A Black-Tie Wedding at a Historic Home in Washington, D.C.
Sally and Mark
One great way to start married life? By celebrating in the house you'll soon call home. This D.C. pair threw a black-tie affair at the historic residence they're fixing up as their future address.
The night Sally Steibel met Mark Ein, she did her best to impress him with her basketball knowledge. "I said my favorite player was Kobe Iverson," says the Washington, D.C.-based policy analyst, laughing at her mash-up of players Kobe Bryant and Allen Iverson. "But my mistake led to a fun first date!" Later that week, Mark, an entrepreneur, invited her to a Washington Wizards game. When his friend spotted the pair from across the court, he texted Mark a bit of advice that has become a famous tale among their pals: "I've never seen you so happy. You need to marry this girl."
Five years and one proposal later, the duo (along with planner David Stark) began scanning the capital for a venue that would accommodate 600—their many loved ones and Mark's business associates—for a black-tie celebration. "You'd think in a place like D.C. there'd be a lot of options, like museums and embassies," says Sally, who, like Mark, grew up in the area. "It's interesting how narrow the field is when it comes to a wedding." Eventually, they realized they'd had the ideal location all along: a historic Georgetown manse Mark bought in 2001 as an investment property. They'd planned on moving in after renovating, but at this point it was empty. Saying "I do" there would mean trimming the guest list almost in half, but "we knew the memories would mean more at the house," Sally says.
I Do's At Home
Their white brick house dates back to 1786.
The Invitation Suite
Invitations, engraved by Connor, incorporated the couple's custom crest.
The Custom Crest
The acronym for "Everything Always Works Out" was emblazoned on the pair's crest, which appeared on invites, the cake, menu cards, and favors. It's also engraved inside Sally's engagement ring. "E.A.W.O. has become this calming factor in our lives together," Sally says. "Whenever we're in a stressful moment, we just sit back and think, 'it all works out.' "
A Monumental Welcome
Welcome bags included Edward Marc chocolates in the shape of the U.S. Capitol Building.
A Symbolic Token
An antique key, tied to the couple's bands in lieu of a ring pillow, represented their new residence.
A Sweet Gesture
Guests were greeted with flowers for the ceremony: men wore orchids; women held calla lilies.
Sally's great-grandmother's brooch adorned her bouquet, a mix of jasmine vines, silvery dusty miller, and white lisianthus, tulips, freesia, roses, and dahlias.
The Bride's Entrance
At 6 P.M., Sally emerged from the patio door with a parent on each arm and walked into the backyard, which was covered by an ivory tent in anticipation of the dramatic downpour. "I remember my mom and dad saying, 'Are you okay?'" Sally says. "And I said, 'Yes, I'm just so happy! Then, all of a sudden, it hit me," she recalls. "I went from completely calm to tears like waterworks." It was an emotional moment for Mark, too: "When I saw Sally floating down the aisle, crying, I realized that the rain was just tears of joy from our friends and family who had come before us."
On a particularly rainy September 21, 2013, Senator Mark Warner co-officiated the Jewish ceremony in front of 370 family and friends.
Before the ceremony, signs signaled for each guest to take a bloom, and then following the service, the stems were placed in a vase to create a gathered arrangement on display during cocktail hour.
All Together Now
The wedding party posed for pics on the front steps.
Once Sally and Mark had exchanged self-penned vows, everyone moved into another tent for heirloom tomato and burrata salad, Wagyu beef, halibut, and apple pie. Engraved menus tucked into crisp white napkins previewed the meal. All white floral arrangements were housed in boxy gray vessels in between frosted glass hurricanes holding glowing pillar candles.
Well Wishes in Washington
Guests wrote notes and dropped them into a ballot box printed with the couple's motto, "Everything always works out."
Dancing and Revelry
After toasting their guests and dancing to the Midnight in Paris version of Cole Porter's "Let's Do It, Let's Fall in Love," the pair surprised everyone with the ultimate wedding band: the Village People.
Mark’s "investment property" turned out to be a great place for a party, and the newlyweds will be moving in soon. Although, as both bride and groom mentioned in their vows, wherever they're together feels like home.
Sally and her mom collected hard-cover books about love and family for attendees to take as favors.
A Sentimental Note
Inside each tome was custom bookplate that read: "May the joy of our day linger in your library. Thank you for being a part of our wedding!" The couple's crest was embossed at the top.
Fondant "lace appliqués" mimicking Sally's gown cascaded down the four-flavor cake by Fluffy Thoughts.
The newlyweds mugged for their photo booth during the reception.
Planning, décor, and flowers: David Stark Design & Production
Catering: Design Cuisine
Photography: Donna Newman
Videography: Films by Francesco
Stationery, programs, menu cards, and custom crest: Connor
Calligraphy: Deborah Delaney
Cake: Fluffy Thoughts Cakes
Music: Elan Chamber Strings; Ira Gonzalez Bossa Nova; The Hot Sardines; Village People; DJ Hapa
Rentals: DC Rental
Tenting and Staging: Select Event Rentals
Draping: Bruce Thompson Creative Services Hair: Roberto Alarcon
Makeup: Carola Myers Makeup & Hair Artists
Lighting and Audio: Frost Lighting of DC
Transportation: Dulles Executive Sedan; Reston Limo
Valet: MJ Valet
Photo Booth: Magnolia Photo Booth Co.
Bookplates: Bookplate Ink
Cake Stand: Sarah’s Stands
Bookcase: Restoration Hardware
Landscaping: Rolling Acres