Sara Villarreal and Pete Hamo met while living in Shanghai when she agreed to accompany a friend to visit Pete, her friend’s crush. When it became obvious that his attention was on Sara, she politely excused herself, later declining an invitation to hang out again. Still, the two became friends over the next five years and eventually found themselves on an impromptu first date. “I walked away that evening with a totally different perception of Pete, and he felt the same,” Sara says. “From there, the relationship took shape quickly.” Because they live continents away from their families, they wanted a wedding weekend that focused on spending time with loved ones and sharing their love story. The welcome party—where DJ D-Mac spun Motown tunes all night long for Pete, who grew up in Flint and Detroit — was at the Mexican Cultural Institute, a nod to Sara’s heritage. The pair—who now live in Singapore—married at Sara’s parents’ home with just 30 of their closest friends and family in attendance. After a Champagne toast, everyone decamped to Long View Gallery for a larger celebration with a chic, sultry lounge vibe reminiscent of Asian cocktail bars and street-food markets. Spanish flamenco music filled the cocktail hour, and themed food stations celebrated the couple’s time in Shanghai as well as Pete’s Syrian roots. The celebration culminated the next day at Sara’s parents’ home with a Texas-style barbecue (she is from San Antonio) and tequila shots.
For dinner, guests traveled under an installation of paper umbrellas to communal tables. Large hanging trees in the Japanese kokedama style evoked the couple’s hikes. Parting gift boxes included Texas-cedar scented candles and a selection of DC-themed favors.
Get more Washingtonian Weddings inspo:
Photographer: Lauren Balingit | Planning & Design: Julie Vieira for Kruse & Vieira Events | Florist: Sweet Root Village | Invitations: Emily Baird Design | Hair & Makeup: Anna Breeding | Caterer: Occasions Caterers | Rentals: BD3 Design (rentals and draping); DC Rental; Table Toppers Linen; La Tavola Fine Linen | Music: Joshua Espinoza, pianist (ceremony); Jay & Lee, guitarists (cocktail hour) | DJ & Lighting: DJ D-Mac & Associates | Officiant: Father Jason Lody | Transportation: Fleet Transportation