This Couple Held Their Wedding—Filled with Ethiopian Traditions—at a Romantic Mansion in the Heart of Washington, D.C.
Megan Amber and Henock Andargie are proof that you absolutely can find love through an app. Once they swiped right for each other on Bumble in June of 2017, they met in person at Meridian Hill Park in Washington, D.C., and you could say the rest is history. Almost a year-and-a-half after meeting, Henock brought Megan back to the park where it all began to pop the question.
On November 18, 2018, Megan, a development project manager, and Henock, an entrepreneur, planned a day at the local holiday market. The surprise, however, was that there wasn't a market at all. When the pair arrived at the park, there wasn't much to see other than people out for a casual stroll, the bride notes. "He showed me a fake flyer he created because he knew I would try to Google it. As I was wandering around trying to find this 'holiday market,' I realized Henock wasn't next to me. When I turned around, I found him on one knee!"
Megan said yes to the proposal and, shortly after, brought on a full wedding planner and designer, Yodit Gebreyes Endale of Favored by Yodit Events & Design, to help execute their big-day vision. "It was difficult because I was never the type of girl that imagined what her wedding would be like. I was more of the type to imagine the family I would have and the house we would live in," the bride says. "Once we enlisted Yodit, she asked all the right questions and really helped us define our vision for the day and introduced us to all the right vendors."
All the details came together on October 13, 2019, as they marked the start of their journey as husband and wife with a 140-guest wedding at the Larz Anderson House in Washington, D.C. The celebration took everyone in attendance out of the hustle and bustle of the city and straight into the past, thanks to their elegant mansion venue. The space, combined with a classic green-and-white color palette, made their romantic, Old-World wedding one to remember.
A Venue to Remember
The bride and groom sought a simple, yet timeless wedding venue, and the Larz Anderson House was the perfect fit, Megan notes. "From the moment you arrive, you no longer feel like you are in the heart of D.C., but in a beautiful mansion in the country. We loved that we didn't have to do much in terms of décor since the building truly speaks for itself."
Invitation Suite Full of Greenery
Megan and Henock embraced the venue's greenery and brought their love of emerald, ivory, and gold—which composed their big-day palette—to the stationery suite. "For the save-the-date, we opted for a simple watercolor background with the wedding date as the focus," the bride says of the Minted notes. "Afterwards, we worked with CZ Invitations to design this formal, yet fun green and vellum invitation suite. The envelope included a striped liner to really showcase the green color." The set's finishing touches were a vellum wrap and a wax seal, complete with the duo's monogram.
Here Comes the Bride
The bride chose a Floravere wedding dress with lace and long sleeves—two design elements that drew her to the garment, she says.
A raw silk ribbon tied Megan's bouquet, which was filled with an array of roses, magnolia leaves, and anemones, together.
Emerald Green Touches
Her emerald green Manolo Blahnik heels perfectly matched her makeup (she went with a bold green smoky eye!) and spoke to the event's color scheme.
The groom, father of the bride, and ring bearer all dressed up their lapel's with boutonnières made from ivory spray roses and magnolia leaves to match Megan's bouquet.
A Golden Finish
An Intimate First Look
Ahead of the ceremony, the couple shared a private first look next to the pool at the Larz Anderson House. "I was truly weak in the knees and I was so emotional, I couldn't stop tearing up," Megan shares. "I was just so happy and excited I almost couldn't take it."
"For the ceremony, we kept it classic and paired the already stunning garden at The Anderson House with bountiful large urn centerpieces," the bride says. The arrangements included white garden roses, lisianthus, spray roses, and magnolia leaves.
These arrangements defined the altar; one was situated low to the ground, while the other was placed higher up. Their vintage urns spoke to the Old-World nature of the venue.
A Walk Down the Aisle
Megan's father and mother accompanied her down the aisle to "Halo" by Beyoncé, played by the Sage String Quartet.
