A Classic Winter Wedding in Washington, D.C.
Brittany and James
It was beginning to look a lot like Christmas on December 15, 2012, when Brittany and James tied the knot. The pair, who met through the groom’s cousin less than a year prior, became husband and wife in the nation’s capital. The wedding was a classic, elegant, and intimate affair—with plenty of holiday charm.
Fashionable and Warm
Brittany donned an Amsale gown, accented at the waist with a moiré ribbon sash from Mokuba New York. She finished her look with a simple veil from Nordstrom, delicate earrings, and a tiny feather necklace she found years earlier in Paris and has worn every day since. To stay cozy on the brisk December day, Brittany layered up with a vintage fur stole that doubled as her "something old."
James wore a flannel Hickey Freeman suit accented with a subtle green tie and pocket square.
Sidra Forman crafted the bride's bouquet out of anemones, seeded eucalyptus, silver brunia, roses, and dusty miller.
Brittany and James' short engagement made it a bit tricky to find an available church, but luckily Brittany stumbled upon Grace Reformed Church. Just a few blocks north of the reception site, and able to fit their 120 guests, it was a no brainer.
Five sisters Brittany used to babysit served as her House Party, greeting guests and handing out programs before the ceremony.
Pine and Programs
Small booklets with gold embossed flourishes on the cover were finished with a bit of baker’s twine and evergreen sprigs.
At this late morning ceremony, Christmas carols were sung (a favorite of the bride), friends read scriptures, and vows from the Book of Common Prayer were exchanged by the couple, who memorized their promises to one another (and they can proudly still recite them to this day).
A Cute Trio
Brittany’s two nieces and James’ niece wore white dresses and cardigans. Wreaths of wax flowers topped their heads.
Everyone walked from the church to the Hay-Adams hotel for the lunch reception. The short journey and the view from the upper levels of the venue offered guests (most of who were family members from Texas) views of several of Washington landmarks.
A melange of bowls (including a few wood pieces made by Brittany's father) were filled with seasonal items like Clementine oranges and chestnuts to welcome guests.
Brittany incorporated her love of boxwood and collection of ribbon into the bar décor. That wide bronze ribbon has long been a favorite of the bride’s, and was a welcome addition to the garland. She also always decorates her house at Christmastime with towers of citrus, so a smaller version anchored the table.
A Traditional Libation
"Our family has a tradition of making milk punch during the holidays and keeping it stocked in the freezer," Brittany says. "It's a recipe passed on to me by a friend and is similar to a vanilla milkshake (James's favorite food), but with a kick of bourbon." The signature drink was served on flannel cocktail napkins made by the mother of the bride, during cocktail hour in the library of the hotel.
Arney Walker created custom table numbers that tied in the bride’s love of laurel wreaths.
Acorns painted silver accented white flowers and assorted greenery.
A Simple Sweet
A coconut cake made with coconut milk instead of dried shavings was filled with lime curd and blackberries. Another tier was a classic carrot cake.
In addition to cake, guests were treated to an array of cheeses, macarons, and the hotel’s signature desserts.
Ring the Bells
For their send off, Brittany and James came up with the idea of being "rung away" with jingle bells. The newlyweds ran through the front door of the hotel and down the drive as their loved ones joyfully rang bells and gave their cheers. "I will always remember that moment of jubilation when I hear jingle bells," Brittany says.
A Festive Ride
A wreath and calligraphed banner adorned the couple's getaway car. "I kept the wreath on our front door until Valentine's Day," Brittany says. "I was so sad to take it down."