Jennifer Moss and Jay Calhoun not only personalized their wedding with nods to their love story, but made it all an ode to the city they love: Washington, DC. After meeting at a local bar and dating in the city, Jay, who works at the National Park Service, proposed to Jennifer, a technology project manager for a nonprofit, nearly four years later at the base of the Washington Monument. It was just after they had run the Navy Air Force 5 Miler race. It was only natural, then, to say “I do” in The District too.
From the venue—The LINE DC—to their cocktails—which featured local spirits—the couple’s wedding showcased the best of the nation’s capital while also reflecting what makes them, them. “We were inspired by our venue, a modern hotel in a historic church, to create an aesthetic and mood that combined the best of old and new,” Jennifer says. Working with the planning team at Kruse & Vieira, Jennifer and Jay wove a mix of traditional and modern into multiple aspects of the day. This included the “soundtrack” with their DJ, Jennifer’s nontraditional jewelry, and the venue’s historical touches juxtaposed with its contemporary interior design.
But for all the details (and Jennifer admits she focused intently on a lot of them), they kept their eyes fixed on the end goal: the day was just the beginning of something that will last much longer. To that end, the pair had a blast with their 135 guests. “What truly made our day reflect us as a couple was the people who were there,” Jennifer says. “Our officiant set the tone with an emotional and funny ceremony that perfectly reflected our relationship; our brothers and my mom gave heartfelt toasts; and everyone packed the dance floor for the entire night to make it the greatest party of our lives.”
“We loved how the LINE is dedicated to using local artisans, food producers, and ingredients,” Jen says of choosing the hotel housed in a converted church built in the 1900s. In fact, the couple booked the new hotel for the wedding day before it officially opened.
Jen customized her dress by having the halter fastened with an antique pearl button from her grandmother. The dress, a sleek ivory crepe gown with a serious plunge at the neckline, had just the right amount of modern and nontraditional.
Jen paired her gown with a floor-length veil that she had handmade in Australia.
Jen’s bouquet included a mix of roses, ranunculus, astrantia, scabiosa, seeded eucalyptus, bay laurel and a personal favorite: tillandsia air plants.
Jay collaborated with local clothier, Ezra Paul, on his bespoke suit and green knit tie. He purchased his shoes from a retailers in Georgetown.
The couple’s pooch, Panda, served as the “Dog of Honor,” walking down the aisle in a floral collar alongside the Best Man.
Jen and Jay said “I do” in a cozy ceremony space, where candles framed the couple. “We wanted the focus to be on us and the people we love,” Jen says.
The couple actually wrote their vows together two days before the wedding. “It was important to us that our vows reflected our love and acceptance of each other’s individuality and our commitment to weather the ups and downs of life together as equal and loving partners,” Jen says. They also included readings from works by Maya Angelou and Lawrence Ferlinghetti.
The food and drink menus included only locally sourced, seasonal ingredients, and the cocktails used liquors by DC-based distillers. The couple served two signature drinks: a twist on the Manhattan and a take on the Moss family’s secret punch recipe.
They shared their Instagram hashtag, #SwoonForCalhoun, on a sweet board that guests could easily read.
The reception décor played off the venue’s modern aesthetic and stylish furniture, such as the gray and navy tones of color. Low table arrangements left ample space for the family-style meal, and the couple reused the ceremony candles in the dining area.
Being lactose intolerant, Jen wanted to have an entirely dairy-free wedding menu, which she achieved right down to the cake. The flavors included chocolate s’mores and carrot cake.
“Two songs that stick out for me are The O’Jay’s ‘Love Train’ with everyone holding hands and Whitney Houston’s ‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody,’” Jen says of the party. The DJ played a mix of old and new, from Motown favorites to Bruno Mars.
“No detail was too small for me to think about,” Jen admits. “I knew that the details mattered to me, even if they wouldn’t be noticeable by everyone in the end.” After the wedding, the couple honeymooned for two weeks in Colombia, visiting popular destinations like Bogata and Cartagena.
Ceremony & Reception Site: The LINE DC || Planner & Floral Design: Kruse & Vieira Events || Officiant: Jeffrey Schwartz || Bride's Dress: Floravere || Bride's Veil: Tania Maras || Alterations: Cheryl Lofton & Associates || Bride's Jewelry: BLHDN, Giantlion || Bride's Shoes: Stuart Weitzman || Hair & Makeup: Caitlyn Meyer || Bridesmaid Dresses: BLHDN || Groom’s Attire: Ezra Paul Clothing || Groom's Barber: Max Men DC || Flower Girl Attire: Ava & Yelly, Nordstrom || Rings: Tiffany & Co. || Stationery: Minted || Guest Book: Ansel Adams || Music: Mixing Maryland || Catering: The LINE DC || Cake: Buttercream Bakery || Favors: Donation to Shenandoah National Park || Accommodations: The LINE DC || Photography: Bonnie Sen Photography