A Modern Washington, D.C., Wedding with a Black-and-White Color Palette

bride and groom outside venue
Shannon Moffit Photography

Jean and Tommy were introduced through mutual friends at their favorite bar at Penn State. Post-grad, Jean was settling into life in Baltimore when Tommy texted her—he was in town for a bachelor party and wanted a few hotspot recommendations from a local. Later that night, the two ended up at the very same bar and completely hit it off.

By 2018, the two had moved to the midwest together, and started a tradition of sharing a Chicago Christmas before heading to the East Coast to celebrate with family. "After going to Christmas dinner, we returned to our apartment to exchange gifts," Jean remembers. "The last gift of the night was Tommy's proposal. I was completely surprised!" He invited Jean's brother, sister, and a few close friends to celebrate the moment on the rooftop of their building.

When it came time to think about their nuptials, the couple hired Ashly Townsend of B. Mingled to help them plan a modern black-and-white themed celebration. Ashly guided the duo through the stress of not one, but two pandemic-related date changes; they found the sweet spot on July 17, 2021, when they were able to bring together just over 200 of their nearest and dearest. "Our vendors were so understanding and really saved us a lot of headaches by being so open and flexible," Jean says. The ceremony took place at Holy Trinity Catholic Church—where the bride's parents were married in 1987—and was followed by a reception at The Andrew Mellon Auditorium in Washington D.C. Jean leaned on her background as a graphic designer to bring to life the wedding's design details, while Tommy, a consultant, took on most of the planning logistics. Together, they ensured their big day went off without a hitch.

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Modern Suite

wedding invitation suite with green accents
Shannon Moffit Photography

Jean teamed up with Nicolette of Isidore & Augustine to customize the couple's invitation suite, which included multiple rounds of reprints over the years of extended planning. The result was a modern, graphic set with bold letterpress.

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All Together

bride with champagne bottle
Shannon Moffit Photography

The bride and her 'maids dressed in white pajama sets with fringe sleeve details as they got ready for the big day while sipping some wine. Although she didn't have a first look with Tommy, she had one with her attendants and her mother. "My mom helped me into my wedding dress and then my dad and my brother came in to see me before we headed to the church," she says. "It was really important to me to have my entire family there to see me off."

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The One All Along

bride getting ready with mother
Shannon Moffit Photography

Jean's original wedding dress was purchased over two years before the couple's big day, so she decided to buy a different gown. "My vision changed in that time," Jean says. "I did love my first dress when I bought it, but in the end, I decided I really wouldn't feel like myself getting married in it." She ended up at Sarah Seven with one dress in mind, and when she tried on the sleek high-neck, short-sleeved ensemble, she knew it was the right one. "I felt so chic, comfortable, and completely like myself," she says.

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Pearl Details

bride's pearl hairpin
Shannon Moffit Photography

Jean paired her gown with a cathedral length veil from Alexandra Grecco, a single freshwater pearl hairpin from BHLDN, and pearl drop earrings by A.B. Ellie.

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Statement Shoes

bride's pearl heels
Shannon Moffit Photography

The bride selected black Jimmy Choo slingback pumps to bring her big-day look together. "My final dress really allowed me to have fun with my shoes!" she shares.

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Neutral Blooms

all white bridal bouquet
Shannon Moffit Photography

Jean held a natural, but modern cascading bouquet of orchids and a few other blooms in a neutral color palette; the arrangement was composed by Wild Green Yonder.

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Black Tux

groom getting ready
Shannon Moffit Photography

Tommy kept his look simple with a black shawl tuxedo from The Black Tux paired with velvet loafers. "Tommy is not much of an accessories person," Jean says.

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Bridesmaids in Black

bride with bridesmaids in black dresses
Shannon Moffit Photography

Keeping in line with the black-and-white theme, the bridesmaids wore black crepe dresses from BHLDN in varying silhouettes. "I let each bridesmaid choose the individual style so that everyone felt as comfortable and confident as possible," Jean says.

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groom with groomsmen in tuxedos
Shannon Moffit Photography

Groomsmen matched Tommy exactly; they also wore small freesia boutonnières.

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Down Below

three flower girls in white dresses
Shannon Moffit Photography

The couple's three nieces—they wore white tea-length dresses with ruffle straps and tulle skirts, plus flower crowns—watched the bride from the window. "They were so cute walking down the aisle holding hands with their older cousin, our junior bridesmaid," Jean shares.

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The Chapel

guests in pews waiting for ceremony
Shannon Moffit Photography

Jean and Tommy's ceremony took place at Holy Trinity Catholic Church; at the altar, large urns were filled with lush orchids, roses, ranunculus, sweet pea, bleeding heart, and lisianthus.

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Classic Processional

bride and groom processional
Shannon Moffit Photography

Live musicians played Pachelbel's "Canon in D" during the processional, switching to Campra's "Rigaudon" when Jean and her father—who married her mother in the exact same spot 24 years prior—made their aisle debut. Tommy cites seeing his bride and meeting her at the end of the walkway as a big-day highlight.

