Charles and Rich hosted what we bet was one of the last pre-pandemic weddings in the city this year. On March 7, a week before things began to shut down, they married at District Winery and celebrated with more than 100 friends and family members over wine, a family-style meal, and plenty of dancing. See the details of their big day below.
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How They Met
Charles, the director of tax and domestic economic policy for the National Association of Manufacturers, and Rich, senior counsel at Harmon, Curran, Spielberg & Eisenberg, met on OK Cupid. Rich was the first to reach out—his picture was from his then-recent trip to Argentina with his sister, and his profile, Charles says, was “mostly about his very cute dog Summer.” Charles responded quickly—he was traveling on Presidents Day weekend, and his time spent in airports and hotel lobbies for a few days, he says, meant the pair “had plenty of time for vaguely flirty messages.” The week Charles returned to DC they met for happy hour at the now-closed Tortilla Coast on P Street. “We were both coming straight from work and it was freezing cold outside—February of 2015—so we were both windswept and tired.” But, he says, they hit it off over margaritas and chips and salsa, and “never looked back!”
Knowing that Charles was the planner/organizer in the relationship, Charles says, Rich wanted to plan a surprise engagement and propose. “We were having a relaxing Sunday [in October 2018] at home when I went to take a post-brunch shower,” Charles recalls. “I came out brushing my teeth in nothing but a towel, Rich was standing there in a suit with flowers and rings! I rushed back to the bedroom to put on something more engagement-appropriate (and slow my breathing a little!), and then came back out and Rich proposed. Following the proposal, Rich’s siblings came over for a champagne toast and then Rich unveiled the final surprise—a dinner reservation for the Inn at Little Washington, where the two of us continued the celebration that evening.”
The couple planned their wedding for March of this year and were able to pull it off just before everything shut down. “Our wedding was March 7, which I’m pretty sure was the last Saturday with any semblance of normalcy,” says Charles. “Things were starting to look bad by Monday or Tuesday after the wedding, and we were in full-blown quarantine by Friday. We are so thankful that we were able to celebrate with all of our friends and family, and that everyone we love has stayed healthy. We know that’s not the case for everyone, and we know how lucky we are to have had the celebration we did.”
Their Wedding Plans
The festivities began with a welcome reception for all their wedding guests at Bluejacket Brewery in Navy Yard on Friday and concluded with a “biscuits and bagels” brunch at the InterContinental at the Wharf (the menu a nod to the grooms, Charles says—he is southern and Rich is Jewish) on Sunday. On the big day, Saturday, the theme was a celebration of family and friends. The couple say they loved District Winery’s family-style meal offerings, and the long tables (in lieu of traditional rounds.) Following dinner, guests could find a place on the big dance floor, or a spot at the cocktail lounge out on the terrace for guests who wanted to catch up with loved ones.
Among the day’s special details were custom Funko figurine cake toppers—a formal set of the couple in their wedding suits topped a lemon-lavender cake with lemon buttercream icing and a casual set featuring the men in their team outfits—Auburn for Charles and the Philadelphia Eagles for Rich—topped a dark chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream icing and festive rainbow sprinkles. The florals were all bright repent and white, and featured “non-traditional textures,” Charles says, including “fun options like hypericum berries, green dianthus, and viburnum to serve as green accents against the more traditional white flowers.” The grooms donned blue suits, and in an effort to “look cohesive but not matching,” they let their attendants choose their own attire in varying shades of blue as well. Their biggest splurge, they say, was probably the live band. “Rich is a huge fan of live music, and when we saw Rayshun perform live with his rhinestone-studded sneakers, we knew it had to be him.”
Following the big day, the newlyweds had planned to spend a few weeks in Tuscany, but instead say they enjoyed a four-month[-plus] honeymoon in their condo in Columbia Heights. “It’s no Tuscany, but we have plenty of wine, plus our wonderful shiba inu Summer to keep us company.”
Photography: 1001 Angles Photography | Venue: District Winery | Planning: Sincerely Pete | Florist: J. Morris Flowers | Invitations: Paper Source | Catering: District Winery | Cake: Cakeroom | Music: Lucy Black Entertainment | Hairstylist: Bang Salon | Attire: Custom suits by J. Hilburn | Rings: Boone & Sons