Washington Real Weddings: Alison and Daniel

One couple’s Georgetown wedding features dancing and details inspired by the bride’s Peruvian heritage.

The bride’s feather flower hair accessory was from Brenda’s Bridal Veils on Etsy. All photographs by Don Mears Photography

Alison and Daniel first met as students at the University of Virginia, when they were introduced by a mutual friend.

“After getting to know each other through a series of conversations, we decided to go on a lunchtime date,” says Alison. “Dan slept through it, but I liked him enough to reschedule for later that evening.”

Five years after they met, Daniel proposed on the beach at Hilton Head, South Carolina, where his family has a home. He arranged for Alison’s parents and sisters to surprise her after the proposal.

The couple married on July 2, 2011, in a ceremony at the Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Georgetown, followed by a reception at Halcyon House.

“We wanted our wedding to feel intimate, warm, and vibrant,” says Alison.


The 3 PM ceremony before 150 guests was a full Catholic mass. Bright yellow paper flower aisle markers adorned the pews, and flower wreaths hung from the church doors. The couple made their exit from the ceremony in a vintage Mustang driven by the bride’s godfather.

“We were soaking in the fact that we had just gotten married, enjoying the surprisingly gorgeous weather, and being amused by people shouting congratulations to us as we drove through the streets of Georgetown,” says Alison.


Afterward, guests enjoyed a cocktail hour in the rooms and gardens of Halcyon House. The signature drink was a pisco sour, the traditional drink of Peru, where the bride’s family is from. Parasols, paper fans, and a croquet set were provided, and a deejay spun Brazilian jazz. Guests were given small cards on which to write advice for the newlyweds.

“It was so fun to read everyone’s responses; they ranged from sincere advice to lighthearted jokes,” says Alison.

At the reception, Alison and Daniel were able to create separate spaces for dancing and dining.

“Being Peruvian, my family and I are used to weddings that center on dancing and loud, rambunctious merrymaking,” says Alison. “A lot of Daniel’s family members, though, are used to weddings that are centered on lighter mingling. Halcyon allowed us to create an atmosphere where guests could find their nooks of preference.”

Centerpieces included arrangements of roses, tulips, and greens in vases lined with lemon slices. Food stations were scattered throughout the house. Highlights of the menu included Peruvian dishes such as lomo saltado and a design-your-own-ceviche station. Dessert consisted of wedding cake, plus an ice cream station featuring chocolate, vanilla, and traditional Peruvian lucuma ice creams. Other sweet treats included passion-fruit and mango mousse cups and alfajores, a Peruvian dessert.

The couple performed their first dance to “The Luckiest” by Ben Folds. Afterward, popular American and Latin tunes, especially salsa and merengue, were played. There was also an “hora loca” (“crazy hour”), during which guests donned sunglasses, glow bracelets, and leis, used noisemakers, and danced up a storm.

“One of the Halcyon House managers said it was the most dancing he had ever seen at a wedding!” says Alison.



Photographer: Don Mears Photography, via Two Bright Lights

Ceremony Venue: Holy Trinity Catholic Church

Reception Venue: Halcyon House

Wedding Coordinator: Ryan Hayes of Blue Canary Events

Gown: Priscilla of Boston

Hair: Hair by Yeon

Bridesmaid Dresses: Alfred Sung, purchased at Annalee’s Formals in Ashburn

Tuxedo: Joseph Abboud, purchased at Nordstrom

Invitation Designer: Lilywillow, purchased from the Dandelion Patch

Floral Design: Liliana Sierra

Caterer and Cake: Federal City Caterers

Music: DJ Rainier