A "Grandmillennial Chic" Wedding at a Historic Manor on Maryland's Eastern Shore

bride and groom on brick path near entrance
Lisa Ziesing for Abby Jiu Photography

Lindsay McDonough and William Dargusch met through a mutual colleague in the hallways of the Senate in 2016. Nearly one year later, the two "truly connected," the bride says. After leaving a farewell event at a bar on Capitol Hill, Lindsay noticed William arrive. She continued on her way, making a pit-stop by her office ahead of a dinner with friends in Georgetown. But once the bride wrapped up, she realized that she missed her window to grab a bite with friends—and decided to head back to the bar on Capitol Hill (especially because a co-worker said William was still there).

"Upon my return, one of my friends announced it was time to go," Lindsay recalls. "I noticed William at the end of the bar, and I knew I had to do something." The bride decided to invite him to go to the next D.C. bar on their list (the Capitol Lounge) with her group. The pair hit it off immediately as they shared drinks and snacks. "I remember him holding my hand as we looked at songs on the jukebox, and he chose 'This Must be the Place' by the Talking Heads," she says. "As the night came to a close, he walked me home and we had our first kiss, which sealed the deal on the most amazing night."

Two years later, on May 29, 2019, they got engaged in Mount Vernon during the Senate's recess week. William popped the question shortly after their lunch at the Mount Vernon Inn, coincidentally before Lindsay hinted about their future I dos. "I actually asked him if we should inquire about the Mount Vernon wedding brochure while we were there, to which he responded comically, 'We should probably be engaged first.'" During a stroll near the Potomac River, William got down on one knee. "While we were standing there, I was in awe of how beautiful it was and jokingly nudged him and said, 'It's so beautiful and perfect here. What—do you have a ring in your pocket or something?'" she says, noting that this really was the moment he chose to propose. "It took me a moment to realize what was happening (and it wasn't just a dream) and when I finally came to, I immediately said yes and grabbed the ring to put on my finger!"

When it came time to plan their nuptials, the pair found themselves on the same page with regards to their vision. "We really wanted something outdoors to capture a light and airy feeling paired with nature's beauty and scenic views," notes the bride. That's where their venue—Brittland Manor—came in. From there, the couple worked with their planner, Francesca Leme for Lauryn Prattes Styling & Events, to infuse their personal style into the big-day design. "William and I both share blue as our favorite color, so we decided to keep the decorations simple and natural with blue and white as the main colors and varying shades of greens as the accompanying colors," Lindsay shares. "Overall, I would say that our style is simple and classic, which the planners were able to build on and transformed into the style of grandmillennial-chic."

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Vintage-Chic Invitations

wedding invitation suite with blue accents and flowers
Lisa Ziesing for Abby Jiu Photography

Their wedding invitations, created by Dear Elouise, featured a bespoke crest, letterpress, silk dusty blue ribbon, and a custom printed envelope liner. The crest's shape inspired many other big-day components, from the pair's weekend cards to their menus.

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wedding welcome gifts with candles and dog cookie
Lisa Ziesing for Abby Jiu Photography

To welcome loved ones to their big day, the couple filled woven bags with their favorite goodies. Each had a pair of lily of the valley painted taper candles, a custom match box, D.C. Brau seltzers, a custom Archie cookie (a nod to their dog), and a printed ribbon that matched the invitation envelope liner.

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Wedding with a View

wedding venue exterior with tent and large open field
Lisa Ziesing for Abby Jiu Photography

As soon as Lindsay and William walked through the red brick main house and out onto the brick patio to see the waterfront views of the Chester River, they knew they wanted to tie the knot at the Brittland Manor.

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All Together Now

bride and bridesmaids getting ready and toasting champagne
Lisa Ziesing for Abby Jiu Photography

Keeping with their grandmillennial theme, Lindsay and her bridesmaids got ready for the big day in a vintage-inspired suite.

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Bridal Beauty

bride in sleek strapless wedding gown
Lisa Ziesing for Abby Jiu Photography

The bride wore a Carolina Herrera wedding dress, complete with a light blue strapless collar connected to an asymmetrical bow in the back. "I made slight adjustments, like adding a button clasp and horsehair liner to make sure the bow stood full and upright," Lindsay adds.

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All Tied Up

bride and groom holding hands outside
Lisa Ziesing for Abby Jiu Photography

While the blue bow on the back of her gown originally gave her pause, it ultimately became the detail that sealed the deal. "I was hesitant at first that it was too outside the box, but when I put it on the second time, I just knew it was the one—it fit perfectly and made me smile while I was wearing it," Lindsay says.

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Loving First Look

bride and groom looking into each other's eyes
Lisa Ziesing for Abby Jiu Photography

The pair decided to meet each other outside of the house for a relaxed first look. "The getting-ready process was very long and stressful for me, so I was thrilled to be one step closer to the ceremony and to finally be back with William, who is the best at keeping me grounded and focused on what really matters," shares the bride.

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Something Blue

bride with bridesmaids in mismatched blue dresses
Lisa Ziesing for Abby Jiu Photography

Each bridesmaid choose a different blue dress from Reformation for the big day. Francesca Leme of Lauryn Prattes Styling & Events then helped narrow down their selection to create a cohesive look for the group.

