With a ceremony at Washington National Cathedral and a reception at the historic Decatur House, Ari Opsahl and Harley Fleming’s celebration made for a very classic Washington wedding. With the lush greenery in their clear tent reception, they created a wonderland that guests likened to “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Take a look for yourself in these photos by Patricia Lyons Photography.
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Though being set up by a parent isn’t always the most romantic start to a relationship, it didn’t stop Harley and Ari from hitting it off on their first date during a summer they were both home from college in DC. When Ari arrived at Harley’s parent’s house to pick her up, he was surprised when her father answered the door, but he bravely went ahead with the date anyways. They went to dinner at Cactus Cantina, and both were so smitten they didn’t want the date to end. An impromptu movie followed, after which they made plans to see one another the very next day.
They’d dated for five years and moved to St. Louis together when Ari planned a surprise breakfast at home for Harley. But by the time he awoke to start cooking, so had already left for her early morning Pilates class. Improvising, Ari tied a ribbon around their dog’s neck so the golden retriever could greet Harley when she arrived at home, then pulled out a bottle of Champagne for post-proposal celebration.
Thirteen months later, they’d planned a wedding in DC, their shared hometown, with a ceremony at the Washington National Cathedral and a reception at Decatur House. Though it poured during their ceremony, it cleared up just in time for guests to enjoy the tent reception, lit by a dreamy, garland-draped chandelier.
The blue and white wedding colors originated when Harley determined that blue and white ginger jars would be incorporated in the table centerpieces, so she found the blue bridesmaid dresses and other decor to match. Guest sipped on Budweiser beers—the groom is a director for Anheuser-Busch—and “The Fresh Start” cocktail, a refreshing mix of cucumber lemonade, vodka, Earl Grey tea, and coconut water. When the magical night finally came to a close, the bride and groom departed for a Hawaiian honeymoon.
Ceremony Venue: Washington National Cathedral | Reception Venue: Decatur House | Photographer: Patricia Lyons Photography | Bride’s Gown: Romona Keveza, Town and Country Bridal Boutique | Groom’s Tux: Suitsupply | Hair Dresser: Talio Hair Design | Makeup Artist: Hala | Event Planning and Design: Arney Walker, Pineapple Productions | Cake: Fluffy Thoughts | Florist: Amaryllis | Caterers: Occasions Caterers | Transportation: RMA | Music/Entertainment: ‘Round Midnight | Invitations: The Dandelion Patch | Calligraphy: Arney Walker Calligraphy
Need a baker to make your perfect wedding cake? Check out our listing of the best dessert providers in DC.