Barns at Wolf Trap and Children's Theater wedding | Daphne + Steve
Weddings, at their core, are simple: a pledge of commitment between two people. They're also complex: a many-faceted dance of family dynamics, moving parts, friendships, feelings, and bracing for change. Some weddings I see lean toward simple; others complex. Daphne + Steve's wedding day at the Barns at Wolf Trap in Vienna, Virginia truly embodied both in equal measure. All the way from Istanbul, where they recently moved, I received a lovely thank you in the mail this week. That thoughtful attention to detail (I'm normally the one who's sending thank yous to my clients!) and the simple grace of their words echoed their wedding day, and I think it's probably embedded in everything about these two humans. Their joy and love for one another, life, and their larger world shine through everything they touch, simply and clearly. And yet, their wedding day was a delicate, bustling dance of 1,000 interwoven parts that came together only through care, work, and planning.
The morning of their wedding day, I arrived at Daphne's hotel suite at the Fairmont in DC's West End. The neighborhood is undergoing a lot of road and building work right now and was a bit chaotic; but when I stepped into Daphne's suite, it exuded a calm anticipation. Daphne, who'd had her hair and makeup already styled, was at work on her vows, with her mom, sister, and adorable niece getting ready. Once I'd finished with her beautiful bridal details, Daphne's mom and sister helped her into her stunning wedding dress, jewelry, and shoes. Three generations of women sitting on the floor in silk, tulle, and jewels, buckling shoes, was one of those "is this for real?" fairytale moments.
Once she was dressed, Daphne welcomed almost two dozen of her girlfriends into the suite, and the mood changed to an excited buzz. Champagne popped, Daphne emerged from the bedroom to cheers and applause.
Meanwhile, a few minutes away, Chris arrived at Steve's apartment to find the groom and a handful of his friends relaxing and getting ready. Side note: I like both, but why do women always end up with champagne, and men with whiskey? Anyway, after some quick snaps in the alleyway with Chris (don't they look GOOOD?), Steve headed over to the hotel to meet Daphne and ride in the limo-bus together. (Isn't that sweet? I love that they bucked tradition and wanted to spend that time together!)
We headed off to Wolf Trap in Virginia, which in addition to being one of my favorite concert venues, is such a lovely wedding venue. If you've never been, the Barns at Wolf Trap are where they host weddings, just across and down the road from the big Filene Center. But we didn't head to the Barns straight-off; Daphne + Steve had secured the far less-known Children's Theatre on the property for a magical woodland ceremony! Literally down the trail, over the river (well creek), and through the woods, and you'll come to the magical, charming amphitheater, which hosts mostly (as the name suggests) a children's summer theater program. Even with slightly cooler and damper weather than we'd hoped for, it was perfect! And the sweet staff at Wolf Trap ferried us via golf-cart over the worst of the puddles on the trail to keep Daphne's dress looking perfect.
One of my favorite moments of the day! After being pronounced wife + husband, and planting the seed of a tree, Daphne + Steve exited the ceremony to the most CHARMING sight of their guests waving ribboned wands! The love all the way down the path was palpable!
Back at the Barns, directly in front of the venue is a tiny stand of pine trees that are straight out of a Disney movie or fairytale during sunset. Just, in case, you know, the day wasn't perfect-enough already. Even so, Daphne + Steve and their wedding party outshine it by about a million.
While Chris and I were doing what I do best grabbing portraits with Daphne, Steve, and their loved ones, Matt was with the amazing setup team (headed up by the unfathomably-great pro planner Lisa Havard) inside the Barns, who did an AMAZING job making it look gorgeous! A friend of Daphne's did the florals, and they were SO gorgeous.
In a nod to her heritage, instead of a traditional American first dance, Daphne danced with a troupe of traditional Turkish folk dancers (it was quite a lovely, unexpected departure from typical first dances!) and the dancers stuck around for a folk dancing afterward.
The party went on well into the night, with an amazing meal, one of my favorite bands, Bachelor Boys, keeping the dance floor going, and of course, so much love and conversation with family and friends.
kudos and appreciation to the team that brought this day to life
wedding planning: Lisa of L Havard Events | catering: Purple Onion Catering Company | makeup: Rachelle of Blend Makeup Artistry | hair: George Salon at the Four Seasons Georgetown | florist: Nhung McLelan | | pies: Pie Sisters | ceremony + reception: The Barns at Wolf Trap | band: Bachelor Boys Band | transportation: Fleet Transportation | photo second shooters: Chris Langford and Matthew Ha for Aimee Custis Photography