Julie Rodgers, a professional writer and speaker, and Amanda Hite, CEO and co-founder of BTC Revolutions, followed each other’s work online for awhile before meeting in person. Amanda was a longtime fan of Julie’s writings on LGBTQ people inclusion in Christian communities when Julie stumbled on an article Amanda put together about her experience coming out to her grandparents. Although Julie lived in Chicago, and Amanda was in DC, the two connected over Twitter. They met for dinner in Chicago three weeks later, and the rest as they say, is history.
Visits in between the two cities became more frequent, and when they introduced each other to their friends, it started to feel like they found the real deal. Nearly a year and a half later, the couple got engaged while on a trip with a group of friends in Italy where Amanda proposed to Julie next to the Grand Canal in Venice.
Since both Julie and Amanda had struggled with their identities growing up in conservative Christian communities, it was important that their wedding represented more than just their love, but also the love that radiated from all of their guests. When it came time to pick a venue, the couple settled on the Washington National Cathedral, the self-described “house of prayer for all people.”
On the morning of Julie and Amanda’s wedding, the Cathedral was packed full of people who were mourning the life of the late Senator John McCain. The couple was inspired by the kindness of both the McCain family and the Cathedral who, to their surprise, did not make any alterations to their wedding plans. Later that evening, when Julie and Amanda walked into the Cathedral, they were greeted by the staff who worked to transform the space into their wedding venue, and floral arrangements from the morning, which had been generously donated by the McCains for the wedding.
Every element of the reception reflected the couple’s character and ideals perfectly. Foodhini, the event’s caterers, employs immigrant chefs who cook delicious multicultural meals from their native countries. The selection of event speakers included Kris Perry and Sandy Stier, lead plaintiffs in the Proposition 8 Supreme Court case which overturned the ban against same-sex marriage, as well as, Norway’s Ambassador to the United States, H.E. Kare Aas. The musical entertainment was provided by Mariela Shaker, classical violinist and Syrian refugee.
The couple skipped the traditional wedding cake and instead offered an assortment of tasty treats from Cinnabon, Red Robin, and SROriginals.
Following the wedding the couple scheduled a staycation at the Watergate Hotel. They plan to celebrate with a honeymoon abroad this spring.
Photographer: Rudney Novaes Photography | Venue: The Washington National Cathedral | Event Coordinator: Tracy Leaman from Events to a T |
Florist: Linda Roeckelein from The Washington National Cathedral | Caterer: Foodhini, B. Lin Catering | Cake: Cinnabon, Red Robin, SROriginals |
Hair Stylist: Masha Lora from Immortal Beloved | Makeup Artist: Catherine Wall | Julie’s Dress: Nordstrom | Amanda’s Suit: Bindle & Keep | Music/Entertainment: Mariela Shaker(violinist), Kris Perry; Sandy Steir; H.E. Kare Aas(speakers) | Videographer: Rivion Wedding Films | Officiant: Rev. Dana Corsello