A Modern Slate-Gray-and-Orange Wedding in Washington, D.C.
Lauren and Josh
Lauren and Josh met through a mutual friend in 2006. Four years later, on October 30, 2010, they married in Washington, D.C. With a tangerine-and-slate color palette and an "urban barn" theme, a cocktail-style reception followed their traditional synagogue ceremony.
Suann Song of Simplesong Design created an invitation suite based on the couple's love for minimalist style. Subtle pops of color appeared on the reception card and custom postage stamps. The pieces were letterpressed onto extra-heavy cotton paper.
The Happy Couple
Lauren and Josh saw each other for a private moment in their florist's backyard garden. The afternoon of their brisk autumn wedding day had clear skies and sunshine.
The Bridal Party
The Bridal Bouquet
Lauren's bouquet, wrapped in a simple white mohair band, consisted of seeded eucalyptus, cotton balls on the stalk, ranunculus, hydrangea, anemones, dahlias, and freesia. She wanted all of the floral arrangements to be textural, casual, warm, lush, and seasonal.
Each bridesmaid carried a bouquet of seeded eucalyptus and one element from Lauren's mixed bouquet. Here, cotton balls on the stem take center stage.
A bouquet of seeded eucalyptus and anemones.
Large clusters of white hydrangea mixed with seeded eucalyptus.
A bridesmaid carries ranunculus with greenery.
The Groom's Boutonniere
The Groomsmen's Boutonnieres
The groomsmen wore Calvin Klein tuxedos and boutonnieres of hypericum berries and seeded eucalyptus.
Location, Location, Location
Formal portraits were taken in nearby Chinatown by photographer Kate Headley.
Prior to the ceremony, the couple posed with the bride's family.
The soon-to-be-wed pair also took pictures on the steps of their synagogue with the groom's family.
The Ceremony Location
Josh and Lauren entered the Sixth & I Historic Synagogue to sign their ketubah prior to their ceremony.
The Ceremony Location
The synagogue was filled with 230 guests.
The Reception Venue
Guests were transported to Long View Gallery (in the Shaw Neighborhood of the city) for an urban-esque cocktail reception.
The Reception Venue
Guests were able to view the artwork on display at the gallery during the reception.
A Welcoming Touch
Mini bottles of Freixenet Cordon Negro cava were given to guests as they entered the reception.
The Floor Plan
"Because the wedding reception was cocktail-style, versus a more traditional sit-down dinner, we wanted guests to feel comfortable and get a sense of what was where," says wedding planner and designer Maria Cooke of Ritzy Bee Events. Simplesong Design created a floor plan of the space to show guests where they could find food, drinks, lounge areas, and dancing.
Atlantic Giant pumpkins -- some weighing more than 100 pounds -- brought a touch of fall to the reception.
Napkins the color of Kraft paper were foil-stamped by ForYourParty with a simple "L + J" in orange and dark gray.
A few small tables were set aside for immediate family and older guests. Mini clipboards, covered in decorative paper, held the names of the people for whom each table was reserved.
To enhance the reception's "urban barn" feeling, a few farm tables were rented and topped with groupings of ranunculus, hyacinths, seeded eucalyptus, stars of Bethlehem, and dahlias.
All-white lounge areas were set up throughout the venue space. Outside, behind the gallery, additional seating awaited guests. Hay bales topped with fleece blankets, burlap-covered tables with wooden chairs, and a game of cornhole added rustic charm. Afterward, the blankets were donated to a local inner-city school and the straw bales were taken to a city garden and repurposed into mulch.
To maximize the industrial vibe of the venue, steel rolling racks and stainless-steel prep tables were used as serving stations. Stemware was stored openly on steel Cres Cor rolling racks, with the bar set up on an exposed stainless-steel table.
Mini clipboards displaying the kraft-paper menus rested against large food cans covered in patterned paper. They added to the industrial kitchen theme and gave playful dimension to the buffets set up on metal Metro shelving.
Design Cuisine prepared the copious buffets for the cocktail reception, which included a slider station (chicken sliders with buffalo sauce, tuna sliders with wasabi mayonnaise, and beef sliders with or without cheese) and a kebab station (beef short ribs, hazelnut-crusted sea bass, basil-grilled vegetables, and macaroni and cheese).
A dessert station with baked Alaska brownies, pumpkin truffles, triple-dipped strawberries, and apple pies was later revealed.
Sweet-potato fries and French fries seasoned with Old Bay filled bamboo cones.
An old stove found on the side of an antiques shop's driveway by Kelly Seizert of Ritzy Bee Events was purchased for 20 dollars, refinished using orange appliance spray paint, and used to serve food. The soup-and-sandwich station offered three different soup and panini options.
Lauren and Josh danced to The Beatles' "Oh! Darling."
Guests hit the dance floor soon after -- and stayed there well into the night, thanks to tunes spun by DJ D-Mac.
Doughnuts, a surprise snack for guests still dancing at midnight, were served in rubber-stamped kraft-paper bags from Simplesong Design.