What’s Cooler: This Wedding’s Candle Decor or the Epic Raw Bar?

One of the things we love best about hotel ballrooms is all the many different ways they can transform. For Emily Sanders and Robert Elam’s May nuptials, the Four Seasons turned into a romantic, candle-lit soiree. Take a look at their lovely day in the photos below by Procopio Photography

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After meeting in a very classically DC way—through parties around the time of the 2004 presidential election inauguration—Emily and Robert immediately hit it off. However, they lost touch for several years while Robert was living in San Francisco and Emily remained in DC. They came back into contact in May 2013, and picked up right where they’d started, keeping in touch long distance before Emily flew out to visit Robert at the end of the summer. After a whirlwind weekend, during which Robert impressed Emily not only by driving her over the Golden Gate Bridge in a convertible but also by letting her meet some of the nearest and dearest people in his life, they were hooked. “I knew he was a keeper,” says Emily.





Seven months later, the two planned a getaway to Salzburg, Austria, where Robert proposed in a stunning garden where parts of the “Sound of Music” had been filmed. Afterwards, they celebrated with dinner at a romantic Mozart concert at The Baroque Hall at St. Peter.









It took them just over eight months to pull together the wedding of their dreams at the Four Seasons. Their ceremony took place in front of a wall of candles, while the reception space was outfitted with floating candles and abundance of white calla lilies that set the romantic tone for the evening.






Before the night was over, Emily surprised her groom with a bourbon bar to follow the Champagne and raw bar that had been available to guests as the entered the wedding. The celebration finally came to a close with the party joining the band on stage to dance, after which the newlyweds bid adieu to their loved ones, with plans to honeymoon in Hong Kong, Angkor Wat, Cambodia, and Thailand.


Venue: Four Seasons | Photographer: Procopio Photography | Event Planning & Design: Karson Butler Events | Bride’s Gown: Vera Wang, Warren Barrón Bridal | Groom’s Attire: Savvi Black Label, Lustre Formal Wear | Hair Dresser: Ismail Tekin, George at the Four Seasons | Makeup Artist: Carl Ray | Caterers & Cake: Four Seasons | Florals, Design, and Rentals (Furniture, Dance Floor, and Tables): Amaryllis | Music/Entertainment: The Elements and string trio via Elan Artists | Invitations: The Dandelion Patch | Rings: Shah & Shah Distinctive Jewelers | Rentals: Party Rental LTD. | Lighting: Frost

Looking for a wedding decor pro to make your big day shine? Here’s a list of the area’s best rentals, decor, and design experts.

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.