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Engagement Session

The Most Washingtonian Love Story of All Time

Washingtonian Magazine, that is. Julyssa and Eliot met as interns at our publication!

By Sarah Zlotnick

OK, we're a little biased when it comes to this adorable couple. Both Silver Spring natives, Julyssa Lopez, currently a writer/editor for internal publications at George Washington University, and Eliot Stein, currently a senior content strategist at SmartThings, met as interns right here at Washingtonian Magazine. While we could paraphrase their meet-cute story, Eliot does such a wonderful job telling it that we'll let him take it away (details follow in italicized copy below). In the meantime, take a moment to notice the bike that remains constant throughtout this DC engagement session. Eliot had the leather seat installed on the back so that he and Julyssa could ride around town together, and we love that it's front and center in these photos by Mathew Ramsey.

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5 Bridal Shower Games That Don't Involve Fake Penises

Keep it clean and your bridesmaids (and grandma) entertained.

By Caroline Cunningham Photograph by Ashley Revlas Photography.

Once all of the decorations are up, the tiny, pretty food is made, and the presents are wrapped, you might think you’re all set for a spectacular shower. But however much fun you might have just eating food and opening gifts, your guests will appreciate a bit of entertainment to break up the celebration.

While grandma may not approve of gaudy games involving thinly-veiled innuendo, that doesn’t mean you can’t have any fun. Not only do these shower games help break the ice and get all the women in the bride’s life talking, they are also a great way to help the attendees get to know the bride and her soon-to-be groom better.

Here are five tried-and-true games we here at Washingtonian Bride & Groom have played that you can take to your next bridal shower to keep all of the single ladies entertained. Turn up the tunes, and get the party started!

Related: The Ultimate Bridal Shower Playlist

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Real Weddings

We LOVE the Playful Portraits in This Outdoor Virginia Wedding

An Nguyen and Eddie He wed on June 7, 2014 at Goose Creek Gardens & Pavilion.

By Caroline Cunningham

One of the benefits of Washington weddings is that we get to see the celebrations of all different cultures and traditions. That’s partly why we loved An Nguyen and Eddie He’s nuptials so much—their beautiful traditional tea ceremony gave way to a stunning outdoor marriage ceremony before their reception at Goose Creek Gardens & Pavilion. But we also just adore all the sweet moments of pure exhilaration and joy—such as during an impromptu piggyback ride—on An and Eddie’s faces in these photographs taken by Clarence Chan Photography.

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Found It! The Cutest "Will You Be My Bridesmaid?" Gift Right Now

Courtesy local welcome bag company Marigold & Grey

By Sarah Zlotnick Marigold & Grey's new "Will You Be My Bridesmaid?" gift box. All photos by Abby Jiu.

Marigold & Grey, you've done it again. We were already obsessed with your customizeable wedding welcome bags, which we described as "artisanal, locally-minded welcome bags guaranteed to look as picure-perfect as the products inside" in the Summer/Fall 2015 edition of Washingtonian Bride & Groom. Now, you've gone and delighted us a second time with the introduction of ten new adorable pre-designed gift sets. While four of those are still intended for guests, we're particularly enamored by the options that can be gifted to bridesmaids, the flower girl, the maid of honor, and even the bride herself. If you're stuck on how to pop the bridal party question, or maybe looking for a way to pamper your favorite bride-to-be, these locally sourced and created packages are an adorable way to go. Starting at $75, they're something of a splurge, but a splurge well worth it when you consider how much the women who will receive them have meant throughout your life (not to mention the time you'll save not building them yourself). Scroll down for info on what each box includes!

Related: 14 DC-Themed Favors for Your Wedding Welcome Bag

"Will You Be My Bridesmaid?" and "Will You Be My Maid of Honor?"

Includes hand-poured soy candle in Marche Aux Fleurs scent, Sugarfina champagne gummy bears, Essie nail polish in "Blushing Bride", artisan lavender sea salts, and Well-Kept electronic screen wipes. Can be delivered with a hand-written personal note. $75 at Marigold & Grey.

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Expert Advice

When to Get Your Last Haircut Before Your Wedding

And other beauty must-do's the month before the big day.

By Caroline Cunningham
The ExpertMonth OfWeek OfDay Of

Luigi Parasmo
Stylist/Co-Owner, Luigi Parasmo Salon and Spa
Schedule a trial run with your wedding-day hair-stylist. Bring your veil and any hairpieces to help visualize the final look. Your last haircut should be two months before your wedding. Color and highlight your hair—the color will soften and fade lightly after a couple of shampoos. If you’re wearing your hair up, avoid cutting or trimming it; even half an inch can make a difference in updo manageability. Head to a salon for a hair glaze and blowout the night before. The glaze will help keep hair shiny and the blowout can be worn at the rehearsal dinner. Do not wash your hair the morning of your wedding. Freshly washed strands can be slippery, which means you’ll need more bobby pins and hairspray to maintain your look.

Carlene Thomas
Author, The Wedding Wellness Workbook
It’s crunch time. Opt for whole grains, which are packed with fiber and B vitamins. Add spinach to sandwiches and smoothies, use olive oil as salad dressing, and swap out mayo for avocado. Reach for beauty foods such as berries, salmon, and nuts for other meals and snacks. Make healthy options automatic during a hectic time by preparing or purchasing foods the weekend before. Hydrate with dandelion and green teas, which reduce bloating and rev your metabolism. Remember to eat no matter how busy (or nervous) you get. Opt for a protein-packed breakfast (veggie omelette with salmon, fruit-and-nut yogurt parfait) to avoid bloating and maintain energy. Ask someone in the bridal party to make sure you have food in your dressing room.

