After 10 years together, high school sweethearts Mariel Daniele and John (Jack) Macfarlane promised to spend the rest of their lives together when Jack dropped to one knee in their Washington, D.C. living room. "I was completely taken by surprise and so delighted that it was an intimate proposal with only our dog, Scout, at our sides," recalls Mariel.
One year later, on December 28th, 2013, Mariel and Jack infused a classically romantic black tie wedding with a touch of rustic elegance and invited 140 guests to New York City. "It was really important to us that it was an epic night for our guests," recalls Mariel, "so we made sure that everything — from the food to the after party — unveiled fun surprises for all their senses."
The couple chose a black-and-gold color scheme that carried through from their invitations to the bride's glittering Jimmy Choo shoes.
While Mariel's Lazaro ball gown featured flowing tulle and champagne accents, Jack stuck to a classic black and white tuxedo for his wedding day attire. He even had his initials embroidered on his suspenders!
"Cedar Lake was my dream choice," Mariel says of the couple's reception venue. They almost didn't get it, thanks to Hurricane Sandy, but a last-minute change meant the couple could host their wedding exactly where they wanted it. "The space was one-of-a-kind and absolutely breathtaking, from the exposed brick to the giant carriage house windows," Mariel says. "The setting really helped my vision come to life."
At the reception, farm tables were topped with rustic centerpieces of ivory-and-blush peonies, green hydrangeas, garden roses, ranunculus and dusty miller held in antique silver bowls. Table numbers in scrolling calligraphy told guests where to sit.
The couple meticulously chose their menu, from comfort food hors d'oeuvres like hoisin duck tacos and macaroni and cheese croquettes to pan-seared Chilean sea bass and Colorado lamb chop for the main course.
Why settle for one cake when you can have five? The couple decided to have a two-tiered vanilla cake with champagne icing that they would cut, and several smaller cakes (including red velvet and carrot cake) topped with peonies and cream cheese frosting for guests to enjoy.
And some of those surprises Mariel was hoping for? Guests were treated to passed pink cotton candy and late-night cheeseburger sliders and corn dogs!
After relaxing post-wedding in the Maldives, Mariel has this advice for future brides-to-be: " Despite all the stress, drama, other people's unwarranted advice or opinions, it will absolutely be worth it in the end," she says. "Just remember to take some time on your actual day to stop and take a moment to hold onto it. It will fly by, but your memories and photos will last forever."
Ceremony Venue: St. James Church || Reception Venue: Cedar Lake || Wedding Planner: Daughter of Design || Bride's Wedding Dress: Lazaro || Shoes: Jimmy Choo || Hair: Liam Carey || Makeup: Nam Vo || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Aidan Mattox || Mother of the Bride's Dress: Carmen Marc Valvo || Floral Design: Fleurs Floral & Event Design || Invitations & Paper Goods: Just Paper & Tea || Music: reception - Rhythm Collective, after-party - DJ Jason Blends || Catering: Cobblestone Catering || Cakes: Baked || Rentals: Luxe Event Rentals, La Tavola Fine Linen Rental, Broadway Party Rentals || Lighting: Bentley Meeker || Photography: Alicia Swedenborg