Like many wedding vendors in the DMV (and across the country), Melissa Williams of B Astonished Events was forced to re-think her business’s approach to wedding planning when the pandemic hit. In an effort to prove that “love is not cancelled” and facilitate the elopements and micro-weddings of her wedding-planning clients, she, like many of her wedding-vendor-peers, got creative and began offering small and socially distant wedding packages. So this fall, when three of her couples wanted to get married on the same day—October 10, 2020 (10/10/2020)—she partnered with a handful of local vendors to put together three consecutive weddings at the Conrad hotel in Washington, DC, each with a totally different style.
The three weddings, which included a ceremony, toasts, and cake-cutting, shared a lush green-and-white floral ceremony arch and arrangements lining the aisle—they also each featured a color-coordinating dress code for guests—but the details were dramatically different. See what they looked like below.
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Wedding No. 1
Time: 9 a.m.
Theme: Modern Romance
Color scheme: Black
Guest Count: 15
Kimberly, a communications director, and Rashad, a financial analyst, met in high school at a basketball game but didn’t really connect until college at Bowie State University. They dated for five years—welcoming a son to the family during that time!—before Rashad proposed at their home on Christmas Eve. Initially, they talked about a courthouse wedding, but later decided on a wedding at Wynn Las Vegas with 80 guests. “Once the COVID-19 pandemic hit and we realized how serious it was, it was an easy decision for us to cancel our original plans to ensure the safety of our family and friends. Once we canceled, we weren’t sure what our special day would look like,” Kimberly says. One of Kimberly’s friends—an earlier client of Williams’—connected them, and a micro-wedding was planned.
“Our micro-wedding was everything I never knew I needed,” says the bride. “I didn’t grow up thinking much about what my wedding would look like, but on our wedding day my spirit felt so aligned and everything about our day was tailored made for us. The intimacy of it all is something that I’ll cherish forever.”
Elements of decor included black cafe chairs, black-and-white marble linens, and centerpieces that featured bold blooms in varying shades of red and burgundy, with fruit accents, like pomegranate and red grapes. At the sweetheart’s table, black laser-cut chargers added a modern look beneath white plates and silver napkins with black laser-cut acrylic name cards, and white candlesticks were on display in black holders. As wedding favors, the couple gifted guests–who were invited to wear all black–with masks and personalized hand sanitizer that read “Spread love, not germs!” And for dessert, the couple sliced into an almond cake with buttercream icing from Buttercream Bakeshop.
Photographer: Terri Baskin Photography | Venue: Venue: Conrad | Planning & Design: B Astonished Events | Florist: Pretty Petals Florals | Invitations: By Dami Studios | Cake: Buttercream Bakeshop | Hairstylist: Jacqueline Grant of Beauty Granted | Makeup Artist: Troi Phillips of Glamour by Troi | Bride’s Attire: David’s Bridal | Groom’s Attire: Suit Supply | Bridesmaids’ Attire: Club L. London | Music: DJ Oxygen | Videographer: B. Williams Productions
Wedding No. 2
Time: 1 p.m.
Color scheme: White and champagne with greenery and blush accents
Guest Count: 13
These two attorneys met while in Madrid for part of a law school program–he was there from DePaul University and she was there from American University. They dated for four years before he proposed on the steps of the Supreme Court in June 2020. Initially, they’d wanted a large wedding but scaled down during the pandemic, with 13 (mostly local) guests physically present, and others watching on via Zoom.
Since both are first-generation Mexican-American, the couple decided to highlight their heritage, they say, with custom papel picado banners—a traditional decoration for events in Mexico—plus the Lasso wedding tradition they say are commonly seen in Catholic and Mexican weddings. “As a tribute to the country where we first met and lived together, my wedding gown and veil were both made in Spain by Pronovias (the dress) and The Mantilla Co. (veil),” says the bride. “The perfume I wore was also by a Spanish company, Loewe, and the scent is called “Un Paseo Por Madrid” which translates to “a walk through Madrid.”” As another nod to the couple’s relationship, the best man gifted the groom wedding-day socks that featured their puppy, Bailey. The sweetheart’s table featured blush-white-and-copper marbled chargers atop a blush-and-white patterned tablecloth, with pink napkins, clear-and-white acrylic menus, and gold name cut-outs.
Photographer: Terri Baskin Photography | Venue: Conrad | Planning & Design: B Astonished Events | Florist: Pretty Petals Florals | Invitations: By Dami Studios | Cake: Buttercream Bakeshop | Hairstylist: Dominque Cole| Makeup Artist: GlamQui | Bride’s Attire: Pronovias from Love Couture Bridal | Groom’s Attire: The Black Tux | Music: DJ Oxygen | Live Stream: B. Williams Productions Video: NST Pictures
Wedding No. 3
Time: 4 p.m.
Theme: Modern chic
Color scheme: Ivory and black with greenery
Guest Count: 12
Jayla and Justin met through a mutual friend in DC. They were friends for a few years before sharing their first date at a wine bar in Annapolis. After they’d been dating for about a year–and before Justin officially proposed–they started planning their wedding. And like their big day, the proposal included some timely and socially distant elements as well–like an at-home proposal with friends and family who watched Jayla say “yes” from Zoom.
Originally, their wedding plans included a guest list of nearly 200 people, but once they’d decided on an October date, they realized scaling it down was the only option. Among the couple’s favorite details were the ceremony backdrop and aisle floral arrangements, and a black-and-white acrylic welcome sign. Their sweetheart’s table included black-and-white floral printed chargers under black-velvet napkins and white, laser cut, acrylic name signs. They, too, gifted guests with custom face masks and hand sanitizer, and after exchanging “I do”s they joined guests for a cocktail-style reception with a menu that featured squid ink puff pastries, grilled forged mushroom bread, chicken-and-kale wonton tacos, and cocktails. For dessert, they served a vanilla cake with strawberry filling and cream-cheese buttercream.
Photographer: Terri Baskin Photography | Venue: Conrad Hotel, Washington, D.C. | Planning & Design: B Astonished Events | Florist: Pretty Petals Florals | Invitations: By Dami Studios | Cake: Buttercream Bakeshop | Hairstylist: Charm8Hair | Makeup Artist: GlamQui | Bride’s Attire: Essence of Australia, Ellie’s Bridal | Groom’s Attire: Lawrence Clothiers | Bridesmaids’ Attire: Amsale | Groomsmen’s Attire: Ralph Lauren | Music: DJ Oxygen | Live Stream: B. Williams Productions | Custom Masks: For Your Party | Linens: BBJ Linen | Chairs: White Glove Rentals | Welcome Sign: Pink Posies and Pearls| Acrylic Place Setting: Modlode