I spent hours agonizing over this blog post. I literally just couldn’t choose which photos to use (thanks a lot to Katie Jett Walls of Red Turtle Photography, for taking so many awesome ones, it was impossible to choose!) This was such a special event to be part of and bring together. Joe and Paul are two of the kindest people, and I was so honored to plan their wedding. It was also the first gay marriage I have been part of, and it was truly a wonderful experience all around ( I seriously miss s our planning meetings!)
Both the ceremony and reception took place at the Peter G. Peterson Institute for International Economics, just off of Dupont Circle. A short walk from the Tabard Inn, this building with a modern exterior was a welcome change from the typical marble and stone of its neighbors along Massachusetts Avenue.
Da Vinci’s Florist lined the narrow hallway with submerged purple dendrobium orchids topped with floating candles to guide the way.
The grooms escorted their mother and father down the aisle, and each carried a memorial candle to honor their deceased parents. The candles sat in candleabras that framed the grooms during the ceremony, and continued to burn around the sweetheart table during the reception.
The floor to ceiling draping around the entire space completely transformed the meeting space into an intimate, romantic ceremony space. Simple white uplights bounced off the white draping, adding romance and drama to the altar.
The private courtyard in the back, complete with floor to ceiling windows and sculpture garden made for a perfect backdrop for family photos, and cocktail cocktail hour. The space didn’t need much, just a few cocktail rounds with some submerged florals that echoed the hallway inside, and a stocked bar! As the lights went down, the cocktail area just glowed outside, and it felt like the outside and inside merged. Love!
While guests enjoyed a champagne reception, we were hard at work transforming the ceremony space into a breathtaking reception space. Amber uplighting, eggplant linens, and black accents transformed the room yet again. the stage and ceremony decor was re-purposed to become a sweetheart table.
Wine bottles (labels removed) served as alternatives to a traditional guest book. Guests signed their names and wrote warm wishes to the new Mr. & Mr., who would later display them in their dining room.
2 grooms, 2 cakes. Perfect ratio for me! Design Cuisine created two decadent desserts (not to mention the delicious homemade caramel turtles alongside coffee service). One, a traditional buttercreamy goodness, and the other, a rum cake, in the shape of a traditional rum barrel!
Two long tables of guest seating was dramatic, and had such a romantic, warm, dinner party feel…
… and the vegetable tablescapes turned food into art! In lieu of traditional centerpieces, Krista from Da Vinci’s Florist created a runner down the two tables consisting of turnips, cabbage, asparagus, cauliflower, and more!
Much thought was paid to the materials and the layers of texture on the tables. From the black spandex chair covers that provided a sleek, streamlined chair that not only meshed well with the eggplant crush linens, but the the mix of the organic vegetables, green glassware, and beautiful green and eggplant decorated china, set atop black chargers.
And then, there was the food! Design Cuisine knocked it out of the park with this menu they collaborated on with the Grooms:
Passed Hors d’oeuvres:
Truffle Tentazioni on Mini Polenta
Carrot and Parsnip Pancakes with Ginger-Apple Chutney
Sesame Tuna Tartare Cornet
Jicama Cups with Guacamole
Heirloom Tomato Tartlette
Citrus Glazed Black Cod
Mache & Frisee Salad with Ginger-Mango Stilton
Filet of Beef in Red Wine, Shallot, and Honey Essence
In-between courses, there was a brief interlude for a little dinner party game. I’m normally anti-game, but this really turned out super cute. Guests had been given seating “regions” after Paul and Joe’s favorite wines to help them find their seating.
These regions also served as teams for us to easily pair off. Each team was given a quiz where the answer to each question was either Paul or Joe. It brought a lot of guests together who knew certain questions, and could fill in the blanks for others. It created such a lighthearted feel, there were giggles and laughs coming from all corners of the room.
Afterwards, the next course was served, and the answers were revealed in a musical slide show. just above the sweetheart table.
Dinner, dancing, and a room filled with love. Couldn’t ask for anything more. Amazing night- one that I surely won’t forget anytime soon! Check out the bottom of the post for the rundown on all the amazing vendors that came together to pull off this fabulous wedding!
Congratulations Paul and Joe! I wish you a lifetime of happiness, dinner parties, travel, and lots of good wine!!
Venue: Peter G. Peterson Institute for International Economics
Wedding Planner: Ribbon Box Events
Photography: Red Turtle Photography
Catering: Design Cuisine
Floral and Event Design: Da Vinci’s
String Trio: St. Charles String Quartet
DJ: Jeremy Scarborough for Kirkabee DJs
Officiant: Edward Ingebretsen-Doud, Your DC Wedding Officiant
Wedding Cakes: Design Cuisine
Hotel Block and Rehearsal Dinner: The Tabard Inn
Invitations,programs, and dinner menus: Wedding Paper Divas
Seating Chart: Perfect Image Printing
Attire/Tuxedos: Their own