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Mini Blooms

bridesmaids holding white flower bouquets
Lisa Ziesing for Abby Jiu Photography

Simple and delicate, the bridesmaids' bouquets featured white campanula (also the flower seen in the pair's crest).

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Flower Girl on Duty

flower girl wearing white dress carrying basket of petals
Lisa Ziesing for Abby Jiu Photography

Floral and Bloom Designs composed the flower girl's blooming crown.

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Let the Celebration Begin

wedding guests walking through the grass in field
Lisa Ziesing for Abby Jiu Photography

The pair's 213 guests made their way down a grassy walkway, en route to the ceremony location.

  • Your Wedding Guest Etiquette Questions Answered
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Take Your Seats

outdoor ceremony set up with bamboo chairs and flowers on the ground
Lisa Ziesing for Abby Jiu Photography

Guests sat on bamboo chairs; the last rows were lined with lush florals. Handheld paper fans were placed on each seat, so loved ones could keep cool during the ceremony.

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Here Comes the Bride

bride walking down the aisle with father
Lisa Ziesing for Abby Jiu Photography

Lindsay's father walked her down the aisle, lovingly repeating "Lindsay McDonough" as they approached the altar, since, as he told the bride, "This will be the last time I will formally know you as Lindsay McDonough."

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Sweeping Veil

bridesmaids helping bride with her long veil
Lisa Ziesing for Abby Jiu Photography

As she got settled at the altar, Lindsay got some help from her attendants, who carefully placed her Debra Shirley veil behind her. The bride's uncle, a Catholic deacon, officiated the proceedings, but the service was structured to feel non-denominational, notes the pair.

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The Newlyweds

bride and groom smiling walking
Lisa Ziesing for Abby Jiu Photography

After they were pronounced husband and wife, the pair walked back up the aisle to "Wedding March" by Mendelssohn.

  • Recessional Songs That Sum Up the Sentiment of "Just Married!"
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Signature Sips

cocktail bar with greenery and specialty cocktail menu
Lisa Ziesing for Abby Jiu Photography

The couple served a cucumber lime mint agua fresca with a cone of white goldfish, the groom's favorite snack, and a homemade lemonade during the cocktail hour. As for their signature drinks? A St. Germaine sip with edible florals, a spiced grapefruit paloma, and an Arnold Palmer (renamed 'The Archie') rounded out the bar menu.

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Tablescape Setup

reception table with blue printed table runner and blush flowers
Lisa Ziesing for Abby Jiu Photography

The reception unfolded inside a draped tent on the property, where a series of long tables were set up around a custom dance floor. On the tabletops, a series of blue linens, from the patterned runner to the cerulean napkins, reinforced the event's color palette. A nod to their invitations, the scalloped edges of the placemats added a pop of whimsy.

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Pretty Plating

blue table setting with printed table cloth and blush flower arrangement
Lisa Ziesing for Abby Jiu Photography

Place settings featured patterned white-and-blue China, etched floral glassware, vintage silver, and lush blooms tinged with blush and green. The sweetest detail? A bow-shaped napkin ring.

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A Toast to Forever

bride and groom during wedding toasts
Lisa Ziesing for Abby Jiu Photography

The newlyweds raised a glass as loved ones toasted to their future together.

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All Dressed in White

four-tiered wedding cake with fondant cascading bow
Lisa Ziesing for Abby Jiu Photography

Buttercream Bakeshop made the pair a wedding cake similar to Lindsay's parents big-day confection; its vanilla layers were filled with lemon curd and fresh strawberry buttercream.

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Let's Dance

bride and groom first dance dip
Lisa Ziesing for Abby Jiu Photography

Lindsay changed into a blue feather midi dress from Ganni, which she paired with chinoiserie vine earrings by Nicola Bathie, and spent the rest of the evening on the dance floor. As for the final two songs of the evening? "Shout" and "Mr. Brightside"—which are, in the bride's opinion, the best wedding hits of all time. "We capped off the dancing with a strong finish," she says.

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bride wearing new blue dress with groom
Lisa Ziesing for Abby Jiu Photography

Photography, Lisa Ziesing for Abby Jiu Photography
Venue, Brittland Manor
Wedding Planning and Event Design, Francesca Leme for Lauryn Prattes Styling & Events
Videography, Clayton Film Co.
Flowers, Floral and Bloom Designs
Invitations and Paper Products, Dear Elouise
Bride's Attire, Carolina Herrera from Carine's Bridal Atelier. Ganni (reception dress)
Jewelry, Jennifer Behr; Nicola Bathie
Shoes, Loeffler Randall
Hair and Makeup, Amie Decker Beauty
Bridesmaids' Dresses, Reformation
Groom's Attire, Suit Supply
Groomsmen's Attire, Smathers & Branson
Engagement Ring and Wedding Bands, Boone & Son
Music, Entertainment Exchange: String Theory, Nightsong
Catering, Occasions Caterers
Cake, Buttercream Bakeshop
Rentals and Décor, White Glove Rental; Enchanted Home
Linens, Stradley Davidson; La Tavola Linens
Guest Napkin Rings, Etsy
Head Table Place Settings, Maison de Carine
Head Table Napkin Rings, Hill House Home
Tent, Eastern Shore Tents
Dance Floor, Grofik Installations

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