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A Starry Night Wedding at Josephine Butler Park Center

Inspiration can come from anywhere. A conversation under a starry night sky provided the style inspiration for our client’s December wedding, using midnight blue and accents of gold and silver providing some sparkle. Spilled Milk Catering did a wonderful job designing an almost all-vegan menu. All photos by Stephen Gosling

olive and archer constellation design

This constellation design by Archer and Olive appeared on the couple’s invitations and we used it again to provide our guests with a run down of the evening’s activities. Photo: Stephen Gosling

hydrangea babys breath silver brunia

We wanted affordable floral options that still reminded us of the starry night sky so we actually chose to use baby’s breath and silver brunia. The baby’s breath looked like little stars. Photo: Stephen Gosling

josephine butler park center cocktail style reception wedding

A warm glow of amber uplighting in the Ballroom provided a beautiful backdrop for a cocktail style dinner reception. Photo: Stephen Gosling

navy sequin gold sequin tablecloth

Love the mix of gold and midnight blue linens we used. For gold, we used the Festivale Gold from DC Rental and a gold sequin from Davinci. For the midnight blue, we used Blue Night Ruse from DC Rental and a blue sequin from Davinci. All photos: Stephen Gosling

josephine butler park center winter wedding

Love the multiple fireplaces at Josephine Butler Park Center – perfect for a December wedding. Photo: Stephen Gosling

Sticky Fingers vegan wedding cake cupcakes

Sticky Fingers is a go-to for vegan desserts. Photo: Stephen Gosling

Production Team
Wedding Planner: Vicky Choy, Event Accomplished
Venue: Josephine Butler Park Center
Caterer: Spilled Milk Catering
Photographer: Stephen Gosling
Floral: Davincis
DJ & Lighting: Bryan George
Cake: Sticky Fingers
Pianist: Jeanne Calderon via Bialek’s Music
Invitation and Wedding Day Stationery: Archer and Olive
Linens: DC Rental and Davincis
Hair & Makeup Stylist: Andrea of Salon Rouge






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Categories: Real Wedding

Real Wedding: Dana & Jon

Dana & Jon are such a great couple, such grounded people. Dana is a teacher and Jon works for the Patent & Trademark Office. Both are really into music with Dana being a member of the Choral Arts Society of Washington. She has a beautiful voice and one day, I’ll catch one of the performances.

Ceremony: St. Columba’s Episcopal Church, DC – Music was the centerpiece of this ceremony. Dana got Norman Scribner, the CASW’s Artistic Direction, to play the organ and to conduct a small ensemble of Dana’s CASW friends. Although I left shortly after the start of the ceremony, their voices were beautiful during rehearsal. A big thank you to Marti, the church’s coordinator, for helping us with the ceremony. We made a great team! Although I don’t understand why wedding planners get such a bad reputation with church coordinators, I really like it when the church has a coordinator. Nobody knows the church better than he/she does, which makes my job so much easier!

{eaTip} Music was a great way to personalize Dana & Jon’s wedding. With a choir for Dana during the ceremony and a 9-piece band for Jon during the reception, the musical element was shared with all their guests as this was an important part of both their lives. In the past, we’ve also used fiddlehead ferns in various floral elements because the groom played the violin. Although they did not choose this route, we also discussed giving away coffee as a favors because their first date was at Murky Coffee! Do something meaningful and share with your guests!

Reception: Georgetown University Marriott – Dana is an alumnus of Georgetown so having her reception on campus had significant meaning to her. The GU Marriott is on the northern end of the campus next to the GU Hospital. The hotel put together a wonderful and inclusive package for them, including upgraded linens, chairs and lighting. Argee Daproza, our event manager, and her staff were wonderful to work with and very accommodating. For example, we did not have flowers for the cocktail hour and Argee had some left over from another event earlier that day and used them for our event without asking. I know Dana noticed and very appreciated the extra effort. Also, Joe, the bell captain/greeter/do-it-all man was a huge help to my assistant getting all the guests onto the buses.

Floral Design: St. Columba’s Flower Guild & Growing Wild Floral Company. The church had its own flower guild which provided the flowers for the ceremony. They did a great job and was pretty competitively priced. Growing Wild then provided the personal and reception florals arrangements, doing a great job as usual.

Band: Retrospect – Larry, the band leader, and the rest of the 9-piece band did a wonderful job, playing a variety of music to keep all the guests dancing. The guitarist also provided acoustical music during the cocktail hour. They were easy to communicate with and also learned the first dance and father/daughter dance songs, which were not in their repertoire. By booking themselves and not having to charge an agency fee, I think they are incredibly affordable for such a large band. And like Retrospect, the larger bands tend of have a horn section which I think adds another dimension to the music they can play.

{eaTip} When you have live music such as a band, you need to make the best use of its playing time. Try to plan events for the reception which don’t require live music such as dinner and toasts around when the band is on break so you can maximize the enjoyment of dancing to live music. For Dana & Jon’s wedding, we threw away the typical timeline of having dinner immediately after introductions. Instead, we opened the dance floor immediate after the first dance so that guests could get into the celebratory mood and burn off some of those hors d’oeuvres! Dinner services started after about half an hour of dancing. Contact us and we will help you get the most of your band!

Photographer: Dan Peppel, Portraits of Life Inc. – Low maintenance, efficient with portraits, brought an assistant photographer. No complaints here.

Transportation: Chariots for Hire & GU Shuttle. The limo driver from Chariots of Hire was OK. I heard from my assistant that he didn’t know where he was going and was asking her for directions. THESE PEOPLE DRIVE FOR A LIVING!! Why do they not have a GPS?? Dana & Jon encouraged guests to use the GU Shuttle Bus to get to and from the church. GU provided 3 buses for us. They are school buses so nothing fancy.

~~ Stay tuned for photos! ~~

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Categories: Real Wedding, Tips