A Modern Waterfront Wedding at an Upscale D.C Restaurant

Real Weddings
bride and groom washington dc wedding

Photo: Meredith Hanafi Photography

After Candace and Philippe graduated from Pennsylvania State University, they lost touch for nearly six years, when a mutual friend's Facebook page led Candace to her future husband. A message later and she discovered they shared the same zip code, and "so we innocently decided to meet up for a dinner to catch up," Candace says. "One of our favorite memories from that first date was when we took a cab from the restaurant to Bryant Park. During the ride, I told the cab driver about how we had just reconnected, and he was so moved that he gave us the cab ride free! A free cab ride in NYC? That's unheard of!"

Black and White Wedding Portrait Ideas

Photo: Meredith Hanafi Photography

As they settled in for a Central Park picnic last summer—complete with their favorite lobster rolls from Luke's Lobster—Philippe popped a bottle of Champagne, and then popped the question.

Wedding Dress With Ruffled Train.jpg

Photo: Meredith Hanafi Photography

"After a few moments of hugging, giggling and crying," Candace says she grabbed her cell phone and called everyone she knew—but no one answered her calls. "I finally gave up and put down the phone. That's when I noticed a group of people walking toward me. It was our family! Philippe had all of our immediate family members come to New York City for the proposal!"

Baby's Breath Ceremony Venue Decor Black and White Landscape Wedding Invitations

Photos: Meredith Hanafi Photography

One thing was set for their August wedding from the start: Candace and Philippe wanted the groom's childhood pastor to marry them. "She agreed," Candace says, "and what was even better was that the head pastor at her church was friends with the pastor at Western Presbyterian Church," where the couple wed.

Father Walks Daughter Down Aisle Cathedral Length Wedding Veil With Ribbon Edge First Kiss As Husband And Wife During Ceremony

Photos: Meredith Hanafi Photography

The couple kept their ceremony decor simple because, the bride explains, "the church was breathtaking on its own and we wanted our guests to focus on that rather than cluttering it with too many decor items." Florist DBI Events flanked the wooden altar with two tall arrangements of airy baby's breath. "We laid down a white aisle runner that was customized by my mother with a silver R at one end," the bride says.

Bride and Groom Recessional Black and White Wedding Ceremony Photography Bride and Groom Recessional Kiss

Photos: Meredith Hanafi Photography

"The ceremony was so personal, warm and full of tears and laughter," Candace recalls. In addition to reading their favorite e.e. cummings poem, I Carry Your Heart, during the ceremony, the bride's uncle played music and her aunt sang The Lord's Prayer during the celebration. "We are also blessed to have a very musical family," she says. "It was awesome to be able to involve so many of the people we love."

Sweetheart Neckline Wedding Gown With Ruffles Mermaid Style Wedding Gown With Ruffle Detail Diamond Tear Drop Earrings For Bride

Photos: Meredith Hanafi Photography

"I envisioned myself walking down the aisle in something a little sexy and romantic, something that was also a bit fashion-forward," the bride says. "My wedding gown was everything I wanted and more. The bottom of the dress was so dramatic, and I loved that."

Unique Gold Bridal Shoes

Photo: Meredith Hanafi Photography

The pink peep-toed shoes that peeked out from beneath the bride's Pronovias gown were by Joan & David.

Black and White Tuxedo With Black Cufflinks Black and White Checkered Socks For Groom

Photos: Meredith Hanafi Photography

Philippe chose a classic black and white tuxedo from Hugo Boss, but accessorized with custom cufflinks and argyle socks.

White Gold Wedding Bands For Bride and Groom 2 White Gold Wedding Bands For Bride and Groom 1

Photos: Meredith Hanafi Photography

The bride and groom's elegant wedding bands were purchased at Burke & Bannayan Jewelers.

Dahlia and Baby's Breath Bouquet

Photo: Meredith Hanafi Photography

The bride describes her bouquet—a mix of pastel pink dahlias and white baby's breath—as "simple and romantic. I also didn't want anything too big," she says. "I wanted the bouquet to complement my dress but not be a distraction."

