Featured today on Washingtonian Weddings, this wedding is particularly special to me, because Lauren is my daughter. It was my absolute pleasure and honor to plan Lauren and Nick’s modern black and white wedding filled with pampas grass and fun, personal details.
Lauren and Nick met through mutual friends in 2012. Lauren is a nurse and had just worked 3 back-to-back night shifts. She woke up from sleeping all day to an invitation to join her friends at a pizza place down the street. She threw her hair up in a messy bun and ran out the door without makeup, in a t-shirt and oversized coat, thinking she would eat some pizza and return to her couch for a night of Netflix. But while at the pizza place, another friend walked in with a cute guy that Lauren noticed immediately. They were heading into D.C. for a drink, and since Lauren’s other friends were calling it a night, they asked if Lauren wanted to join them. “Why not?”, Lauren thought. So she said yes. That cute guy was Nick, and the rest is history.
They had only been dating a short time when Lauren and Nick made their first weekend trip to New York City. They explored the city and walked across the Brooklyn Bridge. Lauren remembers it as a turning point in their relationship. They love the city and continue to visit often.
So it was only fitting that 6 years into their relationship, Nick suggested a long weekend away in New York City, and as they walked across the Brooklyn Bridge, got down on one knee and asked Lauren to marry him. Needless to say, she said yes!
Finding Their Venue & Making it Their Own
Lauren and Nick’s wed at a modern black and white wedding in October 2019 at the Ritz-Carlton Georgetown. They wanted a unique wedding that would leave their guests saying, “That was SO Lauren and Nick.”
After visiting many D.C. venues, they knew the Ritz-Carlton was just right for the intimate experience they wanted to create. The venue has a very industrial feel, so we brought in some soft elements to offset the hard lines of the venue and to marry Lauren and Nick’s tastes.
When Lauren saw photos of Mandy Moore’s 2018 wedding, she fell in love with the pampas grass that decorated the ceremony aisle. It was the perfect soft element to bring romance to the Ritz-Carlton’s industrial event space. Pampas grass also reminds Lauren and Nick of the Outer Banks, where they both grew up vacationing and enjoy traveling together.
A Romantic Industrial Ceremony
Guests arrived to find a champagne wall, the first of 3 special displays curated by Lauren and Nick. The couple had several favorite things they wanted to surprise their guests with throughout the evening. Due to limited space in the venue, we came up with the concept of the “Our Favorites” wall, one wall used 3 different ways throughout the evening.
The first of these was the champagne wall. Lauren and Nick both love a good glass of champagne, so rather than having a signature cocktail, they offered their guests glasses of Veuve Clicquot as they entered and exited the ceremony.
Once inside the ceremony space, their guests found smoky lucite ghost chairs and a modern backdrop of exposed brick, large black-framed windows, and pampas grass.
Lauren walked down the aisle in a sleek, lace, trumpet-style wedding dress and fingertip-length veil. She carried a small bouquet of white roses and showed her fun, casual side through sparkly silver high-top sneakers.
Nick wore a classic tuxedo and the couple was flanked by their wedding party dressed all in black.
The couple said “I do” under soaring ceilings and surrounded by the love and support of 98 of their closest family and friends.
A Rooftop Cocktail Hour
After the ceremony, Lauren and Nick’s guests enjoyed a rooftop cocktail hour. Having great food was important to Lauren and Nick, so they served a variety of canapés at their cocktail hour, including the crowd favorite, lamb lollipops with mint chimichurri sauce.
As the couple and their guests enjoyed the appetizers and live music and took photos in front of a customized greenery wall, the “Our Favorites” wall was transformed for its second purpose: escort cards.
A Uniquely Personal Reception
The escort card “Our Favorites” wall included a nod to Nick’s profession as an architect and some of the couple’s favorite places. To indicate each guest’s meal choice, each card had a building in the top right corner.
The buildings included the Brookyln Bridge (where they got engaged), the Capitol Building symbolizing Washington, D.C. (where they went the night they met and the area where they live), and a lighthouse symbolizing the Outer Banks (a favorite vacation spot).
Inside the reception space, the same exposed brick, black windows, and ghost chairs carried through. A glass head table, elevated pampas grass centerpieces, and black silverware were just some of the incredible details that brought this space together. Don’t miss Lauren’s reaction to the decorated reception space – her face is absolutely priceless!
The happy couple and their guests enjoyed toasts, dinner and dancing with music by the Bachelor Boys Band. And before dessert, the “Our Favorites” wall underwent yet another transformation: It became the cookie wall!
Neither Lauren nor Nick loves cake. They are both cookie monsters, especially Nick, whose last meal would be a plate of chocolate chip cookies. So they always knew they would serve cookies over cake at their wedding.
The cookie wall was a huge hit with their guests. The delicious selection of cookies, including – what else – Black and White Cookies, also served as their wedding favor. They had cute bags for people to take cookies with them to go!
A Late-Night Snack
But the night didn’t end there. Lauren loves cheeseburgers and fries, and says if she had to choose a last meal, this would be it. She knew she wanted to find a way to incorporate cheeseburgers and fries into the evening. This late-night snack was the perfect way to end the evening!
Planning my daughter’s modern black and white wedding was one of my greatest personal and professional privileges, and I’m so happy our team could play a part in sending Lauren and Nick off into married life in style!
Planning and Design: Havard Events and Design
Event Coordination: Designed Perfectly Events
Photographer: Jennie Raff Photography
Venue: The Ritz-Carlton Georgetown
Florist/ Favorites Wall: The Rosy Posy
Invitations: Artisan Matchmaker
Cookies: Liberty Baking Co
Hair Stylist: Katherine Kemper Beauty
Makeup Artist: Muse Studios Hair and Makeup Artistry
Bride Attire: Mikaella Bridal for Paloma Blanca Bridal from Kleinfeld’s. Sneakers from Golden Goose Deluxe Brand
Groom Attire: Generation Tux
Band: Bachelor Boys Band
Rentals: Syzygy Events, Select Event Group, Table Manners DC
Sound, Step & Repeat Wall: A2Z Music Factory
Havard Events & Design is a boutique wedding planning and design studio serving Washington, DC, and beyond. We specialize in timeless designs, obsess over the smallest of details, and create events that feel as good as they look.