By Amy Moeller and Casey Trudeau | April 20, 2015 | Style & Beauty
’Tis the season for weddings to remember.
The District’s abounding history, commanding architecture, and presence of power make it an exceptional city in which to tie the knot. For couples ready to rebuff the informal rustic wedding trend and embrace an elegant affair, it plays the perfect host. From majestic venues and opulent ornamentation to sophisticated silhouettes and regal jewels, the Washington couple has all the elements of a wondrous affair at their fingertips. Let these next few pages be your guide.
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Gown, Marchesa (price on request). Saks Fifth Avenue, 5555 Wisconsin Ave., 301-657-9000
The Concorde Room at The Hay-Adams is perfect for couples seeking the quintessential old-Washington experience.
Paris Eau De Parfum, Balenciaga ($110 for 1.7 oz). Neiman Marcus, Mazza Gallerie, 202-966-9700
Ankle-strap heel, Chelsea Paris ($595). Barneys New York, 3040 M St. NW, 202-350-5832
.8 carat emerald-cut center stone and platinum Mara ring, Penny Preville ($8,350). Tiny Jewel Box, 1147 Connecticut Ave. NW, 202-393-2747
There are few days in a person’s life so special as the day he or she marries. Get swept away in the magic of the occasion by embracing a chic, formal tone for your celebration.
“For a really stunning, formal, black-tie event, my advice is to keep it classic with modern touches,” says Alison Okobi, director of catering at The Hay-Adams (800 16th St. NW, 202-638-6600). “Think about the design of a beautiful home—you want classic elegance with all the best technology. I would invest in couture linen and a rental chair that completes your look. Personally, I love the upholstered vintage chair. Pin spot lighting is a great way to enhance an event and highlight your centerpieces, and lighting offers a modern touch. An incredible menu, with decadent touches, like shaved truffles, lobster, and an exceptional glass of Champagne, will keep the event formal.”
In a city peppered with distinguished locations, it’s easy to find the perfect setting. The multiple spaces at the Ronald Reagan Building (1300 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, 202-312-1300) easily set a grand, contemporary tone with distinguished elements including a stately staircase; soaring, intricate ceilings; and ample glass for that under-the-stars feel. For the sophisticated foodie in search of a more modern feel, the Park Hyatt Washington (1201 24th St. NW, 202-789-1234) is a great pick. “The venue is contemporary, but it’s not so modern that it becomes cold or stark,” says Michael Deltette, director of special events. “You still see romantic touches…. I drape the ballroom so it becomes very wispy and elegant, and with uplighting, it becomes a totally different environment.”
For the multicultural affair with an extended list of invitees, Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center (201 Waterfront St., National Harbor, MD, 301-965-4000) is home to dozens of oversized rooms—including two ballrooms that can accommodate more than 5,000 guests—offering expansive space without compromising class. The ballroom at The Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner (1700 Tysons Blvd., McLean, 703-506-4300), with crystal chandeliers overhead, opulent silk wall coverings, and intricate crown molding, is another elegant option.
For the couple looking for the quintessential old-Washington experience, The Hay-Adams offers a taste of tradition. “Most of our couples are in their 30s, met and work in Washington, and want to create this experience for their families who come into town,” says Okobi. “We have this beautiful skyscape of Washington—you can see the White House and the monuments. It’s really breathtaking, especially for out-of-town guests, and it allows friends and family to see some of the views that they maybe otherwise couldn’t in a quick weekend visit.”
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Burgundy bridesmaid dress, After Six ($270). Hitched, 1523 Wisconsin Ave. NW, 202-333-6162
Colorful florals—such as this bouquet from MultiFlor Inc. (8300 Merrifield Ave. Ste. F, 703-645-0090)— complement a marsala themed wedding.
Bow tie, Duchamp ($125). Barneys New York, 3040 M St. NW, 202-350-5832
Cuff links, Jan Leslie ($450). Nordstrom, Tysons Corner at Fairfax Square, 703-761-1121
Clutch, Gucci ($1,300). The Collection at Chevy Chase, 301-986-8902
Crystal leather pump, Christian Louboutin ($3,995). Saks Fifth Avenue, 5555 Wisconsin Ave. NW, 301-657-9000
Evoking the feel of classic Italian dinners and images of wine, Pantone’s color of the year initially seemed obscure, but wedding-planning couples—and their coordinating jewelers and beauty professionals—quickly embraced its warmth, subtlety, and versatility.
