Real Weddings: Beth & Robert

An intimate wedding shows off the spoils of spring—cherry blossoms included!

The couple share a smile and a quick kiss. All photographs by Abby Jiu Photography.

Right off the bat, Beth Westlund and Robert Dahl agreed they wanted to get married in the springtime. “Having gotten engaged during the blizzard of 2009, we knew we didn’t want to chance a winter wedding,” says Beth, a director at an international nonprofit. “Plus spring and cherry blossom time was very important to us; we really wanted our families and guests to experience it.” In a happy alliance of environmental kismet and careful planning, the April 4, 2011, wedding, at the Athenaeum in Alexandria, took place during the cherry blossoms’ peak bloom.

Although the couple, who reside in Arlington, adhered to a fairly traditional ceremony and reception, they took care to insert their own personalities into the details. (“We kept the traditions that we felt we wanted to celebrate, but put aside the ones that were not important to us,” says Beth.) In a delightfully personal touch, Rob, an analyst with Treasury Department, and his three groomsmen–friends and musicians since their grade school days–played all of the ceremony music, and also jammed while leading guests to the Athenaeum’s back garden for cocktail hour.

From the flowers to Beth’s shoes, jewelry, and sequined clutch, pink played a prominent role in the wedding color scheme; the couple’s signature cocktail included strawberry lemonade and vodka. 

Beth and Rob went for a subtle vintage feel, with ideas that complemented the reception site and the Old Town location. Soft lighting, antique-looking china and a happy mix of found silver vases in all shapes and sizes provided the perfect accents; Maria and Kelly of Ritzy Bee suggested using an old map of Washington from 1909 for guests to sign, instead of a standard guest book. “We also used vintage postcards of DC as table markers,” says Beth.


Planning and Design: Ritzy Bee Events

Photographer: Abby Jiu

Flowers: Enchanted Florists in Old Town Alexandria

Paper Goods: Simple Song Design

Calligraphy: Pretty Mail Calligraphy

Reception Music: My Deejay

Catering: Design Cuisine

Gown: “Alix and Kelly” Dress from Lovely Bride

Shoes: Badgley Mischka

Groom’s Tux: Jos. A. Bank

Bridesmaid Dresses: J. Crew

Hair: O Salon

Makeup: Pamela Dennison