A Custom 20-Foot Candlelit Backdrop Was the Focal Point of This Wedding at the Schuyler

The candle wall decorated both the ceremony and the reception.

Zainep, a vice president at Capital One, and Shawn, an assistant professor of psychology at Virginia Commonwealth University, discovered each other on a dating app. Three years later, Shawn proposed as part of the last clue in an escape-room experience—something they’d done together several times, beginning with their second date.

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Applying their love of games to planning a wedding at the Schuyler, the pair worked with a graphic designer on a “secret mission”–themed stationery suite, including a decoder that guests used to make meal selections. Wedding day brought a welcome sign decorated with Scrabble tiles, plus decks of cards featuring an illustration of the bride and groom as queen and king. The day-of paper was among the couple’s favorite details, but the showstopper was a custom 16-by-20-foot candlelit backdrop at the ceremony and reception. After dinner, the newlyweds cut the copper tones of a five-tier ombré cake inspired by the floral detail on the evening’s china. At the end of the night, guests opened custom-­printed boxes of sliders and fries.




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The Details


Planning and design: Jayne Heir Weddings + Events

Florist: Edge Floral Event Designers

Rentals: Select Event Group

Lighting, draping, and production: The Lightsource Company

Invitations: Sugar Taylor

Caterer: GetPlated

Cake: Buttercream Bakeshop

Photographer: Terri Baskin

Hair: Natalie Wong-Sang

Makeup: Taylor Simpson Artistry

Bride’s attire: Essence of Australia from the Bridal Room

Groom’s attire: Brian Alexander Bespoke

Bridesmaids’ attire: Bridal Babes

Groomsmen’s attire: National Tuxedo Rentals

Music: DJ Rayvon; Jeremy Green (violist)

Videographer: Vona B. Productions

This wedding originally appeared in the January 2023 issue of Washingtonian.

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.