Destination Wedding at Six Senses Douro Valley in Portugal | Jeanette + Taylor

by Abby Jiu

In the heart of Portuguese wine country, surrounded by beautiful vineyards and bright sunshine, Jeanette and Taylor celebrated their marriage at a destination wedding at Six Senses Douro Valley. Deciding on Portugal as their destination was a no brainer, because of Jeannette’s Portuguese roots and strong ties to the country where her family lives part-time.

As a wedding planner at Evoke Design and Creative, Jeannette knew a lot about weddings and the destination market. After searching high and low for the perfect venue, she visited Six Senses in the Douro Valley and knew it was the luxury experience she wanted for her family and friends. It speaks so much to the couple when 200 family and friends travel abroad for a destination wedding. The weekend consisted of three days filled with wine, days by the pool and nights filled with epic entertainment. The welcome party on night one was especially authentic to Portugal because, Jeannette’s father’s favorite Portuguese singer made an appearance and sang. It was the perfect way for the couple to show their friends and family the Portuguese culture and infuse them in the heritage that has so strongly shaped Jeannette. See more on Martha Stewart Weddings.

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While shopping at Carine’s Bridal, Jeannette tried on an array of dresses. But it was this gown by Berta that immediately caught her eye. It had an old world feel that matched the Portuguese setting combined with a modern touch that was just so her.

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Jeannette and Taylor wanted to have a day that was all about being different. So instead of saving their first dance for the reception, they broke tradition and started their first dance immediately after they said “I do.” It was a magical moment that started the party off in the perfect celebratory mood.

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Planning - Events by Christie Yerks of Grit & Grace | Venue & Catering - Six Senses Douro Valley | Decor + flowers - Brancoprata | Officiant - Larry Gamache | Stationary + Calligraphy Haute Papier, Written Word Calligraphy, Laura Hooper Calligraphy | Bride’s Gown - Berta, Romona Keveža from Carine's Bridal Atelier (reception) | Bride’s Accessories - Bride's accessories, Ascot Diamonds engagement ring and wedding band; Dolce & Gabbana ceremony shoes; Giuseppe Zanotti reception shoes | Bride’s Hair - Angela Stewart of Liquid Salon | Makeup - Ana Pereira Atelier | Bridesmaid’s Dresses - Halston | Groom’s Attire -The Black Tux | Groom’s Wedding Band - Ascot Diamonds | Music - Tamin, Rui Alves, João Cabrita, and Alexandre Cabrita, Nuno Franco | Videography - The Amazing Rabbit | Lighting & Sound - Watt & Light | Photo Station - SlowMotionStation.com | Transportation - Anetours | Pizza - Buddy's | Rentals - Saiotes & Etc.Larforma | Save the Date Envelope Calligraphy - Meant to be Calligraphy | Mother of the Bride’s Gown - Monique Lhuillier | Production Details - Revolution Event Design and Production | Flower Girl’s Dress - Foque | Flower Boy’s Outfit - Artesanía Amaya

Ballet and Romance at the Washington National Cathedral | Stephanie + Andrew

by Abby Jiu

After having their first date at a Bruce Springsteen concert, Stephanie and Andrew got engaged five years later in Africa at sunset. Andrew had spent five months collaborating on her custom ring and the proposal couldn’t have been more fairytale-esque. The couple said “I do” a year later at the Anderson House on a beautiful July day in front of all of their family and friends planned to perfection by Lauryn Prattes Events and Styling. They exchanged marriage vows at the Washington National Cathedral in a traditional Episcopal ceremony officiated by Andrew’s second grade teacher and formal chaplain. The bride and groom shared a first look in the Bishop Gardens on the National Cathedral grounds and it was nothing short of incredible. Stephanie was wearing a stunning ballgown with a full tulle skirt by Vera Wang from Carine’s Bridal that reminded her of her days as a prima ballerina. Her Vera Wang veil fell perfectly down her back. The bridal bouquet was green-free so Holly Chapple Flowers created a full arrangement of Constance garden roses, white O’Hara roses, stephanotis, peonies, and sweet pea. The bridesmaids bouquets were just as beautiful with white garden roses, blush spray roses, and pink and white ranunculus. As the newlyweds made their first appearance as husband and wife outside the church, they were showered with lavender.

The wedding was a black-tie affair and the details at the reception were show-stopping. From the cocktail hour hors d'oeuvres and signature drinks to the harpist that played throughout, it was a night to remember. The Anderson House Mansion served as its location and the guests enjoyed a candlelit dinner in the garden. Elements of the bride and groom’s Parisian Ballet theme were perfectly incorporated, as were more stunning blooms placed on the tables. Hung above were chandeliers adorned in wisteria and vines. Gold charger plates with blue and white China were charming place settings and the three-tier blush cake was a vision. To end the night, the couple had a live painter capture their first dance to Elton John’s “Tiny Dancer”.


