Real Wedding | Elisabeth + Mike

It wasn’t love at first sight for this Washington, DC couple…but when they reconnected at a chance meeting almost two years later, the sparks really flew. This fall they said “I Do” at a historic estate surrounded by friends and family. Smiles radiated on the faces of the bride and groom, and their guests, as they partied the night away at their fun and funky reception (the bride played her new banjo – a gift from her husband). Elisabeth’s splurge dress was worth every penny – the Monique Lhuillier gown looked stunning on her and was a perfect fit – sophisticated and unique.

Elisabeth + Mike | September 17, 2010 | Washington, DC
How they met
In early 2007 a good friend from elementary school had her mind set on Mike and I dating. Mike and I both had careers just taking off and didn’t really like the idea of being set up. So even after meeting, we frowned upon each other and went our own ways.
Fast forward almost two years, my band was beginning to get national press and I had a new album out. Some friends met up to watch a show of mine. Mike was running late and missed the show…but he apologized for being late and we started talking. He offered to help me carry my equipment out…backstage he kissed me for the first time. Two years later, we got married!

The Ceremony
We exchanged vows in the back gardens of the historic Dumbarton House.  For the ceremony, we invited only the wedding party and family members. Since my father is sick with Alzheimer’s and in a wheelchair, we decided to keep the ceremony intimate and save the large party for the reception. My longtime friend’s mother, a federal judge in Atlanta, Georgia, performed the ceremony.

The Reception

After we left the gardens we went back into the historic home with their wedding party. The guests arrived at 8:00pm for the cocktail party reception celebration.  Later, our fathers, siblings and best friends shared touching and comical toasts for the entire reception to hear. I played my new husband a song I wrote for him on my new banjo he gave me as a wedding gift.  Mike then read aloud a poem he wrote for me with one line reading “banjo playing babies bounding out of metaphorical white fences.” We danced our first dance to “Dream a Little Dream of Me.” It was fantastic!

The moment Elisabeth will never forget

We loved dancing with our parents. There was a big effort to make sure my father would be present, so having a dance with him at my wedding will forever be a dear memory.

How Elisabeth knew her wedding dress was “The One”

I tried on 10 wedding dresses at Carine’s Boutique in Georgetown after looking through wedding dresses at thrift stores.  Ever the lover of vintage couture, I thought I would buy a vintage diamond in the ruff.  However, once I tried on the Monique Lhuillier Meringue dress at Carine’s Bridal, I was in love!  In an attempt to be frugal, I walked away slowly, and tried to weigh the weight of such an expensive designer dress. Ultimately, the beauty of the dress, the perfect fit, and the unique blend of fashion forward elegance wouldn’t leave my mind. It was edgy, yet traditional at the same time.

Why Elisabeth decided to sell her wedding dress

We decided to sell the dress and use the money for a down payment on a new home or condo. We would like to make room for a family! I love the idea of saving the dress for potential daughters and granddaughters, but think it’s also a charming story to say “we sold the dress to buy a nursery for a baby.”

Elisabeth’s wedding dress: Monique Lhuillier / Photography: Erika Horn at Cosmik Photography