There’s something undeniably timeless about a traditional wedding. This DC wedding comes to you from Simply Chic Events and is full of classic, yet Southern inspired, details— from the blue-and-white china to the overflowing peonies to the classic vintage getaway car, this celebration is about as pretty as they come!
Photography by Jen Fariello.
What was the best advice you received as a bride? Hire a wedding planner. I would not have survived the process without Jamie and Kate of Simply Chic Events. They handled almost everything, kept me on schedule, and took care of everything related to the budget and vendors. From my perspective, the wedding day was a seamless affair because of their expert coordination.
What advice do you have for other couples in the midst of planning a wedding? If you have a busy lifestyle and are able to, hire a wedding planner. Even if it’s only for the day of the wedding. The day becomes a blur, and you want to enjoy it without worry.
If you had it to do over again, is there anything you would do differently? Not at all.
Erica’s lush bouquet was filled with white and blush peonies. Choosing a single flower for a bouquet can make such a beautiful statement.
“It was important to us and our families to have a church ceremony. We chose Metropolitan Memorial United Methodist Church because not only is it my husband’s family’s church, but it’s incredibly beautiful.”
Your ceremony in three words. Joyous, Traditional, Elegant
Who officiated your ceremony? Reverend Kate Payton, whom Ms. Collary recommended to us. We became extremely fond of her during our counseling sessions. She has the most uplifting and infectious spirit, which she infused throughout the ceremony. I don’t believe I stopped smiling once.
How did you go about planning your ceremony? We envisioned a traditional wedding ceremony. Our officiant—the amazing Reverend Kate Payton—provided us with a general template, along with a menu of optional prayers, readings, and hymns that could be incorporated into the ceremony. We also received much input from Dona Collary, who is Metropolitan’s Coordinator of Weddings.
What was your ceremony music?
Processional: “Arrival of the Queen of Sheba”, Handel
Recessional: “The Rejoicing from The Royal Fireworks Suite” and “Allegro Maestoso” from The Water Music Suite, Handel
What were your ceremony readings? Colossians 3:12-17 and 1 John 4:7-13
What were your vows like? Being fairly traditional, we opted to use the pre-written vows provided by Reverend Payton.
What was your favorite thing about your wedding ceremony? Walking down the aisle after being officially married!
Do you have any budget tips for other brides? Prioritize what’s important to you. I was willing to spend more on a custom stationery suite, but did not feel as strongly about the place setting, so we used the Chevy Chase Club’s fine china (which proved to be so classic that it fit with the blue-and-white color scheme).
“We held the reception at the Chevy Chase Club, which is a gorgeous venue. My husband’s family have been members for years, where they have celebrated many milestones and made many memories.”
Did you have a signature cocktail? Pimm’s Cup—Stewart’s favorite drink.
How would you describe your reception? Classic country club. We had great food, which was infused with Southern touches as a nod to my Texas roots and my husband’s Alabama roots, as well as a fantastic Motown band—a favorite of Stewart’s father. Our planners staged the cocktail hour on an expansive balcony overlooking the club’s golf course, with lounge areas of furniture, lanterns, and bistro lights placed throughout the balcony. After a week of rain and threats of thunderstorms on the wedding day, we had simply gorgeous 70-degree weather during the cocktail hour. Inside the ballroom, the wedding planners staged three long tables and additional classic round tables in an innovative fashion with dramatic draping to highlight the dance floor.
What inspired you when you were planning your wedding? I found inspiration in the blue-and-white china and vases/jars I have been collecting for years. Emma and Bailey of Antiquaria incorporated touches of my favorite china pattern in the stationery suite, and we used my vases and jars on several tables throughout the reception venue.
What type of cake or dessert did you serve? Classic White Pound Cake with Vanilla Buttercream—my absolute favorite cake.
Cake by Chevy Chase Club.
Please tell us about any other special details or moments from your reception. As part of the speeches, Stewart’s father arranged for one of his best friends— who is loved and much admired for his sense of humor—to prepare and give a wonderful poem about us. At the end of the speech, the band played the fight song of Washington & Lee University, which is where my husband and I met in law school and many of our guests attended (including my husband’s father). This was a rousing and fun way to kick off the reception.
What was your first dance song? Father/daughter or mother/son dance?
First Dance: “You Send Me” by Sam Cooke
Father/daughter dance: “The Way You Look Tonight” by Frank Sinatra
Mother/son dance: “Stand By Me” by Ben E. King
Reception Music by The Original Moonlighters.
What was your favorite moment or part of the reception? The fifteen minutes of time my husband and I had together in a private room off the ballroom before joining the cocktail hour, where we had the opportunity to reflect on the memories and emotions of the day. (This also was an opportunity to eat hor d’oeuvres, which proved important, as we found no time to eat our dinner during all the celebrating with friends and family.)