Floor Length Lavender Bridesmaids Dresses Baby's Breath Bridesmaids Bouquet

Photos: Meredith Hanafi Photography

Eight bridesmaids wore floor-length lavender gowns by Amsale. "Each woman wore a different style," the bride explains. But they all carried the same kind of bouquet: "Simple yet beautiful baby's breath," Candace says. "The white baby's breath perfectly complemented their dresses."

Groom and Groomsmen Get Ready Large Bridal Party Ideas Traditional Church Wedding Ceremony

Photos: Meredith Hanafi Photography

Philippe asked 10 men to participate in his side of the bridal party. They each wore classic black tuxedos and baby's breath boutonnieres.

White and Gold Wedding Reception Decor

Photo: Meredith Hanafi Photography

Even though the couple calls New York City home, the bride grew up in Washington, D.C., so "we decided to look at [reception] venues in both New York and D.C.," she says. Candace and Philippe found Sequoia in a magazine, and "before we even walked inside we knew that was it!"

Rectangle Table Covered In White Linens

Photo: Meredith Hanafi Photography

"The views of the Potomac River were to die for and the floor to ceiling windows made us feel like we were standing underneath the stars," Candace says.

Tall Baby's Breath Wedding Reception Centerpieces

Photo: Meredith Hanafi Photography

DBI Events "did a great job of making my vision of a simple, chic and romantic dinner party come to life," the bride says. "The designs were unique and modern and made the room so inviting." The florist mixed high-and-low white arrangements on both round and rectangular tables.

Black White And Gray Wedding Menu

Photo: Meredith Hanafi Photography

Modern gray and white menus described a three-course sit-down dinner that included salad with a truffle-soy vinaigrette, braised beef short ribs and pan-seared tilapia served over mashed potatoes.

Four Tier White Wedding Cake With Fondant Flowers White Wedding Cake With Daisy Flowers

Photos: Meredith Hanafi Photography

"We went for a modern look for the cake," Candace says of the couple's four-tier confection. "The layers were off-centered, and uniquely shaped flowers of varying sizes cascaded down from the top to the bottom layer becoming more and more voluminous at the bottom." The flowers, the bride says, were sprayed with silver dust.

Reception Dance Floor Ideas Dance Songs For Bride and Groom

Photos: Meredith Hanafi Photography

Candace and Philippe shared their first dance as husband and wife to Stevie Wonder's Ribbon in the Sky.

Bride and Groom Dancing Dancing at wedding reception

Photos: Meredith Hanafi Photography

Guests danced "all night long!" the bride recalls. "We have really fun friends and family. The dance floor was full the entire night. Our guests were even dancing during the cocktail hour and dinner!"

White Boutonniere Tied With Gold Ribbon

Photo: Meredith Hanafi Photography

"After the reception, we continued the party on Sequoia's outdoor boardwalk lounge," the bride recalls. "The night was beautiful, and it was so fun to enjoy more time with our guests."

—Jillian Kramer

Wedding Planner: Weddings and Events by Bliss || Ceremony Venue: Western Presbyterian Church || Reception Venue: Sequoia || Bride's Wedding Dress: Pronovias || Bride's Veil: Pronovias || Bride's Shoes: Joan & David || Bride's Accessories: Tiffany & Co. || Bride's Wedding Ring: Burke & Bannayan Jewelers || Groom's Tux: Hugo Boss || Groom's Wedding Ring: Burke & Bannayan Jewelers || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Amsale || Flower Girl Dress: Watters || Florist: DBI Events || Caterer: Sequoia || Late-Night Snacks: Luke's Lobster || Stationery: Minted || Cake Baker: Sweet Ladies Bakery || Rentals: Party Rental Ltd || Entertainment: Scratch Weddings || Videography: AM Media Group || Photography: Meredith Hanafi Photography

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