modern garden ceremony + chef de cuisine menu dreams for these d.c. powerhouse sweethearts

AN INSIDE LOOK:

How do we give our couples an amazing experience when a pandemic shuts down their plans? Bring it back to the ultimate vision. For Emily and Kevin, what was most important to them was having friends and family nearby, treating their guests to an authentic and hospitable experience, and to tie the knot of course! From there, we know the right questions to ask to get them back on track with a plan that works and that excites them, even if it means we’re starting from scratch.


The easiest way to burn out in wedding planning (and re-planning!) is to get lost in what feels generic or dry, so we placed a huge emphasis on everything being intentional, personal, and meaningful to our couple (and also on taking anything off of their plate that doesn’t need to be there).

staying inspired

change of plans

behind the scenes

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behind the scenes

To match the new setting and season, we traded round reception linen for reclaimed wood communal tables and soaring centerpieces for organic grown-in garden runners. Bright spring pastels turned to moody burgundy and wild fern accents for the fall. Instead of a Saturday night affair, this couple competed with none of the fall craziness and held their wedding on a Monday evening (the classic “industry night”).


We filled the built-in shadow boxes and glass stairway of Maketto with framed engagement portraits of our photogenic couple alongside romantic greenery and flickering candles.

Culinary expectations were high with a groom like Chef Kevin Tien, one of the most talented culinary leaders in the city… but it wasn’t just food at the top of their list—it was connection, community, and culture. Kevin’s close friend, Chef Erik Bruner-Yang was leading the menu at their original venue, so it was only fitting that we check out his H St. venture, Maketto, serving up dishes inspired by Southeast Asian street food in an urban garden oasis with industrial-chic vibes.


the perfect match

design refresh

STREETWEAR TO SOIREE

before ➝ after

before ➝ after

AFTER DESIGN IMPLEMENTED

UPPER LEVEL SEATING AREA

behind the scenes

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behind the scenes

And as no 2020 wedding can happen without plenty of twists and turns, our team picked up 25 umbrellas nearby just before the guest arrival so our bride and groom could have their garden-set outdoor ceremony without pause.

We worked closely with Steelcut Floral to create an ethereal ceremony backdrop that blended perfectly into the unique Maketto space which features exposed brick, local art, and winding greenery throughout.

The result was a lush, grown-in backdrop that perfectly framed the misty day.

from concept to reality

URBAN GARDEN

outdoor courtyard at maketto

ceremony design concept

the final look

rain drops

behind the scenes

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behind the scenes

Instead of a hotel suite, Emily prepped at their beloved Northeast rowhouse with the sweetest pup Lola (of Hot Lola's fame) by her side. Their minimalist decor and personal details were the perfect backdrop to a calm, relaxed vibe throughout the morning.

Emily wore the strapless crepe Marchesa Notte "Ella" gown with a figure-hugging silhouette before releasing into luscious ruffles and a train embellished with tulle blooms that paired perfectly with her blooming daisy statement earrings.


ELEGANT ENSEMBLE

COMFORT OF HOME

behind the scenes

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behind the scenes

Spotlight on the fabulous menu, which served as calligraphed seat markers, written by Chef Erik and the groom – guests started dinner with a spiced granita (shaved ice) palate cleanser inspired by the couples jalapeno plants and finished with a Louisiana beignet dessert tower (a nod to the city where they fell in love).

Signature cocktails for the evening told their sweet story as well – Kevin’s favorite cocktail, an aged-rum old fashioned, Emily’s – a daiquiri served straight up, and for “theirs” we developed a recipe that used their go-to celebratory digestif: Hennessy, in a fig sidecar (they grow their own figs at home!).

COCKTAILS THAT TELL TALES

A MENU WORTH ENVYING

Guests went home with hospitality bags made by the bride and emblazoned with… pineapples, of course! Inside were lottery tickets, Zapp’s New Orleans chips, and Hot Lola’s signature spice blend.

HOSPITALITY BAGS

The couples dear friends, Tiffany and Alexandra, over at Buttercream Bakeshop created the perfect nod to their time in New Orleans and roots in the hospitality industry with a pineapple upside-down cake. Emily chose the perfect otter toppers that had guests swooning. 

A DECADENT CAKE

behind the scenes

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behind the scenes

VENDORS


PLANNING + DESIGN
LILY & GRAYSON EVENTS

PHOTOGRAPHY
SHELLY PATE PHOTO

VENUE
MAKET0 1351

FLORALS
STEELCUT FLOWER CO.

CAKE
BUTTERCREAM BAKESHOP

RENTALS
SOMETHING VINTAGE

NAPKINS
NUAGE DESIGNS INC.

STATIONERY
THE DANDELION PATCH

CALLIGRAPHY
LAURA HOOPER CALLIGRAPHY

VIDEOGRAPHY
VONA B PRODUCTIONS

BEAUTY
GEORGETOWN BRIDE

ATTIRE
MARCHESA, ANTHROPOLOGIE

SHOES
JEFFREY CAMPBELL