Real Couples // Elegant, Heartfelt Wedding in Alexandria, VA: Tim + Tom

I (Tom) was born and raised on Long Island. I have three adult children, and I have worked in various positions for the US Postal Service for 31 years. I love being near the water, and the beach is my favorite place. At age 48, I started running, and when I turned 50, I participated in my first half-marathon. Since then, I've completed three more (and have said after each one that it would be my last!) This May, I'm running a half-marathon with two of my kids.

Tim was born and raised in Pittsburgh and lived there until he moved to Alexandria, VA in 2002. He started working for the USPS after graduating from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. While Pittsburgh will always be his hometown, he loves living in the DC area. In addition to traveling, he enjoys biking the various DC bike trails, white water rafting, and camping. While I and my children are running the Pittsburgh Half Marathon, Tim will be cheering us on from the sidelines!

After getting promoted within our respective local USPS Sales Departments, we were sent to a two-week training class in Potomac, Maryland. Not wanting to spend another evening with all the “postal people,” Tim invited Tom and a few of our colleagues out for dinner, beers, and laughs. A friendship blossomed... eventually, love, too.

We don't have engagement rings, but our wedding rings are very special. We both have strong Irish backgrounds, so we had bands made with Irish Trinity Knots and crafted by an Irish jeweler. I wanted some bling so when I saw the diamonds that sealed the deal.

Once we walked into the Lorien Hotel, we knew it would be the venue for us. It presents an intimate space that is elegant but not stuffy. The ability to use multiple small rooms that connected allowed our friends and family to move freely from indoor space to outdoor space. The major selling point was the wall of bookcases in the "Living Room" and the suggestion of incorporating photos of our guests in the bookcase.

We both wore matching Blue David Donahue suits with Coral ties from Nordstrom, Brooks Brothers shirts, and Allen Edmonds shoes and belts. We matched our wedding!

I surprised Tim on the morning of the wedding with matching "I'm the Groom" tee-shirts to wear before the wedding and at the after party held on the rooftop terrace.

We spent many hours selecting the music, knowing we wanted great music to dance to. Our cocktail hour had various easy listening and jazz titles that had a "love" theme. 

The ceremony began with the processional, "A Thousand Years" by the Piano Guys (cello version). We found it one day when I was sitting on our couch searching for a song to be used for the processional. I clicked on the link for the song and I started to well up, I couldn't even speak. Tim was at the sink with his back to me and said, this sounds like a good song for the processional and as he turned around, he saw me crying. There is something about the melody and the cello that made it special to us.

For the recessional, we selected "Rather Be" by Clean Bandit. Tim has liked this song since it came out. It was also one that I liked to, more for the beat than the words at first. Once I really listed to the words, I knew this was the song for our wedding.

We wanted to keep the ceremony simple yet personal. Joe, a long time friend of Tim, was our officiant, and Tom's three children, Brandon, Chelsea, and Tyler served as our witnesses. We each wrote our own vows and each selected a reading that Tim's friend Regina and Tom's sister Anne Marie read.

For cocktail hour, we kept it casual with lots of laughs. My oldest son, Brandon, and Tim's friend, Regina, each gave a toast during dinner.

Our cake was simple yet elegant with the perfect topper, a silhouette of two grooms with our names on the side.

The beautiful center pieces were various shades of coral in square gold colored vases. Brandon helped created the table numbers, which incorporated childhood photos of us.

We reserved the Lorien's Presidential Suite which has a beautiful roof top terrace. After the official wedding reception ended, we had all our family and friends join us for drinks and light snacks on the terrace. It was a time for us to relax, get comfortable and unwind on a beautiful summer night with views of Old Town. The last guest left at 3:00 AM so we would say fun was had by all!

Each vendor was great to work with, gave wonderful suggestions, and listened to what we wanted. We cannot thank each of them enough. The Lorien Hotel went through some management changes while we were in the process of booking the wedding. Donna Vaughn, who stepped in as the Catering Director, was exceptional. She has the ability to talk with you like you are an long lost friend and walk you through the whole planning process with a calm and fun manner that was so much appreciated.

Words by Tim and Tom, the grooms, as told by Amber Marlow. Photos by Elisha Coleman.

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Photography | Love Life Images

Reception venue and catering | Lorien Hotel & Spa

Florals | Petal's Edge Floral Design

Wedding cake | Fluffy Thoughts Cakes

DJ company | MyDeejay

Tuxedo designer | David Donahue

Shirts | Brooks Brothers

Shoes | Allen Edmonds

Ties | Nordstrom

elisha coleman love life images


Elisha brings a sense of wonder to her photography. She is ensconced in the art of storytelling through images on a daily basis. Naturally, she yearned to tell her own stories from behind the lens. Her vision is defined by new experiences and the amazement of life unfolding, all while exuding a calmness and joy that make her clients love her.