Best Day Ever at a Brewery in Washington D.C.: Maggie + Whitney

Best Day Ever at a Brewery in Washington D.C.: Maggie + Whitney

Whitney and I met in 2007 when we both transferred to Pacific University in Oregon to finish up our bachelors degrees. At the last minute, she replaced one of my other three assigned roommates. When she showed up on moving day, she and her family unloaded a plethora of pink décor that made me certain we could never possibly be friends, but over the next three months, her kind heart, open-mindedness, drive, and fun energy drew me closer to her. She made me feel at ease, and finally, after what felt like an eternity trying to make sure she had similar feelings, we embarked on an unconventional way to start a relationship: as roommates, and sharing the space with two other students.

November 10th marked ten years from our first kiss. I had planned to propose this day, but the engagement ring I ordered was still in the mail. I didn’t think Whitney remembered the significance of the day, but it turns out she did…

When we first started dating, I bought her a silicon ring out of a 25 cent machine and she wore it for years until it broke. The night of the 10th, she was really late getting home from work because she drove to three grocery stores to find a 25 cent machine to get a plastic container that holds the toys that come out of these machines. She had bought a silicon Qalo ring for me, engraved with “Heartlines,” a song by Florence and the Machine (our favorite concert we have attended together). She put that ring in that plastic container and proposed that night, catching me totally off guard! I was too excited to care that she beat me to the punch.

Whitney and I love a good craft beer, so when she threw out the idea of getting married in a brewery, I didn’t even ask her which one, I just told her that was the best idea I’d ever heard. Right Proper Brewing Co. was the only venue we visited, because their great Belgian style beers and the industrial-yet-intimate brew house provided us with the perfect wedding vibe we were looking for.

We helped one another pick out our dresses, because we wanted to make sure that whatever tones of white/ivory/cream/etc. we each chose weren’t going to clash. [Editor’s note: this is so important! If you want to maintain the surprise, send a trusted friend shopping with both of you, with a swatch.]

Our dresses were quite different and reflected our individuality.

We picked décor that fit in with the industrial brewery feel: a lot of greenery, including some hops cut from Whitney’s dad’s hops garden in Oregon. I love to build things, so I stained and constructed the wedding altar that we used in the brew house that we covered in hops shaped as thin wreaths. We used growlers instead of vases for our flowers, and scattered those throughout the space.

We wanted a relaxing and free flowing reception, and we love food trucks, so we booked two to park on the back patio of the brewery. Rocklands is one of our favorite BBQ places in Alexandria, and Red Zebra has some great wood-fired pizza. When we couldn’t pick between our favorite donut and cupcake shops in Alexandria, we decided to have both for dessert!

When I was living in Colorado, I was fortunate to meet a wonderful guy, Andy, who started a Lutheran house church that had a lot of Lutheran tradition, with a focus on service, justice, and welcoming people of all faiths and backgrounds. We asked him to officiate our wedding.

We wanted our ceremony to be fun and incorporate a few traditions with a fun spin. First, we opened the bar before the ceremony so everyone could have a drink for our mid-ceremony toast. For a unity ceremony, we each chose our favorite beer from Right Proper and blended them. We distributed this unity beer to all our parents and siblings before the toast with the rest of our guests.

Whitney and I each wrote our own vows. Each of these included some good laughs, and both included a reference to all that pink décor that scared me the day she moved in as my roommate.

Read More

Your Ceremony Has the Power to Change Weddings for the Better

Your Ceremony Has the Power to Change Weddings for the Better

It feels like we’re at a powerful transition point and the wedding industry is in a position to direct the collective mindset toward redefining marriage and relationships as a whole. How? We do it by steadily dismantling the falsehoods that our industry packages and sells.

Read More

A Brooklyn 80s-Themed Pride Party

A Brooklyn 80s-Themed Pride Party

The neon colors, the upbeat music, that hair. The 80s were a booming decade for music, pop culture, fashion, and expressing one’s authentic self. For Brooklyn Pride 2018 (back in June), I decided to embrace all the colors and crimped hair the era had to offer in an 80s-themed Pride party. Donations were taken at the door in support of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center, which was established in New York City in 1983. All bartender tips were donated as well.

Read More

A Photographer Who Can Capture Your Unique Love Story // Teresa Johnson Photography

A Photographer Who Can Capture Your Unique Love Story // Teresa Johnson Photography

Teresa Johnson is a photographer based in Connecticut and serving the Northeast U.S., and she is dedicated to equality and providing an amazing experience to all of her couples. Teresa believes everyone deserves to be seen as they are: beautiful and full of love.

Read More

A Modern Traditional Blended Styled Shoot in New York City

A Modern Traditional Blended Styled Shoot in New York City

Elodie from Tall and Small Events and I wanted to do a styled shoot that mixed traditional elements of a wedding (white gown, crisp tuxedo, gorgeous florals) with hip modern design (velvet linens, whimsical engagement rings, and a fun cake). We did this at the NoMad Hotel’s wedding space, which has this exact vibe, and gave us a few creative places to work. Bridal Stylist Liana from Be Brilliant Styling selected the perfect gown for this shoot from The Bridal Garden along with our model, Ana Maria.

Read More

6 Things to Discuss with Your DJ before Your Wedding

6 Things to Discuss with Your DJ before Your Wedding

Music has the power to control what the overall experience of your wedding and reception will be like, and it’s important you have a good idea of what you’re looking for before you select your entertainment for your wedding.

Read More

African American, Christian, and Muslim Traditions Meet in Minneapolis, MN: Glenn + Taara

African American, Christian, and Muslim Traditions Meet in Minneapolis, MN: Glenn + Taara

When I dreamt of a wedding, it looked a lot like the royal wedding from one of my favorite movies: “Coming to America.” My dress came pretty close to that “dramatic” and classic effect. Glenn wanted a classic and sharp look in his black tux — and he nailed it!

Read More

How Live Music Can Change Your Entire Wedding Day // The Metropolitan Players

How Live Music Can Change Your Entire Wedding Day // The Metropolitan Players

Choosing the right music and entertainment for your wedding day can often be an afterthought for some couples, and yet it is such a critical piece that can determine the overall vibe and experience of your day. Erin and Drew Coles of The Metropolitan Players are working hard to change the way that couples think about wedding entertainment.

Read More

20 Beautiful and Creative Wedding Ceremony Backdrop Ideas

20 Beautiful and Creative Wedding Ceremony Backdrop Ideas

With so much pressure to have a Pinterest-perfect wedding day, choosing the backdrop for saying your “I Do’s” can be a tough decision. Thankfully, there is no one way to choose a backdrop for your wedding ceremony. As with anything on your wedding day, choose a backdrop that really reflects who you are as a couple. Here are some of our favorites to inspire you and show you that any choice can be beautiful!

Read More

8 Reasons to Have a Philly Wedding

8 Reasons to Have a Philly Wedding

My first time to Philadelphia was this past summer, and while I spent a mere few hours with some favorite wedding photographers, I got a glimpse into why people love the City of Brotherly Love. There is so much to explore, it’s no wonder couples love being united in Philly.

Read More

Wes Anderson Inspired Styled Shoot at Hotel Trundle in Columbia, SC

Wes Anderson Inspired Styled Shoot at Hotel Trundle in Columbia, SC

For this styled shoot, I wanted to emulate one of my favorite directors and a source of inspiration. Wes Anderson is known for his use of color, symmetry, iconic locations, and quirky characters. This styled shoot was loosely inspired by his film, The Darjeeling Limited, and was done to showcase local vendors in a simplicity that felt unique and would help others in their inspiration for their weddings or elopements. 

Read More