Weddings

An Alfresco Courtyard Wedding Just Steps From the White House

Laura and Mike married at the Decatur House in Washington, DC.

All photographs by Jenny B Photography

Laura Urrutia and Mike Albares’ big day is filled with outdoor wedding ideas. The pair married at the Decatur House in downtown DC where they held a garden-inspired ceremony followed by an alfresco sit-down reception all in the venue’s courtyard. “[We wanted] our big day to be a combination of modern, whimsical and romantic, and our stellar wedding planner made [our vision] come to life,” Laura says. Laura also credits the rest of her vendor team for helping make their wedding extra special, adding that her favorite detail from the day was the lush floral arrangements. “Our florist made this incredible floral floor piece for us to stand in during the ceremony. With the brick details, ivy, and fountain at the Decatur House, it felt like we were getting married in a secret garden.” Along with their secret-garden-esque setting, the courtyard created an intimate space for dining, mingling, and celebrating the evening. Check out the rest of their big day below, where you’ll find all kinds of swoon-worthy outdoor wedding ideas, and more about this couple’s meeting and wedding planning process. 

Follow Washingtonian Weddings on Instagram | Like Washingtonian Weddings on Facebook

DSC_7164
DSC_7189

outdoor-wedding-ideas

outdoor-wedding-ideas

The Wedding Fashion

To complement their outdoor, garden setting, Laura opted for a romantic wedding dress style. She swooned in a fitted greenery-inspired lace gown that featured a hint of color, thanks to its blush underlay. Her leading ladies paired well with Laura’s dreamy gown, too, in matching blush chiffon bridesmaid dresses. As for Mike and his groomsmen, they wore navy and black suits accessorized with black bow ties for a more formal feel. Bouquets and boutonnieres were cheerful and included bright florals, such as peonies, zinnias, snapdragons, and lisianthus.

DSC_7313
DSC_7295

outdoor-wedding-ideasoutdoor-wedding-ideas

DSC_8097
DSC_8096

outdoor-wedding-ideas

DSC_7556
DM5A7415

outdoor-wedding-ideas

How They Met

Laura and Mike, who were both living in DC, were set up by Laura’s aunt and Mike’s mother, who attend the same church in Dothan, Alabama. To initiate their meeting, Mike’s mom invited Laura to join their family for dinner in DC when they were in town visiting Mike. Laura accepted the invitation, only finding out upon arriving at the dinner that Mike did not know she’d be there.”I was incredibly nervous to meet him, only to find out by the kind, but rather shocked look he had when we were introduced, that he did not know I would be joining his family for dinner,” she says. Nevertheless, the two hit it off instantly, so much so that Mike asked his mother for her number and, well, the rest is history. 

outdoor-wedding-ideas

DSC_7832
DSC_7785

outdoor-wedding-ideas

outdoor-wedding-ideas

outdoor-wedding-ideas

 

outdoor-wedding-ideas

DSC_8042
DSC_8233

outdoor-wedding-ideas

outdoor-wedding-ideas

 

DSC_8579
DSC_8617

The Venue

“The Decatur House truly made our wedding become what we wanted–an intimate setting amidst the big city–mere steps from the White House,” says Mike. From formal photos in the house itself to the transformation of the courtyard from the ceremony to the reception, the historic home provided the ultimate setting for their summertime affair. 

outdoor-wedding-ideas outdoor-wedding-ideas

outdoor-wedding-ideas

DSC_8765
DSC_8759
DSC_8861

outdoor-wedding-ideas

DSC_9973
DSC_0026

outdoor-wedding-ideas

 

DSC_9004
DSC_9444

 

outdoor-wedding-ideas

The Alfresco Reception Filled With Outdoor Wedding Ideas

Laura and Mike’s courtyard reception included a variety of whimsical outdoor wedding ideas. They didn’t have a color scheme, and instead paired neutral tones with heavy greenery and a few pops of coral and orange. They also strung twinkling bistro lights above their reception tables in order to set the mood for the rest of the night. A banner with table assignments was displayed on a cooper stand to help guide guests to their seats. “It was a fun and functional way for guests to find their table and we loved the quote at the top: “It’s not a party without you.” the couple says. For dinner, they stuck to their roots and served southern fare, such as miniature chicken and waffle cones, fried green tomato bites, and shrimp and grits. As for the wedding cake and other desserts, they opted for an almond flavored confection topped with buttercream frosting and a dessert station, which offered mini red velvet cupcakes, peach galettes, and banana and salted caramel sweet shots—yum! 

outdoor-wedding-ideas

DSC_9504
DSC_9549

outdoor-wedding-ideas

DSC_9511
DSC_9598

outdoor-wedding-ideas

outdoor-wedding-ideas

The Details:

Photographer: Jenny B Photography | Venue: Decatur House | Planning & Design: Bohemia Events + Design | Florist: Cedar & Lime Co. | Invitations: Minted | Caterer & Cake: Purple Onion Catering Co. | Hair and Makeup Stylist:  Makeup by Ana B | Bride’s & Bridesmaids’ Attire: BHLDN | Groom’s & Groomsmen’s Attire: The Black Tux | Music/Entertainment: DC Synergy, Entertainment Exchange | Transportation: RSTQ Transportation | Videographer: SkipperFilms Inc. 

Are You Engaged? (Congratulations!) Get Our Wedding Inspo Newsletter

Advice, inspiration, and ideas for your Washington wedding.

Or, see all of our newsletters. By signing up, you agree to our terms.
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.