After Eloping at the DC War Memorial, This Couple Danced Under the Stars

The moonlit first-dance photos are unlike any we've seen.

Photographs by Margaret Wroblewski Photography

Jackie and Vini credit for their meet cute. Jackie says Vini reached out first, and his message caught her attention. “He brought up a detail in my profile about faith being important to me,” says Jackie, adding that they quickly realized they had a lot in common. After messaging for a few weeks, they decided to meet on a warm Friday in February 2017. Since Jackie lived in Woodley Park at the time, they chose Bangkok Thai in Dupont for their first date location. They ay that the conversations flowed smoothly as they bonded over what they were looking for in a partner and in life. The couple ended up dating for almost three years before getting engaged in January 2020 during a trip to Belize and Guatemala. 

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The Wedding Planning

Unfortunately, planning a wedding in 2020 wasn’t as simple as Jackie and Vini’s love story. Vini is originally from Guatemala, so the couple was looking to wed in Mexico or the Netherlands “to make it easy for guests from the US and Guatemala to get to,” says Jackie. However, they quickly found out that an international wedding would not be feasible. So, they decided to elope and livestream the evening so those who could not attend could still witness the celebration.  




The Elopement

They eloped at the DC War Memorial in May 2021 with just nine guests. Following the ceremony, Jackie and Vini posed for portraits  around the National Mall, which they is their favorite memory from the day. On the way back to their car, they went back to the DC War Memorial, then had their first dance back there, “on the spot where we were married, in the dark under the light and stars,” says Jackie. 



Additional “Guests”

Along with livestreaming their nuptials, Jackie and Vini also received video toasts from their friends and family who could not attend due to the pandemic. Thanks to the platform Memento, they received over 60 messages and “nearly 2 hours of beautiful tributes,” says Jackie. “This was incredibly meaningful. We will be able to refer back to this video forever, and it was one of the most meaningful things we did for our wedding.”






The Details

Photographer: Margaret Wroblewski | Venue: DC War Memorial | Planning & Design: Roxanne Coffey | Florist: Twinbrook Floral DesignInvitations: Invitd | Cake: The Cake Room | Makeup and Hair: DC Bridal | Bride’s Attire:  David’s Bridal | Groom’s Attire:  Macy’s | Music: Singers and Strings