A Boutique Hotel Wedding at
The Athenaeum

Real Weddings

Photo: Maria Vicencio Photography

Leigh and Mike met in accounting class at Virginia Tech—he proposed during a hike in her home state of New Hampshire.

For their wedding, Leigh wore a Romona Keveza gown and a veil given to her by her grandmother. "I was drawn to the pleats on my gown's train," Leigh says. "They were so unique." She carried a bouquet of baby's breath created by The Enchanted Florist. Mike's tux was rented from Men's Wearhouse.


The bridesmaids wore black dresses of their own choosing, and made their own spider mum bouquets. "We all sat on the floor and put the bouquets together," says Leigh. "It was wonderful." Flower girl Sara wore a dress by J.Crew. The groom and groomsmen wore boutonnieres of leaves and bittersweet berries designed by The Enchanted Florist.


The ceremony was held at The Athenaeum in Alexandria, which is headquarters to the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Association. Bagpiper Matthew Kuldell led the short walk from the ceremony to the reception.


The reception, coordinated by Maria Cooke of Ritzy Bee Events, was held in the Paris Ballroom of the Hotel Monaco Alexandria. In lieu of traditional guest book, the couple displayed a map; guests used pushpins to mark the location from which they'd traveled, and wrote well wishes. "The map was special to Mike and me, as we're both avid travelers and dreamers," says Leigh. "It's now hanging in our home."

The bride's mother created the table centerpieces by filling copper vases with bittersweet berries and fresh flowers. In honor of the bride's late grandmother, a pouch containing her beloved cookies and a recipe card sat atop each place setting. Dinner, catered by the Hotel Monaco Alexandria's Jackson 20 restaurant, featured four-cheese pasta with sundried tomatoes and bread crumbs, and Caesar salad.


Photos: Maria Vicencio Photography

With the help of the groom's stepfather and a close friend, Leigh and Mike created an iPod playlist for their reception by asking guests to provide song requests on their RSVP cards. "Sweet Caroline" by Neil Diamond was a big hit with the crowd. But before everyone hit the dance floor, guests offered the couple a round of toasts. "All of the speeches were amazing," says Leigh. "I particularly remember my father's and sister's—both were so touching."

Photographer: Maria Vicencio Photography || Bride's Gown: Romonoa Keveza || Groom's Tuxedo: Men's Wearhouse || Flower Girl's Dress: J.Crew || Ceremony Site: The Athenaeum || Floral Design: The Enchanted Florist || Ceremony Music: Matthew Kuldell, 703-343-5779 || Reception Site: Hotel Monaco Alexandria || Wedding Planner: Maria Cooke of Ritzy Bee Events || Escort Cards: Etsy

Visit our Real Weddings page to find more romantic style inspiration.

Give a Subscription to Brides Magazine as a Gift

Get personalized planning advice, exclusive offers and must-read wedding news.

Thank You
for Signing Up!

Check your e-mail inbox for the latest updates from brides.com