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Lawn Party

October 4, 2016

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A day filled with family, friends and charming, romantic touches. Thanks, Snippet & Ink posting!

charlotte jenks lewis; potomac; maryland; Pineapple Productions; bride holding bouquet; white and green bouquet; bouquet of mostly greenery;

Photography by CHARLOTTE JENKS LEWIS.

Maddie & Nat married in her parents’ stunning backyard under a clear tent filled with twinkly lights and candles (how romantic is that!), and chose details that are utterly timeless.  A stand out? The organic, dramatic florals with a major focus on wild greenery. You think Maddie’s bouquet is gorgeous? Just wait until you see the overhead arrangements at the reception! Every detail of this celebration is so beautifully put together you will just want to dive straight on into the images – so go ahead!

charlotte jenks lewis; potomac; maryland; Pineapple Productions; bride having hair done;

charlotte jenks lewis; potomac; maryland; Pineapple Productions; silver jimmy choo pumps; metallic wrist cuff;

charlotte jenks lewis; potomac; maryland; Pineapple Productions; bride in reem acra; bride holding green bouquet;

What was the best advice you received as a bride? Someone once told me that your marriage is for you and your spouse, and your wedding is for your family and friends. Make the comfort and enjoyment of your guests your top priority, even if that means compromising on some parts of your ‘vision.’ That especially goes for your close family and wedding party, many of them will bend over backwards for you, but you shouldn’t expect or demand that. At the end of the day, having the people you love the most truly relax and enjoy themselves at your wedding will give you so much more satisfaction than having everything go exactly according to your plan.

charlotte jenks lewis; potomac; maryland; Pineapple Productions; bride with bridesmaids; bride and ten bridesmaids; bridesmaids in dark blue;

charlotte jenks lewis; potomac; maryland; Pineapple Productions; groom in classic tux; groom smiling;

Maddie’s beautifully fitted REEM ACRA gown is the perfect choice for the day she and Nat envisaged. It’s relaxed and elegant, with the subtle beaded botanical details reflecting the focus on nature they so wanted.

charlotte jenks lewis; potomac; maryland; Pineapple Productions; room kissing bride on the cheek;

charlotte jenks lewis; potomac; maryland; Pineapple Productions; bride and groom walking up steps;

charlotte jenks lewis; potomac; maryland; Pineapple Productions; bride and groom holding hands;

The Ceremony

Why did you choose this location for your ceremony? Our wedding took place at my parents’ home in Potomac, Maryland. It obviously holds a lot of meaning for us as a couple and we loved the idea of getting to relive that day every time we’re back to visit. I’d always dreamed of getting married there, but once Nat and I got engaged and started researching all that goes into hosting a backyard wedding, we were a bit intimidated and almost backed down from the idea. Fortunately, we found the amazing Arney Walker at PINEAPPLE PRODUCTIONS, a company that happens to specialize in outdoor weddings at private homes and historic venues. We knew from the start that we were in capable hands, and partnering with someone who’s an expert in the logistics of outdoor weddings (and all that go with them – tents, generators, restroom trailers, etc.) allowed us to focus on the more creative aspects.

charlotte jenks lewis; potomac; maryland; Pineapple Productions; ceremony tent; wooden chairs with white cushions; curtains hiding ceremony tent;

charlotte jenks lewis; potomac; maryland; Pineapple Productions; floral chandelier in ceremony tent;

Is there anything that you’d like to share about your wedding ceremony? Wedding planning can be stressful but the process of planning our ceremony really helped us put it all in perspective. Amidst all the other small details and stressors it kept us focused on our relationship and the symbolic significance of taking this leap together. This part of wedding planning can be overlooked but is well worth savoring.

charlotte jenks lewis; potomac; maryland; Pineapple Productions; bride watching guests arrive; bride in cathedral length veil;

charlotte jenks lewis; potomac; maryland; Pineapple Productions; blue and white program; progran card; DL size program;

 

charlotte jenks lewis; potomac; maryland; Pineapple Productions; bride and dad walk down the aisle;

Your ceremony in three words. Classic, intimate, personal.

How did you go about planning your ceremony? We put a tremendous amount of thought and effort into planning our ceremony – we really wanted to use it as an opportunity to celebrate each other and capture this moment in our relationship. One big priority for us was to be able to strike a chord with all of our guests, religious and non-­religious. We wanted everyone to feel moved on a personal level and for no one to feel alienated or bored. We went with a non-­denominational officiant, incorporated a few religious aspects, and spent a lot of time finding unique secular readings.

