An Elegant, Formal Wedding at Washington, D.C.'s Meridian House

Real Weddings

Katherine met Ken on a job interview. She was a fresh-faced college graduate, and he was the man across the desk asking all the questions. She got the job—and she got the guy, too, when they wed nearly 10 years later.

Ken sent Katherine on a scavenger hunt the night he proposed, leading her from one special location to the next until the trip ended inside a room at the St. Regis hotel in Washington, D.C. There she found Ken on one knee. "After such an evening, after so many years, what could I do but say yes?" Katherine says.

The couple chose Washington, D.C.'s Meridian House for their wedding because "we wanted an intimate space that would allow us to do both the ceremony and the reception in the same venue," the bride explains.

The couple's 5:30 p.m. ceremony was held in the Meridian House's Loggia and Reception Gallery, Katherine says.

To warm guests as they arrived at the couple's January ceremony, Katherine and Ken offered hot apple cider and a mulled cider with pomegranate liqueur.

Katherine calls their ceremony "non-religious." The couple had special readings, including a selection from Dr. Seuss, during the ceremony.

Katherine's Anna Maier Ulla-Maija Couture wedding gown looked nothing like the dress she envisioned when she spotted it on the hanger. "But when I put it on I just didn't want to take it off again," the bride says.

The bride also donned a vintage fur stole, ruffled purple Kate Spade heels and soft white leather gloves—a gift from her mother.

Katherine's birdcage veil was made by Etsy vendor Fascinating Creations.

"I wanted deep, dark, romantic purple flowers," Katherine says. Philippa Tarrant brought the bride's vision to life in her bouquet, using a mix of calla lilies, tulips, orchids and hyacinths.

Five bridesmaids wore elegant eggplant-colored dresses from J. Crew, each in their own style. They carried bouquets made of calla lilies, ranunculus, tulips and orchids.

Groomsmen's boutonnieres were made from berzillia berries and calla lilies, and they matched Ken in crisp slate gray suits and purple ties.

Ken's cufflinks—complete with a presidential seal—were a gift from the groom's uncle.

The couple's wedding rings came from Boone & Sons Jewelers.

Black and white welcome bags contained a message from the bride and groom and a map to the couple's favorite Washington, D.C. restaurants.

Deep purple envelopes held guests' seating assignments—inside, guests found a map to the Meridian House's two dining rooms and the number of the table to which they were assigned.

The couple served five passed hors d'ouevres: Goat cheese and sun-dried tomato pizza; caramelized onion, walnut and Roquefort tartlettes; beef and arugula crostini; sesame-crusted crab cakes; and tamari-glazed scallops with bacon.

Katherine and Ken served a second signature drink that they called Gingerbread Apple Cocktail. But the highlight of the couple's cocktail hour was perhaps their champagne fountain, a "stack of champagne coupes over which the catering staff poured bottles of champagne," the bride explains.

"The natural details of the house are exquisite, so it provided a perfect backdrop for an evening event," the bride says. "And we loved that it was only five minutes from downtown. You feel like you are in a peaceful retreat within the city, complete with sprawling lawns and a linden grove behind the house."

Katherine describes their wedding reception decor as "intimate, warm, vintage, with a rosy glow."

Lush purple centerpieces were surrounded by "a couple hundred mercury glass votive holders and hurricane lamps," the bride says. Crinkled gold tablecloths covered round reception tables.

The couple's favorite item on their gourmet menu? "The sweet potato soup served with a heart-shaped bread stick," the bride says.

The couple's second course was a pomegranate-glazed pork loin with butternut squash and risotto.

Guests also enjoyed a dessert buffet, which included petits fours and brownie sticks.

The couple's wedding date was also the father of the bride's birthday. "So during the toasts, all the guests serenaded him with 'Happy Birthday,'" the bride says.

Just for the couple: A two-tier sweetheart chocolate orange cake with buttercream icing.

Guests so enjoyed the DJ's mix of jazz and contemporary tunes that he played an extra song after the party had officially shut down, the bride recalls. The last song of the night was Journey's Don't Stop Believing, "during which every single guest on the dance floor belted out all the words," Katherine says.

—Jillian Kramer

Wedding Planner: Ritzy Bee Events || Ceremony Venue: Meridian House || Reception Venue: Meridian House || Bride's Wedding Dress: Anna Maier Ulla-Maija Couture || Bride's Veil: Fascinating Creations || Bride's Shoes: Kate Spade || Bride's Wedding Ring: Boone & Sons Jewelers || Groom's Tux: Geoffrey Lewis || Groom's Wedding Ring: Boone & Sons Jewelers || Bridesmaids' Dresses: J. Crew || Florist: Philippa Tarrant Floral Design || Caterer: Design Cuisine || Stationery: Simple Song Design || Cake Baker: Design Cuisine || Rentals: Design Cuisine || Entertainment: DJ Mac || Transportation: Marc Parc and Regal Limousine || Photography: Maria Vicencio Photography

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