Today’s bride, Robin, has the most exquisite bridal style. As her wonderful wedding photographer, Piper Watson, puts it, “a mix of old school classy gal and modern minx”. Her stunning black and white ensemble is achingly chic and in fact, the couple’s whole event manages to be simultaneously stylish and elegant, yet warm and homely.
In their own words, Robin and Joe say they had a very non-traditional wedding by design. They truly wanted the feel of a of an informal dinner party, where two people happen to be getting married. They didn’t have many of the traditional wedding staples – only 45 guests, no flowers, bridesmaids, or first dance – and this gave the evening a truly intimate, unique and personal feel.
Their wedding report is a joint effort written by both the bride and groom, and the beautiful set of images produced by the lovely Piper Watson, will ensure that all those fantastic memories stay fresh and vibrant for many years to come.
AN INTIMATE VENUE + BLACK & WHITE COLOUR SCHEME
Robin the bride and Joe the groom: Ultimately, we wanted our wedding to feel like a dinner party (with a ceremony beforehand) for our closest family and friends. It was very modern and a bit whimsical; it was really a perfect reflection of our sensibilities and who we are as a couple.
The ceremony was held at Joe’s cousins’ (Martha and Bob) house in Washington, DC. She and her family have an amazing house that had been fully redesigned. Martha is an interior decorator and it shows! The reception was at Elizabeth’s on L, a converted town house in downtown DC which added to the intimate feel we were going for.
Our colour scheme was black and white (to match Robin’s dress) and green as an accent colour.
HAIR + MAKE-UP
Robin and Joe’s long time stylist, Gregg, did the hair for Joe, Robin, Joe’s sister Rachel, and Robin’s mother Ann. Robin had a really unique hair style at the time and only her stylist was good enough to style her hair. Robin’s makeup was done by a woman named Keisha from beautiful.flawless.face makeup. She was fantastic! Robin wanted to look like a more glamorous version of herself, but still look relatively natural. She made Robin look like herself, only better and also did the makeup for Ann and Rachel, who looked fantastic as well.
A BEAUTIFUL EVENING DRESS + FAMILY JEWELLERY
The dress was from Neiman Marcus, a luxury department store in the United States and it was designed by Carmen Marc Valvo, an evening wear designer.
Robin did not want to wear a traditional wedding dress, so she decided on an evening gown instead. As soon as she saw it, she knew it was her dress. It had chunky beading at the neck and waist and she felt beautiful in it the moment she tried it on.
Robin wore her grandfather’s antique Baume and Mercier watch and her mother’s pearl bracelet. Robin’s grandfather passed away 17 years ago and it was important to her that he was there in some fashion.
THE HANDSOME GROOM
Joe was wearing a Joseph Abboud suit with a white french cuff button down shirt, a black, white and pewter striped silk tie and cuff links with metallic iridescent checks.
Robin has always been a lover of shoes, so she chose a pair of royal blue/purple satin Stuart Weitzman super-high heels with a rosette detail on the toe.
The ketubah signing was held in Martha’s very large kitchen where everyone was able to gather around and participate. We worked together to write our own vows.
Joe went a bit off script in the opening referring to Robin as his “demure little flower,” to great comedic effect. Robin is many things. A “demure little flower” is none of them!
We also had select family and friends create blessings for us. Our rabbi read the traditional seven blessings in Hebrew and in English and then our friends and family each wrote and read aloud their own blessing based on the following topics: health, happiness, love, laughter/humour, friendship, family, and longevity. For us, this was one of our favourite parts of the ceremony.
Joe has known Piper for many years personally, and knew she was a photographer, but didn’t realise how good she was. After we started our search for a photographer we took a look at her portfolio and were blown away. She was able to capture split second moments that were simply amazing.
When meeting with Piper, she suggested we try and find “something” that we could use as a prop for some of the photos. I thought of the monocles almost immediately. As you can see there was a great level of participation and everyone really seemed to have fun with it.
A BLACK + WHITE CORGI CAKE!
We had a cake custom made that we helped design. We wanted to be able to include our Pembroke Welsh Corgi in the wedding somehow so we had a sugar plaque make based on several photos. It came out wonderfully! The cake had two layers and two flavours: brown butter vanilla cake with butter cream frosting and a chocolate sour cream cake with vanilla buttercream and fresh raspberries. The catering was done by the Catering Company of Washington
The food was literally the most important part of the wedding for us. We are both committed gastronomes, and our friends and family all know it. We took great care in finding someone that would work closely with us and could offer the highest level of quality and creativity possible, and Robin and I were both extremely proud of the menu. It involved several weeks of research, planning and collaboration with the caterers. We wanted seasonal, high quality food exceptionally prepared and that would be remembered by the guests. It worked!
Keeping with the foodie theme, we picked a few of our favourite recipes and printed them out on nice card stock.
A PARTY DJ
We went with a DJ who we found independently, but ended up being a friend of a friend. This allowed us the level of control we wanted over the music and announcements. It worked out perfectly. Robin and I are long term electronic music fans, so a band wouldn’t allow up the type of music we were looking for as the night went on, but it did allow for Motown hits in the earlier hours.
BOUQUET + BOUTONNIERES
Our wedding was in January so flowers would have been very expensive. Instead we went with only a bouquet and boutonnieres. The centrepieces however were DIY. We purchased low square vases and filled them with small green apples and limes to match the accent colour.
ADVICE TO OTHER BRIDES
Wedding planning can be very stressful and all consuming, so it’s really important that couples try to take time for themselves and not talk about the wedding. After Joe proposed, we agreed on a 3 month moratorium on any wedding planning.
Our other piece of advice is that couples always remember that while their wedding day should be amazing and special, what ultimately matters is what happens when they wake up the next day and it’s just the two of them.
ROBIN + JOE’S LITTLE WHITE BOOK
Catering + reception venue —Elizabeth’s on L
Additional catering — Catering Company of Washington
Photography — Piper Watson
Wedding Dress — Carmen Marc Valvo
Groom Suit — Joseph Abboud
Make-up — Keisha Sykes
DJ — Brad McCormick
Cake — K. Rose Cakes
This is such a gorgeous wedding and such beautiful photography too – if you love the images as much as I do, do hop on over to photographer Piper Watson‘s website and have a peek at her work.
It’s more than evident that I loved a lot of the creativity and style of this wedding but you know what my very favourite thing was about it that really touched me? The way that Robin and Joe included their friends’ and family’s personal contributions into their blessings under the chuppah. Just beautiful. Thank you Robin and Joe for sharing your wedding, your way with us. We love it.