The Cherry Blossom Altar Steals the Show at This Elegant Meridian House Wedding

What happens when a cold rain falls on your perfect spring garden wedding? You bring the garden indoors. We love how bright and cheery JoAnna Wasserman and Michael Marando’s wedding was despite the weather, as you’ll see in the photos below by Eli Turner.

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JoAnna’s friend Anne was dating one of Michael’s friends, and when Anne spotted the “smart, attractive” single at a party, she knew she wanted to make the connection between him and JoAnna. Michael didn’t waste much time reaching out to JoAnna, and they met for a first date at a restaurant on 14th Street. “There was an immediate attraction, but also a really easy vibe between us,” says JoAnna.





The Wedding of JoAnna and Michael

After dating for over a year and a half, Michael moved in with JoAnna. “Once that happened, we knew we were going to get married,” says JoAnna. “Already in our mid-30s by this time, we were pretty open about our future together.” They took a trip to New York to check out an antique jewelry store, and JoAnna fell in love with a century-old art deco ring. They had it shipped to JoAnna’s parents’ house. Once it arrived, JoAnna’s parents brought the ring by and the two couples went out for lunch, during which Michael secured JoAnna’s parents’ blessing to marry their daughter.





For their spring wedding at Meridian House, the pair had hoped to wed in the garden, but the cold rain had other plans. “Luckily we were able to get some beautiful photos outside—teeth chattering—in the venue’s gorgeous gardens before the rain began,” says JoAnna. They moved the ceremony indoors instead, where they said “I do” beneath a cherry blossom chuppah.




Despite the weather, their reception brought the bright and beautiful spring garden indoors with pastel linens and floral arrangements. A lychee-cucumber vodka lemonade with Earl Grey cocktail called the “Fresh Start” served as a springy refreshment, as did the lemon raspberry cake. When the festivities finally came to a close, the happy couple departed with plans to honeymoon in Paris and Greece.


Venue: Meridian House | Photographer: Eli Turner | Event Coordinator: Sara Muchnick, Sara Muchnick Events | Bride’s Gown: Carolina Herrera, Carine’s Bridal Atelier | Groom’s Attire: Bespoke by Michael Thomas Custom Clothiers | Hair Dresser: Remona Soleimani, Bridal Hair by Remona | Makeup Artist: Nikki Fraser, Beauty ’N the Bride | Cake: Fluffy Thoughts Cakes | Floral & Décor: Amaryllis | Caterers: Occasions Caterers | Transportation: Veolia | Music/Entertainment: Sage String Quartet and SoundNation, Andy Kushner Entertainment | Invitations: William Arthur, Paper Source | Calligraphy: Just Write Studios

Looking for a florist to turn your nuptials into a garden wonderland? Here’s a list of the DMV’s best florists.

Associate Editor

Caroline Cunningham joined Washingtonian in 2014 after moving to the DC area from Cincinnati, where she interned and freelanced for Cincinnati Magazine and worked in content marketing. She currently resides in College Park.