When you think of two attorneys getting married in DC, I bet one word comes to mind…stuffy! Well, it’s time to be surprised because Erin and Joe’s wedding at the Ritz-Carlton DC was anything but. They wanted their intimate affair of 78 guests to exude a sense of playfulness, fun and silliness in a sea of navy blue and orange. And with stars, gold glitter and an abundance of bright colors they did just that. And once you take a look at the photos by Jessica Schmitt Photography I’m sure you’ll be hard-pressed not to have a big smile on your face.
Tell us how you met…
We met in law school in 2008 when we sat a row apart from each other in professional responsibility class. According to Joe, he finally got the courage to talk to me at an end-of-the-year dance. At a NYC nightclub, Duvet, he waited until the DJ dropped his favorite Usher song and then took her out on the dance floor.
Now for the proposal… details!
We were in a long distance relationship (between NYC to DC) at the time. Joe would take the train from NY at 7 p.m. on Fridays and get to Erin’s in DC around 11 p.m. After acquiring the right ring, Joe came down as per usual on a Friday and surprised Erin by, instead of offering her the usual hug on walking through door to her apartment, getting down on one knee and proposing. We then went to our favorite restaurant for late night oysters and champagne to celebrate.
Can you give us an overview of the event?
We wanted to make our wedding the right balance of classy yet informal. Since our wedding was at the Ritz Carlton in Georgetown, which has a certain “formal” reputation because of its name, it was important to us to include decorations and music that reflected our playful and informal personal styles. We wanted people to wear what made them comfortable but know they were coming to a fun, fancy party where we we would have abundant food and drink.
Was there a specific theme or style?
Our colors were navy blue and orange. But we also had a lot of stars and gold glitter. We both really like bright colors, and we wanted our wedding to feel festive rather than stuffy.
Tell us about your wedding gown and what your bridal party wore.
I had anticipated wanting a crazy, avant-garde dress. But, as it turns out, I fell in love with the simple Modern Trousseau dress from the moment I tried it on! For my bridesmaids, my biggest concern was making sure that they were comfortable and felt like they were wearing something flattering. I don’t really believe that anyone wears her bridesmaid dress again after the wedding, but it was nonetheless my goal to make the dresses as wearable as possible. So I chose basic, strapless navy dresses from J Crew. The bridesmaids all had fun, glittery gold shoes, though, to keep the outfits from being too plain. Joe’s outfit for our wedding was also really special. He got his suit custom made. The lining was in our wedding colors, with embroidery of our wedding date.
What were your playful twists that made the event unique?
We designed our own specialty cocktails based on our wedding colors (navy, orange, and turquoise) including a passion fruit champagne cocktail (orange colored) and a Bombay Sapphire based cocktail (not technically blue, but Bombay Sapphire has a blue bottle – so close enough. We also had custom made bar napkins made that said “Yay, open bar!” Our wedding favors were oreos baked inside chocolate chip cookies. We are both hard rock/heavy metal fans, so our first dance was “Fall to Pieces” by Velvet Revolver which is a little heavier than your average first dance.
Did you DIY any of the details?
We made the table place cards ourselves using cut-out stars that we painted a sparkly gold and then wrote guests’ names on in puff paint. We tied the stars to people’s chairs using colored ribbons (navy, orange, turquoise, to go with our wedding colors) color coded to whatever meal they ordered. We designed and commissioned the wedding invitations, save the dates, wedding programs, and bar menus on Etsy.
What was the most memorable moment?
Our grand entrance before the meal. It was the first time we both saw the reception room fully decorated (which was beautiful and awesome) and it was overwhelming to see all our family and friends in one place cheering us on.
Tell us about the food and desserts.
We had a choice of Maryland crab cake (Erin and her family are from Maryland) and filet mignon for dinner. For dessert we had a duo of chocolate and tiramisu cakes, which were delicious.
What kind of energy did your entertainment give the guests?
Joe’s brother played his guitar for our wedding ceremony, which made it extra special and personal. At our reception, our DJ was awesome. He played a lot of recent top 40 hits (mostly hip hop) and popular songs from the 90s (the bride/groom’s friends ranged from 28-30). The dancing didn’t stop once the music started. We requested that the typical wedding songs not be played (i.e., electric slide, chicken dance, Bon Jovi). At times, it felt like our wedding had turned into a club! It was so fun to see our guests of all ages really getting into the dancing.
If there was one thing you could change, what would it be?
That it only happened once.
What was the best wedding advice you received?
The wedding will be over before you know it—it’s the marriage that lasts forever!
Wedding Location: Ritz-Carlton, Georgetown, Washington, DC | Coordinator: Kyana Gerard, Ritz-Carlton Georgetown | Flowers and Chuppah: Karin’s Florist | DJ: Karim Clouden, Entertainment Exchange | Chairs: We Party | Bride’s Gown: Modern Trousseau | Bride’s Shoes: Giuseppe Zanotti Design | Makeup: Gina Robinson | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: J Crew | Bridal Jewelry: Bauble Bar | Groom’s Suit: Michael Andrews Bespoke | Groom’s Shirt: Saks Fifth Avenue | Ties: Thomas Pink | Groom’s Shoes: To Boot New York | Invitations: Silhouette Blue