making it an overt theme.”

At cocktail hour, 120 guests sipped Izze sodas, beer, wine, strawberry lemonade, and sweet tea. They also enjoyed hors d’oeuvres like miniature lobster rolls and fried green tomato sliders.

“We also had a popcorn machine and a candy buffet,” says Brianne. “We gave out tickets for guests to take spins on the carousel during cocktail hour, too—riding the carousel was one of my favorite parts of the night!”

For the reception, the Bumper Car Pavilion space was decorated with bright paper lanterns and twinkle lights. Centerpieces featured hot pink hydrangeas and yellow zinnias.

“I wanted it to feel fun, festive, and summery without too much fuss,” says Brianne.

Guests dined on Southwestern-spiced flank steak, herb-crusted salmon, and macaroni and cheese. After Brianne and Heath performed their first dance (a rumba to Michael Buble’s “Everything”), everyone danced to a mix of tunes, from Outkast to Journey.

In addition to the wedding cake (homemade by Brianne’s mother!), miniature pastries and a candy buffet were on offer—guests were given cellophane bags to take the sweet treats home with them. And to help guests beat the heat, a truck from Carmen’s Italian Ices served cold treats.

After the reception, a bus transported guests to Brianne’s parents’ home for an after party featuring a jazz pianist, but Brianne and Heath almost missed it.

“We were having so much fun chatting with our guests at Glen Echo, that we didn’t realize we had been left behind at our own wedding!” Brianne says. “Luckily, the bus came back for us!”


Photography: Michelle Lindsay Photography via Two Bright Lights

Ceremony Venue: Holy Trinity Catholic Church

Reception Venue: The Bumper Car Pavilion at Glen Echo Park

Wedding Gown: Henry Roth, purchased at the “Running of the Brides” sale at Filene’s Basement

Shoes: Kate Spade, dyed to match the wedding color scheme

Hair: Katie May at Bella Bethesda Salon

Makeup: Bluemercury in Bethesda

Bridesmaid Dresses: LulaKate, purchased at Bella Bridesmaid

Groom’s Ensemble: Brooks Brothers pants, J.Crew blazer, Jos. A. Bank shirt, Vineyard Vines tie.

Invitations: Sarah Early of Dodeline Design

Floral Design: Da Vinci’s Florist

Catering and Rentals: Ridgewells Catering

Cake Baker: Brianne’s mom!

Italian Ice Truck: Carmen’s Italian Ice & Cafe

Reception Entertainment: Broadsound

Dance Lessons: Arthur Murray in Chevy Chase