For Casey McLaughlin and Dan Blaine, it really was love at first sight. Add to the story that they were only 14 years old when they met (as high school freshmen) and their relationship seems even more like it was meant to be. 14 years later, Dan brought Casey back to the high school auditorium where they first met. "He got down on one knee in the very same spot on stage where we were first introduced, and asked me to be his wife," she remembers.
When it was time to pick a wedding venue, the couple didn't hesitate to invite their 165 friends and family members to Washington, D.C. "It felt like we had come full circle," Casey says. So on May 3rd, 2014, after a ceremony at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Alexandria, Amanda of Engaging Affairs transformed the Mellon Auditorium into a playful, champagne-inspired celebration of love.
Keep reading to see the insanely pretty details, photographed by Guy Calaf for Christian Oth Studio.
The festive invitation suite, by Winifred Paper, mixed gold and navy with a fun-loving pop of hot pink.
Casey fell in love with her Vera Wang gown the first time she saw it in a magazine. "I loved the tiny sequins hidden in the organza flowers on the skirt," she says. She paired her dress with a bouquet of blush and ivory peonies, tied with ivory ribbon and a frame holding a picture of the bride's late mother.
Dan chose a classic tuxedo by Burberry. "He looked so good when he tried it on, I wanted to marry him right there in the dressing room!" says Casey. Dan's father, a Marine, wore his dress uniform.
"Dan and I got married in the same church where my parents were married," says Casey. "It was even the same weekend! It was hard to not have my mom there, but having my dad walk me down the same aisle she walked down meant so much."
Casey's bridesmaids, in gray Amsale dresses, carried bouquets of pink peonies.
With a reception venue along Constitution Avenue, Casey, Dan, and their wedding party were sure to hit all the sites as they took portraits before the party.
The acrylic seating chart display is one of Casey's favorite details from the wedding. "It was a giant framed panel set in a box filled with hydrangeas and roses. It was positively dreamy," she says. Nearby, guests enjoyed glasses of bubbly from a candle-lit bar. "Dan can vouch for how much I love champagne, so we tried to weave it through the event," says the bride. "The light colors, soft flowers, and Lucite chairs made it feel like the room was full of bubbles!" Guests were given a choice of syrups and mixers to combine with their champagne to create their own specialty drinks.
For a pop of color, napkins were hot pink ikat, and each place was set with a raspberry-hued charger.
The couple balanced the venue's towering ceiling with tall arrangements of hydrangeas, orchids, roses, and peonies in blush and ivory.
The bride and groom took their first spin around the dance floor to "She's Got a Way." "We're obsessed with Billy Joel," says Casey. "We've always loved that song, and it just happened to be playing on the radio when I tried on my wedding dress!"
Even the cake embraced the champagne theme. The white chocolate-and-raspberry cake was covered in a cascade of gold confetti and topped with pink sugar peonies.
Casey and Dan made their getaway in a vintage car. "Our guests gathered around and sang 'I Wanna Dance with Somebody' as I said goodbye to my dad and got in the car," remembers the bride. "I still get chills thinking about it!"
After all the work that went into their wedding, Casey and Dan were sure to take a few moments throughout the day to soak it all in. "It was, hands down, the best thing we did all day," she says. "We had a chance to be fully present and appreciate the moment."
Ceremony Venue: St. Mary's Catholic Church || Reception Venue: Mellon Auditorium || Wedding Planner: Amanda of Engaging Affairs || Bride's Wedding Dress: Vera Wang || Shoes: Prada || Jewelry: earrings - Oscar de la Renta, bracelet - Cartier || Hair: Hair by Giselle || Makeup: Beauty 'N The Bride || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Amsale || Junior Bridesmaid's Dress: J.Crew || Groom's Attire: Burberry || Groomsmen's Attire: Black by Vera Wang || Wedding Rings: Oscargama Jewelry || Floral & Event Design: Amaryllis, Inc. || Invitations & Paper Goods: Winifred Paper || Calligraphy: A to Z Calligraphy, Just Write Studios || Music: ceremony - Cherry Blossom String Quartet, reception - The Source, DJ's @ Work, Inc. || Catering: Design Cuisine || Cake: Kendall's Cakes || Rentals: Amaryllis, Inc., DC Rental || Linens: La Tavola Linen || Lighting: Frost Lighting Company || Vintage Car: Regal Limousine || Videography: Blue Sky Films || Photography: Guy Calaf for Christian Oth Studio