Who officiated your ceremony? How did you choose him/her? We found the incredibleMAUREEN BURKE through WeddingWire. We could tell right from our first Skype session that she would be a great match for us. Maureen is incredibly kind­ hearted and what stuck with us is that she really believes in the emotional power and importance of the wedding ceremony. She takes no shortcuts and does nothing by formula or script. We put in many hours of research on our own, and corresponded with her over several months to come up with a ceremony that was deeply personal and unique to the two of us.

charlotte jenks lewis; potomac; maryland; Pineapple Productions; bride and groom stand together during ceremony;

charlotte jenks lewis; potomac; maryland; Pineapple Productions; bride and groom say vows during ceremony;

charlotte jenks lewis; potomac; maryland; Pineapple Productions; bridal party watches ceremony;

Did you include any traditions in your ceremony? Nat and I are both half-Hungarian, so we followed the Hungarian tradition for exchanging rings. It’s very simple ­ you wear your rings into the ceremony on your right hand, and switch them over to your left when it’s time to exchange rings. Nat is half-Jewish, so we also did the breaking of the glass.

What were your ceremony readings? Wedding Prayer by Robert Louis Stevenson, Wedding Ghazal by Erica Funkhouser and A Blessing for Wedding by Jane Hirshfield.

What were your vows like? We wrote our own vows. We each wrote our own first two sentences and wrote the last sentence together.

charlotte jenks lewis; potomac; maryland; Pineapple Productions; bride and groom hold hands during ceremony;

What was your favorite thing about your wedding ceremony? We did a ceremony “in the round.” It wasn’t what we set out to do initially, but just happened to be the best option given the size of our wedding and the orientation of our ceremony tent. Our officiant, Maureen, came up with the idea of rotating us in a very subtle way throughout the ceremony, so that we got to see our guests on every side and no one was stuck facing our backs. It worked beautifully and being (literally) surrounded by our loved ones during the ceremony definitely heightened the experience for the two of us.

charlotte jenks lewis; potomac; maryland; Pineapple Productions; bride and groom under floral chandelier;

What was your ceremony music? Pre-­processional, we had a string quartet playing some of our favorite contemporary music (Weezer, Arcade Fire, The Flaming Lips). I walked down the aisle to Edward MacDowell’s To A Wild Rose, and our recessional was The Beatles’ All You Need Is Love.

charlotte jenks lewis; potomac; maryland; Pineapple Productions; bride and groom leave ceremony; flowergirls in apricot;

charlotte jenks lewis; potomac; maryland; Pineapple Productions; bride and groom outside after ceremony;

Did you include any other traditions in your wedding? I didn’t have anything specific planned for my ‘something old, new, borrowed and blue.’ My aunt dropped by unexpectedly about ten minutes before the ceremony and gave me a gorgeous antique ring to wear that ended up being my ‘old’ and ‘borrowed.’ It had belonged to my great aunt, who brought it over from Hungary, and we later found out it’s nearly two hundred years old.

charlotte jenks lewis; potomac; maryland; Pineapple Productions; bride and groom hold hands showing rings;

charlotte jenks lewis; potomac; maryland; Pineapple Productions; bride and groom walk to reception;

Did you have a signature cocktail? We served negronis (our favorite classic cocktail) and something called a “Happy Hemingway,” which is essentially a Hemingway daiquiri crossed with a French 75: grapefruit, light rum, maraschino liqueur, angostura bitters and champagne.

charlotte jenks lewis; potomac; maryland; Pineapple Productions; tray of champagne cocktails; happy hemmingway;

charlotte jenks lewis; potomac; maryland; Pineapple Productions; calligraphy cocktail menu;

charlotte jenks lewis; potomac; maryland; Pineapple Productions; cocktail hour by the pool;

charlotte jenks lewis; potomac; maryland; Pineapple Productions; jazz musicians during cocktail hour;

charlotte jenks lewis; potomac; maryland; Pineapple Productions; torches in gardens;

charlotte jenks lewis; potomac; maryland; Pineapple Productions; bride and groom with cocktails;

The Reception

charlotte jenks lewis; potomac; maryland; Pineapple Productions; escort card table; blue escort cards;

charlotte jenks lewis; potomac; maryland; Pineapple Productions; blue escort cards with white calligrahy;

charlotte jenks lewis; potomac; maryland; Pineapple Productions; floral arrangement with pomegranates; escort card table with floral arrangement;

How would you describe your reception? It felt like an intimate dinner party with all our best friends and dearest family members in one place. Everything flowed so smoothly. We served dinner family­-style, which is something we felt very strongly about from the get-­go. Having a less structured approach to service made the whole evening more relaxed and let our guests mill around the tent, meet new people, and take photos.

