It Was Certainly a White Christmas at This Holiday-Themed Wedding in Washington, D.C.
Scesny and Mike met in New York City during Winter Storm Jonas in January of 2016. They both braved the elements and went to one of the only bars open in the West Village with friends, and the two groups hit it off. Mike asked Scesny out that night—and their first date turned them into an inseparable couple. In May of 2018, the pair decided to move to Boston together, and on their very last night in New York City, they enjoyed a quiet walk along the Westside Highway. Mike surprised Scesny with a proposal and a surprise party: Their friends and family were waiting to celebrate their engagement at the very same bar where it all began.
The pair had an eighteen-month engagement, which, according to the bride, helped them make intentional choices during the planning process. The couple knew they wanted to work with the team at A.Dominick Events; the bride's brother and sister-in-law had a rave-worthy experience with them. "Having the time, as well as an amazing planner on board early, allowed us to secure venues and vendors and iron out all the details," Scesny reflects.
The couple invited their 300 guests to watch them tie the knot at The Falls Church Anglican in Falls Church, Virginia, before a Christmas-themed reception at Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington, D.C., on December 7, 2019. The latter was an easy choice, says the bride, since they needed a spot that could accommodate such a large number of loved ones. It struck a personal note, as well: "I studied architecture and design in college, and have a soft spot for all things Neoclassical," she says. "The Mellon really encompassed everything we needed in a reception venue—we even proceeded to have our late-night party there, in the upstairs area!"
Scesny and Mike chose a traditional invitation suite in a creamy white shade with black calligraphy throughout. The invitation itself was printed on thicker cardstock with a golden beveled edge, while the save-the-date featured a painted crest by Inslee Farris, which included the couples' initials wrapped in a wreath (the monogram was also seen on items within the guests' gift bags and on plastic cups used at the after-party).
The bride went wedding-dress shopping with quite the entourage: her mother, mother-in-law, maid of honor, and her two closest friends, who were also bridesmaids. She knew she wanted a gown with long sleeves and was ultimately drawn to the second dress she tried on—a satin Reem Acra ball gown with a jewel neckline. A veil from Mark Ingram Atelier and shoes from Loeffler Randall completed the look. Halfway through the reception, Scesny changed into an ivory crepe jumpsuit by Brandon Maxwell for an easier time dancing.
Scesny wanted to keep her accessories minimal and let her gown take the spotlight. She did, however, wear her mom's vintage shamrock pin on her dress sleeve for luck.
She held a cascading all-white bouquet of garden roses, peonies, gardenias, hydrangeas, and camellia greenery during her walk down the aisle.
Mike went with a classic look—a black Tommy Hilfiger tuxedo with a black bow tie—which he finished off with an oversized magnolia boutonnière.
Bridesmaids in White
Each bridesmaid wore an ivory maxi dress from Self Portrait, complete with a pleated skirt and crochet top. "To be very honest, I had this dress stuck in my head long before we were even engaged," Scesny reflects. "I loved the idea of an all-white wedding at wintertime, and hoped that it was a dress that my bridesmaids would actually enjoy wearing again!" The 'maids each held a small bouquet of white-and-ivory roses, magnolias, and lilies tied with a blue velvet ribbon.
The groomsmen matched Mike in classic black tuxedos from various designers, and wore boutonnières featuring white ranunculus. When posed with the bridesmaids, they created a striking black-and-white display.
A Calm First Look
Scesny and Mike shared their first look at their hotel just before the ceremony. "I was very excited! Mike is a calming presence for me and it was great to get to see him for the first time in that moment," Scesny says. "I was surprised at how not nervous I was, to be honest—everything felt like it was as it should be."
Tons of Greenery
The bride grew up going to The Falls Church and had always dreamed of getting married there, as well. "The Falls Church also carries a particular significance for us, in that my dad was an integral part in getting the new sanctuary space built," Scesny explains. "It was completed just in time, and we were the first to get married there!"
Amaryllis Inc. decorated the church's entrance with two wreaths that mimicked the crest seen throughout the rest of the day. The arched doorway was framed with an abundant arch of greenery and leaves.
Inside the church, a large floral arrangement hung above the altar; various white-and-ivory arrangements were placed on either side.
Live musicians played Mozart's "Ave Verum Corpus" as Scesny's father escorted her down the aisle. The couple exchanged traditional vows during the Anglican ceremony.
The couple chose to host their reception at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington, D.C., because of its architecture and size.
Find Your Seat
A draped table held ivory escort cards; each guest's name and table number was written in calligraphy. Arrangements of white roses and tulips and potted boxwood were placed in varying heights.
The Grand Reception
The auditorium's 60-foot limestone finished walls and Roman-inspired columns gave the reception an opulent feel. Long tables surrounded the dance floor and stage; lit Christmas trees were placed throughout the room.
Each table held several low, all-white centerpieces paired with pillar candles on crystal holders and blue-and-white ceramic urns. Other stations were topped with greenery-centric arrangements, which were placed on pedestals.
The settings included a white plate with scalloped gold edging, silver cutlery, white linen napkins embroidered with the couple's initials, and a personalized menu—which told of the cremont cheese and phyllo salad to start, followed by a duet entrée of short ribs and pistachio-crusted halibut with a corn truffle souffle and autumn vegetables on the side.
Comfort (and Joy)
Lounge areas were set up throughout the space and were defined by bold blue sofas and tons of comfy throw pillows.
Their First Dance
Scesny and Mike chose Jackie Wilson's "(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher" for their first dance.
Unwrapping the Present Cake
Their wedding cake, by Fluffy Thoughts Cakes, was composed of two flavors: almond cake filled with a sour cherry compote and cream cheese and chocolate cake filled with layers of chocolate ganache and vanilla buttercream. The all-white confection had four boxed tiers, the second of which was embossed with their crest. "We wanted the cake to be simple, but also somewhat resemble boxes of presents!" says the bride.
The couple set up a soft pretzel snack display that read "Knot Tied 12.07.19."
Streamers in the Air
Guests waved streamers in the air as Scesny and Mike exited the reception, finally husband and wife. Later, many of their guests joined them for an after-party upstairs, where the celebrants partied well into the evening.
Photography, Bonnie Sen Photography
Ceremony Venue, The Falls Church Anglican
Reception Venue, Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium
Event Planning and Design, A. Dominick Events
Videography, Shaking Hands Productions
Flowers, Amaryllis Inc.
Artwork, Inslee Farris
Paper Products, Pink Pony
Bride's Gown, Reem Acra
Bride's Veil, Mark Atelier
Bride's Shoes, Loeffler Randall
Bride's Jumpsuit, Brandon Maxwell
Bride's Hair, Remona Soleimani
Bride's Makeup, Amie Decker Beauty
Bridesmaids' Dresses, Self Portrait
Groom's Attire, Tommy Hilfiger
Music, Jump Street DC
Catering, Occasions Caterers
Cake, Fluffy Thoughts Cakes
Favors, Oriental Trading
Transportation, MJ Valet
Lighting, Frost Lighting