This Couple’s Escort Wall Is Perfect for Those Marrying in a Garden Setting

Katie & Peter threw a flower-filled reception at George Washington’s River Farm.

As colleagues at Atlantic Media in DC, Peter and Katie met three times before their friendship blossomed. Eventually, Peter left for New York, and when Katie went to the Big Apple to see family, they arranged to visit. “As friends,” they say, Peter took Katie to his favorite neighborhood restaurant, Barbuto. “And as slightly more than friends,” they grabbed a nightcap at a nearby wine bar. So began a long-distance relationship that lasted a year before Katie moved north to join Peter. When he proposed during a ski trip two years later, they decided to marry in the city where their friendship began.

Inspired by their venue, the headquarters of the American Horticultural Society, flowers were the focus of their “destination wedding.” At the reception, an escort wall featuring live classic botanical illustrations—including the Redouté damask rose they reproduced on their invitation suite—guided guests to tables, which were designated with flower names. Servers passed colorful Prosecco pops in trays lined with a floral print, and tables were topped with arrangements in tall frame stands, brass bowls, and bud vases, all punctuated with candles for a garden-party feel. The menu reflected the couple’s travels: mini popovers from Northeast Harbor, Maine, for Katie’s family, BLT cones for Peter’s family’s favorite lunch spot on the Outer Banks, and the same salsa verde from Barbuto that they shared on their first date. Wanting to leave more time for dancing, the couple traded the dessert bar for passed affogatos, churros-and-chocolate, and sorbet, along with a cherry-bomb/strawberry-lemonade cake.

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“Our main goal,” says Katie, “was to make the weekend a great experience for our guests—from the hotel on King Street and Friday-night welcome party to the menu at each seat with guests’ names and selections.”

The Details

Photographer: Katie Stoops Photography | Planning & Design: Grit & Grace | Florist: Sweet Root Village | Invitations: Bella Figura, the Dandelion Patch | Caterer: Heirloom Catering & Event Design | Cake: Fluffy Thoughts Cakes | Hair & Makeup: Amie Decker Beauty | Attire: Dan Jones, Spina Bride (bride); Richard James (groom); Dessy Collection, Nordstrom (bridesmaids) | Music: Bialek’s Music (cocktail hour); Bela Sono Music (reception) | Transportation: Reston Limousine | Decor: Something Vintage, DC Rental


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.