I met Elizabeth & Juan for their engagement session in Puerto Rico; I fell in love with them instantly. Their kindness and free-spirited vibe were captivating, and their tender playfulness with each other made their photoshoot the loveliest. I felt so honored when they proposed I'd travel for their District Winery wedding, and obviously, I said yes!
Their wedding was the main event for my DC trip last September, in which I was so lucky to book four different shoots, all of which I'll be blogging soon. (Psssst! I will be traveling to DC again next September; feel free to reach out if interested in working together!)
Bridal Getting Ready at the Thompson Hotel, Washington DC
Gorgeous in mid-century modern decor, great hospitality, and located in a booming neighborhood, the Thompson Hotel is one of the best places to stay near District Winery. Elizabeth and Juan do not care much about items or wedding details, focusing on their relationships instead. So I focused on documenting their stories with the people surrounding them for their wedding, which is why you won't find many wedding details in this photo set.
The first thing I felt in Elizabeth's bridal room was kindness and service. Every person in the suite worked hard to make the day feel as memorable and successful as possible. As Elizabeth finished her makeup, her bridesmaids were helping with the veil, tidying up the room, and reassuring a slightly anxious bride. We then moved to a more intimate setting in a separate room to have a special moment with her mother and grandmother.
First Look by The Navy Yard Boardwalk
After Elizabeth was dressed up and ready, I met with Juan for some groom portraits and his first look with Elizabeth. Then, since the sun was high, and it was a hot, sunny September day, we hid under the trees right by the wedding venue, District Winery. This was the wedding party's meeting point: we would have group portraits, and then buses would pick us up for the ceremony.
We were on time, so we had a lot of fun doing all sorts of family and wedding party portraits before it was time to go.
Wedding Ceremony at Riverside Baptist Church
A 15-minute commute away, we arrived at the church, where their guests were still coming. Elizabeth gathered with her friends for a prayer moment while we waited on the second bus to arrive.
Their wedding ceremony was so personal, emotional, and their vows to each other spoke words with such authenticity and tenderness that many of us in the room were breaking out in tears of happiness for them. The rituals ended with a reading from Pablo Neruda, both in English and Spanish, to honor Juan's Puerto Rican roots.
District Winery Wedding Photography
We were so ready to party! But first, we had to finish newlywed portraits. The sunlight was beaming beautifully on that late summer day, and we opted to do most of their photographs by the Navy Yard Boardwalk, overlooking the Marina.
I had never seen a bride undo her bouquet to give its flowers away, but it was such an Elizabeth thing to do. I'm sure that, as she gifted some of the prettiest buds to the kids at the boardwalk, Juan was thinking how lucky he is to share his life with her. I'm also so grateful to have the cutest and kindest clients, making everyone's day special with simple details.
After finishing our newlywed portraits, Elizabeth and Juan were finally off the hook for some fun, and I went upstairs to District Winery to shoot some decor stills before the reception started. The party lasted all night long. We ended the night with a firework show, courtesy of the Nationals team. I have a big THANK YOU to Samantha from the District Winery venue, who kept an eye out and alerted me so we could get the shot. You're the best!
I traveled back home with memory cards full of beautiful moments, the biggest grin on my face, and an eternity of gratitude for all the kind, extraordinary souls I befriended on this Washington, DC trip.
Washington DC Wedding Vendors
Getting Ready Hotel: The Thompson Washington DC
Ceremony Venue: Riverside Baptist Church DC
Wedding Venue: District Winery DC
Wedding Planners: Zaakira Harris from Details Made Simple, and Samantha Mounsey from District Winery
Wedding Cake: Julie Lloyd (bride's aunt)
Music and DJ: Lucy Black
Florals: For The Love of Grit
Make-up and Style: Ana Merces Makeup
Bridal Dress: Madeleine's Daughter
Minister: Rev. Nicolas Mumejian
Photography: Camille Fontz