BEEHIVE EVENTS did our florals, including gorgeous hanging installations that made a big impact as soon as you walked into the tent. This was an idea that came late in the game, because of our decision to go family­-style, which leaves very little room for décor on the tabletops. BEEHIVE EVENTS also brought in some gorgeous custom ­made furniture, like a copper top bar and navy mohair field benches, which gave the whole space a refined yet homey vibe.

charlotte jenks lewis; potomac; maryland; Pineapple Productions; tented reception; clear tent; reception in tent; overhead greenery; bare feasting tables; wooden chairs; white table runners; white and green floral;

charlotte jenks lewis; potomac; maryland; Pineapple Productions; tented reception; clear tent; reception in tent; overhead greenery; bare feasting tables; wooden chairs; white table runners; white and green floral;

charlotte jenks lewis; potomac; maryland; Pineapple Productions; tented reception; clear tent; reception in tent; overhead greenery; bare feasting tables; wooden chairs; white table; organic overhead arrangement; hanging greenery with branches;runners; white and green floral;

If you had it to do over again, is there anything you would do differently? Everything turned out more perfect than we could have imagined… and partly for that reason, the only thing I’d change if I could go back would be to spend less time and mental energy on some of the smaller details. Although I’m a firm believer that the small details matter, I realized on my wedding day that those small details will be taken care of just fine as long as you’re working with great vendors. You really can lean on them ­ they are pros for a reason. For all the time I spent thinking and rethinking our floor plan or the color of the linens, there were a thousand smaller decisions I didn’t think about at all and still got taken care of.

Do you have any budget tips for other brides? Be smart and selective about the things you splurge on. Be transparent with your vendors about your budget, as the best ones will get creative with you to meet your needs.

white green and red florals; pineapple productions; table floral arrangements featuring fruit;

charlotte jenks lewis; potomac; maryland; Pineapple Productions; gold chargers; blue napkins; votive candles;

charlotte jenks lewis; potomac; maryland; Pineapple Productions; loose table florals with red berries;

What inspired you when you were planning your wedding? We love entertaining and both have somewhat of a background in restaurants and hospitality. We wanted to create a really lovely atmosphere that would make our guests feel comfortable and relaxed and be the kind of place they’d want to stay all night. This was another reason that an “at home” wedding made so much sense for us.

We were also inspired by the setting. There was a lot of natural, organic beauty to play off of and we loved the idea of hosting a sort of ‘black tie garden party’. We felt like the occasion called for some formality and elegance but ultimately wanted to keep things low­-key and understated.

charlotte jenks lewis; potomac; maryland; Pineapple Productions; cream tablecloths;blue napkins; rattan placemats; white red and green florals; florals and fruit;

What type of cake or dessert did you serve? Our wedding cake was a mille crepes cake fromLADY M CONFECTIONS in New York, in three flavors: green tea, coconut, and vanilla. Looks simple on the outside, but it’s outrageously delicious. A family friend also made us traditional Hungarian dobos torta as the groom’s cake, and our caterer made madeleines (my namesake cookie), ginger crème brulée and brownies.

charlotte jenks lewis; potomac; maryland; Pineapple Productions; yellow wedding cake; love birds cake topper;

What was your wedding menu? Nat and I are big food people, so for a while we were looking at amazing options that were not quite realistic! We ended up working with OCCASIONS CATERERS, a super-polished and professional DC-­based catering company. They provide excellent service and hospitality, which was important to us, and customized a menu that was delicious and refined, but not too stuffy. We also incorporated a few ideas that were personal to us.

One of our close friends comes from a fishing family in Nova Scotia, where Nat is also from. He brought down a selection of incredible seafood for cocktail hour: Black Point oysters, snow crab claw, pink shrimp, and scallops. It was an awesome way to give a nod to Canada.

