Weddings

This Couple’s Relaxed July Elopement Featured Natural Elements and Summer Florals

At this July wedding, the couple prioritized flexibility and safety.

Photography by Audra Wrisley Photography

Despite growing up in towns next to each other, attending nearby high schools, and obtaining undergraduate degrees from George Washington University, Danielle and Mike didn’t meet until they worked on a consulting project together. The couple spent their first date at Wolfgang Puck’s now-closed restaurant The Source—bonding over Peking duck, fried rice, and chocolate chip cookies. Five and half years later, they wed in an intimate outdoor ceremony at the Washington National Cathedral’s Bishop’s Garden. Check out their wedding below to learn more about the couple and their special day.

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How They Got Engaged

For Danielle’s birthday, Mike surprised her with a trip out west to California. On New Year’s Day, the couple headed north from San Francisco and arrived at the Bardessono Resort in Napa Valley. The next morning, on the four year anniversary of their first date, they decided to on a hike together. When they reached the summit, Mike dropped to a knee and proposed to Danielle—a stunning view of Napa Valley serving as the backdrop to the special moment. They spent the rest of the day exploring Napa Valley: eating barbecue, touring a winery, and even visiting some emus (Danielle’s favorite animal!).

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The Ceremony Details

Prior to the pandemic, the couple planned to celebrate their nuptials with 100 guests at a black-tie event at the National Museum of Women in the Arts on May 2, 2020. However, once Covid hit, the couple changed plans. After shifting their date to July 11 (and then having that date become unfeasible as well), they decided to still tie the knot that day in a much-smaller ceremony with 14 family members and close friends. The couple wed in an intimate ceremony at Bishop’s Garden at the Washington National Cathedral—a hidden garden next to the famous church. Leaning on the natural beauty of the outdoor space, the couple’s colors reflected the summer blooms—white, light blue, lilac, and green. “Even though it was not the wedding we had originally planned, it turned out to be more beautiful, relaxing, and enjoyable than we could have imagined,” says the couple.

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The Reception Details

For the post-wedding celebration, the couple hosted their guests at their favorite local restaurant, Gravitas. Matt Baker, the restaurant’s executive chef and owner, prepared a six-course menu for the attendees, which included yellowfin tuna sashimi, roasted duck breast, and crab and chili linguine. The couple’s cake was chocolate with vanilla fondant and adorned with fresh flowers.

The Details:

Photography: Audra Wrisley Photography | Planning & Design: A. Griffin Events | Ceremony Venue: Bishop’s Garden at Washington National Cathedral | Reception Venue: Gravitas | Hair: Remona Soleimani | Makeup: Carl Ray | Bride’s Gown Attire: Rime Arodaky from Net-a-Porter | Bride’s Shoes: Alexandre Birman from Neiman Marcus | Bride’s Stylist: Tara Luizzi at Tara Styles DC | Bride’s Earrings: Shah & Shah Distinctive Jewelers | Groom’s attire: Bonobos | Florist: Edge Floral Event Designers | Stationery: Minted and Zeppelinmoon | Catering: Gravitas | Cake: Gravitas  | RingsMarket Street Diamonds

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