Washington Real Weddings: Virginia and Christopher

A bright and jubilant wedding at a Maryland bird sanctuary—with nods to the groom’s love of comic books.

Ginny, a Potomac native, and Chris, who grew up in New York, first met at work. One evening, Chris asked Ginny to get a drink at his favorite bar, and they started dating from there. He proposed on a seemingly average Sunday morning—he made Ginny her favorite breakfast sandwich and popped the question in their living room.

The couple decided to marry at Woodend Sanctuary in Chevy Chase on September 10, 2011.

“My main hope for the wedding was just for it to be fun,” says Ginny. “I wanted everyone, including myself and Chris, to be relaxed, feel at home, and have a great time.”

The pair chose bright colors—yellow, orange, and turquoise—to play up the lively vibe they hoped to convey.

The ceremony was held on the lawn at Woodend. Ginny’s uncle officiated, and her aunt performed a reading called “He Never Leaves the Toilet Seat Up.” The bride walked down the aisle to the Vitamin String Quartet’s version of “Falling Slowly,” carrying a bouquet of dahlias, zinnias, craspedia, and yarrow.

The ceremony programs had a humorous touch that tied in with Chris’s love of comic books. “Instead of doing a traditional program, we listed each of our attendants and a super power that we felt fit them,” says Ginny.


During cocktail hour, the couple’s 95 guests played cornhole and enjoyed a taco bar with a variety of toppings. Each guest also wrote down his or her wishes for the couple and placed in them in jars for the newlyweds to read the next day.

At the reception, tables were named for locations in superhero or sci-fi books and movies, including the Fortress of Solitude, Hogwarts, and the Millennium Falcon. The tables were adorned with birdcages and vintage books in the wedding colors. Floral arrangements of dahlias, zinnias, roses, and wildflowers were incorporated into the tablescapes. Each guest also received an aluminum water bottle.

“Since Woodend is a bird sanctuary, I wanted something that would be good for the environment and also something that people would actually use,” says Ginny.

Guests dined on poached pear and field green salad, short ribs, and stuffed chicken. The wedding cake was vanilla with strawberry-lime filling, and the Superman-themed groom’s cake—a surprise to Chris—was chocolate. The cake cutting was a particularly memorable moment for the couple.

“While smushing the cake in each other’s faces was really fun, afterward we got to spend a few quiet and private moments upstairs laughing and attempting to clean up,” says Ginny. “Looking in the mirror at both of us covered in cake and grinning like idiots will be something I’ll never forget.”



Photographer: Emily Johnston Anderson

Wedding Planner: Amanda Smith of Engaging Affairs

Ceremony and Reception Venue: Woodend Sanctuary

Gown: Anne Barge, purchased at Lovely Bridal Shop in New York

Makeup: Letitia Thornhill of Glamdoll Makeup (703-801-5161)

Bridesmaid Dresses: Jenny Yoo, purchased at Hannelore’s

Invitation Designer: LilyPad Weddings

Floral Designer: Amaryllis

Catering and Cake: Windows Catering

Reception Music: DJ Mike Bell from MyDeejay