Dr. Sherry Maragh
Founder, Northern Virginia Dermatology, Vein & Surgery Center
This is the deadline for considering wrinkle fillers or Botox. Avoid aggressive skin treatments like chemical peels and lasers from now until after the wedding; a hydrafacial by a licensed technician will lift dead cells, clean pores, and leave skin looking radiant. Schedule facial waxing and threading this week so any redness has a few days to resolve. Decrease the use of any products containing retinol or glycolic acid; these can cause redness or increase sun sensitivity on the wedding day. Get plenty of rest the night before, and stay hydrated. Resist the temptation to squeeze any “stress” pimples; instead, apply an acne spot treatment and cover with makeup. Apply primer before makeup to control natural oils and prevent shine, and bring along rice-paper blotters for between photos.


25 Ideas to Make Your University of Maryland Wedding Amazing

Fear the Turtle!

By Caroline Cunningham

1. Once you’re engaged, head straight for the end zone at Byrd Stadium to take some save-the-date snapshots.

Photograph by Photography by Brea.

2. Or just wrap up in the Maryland flag for a romantic photo.

Photograph by Andrea & Renata.

3. Pull in the color scheme with red flowers.

Photograph by Jeana M. Photography.

4. And incorporate the UMD logo into invitations.

Photograph by Jeana M. Photography.

5. The bride can wear some Maryland pride on her garter.

University of Maryland Terrapins Wedding Bridal Garter, $17.99 on Etsy.

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Expert Advice

Quiz: What Kind of Washington Couple are You Actually?

Is your love the stuff DC dreams are made of?

By Sarah Zlotnick Photograph by Melinda Sue Gordon for Netflix.

Do you feed off each other's ambition, or do you get more excited supporting your other half while they work to make this world a better place? Is "this town" your favorite town, a town you visit on the weekends, or just the town you live in? Do Frank and Claire embody your #relationshipgoals, or is theirs a love to be avoided at all costs?

What kind of Washington couple are you? Take our quiz and find out!

Expert Advice

When to Save While Wedding Planning—and When to Splurge

Nar Hovnanian and Sugar Taylor of Taylor & Hov share how to cut costs.

By Caroline Cunningham
Nar Hovnanian (left) and Sugar Taylor (right) have been working together to design weddings for six years. Photograph by Michelle Vantine Photography.

A Silver Spring event design duo—Nar Hovnanian and Sugar Taylor—are behind Taylor & Hov, and they've planned weddings with budgets from $35,000 to $300,000. Here's their tips to make your budget work for you.

Cut costs where your guests won’t notice the difference.
Get a small cake to cut and have sheet cakes in the back to feed guests. Don’t print menus and programs for everyone; you can display one program creatively for all to see using a large frame, and either skip menus entirely or print just one per table. Save money on food by opting for a buffet meal or hosting a brunch wedding.

Avoid Pinterest envy.
It’s easy to see something on Pinterest and say I want that! Executing it for 150 people, on the other hand, can cost a lot more than you think. Start planning your design early enough to have wiggle room. A good event designer can look at a Pinterest board and tell you approximately how much that design will cost for your guest count.

Never skimp on your photographer or flowers. Pictures are so important—make sure you pay for quality! Choose a photographer whose work you are excited about. Please don’t try to do flowers yourself. It’s an added stress that you won’t want to think about the week before your wedding. Instead, save money by shopping for local and in-season blooms.

Limit your liquor.
Don't go for a full bar. Instead choose, beer, wine and one or two signature cocktails to cut down on alcohol costs.

Remember: Products are pricey.
Rentals, purchases, food, alcohol, flowers, linens—all the details cost money. Go with the standard dining ware that your caterer has to offer, use the same chairs for both your ceremony and reception, and try your best to utilize what the venue already has.

Trim your guest list.
The more guests you have, the larger the budget. If you don’t want to spend much on your wedding, keep it intimate.

Related: Taylor + Hov Used Hanging Terrariums as Decor in this Long View Gallery Wedding

Real Weddings

Rustic Pink & Gray Barn Wedding at Virginia's Murray Hill

Kayla Lechler and Dylan Smith entertained their guests with lawn games and barbecue.

By Caroline Cunningham

There’s something so welcoming about barn weddings. Maybe it’s the strands of twinkling lights, the pitchers of somebody’s mama’s lemonade, or the laid-back lawn games that can be played with a beer in hand—but whatever it is, Kayla Lechler and Dylan Smith’s wedding had it all. From the absolute joy on their faces walking down the aisle to the beautiful starry night that appeared as the night wore on, Isabel Pirrello Photography captured all the best moments of their Murray Hill celebration.

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Real Weddings

You Need to See the Flowers at This Classic Meridian House Wedding

Lee Spangler and Jonathan Daniel wed with an elegant celebration on September 27, 2014.

By Sarah Zlotnick

We love that DC weddings tend to have such an innate sense of elegance to them, and Lee Spangler and Jonathan (Jon) Daniel's celebration is no exception. They decked out their historic venue with jaw-dropping floral arrangements by Holly Heider Chapple that took their classic space to the next level. Check out these photos by Abby Jiu Photography that caught all the warmth and joy of their day.

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