Congratulations Jen and Nate!

::Post imported from our old website::

Memorial Day weekend arrived VERY early for me this year, as I woke up at 6 am to trek to the Old Town Alexandria Farmer’s Market to buy flowers for Jen and Nate’s casual BBQ wedding.

See, Jen knew she needed help with the bouquets and personal flowers but thought she could handle the centerpieces on her own, and boy was she right!

The peonies and lilacs I bought that morning were SO gorgeous and fragrant, it made me start to consider actually getting married in the summer! (Until I remembered that I hate being hot…and it’s hot in the summer.)


All photos from fellow Demon Deacon, Christine Meulemans. Go Deacs!

Jen and Nate met learning to sail on the Potomac, so it was only natural for them to have their wedding on the river at the beautiful Collingwood Library:


The ceremony was held where Christine is standing while taking this picture, down on the waterfront, with the cocktail hour on the patio at the side of the house (which you can see guests enjoying here), and the reception inside the Conference Center. (I’ll be honest…I miss the days when you could have your reception outside on the patio at Collingwood. You still can, but you can’t have amplified music, so if anyone knows a good jazz trio or Dixieland Jazz Band, this is your place!!)

Jen and Nate wanted to make lots of use of the water, so Nate arrived via a groomsman’s sailboat!


He then took a little zodiac-dinghy thing to the property, where he ran up to get changed into his custom-made suit!


Meanwhile, Jen and the girls were getting ready in the beautiful bride’s room inside the house:


I am SO in love with her Grecian-inspired dress, which she got OFF THE RACK at Bloomingdale’s! And she didn’t even need to have it altered — it fit her PERFECTLY! So jealous!


The fun, summery bouquets were provided by one of our favorite florists, Maryam’s Flowers. I had just worked with Maryam on another wedding a few weeks earlier, which you’ll get to see shortly!


Soon, it was time for the ceremony to start — guests had made their way down the hill and just as the ceremony was about to start, the clouds parted and created the beautiful sunny setting for Jen and Nate’s vows.


Jen had her girls choose whatever dresses they wanted, as long as they were seersucker. They did SUCH a great job, including her sister, who had hers custom-made. I LOVE the lace peeking out from underneath!


The flower girl and ring bearer did a great job…


And then it was time for Jen and her dad to walk down the aisle. The problem? Remember that gorgeous dress? Well, the grass was a little wet, and naturally Jen didn’t want the dress to be ruined. So she did what any sensible bride wearing Havaianas would do…


She hitched up that dress and walked right down the aisle! And she looked GORGEOUS doing it, with hair and makeup from one of our favorite day spas, Sugar House.

LOVE this shot of Nate nervously waiting for his bride, while her sister excitedly looks down the aisle :)


After a beautiful ceremony, Nate and Jen were pronounced husband and wife, and they set off down the aisle…until breaking into the most adorable run I’ve ever seen.


After the ceremony, Christine was able to take some time to get some AMAZING shots of the bride and groom:





This last one is probably my favorite…it just shows Jen’s playfulness perfectly…


Afterward, Jen and Nate got to sample some of the appetizers:


The guests made their way inside to the Conference Center, which our awesome team of Wish assistants helped me decorate. Christine did a fantastic job of getting pictures of the details — we love it when our photographers do this!



Jen ordered these adorable stickers to go on Hershey’s kisses, which we put a bowl of on each table.



When Nate proposed, he wrote a message on a sail and flew it off the boat for Jen to see. Jen brought that sail to the wedding for all to appreciate (thanks to Jen’s VERY tall brother for helping me hang this up!)


Jen wasn’t sure if their guests were a big dancing crowd, but she wanted to make sure they were entertained (as well as take advantage of the gorgeous grounds at Collingwood). She brought along a croquet set and a couple of bocce sets, which Jamie, one of our super assistants, made adorable signs for!


As you can see, the guests (especially the kids) definitely took advantage of it!


Before she cut the cake, Jen changed into a traditional Vietnamese outfit, which Nate’s family had brought her. Unfortunately, no one told her how to put the hat on, so it ended up upside down! Nate straightened her out, though…


Then it was time for the newlyweds to cut the DELICIOUS cake, provided by Balducci’s in Alexandria.


Don’t you LOVE the sailing rope coiled around the cake as a nod to their shared love? Too cute :)

After the cake was cut, one of Nate’s groomsmen (and owner of the boat that delivered him to the ceremony!) offered a toast and dedicated the perfect song to Jen and Nate, the Zac Brown Band’s “Toes in the Water.”


Jen and Nate, thanks for letting me be part of your special day. Congratulations!



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