We felt strongly about serving dinner family ­style, which we’re starting to see more and more of now, but back when we were planning our wedding some more traditional caterers (and family members) still found it outside their comfort zone. We just really enjoy the conviviality of that kind of dining and love that it enables everyone to sample many different dishes.

charlotte jenks lewis; potomac; maryland; Pineapple Productions; tables lit by candlelight; black and white menus;

charlotte jenks lewis; potomac; maryland; Pineapple Productions; clear tent with string lights; hanging greenery structure with hanging candles;

charlotte jenks lewis; potomac; maryland; Pineapple Productions; family style food;

charlotte jenks lewis; potomac; maryland; Pineapple Productions; bride and groom kiss at reception;

What was your favorite moment or part of the reception? My father has always been a great public speaker, but his toast at the beginning of dinner was especially memorable. He had, unbeknownst to me, saved a coupon book I made him as a Father’s Day gift when I was a little girl, and decided this would be an appropriate occasion to transfer it to the new man in my life. He read each page aloud – from “good for one car wash” to “good for Maddie getting you three beers from the basement” – until he got to the last: “good for five ‘I love you’s’.” He stopped, and said: “Nat, I have no doubt that you’re going to hear plenty of “I love yous’ in the years ahead, and even more important for a father, I have no doubt that you’re going to deserve every last one of them. So I’m going to hang onto this one.” He ripped that page out, put it back in his pocket for safekeeping, and handed the rest of the book to my new husband. It was such a creative and touching way to honor our father ­daughter relationship, and pass the torch.

Another highlight was having my 95­-year­-old Hungarian grandmother stand up to give a toast, which was another last minute surprise for us. She is one of our greatest role models and we loved that all our guests got to get a glimpse of her incredible spirit and sense of humor.

charlotte jenks lewis; potomac; maryland; Pineapple Productions; bride and groom saying cheers; bride and groom toasting;

charlotte jenks lewis; potomac; maryland; Pineapple Productions; bride and groom cutting cake;

charlotte jenks lewis; potomac; maryland; Pineapple Productions; slice of cake at table;

What was your first dance song? Father/daughter or mother/son dance? Our first dance was to Etta James’ At Last. We did our father/daughter and mother/son dances simultaneously, to Let There Be Love by Nat King Cole (the groom’s namesake). It’s a really cute and upbeat song that mentions oysters, chili con carne and champagne in the first stanza…perfect for a food ­loving couple!

charlotte jenks lewis; potomac; maryland; Pineapple Productions; first dance;

charlotte jenks lewis; potomac; maryland; Pineapple Productions; photo booth with props; photo booth print outs;

Please tell us about any other special details or moments from your reception. The dance floor got wild. We have several friends known to go all out and they really fed off one another. There were split pants, a necktie limbo, and more sweat than you can imagine. Our DJ STYLUS CHRIS was a total pro. He has amazing taste in music himself and really knows how to read a crowd.

charlotte jenks lewis; potomac; maryland; Pineapple Productions; guests dancing; guests laughing on dance floor;

charlotte jenks lewis; potomac; maryland; Pineapple Productions; wedding dancefloor;

What advice do you have for other couples in the midst of planning a wedding? Don’t be afraid to buck tradition, and make sure that every decision is a reflection of your personality, not just the default way of doing things. The last thing you want is to have a wedding that’s just like everyone else.

VENDOR CREDITS

Photography: CHARLOTTE JENKS LEWIS / Venue: Bride’s family home in Potomac, Maryland / Event Planning & Design: PINEAPPLE PRODUCTIONS / Floral Design, Rentals: BEEHIVE EVENTS / Bride’s Dress: REEM ACRA / Veil: custom by Esin Krimidizag at SEW ELEGANT / Bride’s Shoes: JIMMY CHOO / Jewelry: MIKIMOTO pearl earrings, mother’s bracelet, great aunt’s ring (family heirloom) / Bridesmaid Dresses: each chose their own / Groom’s Suit, Shirt, Tie: RALPH LAUREN / Groom’s Shoes: STUBBS & WOOTTON/ Groom’s Accessories: Vintage cufflinks / Groomsmen Attire: each chose their own / Groomsmen Gifts: Monogrammed letter openers from WILLIAM HENRY KNIVES / Stationery: BELLA FIGURA / Calligraphy: ARNEY WALKER CALLIGRAPHY / Hair: Peggy Ioakim at KARMA BEAUTY LOUNGE / Makeup: LEAH MARGO’S / Rentals: LA TAVOLA FINE LINEN / Photo Booth: OMBOOTH / Officiant: MAUREEN BURKE / Ceremony Music: LEVINE SCHOOL / Reception Music: Chris Stiles aka DJ STYLUS CHRIS/ Catering, Desserts: OCCASIONS CATERERS / Cake: LADY M CONFECTIONS / Desserts: Dobos Torta (traditional Hungarian cake) made by a family friend / Videography: EMOTION PICTURES

 

Pineapple Productions, Occasions Caterers and La Tavola Fine Linen are Snippet & Ink Select vendors. This post contains affiliate links.

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