Weddings

Music Lovers MUST See This Modern Pink and Black DC Wedding

We are completely obsessed with Cara Shugoll and Stephen Wilken’s graphic black and white wedding. They took a classic Washington space, the Carnegie Institution for Science, and with Laura Ritchie of Grit & Grace, transformed it into a chic, modern wedding venue filled with cherry blossoms and personal touches. This creative wedding was expertly captured by K. Thompson Photography.

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Connected via Match.com, Cara and Stephen spent two months emailing before ever hearing each other’s voice. Set to meet after he returned from deployment—Stephen is a pilot with JetBlue and the Air Force—the unexpected passing of Cara’s grandmother delayed their in-person introduction. Their first conversation was on the phone: Stephen called to offer condolences, and supplied a supportive (if virtual) shoulder while Cara, a marketing research director, was away at the funeral.

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Once both were back in Washington, they bumped their Friday first date at Alexandria’s Cheesetique to an impromptu Monday-night home-cooked meal at Stephen’s apartment. Sparks flew at the first kiss; California native Stephen proposed one year later in Napa Valley.

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At their modern blush-and-black-themed wedding, the pair exchanged vows in front of 129 guests under a cherry-blossom chuppah. He’s a classically trained tuba and piano player, she sang a cappella during and after college, and their shared love of music was reflected in silhouettes of famous composers on the escort cards and matching golden busts atop the dining tables.

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Plated coconut squares, dulce de leche brownies, and mint-ganache cookie sandwiches took the place of cake (the couple didn’t want to interrupt the dancing); at the end of the night, guests departed with takeout boxes of gourmet popcorn. The newlyweds continued the celebration with a Turks and Caicos honeymoon.

VENDORS

Venue: Carnegie Institution for Science | Photographer: K. Thompson Photography |Event Coordinator: Laura Ritchie of Grit & Grace | Flowers: Sweet Root Village | Bride’s Gown: Liancarlo, Carine’s Bridal Atelier | Hair & Makeup: Claudine Fay | Groom’s Tux: Hugo Boss, Nordstrom | Caterer: Design Cuisine | Music: Sage String Quartet and Nightsong, Entertainment Exchange | Invitations: The Dandelion Patch | Calligraphy: Meant To Be Calligraphy | Graphic Design: Brave Creative Design | Lighting: Atmosphere Inc.

Need a city chic wedding venue for your upcoming nuptials? You can find the best in DC here

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Sarah is the Editor-in-Chief of Washingtonian Bride & Groom, and writes about weddings, fashion, and shopping. Her work has also appeared in Refinery29, Bethesda Magazine, and Washington City Paper, among others. She is a Georgetown University graduate, lives in Columbia Heights, and you can find her on Instagram at @washbridegroom and @sarahzlot.