CBS News correspondent Margaret Brennan and her Marine Corps fiancé Major Yado Yakub met in the fall of 1998 as undergrads at the University of Virginia, but it wasn't until 2013 when the pair bumped into each other again on the street in D.C. that their relationship took off. One year after reconnecting, Yado brought Margaret back to the campus where they first met and asked her to be his wife.
They spent just over a year planning their April 11, 2015 nuptials and chose the Decatur House in Washington, D.C. to be the site of their classic and elegant wedding. Margaret and Yado worked with Jeanette Tavares of Evoke to coordinate their all-American red and navy blue-themed bash and asked photographer Rodney Bailey to document their special day.
Margaret stunned in an understated silk crepe sheath designed by Monique Lhuillier. "I must have tried on dozens of dresses," Margaret admits. "I found 'the one' at Carine's Bridal in Georgetown. It was simple, elegant and looked classic." She accessorized with a vintage lace veil that the bride's mother wore on her own wedding day.
Her bridesmaids wore mismatched navy blue lace dresses from Amsale while her matron of honor stood out in red. "I wanted a clean look and to let the bridesmaids pick the most flattering styles for their own body types," Margaret says. The bride toted a bouquet of red calla lilies while her bridesmaids all held red tulips.
The military groom wore his dress blues during the ceremony and changed into the black tux his father wore during his 1970s wedding for the reception.
Before they exchanged vows, Margaret and Yado's photographer had the couple meet in front of the White House for their first look. "We had to rejigger plans once a protest broke out in front of the White House," the bride recalls. "The photographer scrambled to find us part of the park where we'd get a clean shot without protestors behind us."
The photographer scrambled to find us part of the park where we'd get a clean shot without protestors behind us.
The aisle of their tented ceremony space was lined with red lanterns and the couple had a small platform built for their vows that was decorated with pillars topped with arrangements of greenery and hydrangea.
Margaret's father, Edward Brennan, walked her down the aisle for the couple's adapted Catholic ceremony. "We included a reading from the Quran and a traditional Muslim prayer," the bride says, which was a way to honor her Catholic roots and the groom's Muslim faith. "We also had the priest read a traditional Irish blessing at the end of the ceremony."
Following their vows, Margaret and Yado left their ceremony beneath a traditional sword arch made up of six of the groom's fellow Marines. Guests then moved to cocktail hour where an Arabic quartet played traditional music. "We planned on it being background music but the guests like it so much that an impromptu dance party broke out!" the bride says.
Once inside the reception space, guests found their seating assignments printed on tented escort cards. A mix of round and square-shaped tables were topped with blue linens and decorated with green-and-white centerpieces that included hydrangeas and roses.
During dinner, guests enjoyed a deconstructed Greek salad, beef tenderloin and panko-crusted halibut, and queen corn soufflé with green and white asparagus. For dessert, guests could choose slices from one of the couples five wedding cakes. Flavors included carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, cinnamon cake with amaretto buttercream, nut cake with white chocolate mousse, and marble cake with dulce de leche frosting.
Following their wedding, the newlyweds enjoyed a two-week long honeymoon that started with a safari in South Africa, stops in Cape Town and Johannesburg, and a week spent on the beach on the island of Mauritius and Seychelles. For couples on the brink of wedding planning, the bride has one piece of sage advice: "You should declare at least a two week moratorium on planning after you get engaged. Once you start planning the momentum in unrelenting."
Ceremony & Reception Venue: The Decatur House
Wedding Coordinator: Jeannette Travares of EVOKE
Officiant: Father Raymond Kemp
Bride's Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier
Shoes: Jimmy Choo
Hair: Abigail de Casanova
Makeup: Maureen Pedala of NY Wedding Makeup
Bridesmaids' Dresses: Amsale
Groomsmen's Attire: Ralph Lauren
Flower Girl Attire: Chamonix Bride
Engagement Ring & Bride's Wedding Band: Keith Paikin of Diamond Opportunities (561-994-8173)
Groom's Wedding Band: David Yurman
Flowers: Barbara Von Elm of Growing Wild
Invitations: Reaves Engraving
Other Paper Products: MaryKate Brennan
Bagpiper: Norm Weaver of Bagpiping For All Occasions
Arabic Quartet: Tarab Productions
Catering & Cakes: Occasions Catering
Rentals: Perfect Settings
Photographer: Wedding Photojournalism by Rodney Bailey