These Brides Held an Ultracool and Quirky Wedding at Former Glen Echo Amusement Park

Maureen McCarty and Mollie Connell wed in September 2018 in Glen Echo.

All Photography by Leah Moyers Photography

Mollie Connell, a program associate at the WomenLead Institute, and Maureen McCarty, marketing director at Conservation International, met at the party of a mutual friend in 2011. Maureen remembers thinking that the “six-foot glamazon” she noticed arriving was someone she had to meet. Five years on, they each planned a surprise proposal: Mollie proposed during Maureen’s 29th-birthday outing at Union Drinkery, while Maureen planned a quiet evening at home.

The former amusement park and 19th-century Chautauqua Glen Echo Park was the unforgettable backdrop for the couple’s wedding celebration. Attended by mixed-gender parties of “mates of honor” and “bridesmates” holding DIY bouquets, Maureen and Mollie recited their vows and then greeted loved ones at tables named for “radical patron saints” including Marsha P. Johnson, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, John Waters, Rachel Carson, and Edie Windsor. Dinner segued into a dance party as DJ Jacq Jill played a mix of disco and Robyn. Emcee Ba’Naka doubled as the entertainer, delivering two drag performances and a walk-off. As for the bouquet and garter tosses, Mollie and Maureen skipped them. “We couldn’t do that to our beautiful flowers . . . or our feminist dignity.” And rather than wedding cake, the couple treated guests to an ice-cream bar that they say turned out both “messy and perfect.”

Guests donned wigs and accessories at an Instagrammable photo station featuring peacock chairs and a light-box homage to the famous RuPaul quote “we’re all born naked and the rest is drag.”

Washingtonian Weddings Instagram | Follow Washingtonian Weddings on Facebook

Maureen McCarty & Mollie Connell | Leah Moyers Photography | Mollie&MaureenforWashingtonian188237
Maureen McCarty & Mollie Connell | Leah Moyers Photography | M&Mdetails183573

Maureen McCarty & Mollie Connell | Leah Moyers Photography | M&Mdetails183598
Maureen McCarty & Mollie Connell | Leah Moyers Photography | Mollie&MaureenforWashingtonian188338
Maureen McCarty & Mollie Connell | Leah Moyers Photography | Mollie&MaureenforWashingtonian188299
Maureen McCarty & Mollie Connell | Leah Moyers Photography | Mollie&MaureenforWashingtonian188282

The Details:

Photography: Leah Moyers Photography | Venue: Glen Echo Park | Event Planning & Design: Lula Mae Events | Florals: DIY from Butterbee Farm and Potomac Floral Wholesale | Save-the-Dates: Josette Moreno | Caterer: Rouge Fine Catering | Haire & Makeup: Alison Harper & Co. | Maureen’s Attire: Vera Wang | Maureen’s Hair Piece: Jessica Behr | Mollie’s Attire: Gala by Galia Lahav | Music: DJ Jacq Jill | Entertainment: Ba’Naka | Transportation: Fleet Transportation | Videographer: Toy Box Studios


Assistant Editor

Hayley is an Associate Editor at Washingtonian Weddings. Previously she was the the Style Editor at The Local Palate, a Southern food culture magazine based out of Charleston, South Carolina. You can follow her on instagram @wandertaste.