If there’s one thing I’ve learned while choosing details for my own wedding, it’s that when in doubt, I should stick to the classics. There’s a reason things like lace wedding gowns, white tiered cakes, and “Just Married” getaway car signs never go out of style–they have already stood the test of time. I would’t be surprised if Shannon and Andrew heeded this advice as they planned their Maryland wedding, with the help of our Blue Ribbon Vendor, A. Dominick Events, and as a result, I imagine they’ll still love everything about their special day when they’re showing these pictures to their future grandchildren!
I was supposed to meet Andrew in San Francisco for Valentine’s Day weekend, but was snowed in and all the flights were canceled. My mom and I decided last minute to look at some wedding dresses instead. There was a Romona Keveza trunk show going on at the Nordstrom Bridal Boutique in Tyson’s Corner. My mom begged me to “humor her” and try on a dress which seemed too old fashioned for my taste on the hanger. However, when I tried it on, I immediately fell in love. I went back three times that weekend to try the dress on again. It was such a silver lining to the canceled California trip!
Describe your wedding flowers. I carried a beautiful, naturally shaped bouquet that was slightly untamed. It included café au lait dahlias, David Austin garden roses, Queen Anne’s lace, fresh herbs, and white passion flower vine. The slightly wilder bouquet complemented my very traditional wedding dress. Shawn and her team at Beehive Events hit it out of the park!
Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? No, we wanted to keep it traditional. The groom seeing his bride for the first time walking down the aisle is always one of my favorite moments of a wedding.
What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? We were married at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, a church that has special significance to both of our families. Andrew’s mother’s family and my father’s family both attended the church growing up.
After the priest announced us as husband and wife, we stood on the altar facing the crowd for a few moments before we processed out of the church. We just took it all in–the incredible commitment of marriage we had just made, and the outpour of applause and cheers from family and friends. There was so much love and joy in that church, and I will never forget that moment.
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? A. Dominick and her team went above and beyond to execute our vision. They were organized, thorough, experienced, and so much fun to work with. They were great advisors, never making decisions for us, but rather, helping us to make the decisions. They kept us on schedule throughout the planning process and left no stone unturned. On the day of the wedding, I was so relaxed. Aimee and her team made our wedding more special than I could have ever imagined.
Kendall’s Cakes created a beautiful “cake bar” for us with an assortment of small white cakes, half filled with white chocolate raspberry cake, the other half with key lime cake. Each one was decorated simply with white frosting. One was designed to look like the buttons and bow on the back of my wedding dress. They stood on vintage crystal cake stands I had borrowed from family members. It was a stunning (and delicious) display!
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Our first dance was to Ray LaMontagne’s “You Are the Best Thing.” It has a good pace (not too slow, not too fast), was soulful, and the lyrics really spoke to our relationship. The dancing at our wedding was so much fun that my dad (who is otherwise very frugal) paid the band to keep playing!
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Pleasant Pops, one of our favorite local food trucks, brought a push cart outside the dance floor. We had four different flavors of popsicles, including Andrew’s favorite, New Orleans Iced Coffee. It was a great way to cool down after all that dancing!
How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met through mutual friends at a bar the night before Thanksgiving in 2010. Although we had grown up in the same area and had known of each other, we had never officially met. There was an immediate connection. That first night, we talked for hours about everything from education to family. We saw each other one more time that weekend and exchanged phone numbers, but did not know when we would see each other again, since I was living in New York City at the time. Shortly thereafter, Andrew called me to tell me he was going to be visiting a friend in NYC and asked me to dinner. We went on our first dinner date at a little italian restaurant in Nolita. We had such a great time, we met for brunch the next day and had dinner that night as well. We joke that we had our first, second, and third dates all within 24 hours! For the next few months, we kept Amtrak in business traveling between NYC and DC to see one another.
Tell us all about the proposal! Andrew planned a dinner date under the guise of celebrating “the beginning of the school year.” I had just spent the week setting up my classroom, attending teacher development, and finalizing my first week of school plans. I was exhausted, but thrilled to have an easy, early dinner with Andrew to look forward to. We went to one of my favorite restaurants in D.C., The Blue Duck Tavern. For reasons unclear to me at the time, he had made the reservation at 5 p.m., so I was sure to give him a hard time about such an early dinner. After the meal, we took a sunset walk by the Potomac River and ended up at the Kennedy Center. We walked to the terrace, which has a gorgeous view of the monuments. Somehow, we were the only people there, which is a rarity in Washington. That is when he proposed. It was an incredible moment! He was so nervous that he put the ring on the wrong hand, which was a great moment of levity. Then, we went to his cousin’s restaurant, Beuchert’s Saloon, where all of our family had been waiting. It was such a wonderful night!
When did y’all get married? July 19, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 250
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? We had dinner stations instead of a sit-down meal, and one of the stations was called “Southern Comfort.” It included mini pulled pork sandwiches, macaroni and cheese, shrimp and grits, fried green tomatoes, and watermelon salad.
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? We went to a series of marriage preparation classes through our church with a few other engaged couples. We talked about everything from finances to family. It was incredibly helpful.
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? My aunt made bouquets of baby’s breath for the flower girls. We had lots of little girls in the wedding, and knew spending money on fancy bouquets for them would not be worth it. My sister-in-law also made the ribbon wands that were used for our send-off as we exited the church.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? Andrew was offered a job in San Francisco, so we are looking forward to starting an adventure together on the West Coast. While we are sad to leave our family and friends in D.C., it will be a great opportunity for us to explore another part of the country and grow even stronger as a couple.
Photographer: Jodi Miller / Videographer: Blue Sky Films / Planner: Aimee Dominick / Ceremony Venue: Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church / Reception Venue and Caterer: Columbia Country Club / Florist: Beehive Events / Cake Baker: Kendall’s Cakes / Lighting: John Farr Lighting / Band: The Source / Popsicles: Pleasant Pops / Bride’s Gown: Romona Keveza / Bride’s Veil: Nina / Bride’s Earrings: Nadri / Bride’s Vintage Brooch: Glynn Goldsborough Antiques / Hair Stylist: Bridal Hair by Remona / Makeup Artist: Lori Nansi of Le Mariee Makeup / Bride’s Shoes: Manolo Blahnik / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Monique Lhuillier / Groom’s Attire: Hugo Boss
Jodi Miller and A. Dominick Events are delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!