“Marsala is a beautiful, earth-rich tone that looks great with other earth tones, like deep-stone grays, rich browns, ivory, cream, gold, and silver tones,” says Azin Farshadfar, makeup artist at Salon Bleu (Tysons Galleria, 1839 International Dr., McLean, 703-448-1300). “For a bolder look, sage and teal are great color combinations with marsala as well.” When it comes to the dress and coordinating makeup palette, Farshadfar says the mauvefamily color complements a range of skin tones, making it an excellent option for the bridal party. “Because of its brown undertone, marsala is very versatile and can look beautiful as a lip and blush color to complement a dress on any skin tone,” she says. “The important note is to choose the right color combination for the eyes, depending on whether the client has a rosy undertone or a gold undertone.”
Find the right balance by complementing the earthy palette with a soft, feminine, flowing hairstyle, says stylist Nadia Hijazi of Salon Bleu. “I would recommend a down style of Veronica Lake curls.” Or for something more formal, she suggests a structured updo such as a chignon. “I would tailor the style to complement the bride’s dress and theme for her special day.” Farshadfar warns brides, however, to take heed before implementing another current makeup trend: the “barely there” look. “[It] does not show up on camera very well and will get lost in combination with an elegant evening look.” At the same time, she recommends playing either the eyes or the lips. “An emphasis on both is just too much color, masking the true beauty of a bride.”
To complete the look, Sherrie Beckstead of Liljenquist & Beckstead (2001 International Dr., McLean, 800-719-1190) recommends topping it off with the right jewels. “This warm, stylish, rich color transcends centuries of opulence from the Royals to today’s contemporary bride,” says Beckstead. “We love pairing it with Mikimoto pearls.” Alternatively, if you want to play up the springy-ness of the hue, she suggests layers of color and rich gold. “Marco Bicego has been one of the bridal-preseason favorites.”
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14k white-gold and .40 carat Gabriel Bridal Collection contemporary Halo engagement ring, Gabriel & Co. ($1,700). Quest Fine Jewelers, 8430 Lee Hwy., 703-204-0111. Invitation, Haute Papier Collections, haute papier.com. “I Do” cuff links, Cufflinks, Inc. ($50). Nordstrom, Tysons Corner at Fairfax Square, 703-761-1121. 18k white-gold, .39 carat diamond, and 7.5mm Akoya cultured pearl earrings, Mikimoto ($3,400). Liljenquist & Beckstead, Tysons Galleria, 703-448-6731. Myriad locations in the DMV provide sophisticated wedding ceremonies that combine indoor elegance with outdoor beauty. Flowers by Amaryllis Floral & Event Design. 3701 West St., Landover, 240-770-8600 Dolce perfume, Dolce & Gabbana ($115 for 2.5 oz). Nordstrom, Tysons Corner at Fairfax Square, 703-761-1121 Pump, Oscar de la Renta ($995). Neiman Marcus, Mazza Gallerie, 202-966-9700 Gwenyth gown, Monique Lhuillier ($8,400). Carine’s Bridal Atelier, 1726 Wisconsin Ave. NW, 202-965-4696 “I Do” cuff links, Cufflinks, Inc. ($50). Nordstrom, Tysons Corner at Fairfax Square, 703-761-1121 Clutch, Natasha Couture ($2,800). Nordstrom, Tysons Corner, 703-761-1121
A secret garden—at once enchanting and escapist—is a sophisticated setting for a luxurious wedding. To create one, start with lush environs replete with flowers and greenery, and add a personal touch from wedding favors and place settings to accessories.
