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Lauren and Christopher
Lauren and Christopher met during in the fall of 2002 during her freshman year at Williams College. Christopher was the antithesis to Lauren’s all-girl prep school background. He was a laidback, California beach boy with dance moves that swept her off her feet. After surviving their college years and helping one another grow into adulthood, they tied the knot a full decade later on September 15, 2012, in Washington D.C.
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The Capital Location
With their heart set D.C., Lauren and Christopher set out to find a location that was timeless and classic. The Decatur House—just a stone's throw from the White House—boasted an outdoor patio and parlours that were seemingly out of a Jane Austen novel.
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Elaine Chou of Papermade paired up with Lauren to transform her design vision into elegant, tangible creations. Lauren’s love for "vintage chic" acted as inspiration, directing Elaine towards the aesthetic of antique book covers. At the bottom of each insert, Lauren included sentiments on love from a few of the greats: e.e. cummings, Thomas Jefferson, and Henry David Thoreau. This RSVP included a Jefferson quote: "I find as I grow older that I love those most whom I loved first." –Thomas Jefferson
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Roses and hydrangeas bloomed amongst a mix of greenery in the bride's bouquet.
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Bridesmaids carried petite versions of the bridal bouquet.
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Chandeliers and bulb lights draped throughout the ceremony area were among Lauren’s favorite decor pieces. "I felt that I was in an enchanted garden enclave the whole night," Lauren said. The ivy-clad brick walls and forest green shutters of the estate provided a timeless backdrop.
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A Heartwarming Entrance
Two proud ring bearers toted a calligraphed banner signaling the start of Lauren's procession. Concrete Honey, created the whimsical signage.
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A Family Affair
Lauren’s best friend is her mother, so it was no surprise that she stood by her side as the matron-of-honor throughout the vows. Lauren’s brother played the guitar as they walked down the aisle, and Christopher’s aunt read a passage by Captain Corelli's Mandolin that captured the couple's sentiments about love. It read: "Love is not breathless, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion. That is just 'being in love' which any fool can do. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident."
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The 'I Do's'
Lauren and Christopher exchanged vows in front of their modern altar, which was repurposed later in the night as a bar. A sleek metal surface was bookended by white tufted cushions and served as the perfect statement piece amidst the traditional architecture and greenery.
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Lauren and Christopher intentionally took photos before cocktail hour so they would have plenty of time to enjoy their brie station. "When you come over to our house, you will undoubtedly have cheese," agreed Lauren and Christopher. Cheese from Denmark (Christopher's mothers home) and New Zealand, (where Christopher's grandmother is from), were offered as an ode to the groom’s heritage.
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Sidra Forman created feminine, organic arrangements that lined the altar and dotted guest’s tables. "I wanted a Virginia garden feel. Beautiful, but with a sense of untamed wildness," Lauren said. "Nothing needed to be perfect; in fact, I like how the bouquets were a bit unstructured. We wrapped all them in vintage lace handkerchiefs from my grandmother."
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The color palette was a balance of creamy white hydrangeas, ivory roses, and pops of bright peach dahlias. Rich green leaves were a natural fit among the ivy-covered terrace.
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Modeled after her dream home, Lauren chose vintage architectural chairs and plates that look as if they have "been passed down from Grandma," said Lauren.
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Maggie Austin, collaborating with Lauren's florist, whipped up this angelically delicate cake that mirrored the looseness of the bouquets. With two different flavors inside, half was a white-velvet cake with raspberry and vanilla-lime buttercream and the rest was a double chocolate cake with hazelnut and Frangelico buttercream.
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Christopher showed off the same dance moves that swept Lauren off her feet ten years prior during the first dance to "Make You Feel My Love" by Adele.
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This "vice station" boasted a box of cigars and mini ice cream sandwiches, which were also set on trays and passed around the dance floor for guests (and the newlyweds!) to enjoy. Lauren was very happy to have an ice cream sandwich in one hand and a cigar in the other while dancing to "Call Me Maybe" at the end of the evening.
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Photography: Abby Jiu Photography
Location: The Decatur House
Event Planning: Karson Butler Events
Catering: Design Cuisine
Flowers: Sidra Forman
Videography: Shaking Hands Productions
Officiant: Emily Berman D'Andrea
Stationery: Papermade Design by Elaine Chou
Calligraphy: Laura Hooper
Cake: Maggie Austin Cake
Music: Bialek's Music
Rentals: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, AFR Furniture Rentals (301-362-4300)
Hair: Julie Jackson of Hair by Jewels
Makeup: Aisha Alves of Blush
Lighting: John Farr