The setting influenced most of the details of the day, and the grooms' dogs added some personality, too.
1 of 15
After two months of chatting through an online dating service, Scott Baumgartner was ready to meet Jermaine Ivy in person. The only problem? He wasn't sure Jermaine wanted to meet him. "We had set up a date, but when I texted to ask if we were still on, he said, 'Sorry, I'm not feeling well,'" Scott recalls. (In Jermaine's defense, he'd been out late the night before.) They set another date, but when that came around, Jermaine canceled again. "I had to ask, 'Okay, do you want to get together or not?'" Scott says.
Luckily, Jermaine was truly interested—and once the pair finally met up for drinks at Marvin, a bar named after Marvin Gaye in the heart of D.C., they discovered an instant connection. "It felt natural, because we'd been communicating for so long already," Jermaine says. They chatted for hours—and have been together ever since.
Early on, they started talking about a wedding and the names of future children. Around their two-year anniversary, Scott proposed while they were at a resort in Virginia. They decided on a two-year engagement, since Jermaine had started a new job and Scott was planning to attend medical school. But Jermaine, a meeting planner, couldn't wait to dive in. "We weren't home more than five minutes before he pulled up a two-year timeline," says Scott, laughing.
They wanted a wedding that was "classic and elegant without pretense," so they chose the Meridian House—a historic D.C. home known for its impressive European-style architecture—and worked with A. Dominick Events to bring it all together for September 16, 2017. Their intimate garden ceremony focused on family: Scott entered with his sisters, and Jermaine with his mom, and each chose a sibling to be his "best person." After the couple exchanged emotional vows, the 110 guests enjoyed cocktails in the property's grove of linden trees, then moved indoors for dinner.
The celebration continued the next day with a brunch at another D.C. landmark, the Hay-Adams hotel. The grooms were thrilled that the festivities gave their guests—who had come from far and wide—a chance to bond. "Some of my family members are now friends with people Jermaine knew growing up," Scott says. Jermaine adds: "It was definitely a lovefest."
3 of 15
"Like all the elements of the wedding, we wanted our welcome boxes to tell our story," says Jermaine of the contents pulled together by Marigold & Grey. To make that happen, they chose a variety of items that represented their lives together: popcorn from Scott's home state of Iowa, Mississippi cheese straws for Jermaine, gourmet chocolates from their home in Washington D.C., homemade "Ted's Tarts" from their favorite comfort food restaurant, and of course, a Beyoncé cookie, because they're big fans and even chose "Halo" as the processional song for their ceremony. They also included a welcome note with a custom map of D.C., listing some of their favorite restaurants and sites around the city.
4 of 15
Arriving in Style
Swipe here for next slide
6 of 15
A Special Appearance
Silhouettes of the couple's beloved dogs were subtly incorporated into the invitation suite and programs. On the program, their likenesses appeared holding an "S+J" flag atop the words "our dads tied the knot."
7 of 15
The Youngest Guest
Jermaine's 7-month-old nephew, John, poses with Scott on the big day.
8 of 15
A bourbon bar added another touch of old-school style to the event.
9 of 15
A mahogany wood table, crystal chandelier, and large floral arrangement (olive branches, delphinium, and PeeGee hydrangea) made for an impressive charcuterie station. It also featured a fried boursin cheese as a nod to one of Scott's favorite restaurants in his home state of Iowa.
10 of 15
Cocktail Hour Outside
During the cocktail hour, guests mingled in the Linden Grove, a pebbled courtyard that features 40 linden trees imported from Europe.
Swipe here for next slide
11 of 15
A Regal Reception
Guests dined in both the library and the drawing room, which are connected by a door. "It was important that our guests be relaxed and comfortable," says Jermaine. "We wanted them to feel as though they were being welcomed into our home for a family dinner."
12 of 15
An Elegant Tablescape
To create a mood that was romantic but modern, they opted for pillar candles on risers, chic tableware, and tall beveled glass vases filled with flowing white dendrobium orchids (along with other mixed florals). The white, green, and gray palette added a masculine vibe.
14 of 15
The couple knew they wanted to do a unique edible favor. Inspired by a hand-painted treat they saw on Instagram, they worked with Buttercream Bakeshop to design a cookie that reflected the architecture of their venue. (The same pattern was also used as the liner of their invitation envelopes and on the bottom tier of their cake.)
15 of 15
Location, Meridian House
Event planning and design, A. Dominick Events
Catering, Design Cuisine
Floral design, furniture rental, and chandeliers, Amaryllis Floral & Event Design
Photography, Abby Jiu Photography
Officiant, Rev. Michael Koppel
Stationery, Cheree Berry Paper
Calligraphy, Laura Hooper Calligraphy
Cake and cookie favors, Buttercream Bakeshop
Rentals, DC Rental cocktail-hour linens, napkins, and barware; La Tavola Fine Linen dinner linens; Party Rental Ltd. tabletop and cocktail-hour chairs; Perfect Settings dinner chair and bourbon bar glasses; Something Vintage ceremony seating
Grooms' tuxedos, Ralph Lauren Purple Label
Lighting, Frost Lighting Company of DC
Transportation, Regal Limousine
Cocktail napkins, ForYourParty.com
Table-number tiles, The Tile Shop
Welcome boxes, Marigold & Grey
Swipe here for next slide