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Janey gown, Nicole Miller Bridal ($1,900). Lovely Bride, 1632 Wisconsin Ave. NW, 202-735-0674 Cake by Buttercream Bakeshop Candy L’eau Fragrance collection, Prada ($90 for 2.7 oz). Tysons Galleria, 703-245-3438 White-gold and diamond Bagatelle necklace, Dior Fine Jewelry (price on request). The Collection at Chevy Chase, 304-986-8715. Stiletto, Giambattista Valli ($950). Saks Fifth Avenue, 5555 Wisconsin Ave. NW, 301-657-9000
In lieu of a more focused theme, today’s couples are casting a wider net for a more sentimental mood. Off-the-shoulder gowns, plush drapery, and soft hair, colors, and lighting set the ultimate romantic ambiance, without sacrificing sophistication.
There are few settings that conjure the feeling of sweet romance more than a lush garden. At Oatlands Historic House and Gardens (20850 Oatlands Plantation Lane, Leesburg, 703-777-3174), couples are married in the lower gardens, and following an outdoor cocktail hour with a Blue Ridge Mountain backdrop, guests are ushered to a tented reception. Although the festivities are outdoors, Sandy Cichon, special events manager, says a black-tie affair isn’t out of the question. Cichon says choosing the right tent, lighting, dance floor, and dinner service, along with linen selection and décor, are key to setting the desired tone. “Having the mansion as a backdrop”—the columns are usually lit up at night—“adds a special touch to the evening,” she notes.
The couple looking to be swept even farther away, to a French and English Country paradise, doesn’t have to go too far. An hour from DC, the Goodstone Inn (36205 Snake Hill Road, Middleburg, 540-687-3333) offers a 256-acre escape in the countryside that combines French cuisine with Southern hospitality. To set the tone, Jenna Ware, Goodstone’s general manager, says that lighting is key. “Market lighting, twinkle lights, candles, and anything to add dimension and glow to an event is a ‘wow factor,’” advises Ware. “We love to use our outdoor space creatively and add lights to warm up the space, whether it be floating in the pool, an antique chandelier hanging from a tree, or tea lights on a table.”
For regal romance, the historic St. Regis (923 16th St. NW, 202-638-2626) is ideal. “We’re seeing generations—daughters and granddaughters of couples who were married in the hotel many years ago—making a tradition of returning to the St. Regis,” says Doug Camp, director of marketing and sales. The ballroom of St. Regis features oversized windows and extravagant crystal chandeliers, while custom woodwork and a two-story canopy mark the adjacent pavilion. The two areas combined offer even the most insatiable bride the best of both worlds—and prove that romance and glamour may best be combined. “With the caliber of Washingtonians, it’s important to maintain elegance in a true Washington landmark…. There is this essence of coming back to elegance, and really, that’s what Washington is all about.”
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18 yellow gold infinity bangle, Penny Preville ($4,785). Tiny Jewel Box, 1147 Connecticut Ave. NW, 202-393-2747
Tie, The Tie Bar ($19). Nordstrom, Tysons Corner at Fairfax Square, 703-761-1121
Love Story Eau de Parfum, Chloé ($105 for 1.7 oz). Neiman Marcus, Mazza Gallerie, 202-966-9700
Gown, Tadashi Shoji ($548). Neiman Marcus, Mazza Gallerie, 202-966-9700
18k gold, diamond, and Tahitian cultured pearl cuffs, Tiffany & Co. (price on request). The Collection at Chevy Chase, 301-657-8777
Gold sandal, Jimmy Choo ($795). The Collection at Chevy Chase, 240-223-1102
Cake by Fluffy Thoughts Cakes. 1320 Old Chain Bridge Road, McLean, 703-942-5538
Clutch, Nancy Gonzalez ($2,750). Saks Fifth Avenue, 5555 Wisconsin Ave., 301-657-9000
Turn up the glam by incorporating metallic accents in key areas for your wedding day. From a subtle pop on the bride’s shoes to sparkling statements with bridesmaids’ dresses, even a little bit of this lustrous trend goes a long way to establish a grand affair.
photography courtesy of marchesa (dress); ELI TURNER STUDIOS (CAKE, COUPLE, FLOWERS); GWENYTH (DRESS); ABBY GRACE PHOTOGRAPHY (CAKE); NICOLE MILLER (DRESS); NATALIE FRANKE PHOTOGRAPHY (TOP LEFT GROUP, MENU); ELI TURNER STUDIOS (INSET GROUP)
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