I love the special story of how Oxon Hill Manor became Tess and Marcus’s wedding venue: “I fell in love with Oxon Hill Manor when I helped out at the wedding of my boss. When we got engaged and my mother asked where we might like to be married it immediately came to mind. I was convinced that just one year out we wouldn’t be able to find an available date in the month of June. Unbeknownst to me, a few weeks prior, my mother had asked my then boyfriend (who she knew was about to propose) where he thought we would like to be married and the two of them surreptitiously booked the last date available the following June. They surprised me with the booked date the morning after we got engaged!”
The bride’s sister was her maid of honor, and “was in charge of coming up with something old, something new…” says Tess. “We ended up pinning fabric taken from my mother’s wedding dress, and from items of clothing from my maternal grandparents (who are no longer with us) into the inside of my dress as the something old and borrowed so that they could all be with me on my special day.”
Says the bride, “My family is Jewish so I was very happy to have both my mother and my father accompany me down the aisle. We also had our floral designer create a beautiful birch wood chuppah for us.”
Located just outside of Washington D.C., the property includes a beautiful Georgian manor and formal English gardens with a view of the Potomac River in the distance. The cocktail hour took place around the reflecting pool, then the reception moved to the tented brick patio for dinner and dancing.
As a nod to the groom’s Brazilian background, says Tess, “We asked Sarah Gallo from Design Cuisine to create a Latin inspired menu complete with caipirinhas as our signature cocktail. We continued to embrace Marcus’s Brazilian heritage by having my father give his toast in both English and Portuguese (which he had practiced for months). The best man, Marcus’s brother Ramon, also gave his speech in both English and Portuguese. It was a wonderful way to include all of the non-English speaking guests who had traveled from Brazil.”
The bride describes her decor inspiration: “Although our aesthetic would normally be more urban, we liked the rustic look of numerous and varied containers with loosely arranged flowers and lots of beautiful antique mercury glass votives. We were able to combine the beautiful and formal Oxon Hill Manor with uncovered farmhouse tables and lush and overflowing flowers to create the perfect blend of rustic elegance.”
SEE THE FULL GALLERY FOR ALL THE DETAILS FROM THIS CLASSIC OXON HILL MANOR WEDDING.
What was your favorite moment or part of the day? After a year of planning, I was ready to just let go and enjoy myself once our wedding day finally arrived. it was such a pleasure to finally see everything come together and simply spend the day with my best friends and family.
What was the best advice you received as a bride? The best advice I received was from my former supervisor, who also worked in the event industry. She shared with me the importance of finding vendors who are both good at their jobs and enjoyable to work with. Wedding planning can be a long process and it makes all the difference to work with fun and friendly people.
What advice do you have for other brides? Pick a few aspects that you really care about to focus on during the planning process. If you try to perfect every detail, you will quickly burn out. I found it was better for my happiness and sanity in the months leading up to the wedding to identify those few aspects (food and flowers, in my case) and let my team handle the rest.
Is there anything else that helps tell the story of the day? My parents surprised us with a vintage Rolls Royce as our getaway car. It was gorgeous and great fun for our photographer to use in our photos. It looked fabulous parked in the driveway outside the front door as the guests arrived. It made for a perfect ending to a perfect evening. We gathered together black and white wedding photos from our parents and grandparents, framed them is beautiful silver frames, and displayed them in the foyer of the mansion. We selected one particular photo of my grandparents and their parents on a set of steps from their wedding and had our photographer replicate the same staging of our families for a photo to match.