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The Traditional Vows

exchanging wedding vows
Shannon Moffit Photography

The couple did not write their own vows, and instead exchanged traditional Catholic ones.

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Happy for You

bride and groom with wedding party
Shannon Moffit Photography

Immediately after the ceremony, the wedding party headed to the Lincoln Memorial for portraits with the couple's photographer, Shannon Moffit. "During pictures, it was incredible to watch our best friends and family walk up to the Lincoln Memorial and hear everyone on the steps cheer and congratulate us," they say.

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The Cocktail Hour

wedding cocktail hour appetizers
Shannon Moffit Photography

Jean and Tommy carefully planned their big-day schedule to ensure they were able to join their guests during the cocktail hour. They hired a sax and guitar duo from Sound Connection to set the mood. A butler passed white wine (guests also had access to an open bar) and appetizers like mini lobster rolls, duck a l'orange on crips, and Hawaiian tuna poke on nori crackers.

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Welcome Box

wedding welcome sign
Shannon Moffit Photography

An acrylic welcome box, filled with greenery and white florals, welcomed attendees to the celebration at The Andrew Mellon Auditorium.

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Your Seat Awaits

escort cards on display shelves
Shannon Moffit Photography

Guests' names and table numbers were printed on small sage cards, which were displayed on rows of shelving topped with greenery garlands.

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A Grand Space

wedding reception with long banquet tables and dance floor
Shannon Moffit Photography

The couple's party took place in the central auditorium, where long tables surrounded a dance floor. Stations were dressed with floor-length white linens and paired with modern black chairs.

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Lounge Seating

reception lounge area with velvet furniture and gold coffee table
Shannon Moffit Photography

A comfortable lounge area was set up in the space, where a custom wall backdrop showcased a neon sign of the duo's last name. An emerald green couch and circular chairs added modern touches.

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The Place Settings and Centerpieces

table setting with blue charger and gold utensils
Shannon Moffit Photography

Settings were composed of matte black chargers topped with white plates and flanked by black-and-gold flatware. Neutral centerpieces featured subtle pops of mauve and blush, and were filled in with trailing greenery.

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The Entertainment

wedding band on the stage
Shannon Moffit Photography

Jean and Tommy hired a 10-piece band from Sound Connection, which included two male and two female vocal leads and musicians that played the trumpet, saxophone, drums, keyboard, bass, and guitar.

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The Dinner

wedding reception dinner
Shannon Moffit Photography

As the band serenaded guests, dinner began with an appetizer of miso-glazed shrimp with ginger grapefruit and cashews. Panko-crusted salmon with poached vegetables, tenderloin pave with lemon arugula gremolata, and a vegan mushroom lasagna followed. Passed desserts included miniature ice cream sandwiches, lemon meringue profiterole puffs, and gluten-free chocolate glazed brownie points with cocoa nibs. And if that wasn't enough, the duo also offered late-night snacks like cheeseburger slides, lamb pita sliders, pork bao buns, falafel pockets, and Hawaiian chicken sliders.

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Dead Sea

bride and groom first dance
Shannon Moffit Photography

The newlyweds shared their first dance to "Dead Sea" by the Lumineers. "We are big fans, and 'Dead Sea' has really stuck with us throughout our entire relationship," the couple says. "We love that it's not a traditional love song."

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Second Look

bride and groom dance at reception
Shannon Moffit Photography

Jean later changed into a jumpsuit by Rime Arodaky, which was her very first big-day purchase.

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Monochrome Cake

simple two-tiered wedding cake
Shannon Moffit Photography

Their sculptural two-tier almond wedding cake with peach compote filling and amaretto buttercream was set up on a black-and-white modular display. As for the pair's best wedding-planning advice? "Having a planner kept us on track and minimized a lot of stress—allowing us to really enjoy the planning process," they say.

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bride and groom kiss in alleyway
Shannon Moffit Photography

Photography, Shannon Moffit Photography
Videography, Bowen Films
Ceremony Venue, Holy Trinity Catholic Church
Reception Venue, The Andrew Mellon Auditorium
Wedding Planning and Event Design, Ashly Townsend B.Mingled Weddings & Events
Flowers, Wild Green Yonder
Invitations and Paper Products, Isidore & Augustine
Bride's Gown, Sarah Seven
Bride's Veil, Alice in Ivory Bridal
Bride's Jumpsuit, Rime Arodaky
Bride's Jewelry, A. B. Ellie
Bride's Shoes, Jimmy Choo
Bride's Hair, Georgetown Bride
Bride's Makeup, Makeup by Shirin
Bridesmaids' Dresses, BHLDN
Groom's Attire, The Black Tux
Groomsmen's Attire, The Black Tux
Music, Sound Connection; Olivera Music Entertainment
Catering and Cake, Occasions Caterers
Custom Decor, Social Supply
Rentals, Perfect Settings; Table Manners DC
Transportation, Bayside Limousines
Lighting, Summit Event & Lighting Production
Sound, All Stage & Sound
Trees, Plants Alive!
Valet, MJ Valet
Neon Sign, YellowPop
Getting Ready Attire, Sleeper; Meeka

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