Weddings

These Love Birds Met at Business School and Ended Up Throwing the Ultimate Country Club Wedding

Christine and Mike held an elegant wedding at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda

All photographs by Jen Fariello Photograph

Before Christine Brown and Mike Stehle’s classic country club wedding, the two were classmates at University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. “We were placed in the same assigned study group, so we actually met on the first day of school,” Christine recalls. The two were instantly drawn to one another and became fast friends. “My first impression of Mike was that he was very funny and had a dry and witty sense of humor, which I liked.” Mike, who especially liked that Christine always laughed at his jokes, was also taken by her genuine and fun-to-be-around personality. “We made it through the first year of business school together, and along the way, our friendship quickly blossomed into a relationship,” Christine says. They dated for about three years before getting engaged, and decided to marry at St. John’s Episcopal Church with a reception to follow at the Congressional Country Club in Bethesda.

Check out their country club wedding for all sorts of chic and stylish inspiration.

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Invitations featured the couple’s personalized motif, as well as envelopes lined with an illustration of Washington, DC’s skyline. country-club-wedding

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Christine’s bouquet of fresh garden roses, pepper berries, and greenery was held together with a blush-and-blue suede sash. 

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For Christine’s wedding-day look, she wore a lace off-the-shoulder gown with an A-line silhouette. “I got the dress almost redone to better fit me,” Christine says. She altered the neckline and also reconstructed the bodice of the gown so it fit like a glove on the big day.

She accessorized the look with wearing her mother’s pearl bracelet—her something borrowed—and blue-suede Gianvito Rossi heels for her something blue.

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How They Got Engaged: Christine is an avid runner—often taking Mike on long distance runs—so Mike popped the question in Boston, two days before Christine was supposed to run the Boston Marathon. “My family was [already] in town to see the marathon and Mike’s family lives in Boston, which was perfect given how much we prioritize and care about our families,” Christine recalls. He ended up proposing while on a walk through Boston Commons, and afterwards they met up with both of their families for dinner to celebrate. “We were also lucky enough to have this couple nearby in the park take a few pictures once they saw he was proposing, which was very special.”

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Bridesmaids wore matching Jenny Yoo gowns in a Mayan blue shade, and carried lush bouquets filled with roses and assorted greenery.

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Mike and his groomsmen went with a formal look by wearing black tuxedos accessorized with rose boutonnieres attached to their lapels.

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The ceremony took place just steps from the White House at the St. John’s Episcopal Church in LaFayette Square.

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Christine and Mike love to golf together, so the Congressional Country Club, located in Bethesda, provided the perfect backdrop for their country club wedding. “At the reception we had two directional signs showing our favorite golf [courses] and a golf putting green for guests to use during the cocktail hour, too,” Christine recalls. 

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Beef tenderloin on toasted baguettes and fingerling potatoes with paddlefish caviar were served as appetizers during the cocktail hour.

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A scotch tasting bar was also set up for guests to enjoy. It was named “Mike’s Scotch Bar.”

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The couple’s four-tiered buttercream-wedding cake featuring hand-piping details was almost too pretty to eat. It featured an Oreo and Vanilla flavor and was cut and served at the end of the night.

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Escort cards were displayed on silver platters for guests to easily pick up before heading to their seats for dinner.

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The reception was decorated with elegant details, such as high-and-low floral arrangements, gold Chiavari chairs, and tables dressed with white silk linens.

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In lieu of other desserts or late-night-snacks, the couple had tiny cakes placed inside miniature boxes at each table setting.

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Both Christine and Mike’s favorite detail from their country club wedding was the band, Rollex that played during the reception. “They kept everyone dancing throughout the night,” Mike says.

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The Details:

Photography: Jen Fariello Photography | Venue, Cake & Caterer: Congressional Country Club | Event Planner: Pamela Barefoot | Florist: Southern Blooms & Amaryllis Floral & Event Design | Stationery: Creative Parties | Bride’s Attire: Monique Lhuillier from Kleinfeld Bridal | Hair Stylist: Total Babe Hair Co. | Hair & Makeup Artist: Modern Bridal Studio | Bride’s Attire: Sareh Nouri from Hitched | Groom Attire: Brooklyn Tailors | Bridesmaids’ Attire: Jenny Yoo Collection | Music/Entertainment: Rollex Videographer: Tom Bowman | Lighting: John Farr Lighting Design | Photo Booth: Dan Goldman Events | Transportation: Lasting Impressions

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jacqueline-tynes
Assistant Editor, Washingtonian Weddings

Jacqueline comes to Washingtonian with close to five years of digital content experience and SEO best practices. She previously was a senior editorial associate at WeddingWire, specializing in wedding fashion, and before that, an assistant at Vow Bride. Originally from Norfolk, Virginia, she now lives in Columbia Heights.