The Band Learned a Beloved Dolly Parton Song for This Parisian-Inspired Wedding

The couple's pup, Jolene, was front-and-center on their big day.

Photographs by Sarah Bradshaw

Liz and Alex met on a dating app DC, got engaged in Paris, married at St. Aloysius Catholic Church, and celebrated at the Army Navy Country Club in Arlington in fall of 2019, with a wedding that featured a custom family crest, Parisian-inspired accents, and a whole lot of love for their pup named Jolene. See the details of their big day below.

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The Couple

Elizabeth, a senior financial analyst at Amazon, and Alex, director of business development at Business France, met online through the dating app Coffee Meets Bagel, which they explain, matches people with similar likes and interests. “We bonded over a shared love of France and dogs,” they say. Appropriately so, then, they were engaged in Paris, and adopted a dog named Jolene. “—so we’d say the algorithm worked really well.” For a year and a half they planned a wedding they describe as “East Coast elegance with Parisian accents” for September 21, 2019, beginning with a ceremony at St. Aloysius Catholic Church in DC, and culminating in a celebration at the Army Navy Country Club in Arlington. The 180-person affair included a blush pink, burgundy, and gold color scheme, and featured their dog, whom the pair say, “as typical millennials” they “are obsessed with.”

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The Parisian-Inspired Wedding Day

The entire design aesthetic they say, began with a “beautiful watercolor crest designed by Gina Langford,” Liz says. “I gave Gina a list of flowers from everywhere around the world Alex and I have lived: dogwoods from Virginia, Iris from Paris, Chrysanthemum from Chicago, etc. Gina incorporated the flowers and three stars from the DC flag (representing where we met) into a crest painted in wedding colors. The crest and monogram formed the basis for wedding invitations, programs, and other “day of” items, as well as bridesmaid robes.”


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The Parisian-Inspired Wedding Decor

An illustration of Jolene, along with flowers from the crest, appeared in several items at the wedding, including an embroidered pillow, server towels, napkins, signage, and iced sugar cookies cookies, so the pup “could be with” them in spirit—Liz’s favorite detail. Their band Big Ray and the Kool Kats even learned Dolly Parton’s song Jolene as a tribute.

Alex’s favorite detail was equally sweet: the watercolor paintings of French monuments they used as table markers.

Other details of the day included a the French-country themed cocktail reception on the rooftop terrace featuring red-and-white toile tablecloths, a large artisanal cheese tray, and tapas table; the signature Jolene Julep cocktail, and the second, dairy-free cake for Alex.

When it’s safe to do so, the newlyweds, who’d hoped to honeymoon after Liz’s MBA graduation last June, plan to celebrate with a vacation in South Africa.

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The Details

Photographer: Sarah Bradshaw Photography  | Reception Venue: Army Navy Country Club | Planning & Design: Celebrating Love by Marcie | Florist: Stacy Bowen Floral Design | Invitations: MLC Designs | Cake and Dessert Bar: Fluffy Thoughts | Hair & Makeup: Behind the Veil | Bride’s Attire: Anomalie (gown and veil); Yves Saint Laurent (shoes, vintage); BHLDN (earrings) | Groom and Groomsmen’s Attire: Black Tux | Bridesmaids’ Attire: Azazie | Music: Big Ray and the Kool Kats | Transportation: Abe’s Transportation | Videographer: Lee Russell Films (see their wedding video here) | Rentals: White Glove Rentals and Select Event Group | Custom Wedding Crest: Dogwood Hill | Custom Wedding Monogram:  Pam Shuler, Shuler Studio | Custom Bar Items:  GB Design House | Watercolors of Paris Monuments for Tables: Shahin Bagheri | Embroidery: Vilcy Nelson, Sew Special by V |Calligraphy: Calligraphy by Jennifer


Amy Moeller
Fashion & Weddings Editor

Amy leads Washingtonian Weddings and writes Style Setters for Washingtonian. Prior to joining Washingtonian in March 2016, she was the editor of Capitol File magazine in DC and before that, editor of What’s Up? Weddings in Annapolis.