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Abby Jiu High End Wedding Photography Washington DC
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Planning + Design - Lauryn Prattes | Ceremony Venue - Washington National Cathedral | Reception Venue -  Anderson House | Floral Design - Holly Chapple | Wedding Dress - Vera Wang  | Hair - Hair by Giselle | Makeup - Carl Ray | Groom's Attire - Brooks Brothers | Catering & Cake - Occasions Caterers + Fleur and Flour | Rentals - DC Rentals | Entertainment - Nightsong Entertainment ExchangCapitol Harpist | Invitations - Kara Anne Paper | Transportation - Regal Limo | Venue Cosmos Club | Live painter Brittany Branson | Bridal party hair and makeup Georgetown Bride

Multicultural St. Regis DC Wedding | Ivy + John

by Abby Jiu

Ivy and John celebrated the most incredible day of their lives on a perfect August afternoon. The couple had a Catholic ceremony to honor John’s religion at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle. The couple loves Classical music, so they had the church’s organist play a lineup of songs, including the Cathedral cantor singing “Ave Maria” as Ivy walked down the aisle. And if the song itself did not reduce you to tears, seeing the bride in her dress absolutely would. She wore a lace Ines DiSanto ballgown with an illusion top and full skirt. Her bouquet was bold and rich with shades of red, which is culturally significant. Holly Chapple Flowers used blends of garden roses and dahlias which were stunning, but peonies flown in from Alaska definitely tied the bouquet together. John and Ivy incorporated red in many aspects of their special day. From the invitations to the programs to the lanterns strung in trees, this romantic color was everywhere.

The bride and groom had a traditional Chinese tea ceremony as well. An incredible floral circle that can only be described as visually stunning was the backdrop for this. It had the same red and ivory flowers as Ivy’s bouquet, but in the hundreds. For this portion of their day, Ivy had changed from her lace gown into a red, off-the-shoulder Rachel Gilbert dress. She let her hair down and looked so glamorous next to John in his black suit. Even her shoes were the epitome of glam. She wore crystal encrusted Christian Louboutins as well as Christian Dior sling-backs. Every bride’s dream come true to have both “Christians” at their wedding! The reception was held in the Astor Ballroom of the St. Regis in Washington, DC. Gold accents could be found in the silverware, edging the charger plates, and even rimming the wine glasses. Beautiful floral arrangements were placed throughout the table settings to bring in the red pop of color. The couple choreographed their first dance which was a fun surprise for their guests, but Ivy’s performance of a traditional Chinese sleeve dance was the perfect end to an amazing day.

Abby Jiu Photography High End Wedding Photographer Washington DC
Abby Jiu Photography High End Wedding Photographer Washington DC
Abby Jiu Photography High End Wedding Photographer Washington DC
Abby Jiu Photography High End Wedding Photographer Washington DC
Abby Jiu Photography High End Wedding Photographer Washington DC
Abby Jiu Photography High End Wedding Photographer Washington DC
Abby Jiu Photography High End Wedding Photographer Washington DC
Abby Jiu Photography High End Wedding Photographer Washington DC Multicultural
Abby Jiu Photography High End Wedding Photographer Washington DC Multicultural
Abby Jiu Photography High End Wedding Photographer Washington DC Multicultural
Abby Jiu Photography High End Wedding Photographer Washington DC Multicultural
Abby Jiu Photography High End Wedding Photographer Washington DC Multicultural
Abby Jiu Photography High End Wedding Photographer Washington DC Multicultural
Abby Jiu Photography High End Wedding Photographer Washington DC Multicultural
Abby Jiu Photography High End Wedding Photographer Washington DC Multicultural
Abby Jiu Photography High End Wedding Photographer Washington DC Multicultural
Abby Jiu Photography High End Wedding Photographer Washington DC Multicultural

Planning + Design - Bright Occasions | Ceremony Venue - Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle | Reception Venue -  The St. Regis Washington, D.C.  | Floral Design - Holly Heider Chapple Flowers | Wedding Dress - Ines DiSanto | Hair - Iva Bella Salon | Makeup - Mimi B. Tran | Groom's Attire - Ermenegildo Zegna | Catering & Cake - The St. Regis Washington, D.C. | Rentals - DC Rentals | Entertainment - Northern Lights Dance Orchestra | Invitations - Stephanie B. Design | Transportation - Sunny's Worldwide Chauffeured Transportation & Vintage Limos