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!”
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
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