Weddings

You Have to See the Before-and-After Reel of This VRBO-Home-Turned-Wedding-Venue

The couple hosted an eight-person micro-wedding here after changing plans four times.

Tamekia and Todd’s wedding-planning story involves a lot of scheduling and re-scheduling, due to Covid. In fact, in the end the couple’s wedding day was not their first or even second but their fourth wedding plan. And it happened in a VRBO rental home that wedding planner, Brandon Casey, of MODE, Events by Brandon Casey, transformed into a mini venue that mimicked the couple’s original vision. Read their story, and see the details of the day below (and check out the before-and-after Reel of the space at the end!)

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The Couple

Tamekia, an auditor from DC, and Todd, a network specialist from Upper Marlboro, MD met at a friend’s game night where they were each other’s opponent. Sparks flew, and the couple went on a first date to Rosa Mexicano in National Harbor, where they say they shared great conversation and plenty of laughs. 

Five years later, the couple went on a Caribbean cruise with family, and after a “beautiful day in Antigua”, they headed to dinner abroad the ship, where a waitress came by with a “special” dessert for Tamekia—flan with an engagement ring. (A complete surprise to Tamekia, they say.)

 

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The Plans

The pandemic caused changes in plans not once, but four times. Initially, the couple planned to marry on the beaches of Montego Bay, Jamaica in August, with 120 guests. After Covid hit, they postponed the Jamaica wedding to February 19, but by December, they realized the travel component (though technically feasible with Jamaica’s travel guidelines), was still too much a concern for guests—the safety of whom the couple says was their number one priority—so they decided on a 30-person wedding in DC. By February, even that was out of the question, but the couples says they couldn’t wait any longer and refused to reschedule again.

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The Big Day

So, they rented a home through VRBO that their wedding designer/planner transformed into a wedding venue, and they said “I do” in an eight-person micro-wedding instead. “The decision was the best thing we could have done!” they say. “Our family and friends were able to join us virtually and we were able to keep them safe.  The love we felt through the computer screen was indescribable.”

Their favorite detail was the transformation of the house into a “breathtaking” venue, which they say matched the style of their original wedding vision.

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The Decor & The Menu

The color scheme included hues of purple, gray, and silver. The couple chose dyed baby’s breath in an ombre of purple for the tablescape and ceremony arch, and then used silk flowers for the bride and bridesmaids’ bouquets, as well as the boutonnieres. For dinner, they chose a mixture of American and Jamaican cuisine (Todd was born and raised in Jamaica), crafting a menu that included spicy shrimp on avocado, jerk chicken skewers, a quinoa and kale salad, and a choice of lamb chops, filet mignon, and pan-seared salmon with creamy potatoes and rosemary-garlic spinach. Their signature cocktail included a sparkling white peach sangria, and for dessert, guests enjoyed vanilla-almond cupcakes with raspberry filling and vanilla buttercream on site, and cinna-butter cupcakes to take home.

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The Details

Photographer:  Clapp Studios Venue: VRBO home rental Event Planning & Design: Mode by Brandon Casey Florist: Designs by Oochay (tablescape and floral arch); Oak Bridal Accessories (bouquets and boutonniere)Invitations: Zazzle.com | Catering: CTB Experience | Cake: Jenny Baked It! | Makeup Artist: Nailah Tamar Artistry | Bride’s Attire: BHLDN | Groom’s Attire: Pink Butterfli Boutique, Philadelphia; Miguel Wilson Collection, National Harbor (bowtie) | Bridesmaids’ Attire: DaVinci Bridal, Lefty’s Bridal Boutique | Groomsmen’s Attire: Saks Fifth Avenue, Bethesda | Lighting/Draping: 27Studios|
Rentals: Select Event Group |
Videographer: Donta Wade of Kelkol Productions (video)

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Amy Moeller
Editor, Washingtonian Weddings

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.