Alison and Chris first met at Georgetown University. Though Chris claims he first spotted Alison when she was a freshman, it wasn't until the summer before her junior year (his senior) that their paths really crossed -- just a few blocks from where they'd eventually wed five years later.
Following graduation, they began a long-distance relationship and finally reunited in Washington, D.C., to begin planning their wedding. Midway through their engagement, the couple moved to Providence, Rhode Island. However, they stayed true to their D.C. school with a "vintage collegiate" theme honoring their college sweetheart beginnings and the place where it all began.
The letterpressed invitation, designed by Paper Moss, introduced the blue-and-white color palette. It also hinted at the cherry blossoms that dot Washington, D.C., in the early spring months.
The stamps on the outer envelope were more than just for postage: The nine carefully chosen stamps helped tell the couple's story and tie in the details of the wedding. Dolley Madison, in homage to her stay at Dumbarton House (the wedding venue) during the war of 1812; Alison's home state of Indiana; Chris's home state of Maine; a LOVE stamp designed by Robert Indiana; two George Washington stamps; and three Washington, D.C., stamps.
Florist Holly Heider Chapple of Holly Chapple Flowers created all of the natural, elegant arrangements for the day. For Alison's bouquet, Chapple used dark blue hydrangea, blue hyacinths, blue muscari, blue thistle, blue privet berry, blue delphinium, dark purple lilac, purple anemones, purple monkshood, agapanthus, dusty miller, and seeded eucalyptus. Alison wanted hydrangea and rosemary in her bouquet to remind her of her late grandmother, Rosemarie.
Lace from Alison's great-grandmother's wedding dress bound the handle of the bouquet; it was also sewn into the inside of Alison's gown.
After taking portraits at their wedding venue, Dumbarton House, Alison and Chris took photos around Georgetown University's campus and along the streets of Georgetown.
Alison wore a Paloma Blanca dress, from Jeanette's Bridal. A ring belonging to her late grandmother, Katherine, served as "something old"; the Mikimoto pearl necklace Chris surprised her with on the day of the wedding was "something new." Earrings from Adorn were her "something borrowed," and the Gucci shoes from Saks Fifth Avenue were "something blue."
Paper Moss designed the yearbook-inspired programs. The booklet included photos of Alison and Chris at age 7, postage stamps from their home states, an outline of the ceremony, a listing of the bridal party, a map showing where the bridal party hails from (they're from nine different states and have lived in 23), and a back page reminiscent of a yearbook's endpapers.
Following the early evening ceremony, Alison and Chris hosted a dessert reception instead of the traditional seated dinner. Some savory options, like these mini hamburgers with brie and homemade ketchup, were passed before the sweet treats were offered -- even the trays were part of the decor. Here, a framed embroidered design with some of Alison's prize ribbons on the corner.
Alison bought pashmina wraps for the female guests to wear during the reception. She sewed on custom tags (with the couple's initials and their wedding date) made by Peg Bowles of Initial Impressions. And even with a surprise flood the week prior to the wedding, DIY-er Alison was able to finish the task -- on the drive down to Washington, D.C., with a flashlight hanging from her neck.
Root beer floats were passed later in the evening. Other desserts included baked Alaska brownie sticks with torched meringue; demi creme brulees with caramelized-sugar crust and strawberries; and rustic blueberry, cherry, and apple tarts.
A gelato stand offered three homemade gelatos scooped to order, a cheese board held crispy crackers and bread, and a fruit display included freshly whipped cream and raspberry puree.
Ritzy Bee Events worked closely with Design Cuisine on the look of the wedding cake. The two-tier key lime cake with blueberry filling reflected both Alison's childhood trips to South Carolina and Chris's home state of Maine. The postage stamps from the invitation were replicated on the fondant. A tiny vintage trophy topped the confection.
Alison and Chris cut the cake with servers belonging to his grandparents, Dorothy and Louis, who were unable to travel to the wedding.
Photography: Kate Headley Photography
Event Design and Planning: Ritzy Bee Events
Florist: Holly Heider Chapple of Holly Chapple Flowers
Hair and Makeup: Andre Chreky/The Salon Spa
Veil: Paloma Blanca
Engagement Ring and Wedding Bands: Diamonds Direct
Rentals: DC Rental
Reception Music: Chris Laich Music Services
Calligraphy: Judy McCabe of Write for You Calligraphy