If you want a template for the classic black tie DC wedding, look no further than Elena and Paul’s elegant ceremony at the National Cathedral. Elena and Paul first contacted us for engagement photos more than a year and a half ago. The spring day we agreed on for the session turned out to be unseasonably cool. The minute I laid eyes on Elena’s stunning belted white coat, I knew this girl had impeccable taste 🙂 Together, Elena and Paul are a perfect balance of refinement and warmth. They were relatively reticent through the shoot (except when I asked them to kiss!). However, afterwards, Elena reached out with some information to help me plan my 10 year anniversary trip to Italy. She also sent me the written version of her love story with Paul. The story was so beautiful and so incredibly sweet! Elena constantly referred to her fiance not as Paul, but as “my Paul” 🙂 Since that first meeting, I really hoped for the opportunity to photograph their wedding. Initially it looked like we wouldn’t have the chance, because Elena and Paul planned to move to New York and get married there. But happily for us, Elena chose to begin an MBA program here in the DC area.
Here is the story of their fairy tale wedding day 🙂 Oh! And this is just the half of it. Nighttime portraits by the monuments in DC and a gorgeous, refined reception at the Mayflower Hotel are coming up on the blog tomorrow 🙂
The lacework on Elena’s dress was stunning!!
Far and away, Elena and Paul sent the most amazing invitations I’ve ever seen. They were beautiful packages containing, not just the information, but little gifts for their guests, including Godiva chocolates!! Talk about making their guests feel valued!! 🙂
While I was finishing up with detail shots and Elena finished with hair and makeup, Susie went down to Paul’s room at the Mayflower to get a few images of him getting ready… with the help of his groomsmen.
Paul gave Elena an engraved Cinderella slipper. She cried when she opened the gift and read the inscription… so sweet 🙂
Susie took one of my favorite images of the entire wedding weekend here:
Off to the National Cathedral!
Once at the National Cathedral, we headed up to the 7th floor to take images of Elena and her bridesmaids. Once they were safely tucked away, the guys came up.
Everyone needs a little mid-shoot primping 🙂
I am crazy about this picture!! I don’t know which I like more – Paul’s face, or the bridesmaids peeking over to check out his reaction!!!
Apparently elegance and refinement are in the genes. Elena’s brother was the most gentlemanly man I ever met and I think all of the single girls at this wedding fell at least a little bit in love with him 🙂
After family photos, the guests headed across the street to the Hearst House for a little cocktail party. Later, the wedding party would head down to DC for portraits and guests went back to the Mayflower to recuperate for the amazing wedding reception that Elena and Paul had planned for the next day!
As cocktail hour started, we took just a few images of Elena and Paul by the magnificent cathedral.
And that’s it for today… tomorrow, spectacular bride & groom photos by the Lincoln & Washington monuments and the Capital PLUS a beautiful & luxurious reception at the Mayflower hotel. Check back in!!
Ceremony Venue: National Cathedral
Ceremony Flowers: Cathedral Florist, Linda Roeckelein
Planner: It Schelle Be Done
Hair: Zia Torres at Stylist To Go
MUA: Pakito Internacional
Ceremony Musician: Benjamin Straley, Cathedral staff
Officiant: Reverend Ken Howard
Videographer: Michael Brazda Films
Cocktail Hour Venue: National Cathedral School
Cocktail Hour Catering: Flik Catering
Cocktail Hour Musician: Violindreams
Limo Rental: Sohail (he was AWESOME and having the right driver in DC makes a big difference!) at ABC Rentals