Their engagement session may have involved a parrot, but Helen and Jon’s Washington, DC wedding was the picture of Washington elegance. The afternoon ceremony was held in a historic church. A string quartet played during their reception at a private social club in Washington, D.C. Guests toasted the couple with custom-monogrammed champagne glasses.

Since they’re a devout couple, the early-afternoon ceremony took place at Grace Episcopal Church in Georgetown. It’s a gorgeous historic church, so Helen’s “getting-ready” room was part storage-space, part library in its basement. This wasn’t exactly ideal space for feminine getting-ready images. Helen, however, was pursuing her doctorate, so I decided a library background was appropriate and went with it. The church and ceremony itself were so lovely, a crowded room with weird lighting can be forgiven.

The least-crowded spot in Georgetown on a Saturday afternoon for bridal portraits and attendant photos was the waterfront. When I shoot, I want the person to look amazing. A nice background is bonus, but finding beautiful light is the most important bit. I kept showing Helen the back of the camera saying “I’m sure you didn’t envision wedding photos on the bike path but look how beautiful you look!” Thunderstorms held off long enough to get some photos of Helen looking truly angelic, the couple very much in love and the attendants being good sports on a sticky, humid day.

Elegant Washington, DC wedding reception

Helen and Jon held their reception at the City Tavern Club, choosing a classic reception with plated meals, a string quartet and champagne toast with monogrammed champagne flutes as the guests’ favors. John Adams dined at the City Tavern more than 200 years ago so it’s about as “classic Washington, D.C.” as one can get. Washington, D.C. offers many gorgeous wedding venues, City Tavern Club among them. It’s on the National Register of Historic Places and was within easy walking distance of the church so guests could enjoy an easy, walkable afternoon. And compliments to chef, as it was some of the most delicious food I’ve enjoyed at a wedding.

I love when couples truly make their wedding their own and add in subtle details that honor those they love. Helen wore the bridal headpiece worn by Jon’s mom at her wedding with her white gown for the ceremony and part of the reception, then changed into a qipao (traditional Chinese dress) in honor of her Chinese heritage after their first dance. All in all, a lovely wedding I was so pleased to be part of.

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    Couples rings, mother's heirloom

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