The First Kiss
After exchanging hand-written vows, the newlyweds shared their first kiss as husband and wife; they then jumped the broom ("[This] was a nod to my African American culture," says Megan) and recessed back up the aisle to "Arrival of the Queen of Sheba."
A Family Affair
The couple made a concerted effort to make the day their own, so they skipped several traditions as a result. "We worked with our planner to decide on things that were true to us and not just doing something since it was tradition," Megan says. For example, the couple opted not to have a formal bridal party; instead, they posed for pictures with close family members and friends.
Near the Pool
Megan and Henock took portraits near the outdoor pool, which was surrounded by greenery and candle accents.
Back inside, guests were surrounded by the venue's most ornate details, including a picturesque fireplace and dramatic chandelier, during the cocktail hour. Guests indulged in the couple's signature drink, the #MeganLovesHenny—the beverage combined Champagne, Hennessy, lemon juice, and Demerara Syrup—and plenty of passed apps, including mini beef sliders, crab cakes, and grilled lamb chops.
A Golden Reception Space
The reception unfolded in a classic ballroom inside. The space's traditional, opulent aesthetic was reflected in the party's décor, from the striped ivory linens to the luxurious gold Chiavari chairs and metallic chargers.
"Magnolia wedding flowers are the epitome of grace and elegance, so for dinner, we designed a room full of king tables with magnolia garlands layered with floating and cream-colored pillar candles," says Megan, noting that the gentle candlelight cast a "magical glow" on the "festive, yet minimal table design."
Table numbers were calligraphed on gold-framed glass stands, pressed with ferns.
A Grand Entrance
The couple made a dramatic entrance at the start of their reception—they descended the staircase on the far-side of the space after all of their guests were seated. The bride also took this moment to unveil her reception dress—which she says was perfect for dancing—from Impressions Bridal Store. Shortly after they made their debut, they shared their first dance to "I Choose You" by Willie Hutch.
A Cultural Performance
The newlyweds honored Henock's culture during the buffet dinner with a performance by professional Ethiopian dancers.
Filled with blackberry Italian buttercream and passionfruit curd, Megan and Henock's wedding cake, baked by Fluffy Thoughts, was as beautiful as it was delicious. The confection featured watercolor emerald green ombré brush strokes on the middle tier and gold accents on the other layers, complete with the couple's custom monogram on top. "The cake was accented with fresh florals matching the overall design and a magnolia garland surrounding the base to continue the theme," notes the bride. Megan also surprised Henock and their guests with Cinnabons—the groom's favorite snack—for another sweet treat during the reception.
The couple sent guests home with miniature hand-woven straw baskets called "mesobs" as another nod to Henock's roots.
At the end of the day, having a wedding planner made Megan and Henock's big day a relaxing experience—their vendor team allowed them to enjoy every part of the celebration. "If you can afford the luxury, hire a well-reviewed wedding planner," Megan says. "Yodit was the best type of conductor from planning to implementation. On our wedding day, I didn't have to worry about anything—[I] just [had to] show up."
Photography, Lynn Dunston
Venue, Larz Anderson House
Wedding Planning and Event Design, Favored by Yodit Events & Design
Flowers, Designs by Oochay
Videography, Sok Vision
Invitations, CZ Invitations
Calligraphy, Shotgunning for Love
Other Paper Products, Etsy
Officiant, Thomas Bowen
Bride's Gown, Floravere (ceremony); Impressions Bridal Store (second dress)
Bride's Jewelry, SanMarelDesigns; Neiman Marcus
Bride's Accessories, Manolo Blahnik (shoes); Brides & Hairpins
Hair, Dommie Cole
Makeup, Shiedha Okquane' Williams
Groom's Attire, Suit Supply
Engagement Ring, withClarity
Wedding Bands, Silver Floret
Guest Book, Luna Paper Company
Music, Sage String Quartet (ceremony); DJ Chris Styles (reception)
Catering, Spilled Milk Catering; Dama Catering
Cake, Fluffy Thoughts
Rentals, D.C. Rental
Favors, Cinnabon; handmade mesobs