A Romantic Fall Wedding at Renaissance-Inspired Washington, D.C. Venue

Real Weddings

Freshman orientation can be a blur of new names and faces, but when Terri and Curt, now both 26, met during their first few days at Tufts University, they both knew that they had met someone they wouldn't soon forget. Within hours, Curt knew that Terri was The One, and that was that.

A few years later, Curt prepared a candlelit dinner for Terri as their weekly date night. The meal came to an end with a single star-dotted Baci, Terri's favorite chocolate. Calling upon a game Terri plays with her sister before opening fortune cookies, Curt suggested that Terri ask a question for the quote inside the Baci wrapper to answer. Referencing the meal Curt had just prepared, she asked, "How did I end up with such a wonderful guy?" as she opened the wrapper. Curt fell to one knee and presented Terri with a ring as she read the question concealed inside - "Will you marry me?" Says Terri, "I was in disbelief!"

On October 20, 2012, they invited 120 guests to join them at a celebration full of love, whimsy and the cozy comforts of fall.

"St. Francis Hall was the perfect venue with its exposed beams, wooden floors, and rustic charm," says the bride. "It was really the perfect venue, hidden within D.C. We would have never discovered the venue without our wedding planner's help. After stepping onto the grounds of St. Francis, it felt as though we were transported to an old town in Europe."

Terri paired her fluted Anna Maier ~ Ulla Maija wedding dress with sparkling gold pumps from Kelly & Katie, a gift from her sister. She knew that she wanted a fit-and-flare style with lace, and fell in love with the details of her gown—but only after trying on more than 20 styles in her quest for the perfect dress.

An organza belt and birdcage veil (made by a close family friend who also did her hair) put the finishing touches on Terri's wedding day look. To play off her gown's romantic vibe, she carried a loose bouquet of dahlias, cymbidium orchids and freesia. Scattered orange hypernicum berries added a subtle hint of fall.

Terri's bridesmaids wore floor-length Bari Jay dresses in a cheery coral hue. Their gold leaf earrings were a gift from the bride. The jewelry maker created a special pair of coordinating earrings for Terri, whose ears aren't pierced.

Curt and Terri said "I Do" at an outdoor ceremony on the lawn of St. Francis Hall. The aisle was lined with mason jars overflowing with soft pink and cream dinner plate dahlias.

The ceremony was a mix of religious and secular, designed to be reverent but also comfortable for the couple and their guests. Their readings were followed by a unity cup ceremony which, fitting with the season, featured warm apple cider. After their first kiss, the bride and groom headed back up the aisle to an instrumental version of First Day of My Life by Bright Eyes.

A teal runner, topped with orange napkins and white pumpkins, "evokes the richness and beauty of fall without being the basic orange, red, and yellow," says Terri. Long tables spanned the space to turn the reception into a great hall feast.

Table assignments were hand-written on cards shaped like leaves, which Terri pinned to lengths of twine.

The couple sought out a venue with warmth and character for their fall-inspired wedding. St. Francis Hall, with exposed beams and rustic charm hidden within D.C., fit the bill perfectly.

Terri and Curt took a spin on the dance floor to Etta James' At Last for their first dance. Curt worked closely with the DJ to compile a list of music choices, and his handiwork kept guests on the dance floor all night. Being surrounded by the love of their family and friends was a surreal experience. "After two years of planning and envisioning our wedding, having everything come together so well was a huge accomplishment for us."

Ceremony and Reception Venue: St. Francis Hall || Planner: Pavaune Pearson of Invited Special Events || Bride's Wedding Dress: Anna Maier Ulla-Maija via Hitched Salon || Shoes: Kelly & Katie || Makeup: Dawn Newsome || Hair and Veil: Mairelis Sanchez || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Bari Jay || Accessories: TheHoneyCup and SevenNin9 Shoppe || Invitations and Stationery: Wedding Paper Divas || Escort Cards: Jen Aitchison || Florist: Growing Wild Floral Company || Catering: Putting on the Ritz || Music: MyDeeJay || Favors: Baci || Transportation: UberBLACK || Photography: Michelle VanTine

—Jaimie Schoen

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