Classic, timeless, and traditional are three words I would use to describe today’s lovely Northern Virginia wedding at Airlie Center. Whitney and Shawn wanted to be able to look back on their elegant Airlie Center wedding in 50 years and still feel that it was relatable and classic, so they chose a color story of champagne, gold, and black to weave throughout. Airlie Center in Virginia has acres of beautiful property, and we especially loved her bridal portraits on their grand outdoor staircase and first look in the gardens! The couple was married in the gardens surrounded by friends, while the Bride wore her grandmothers restored antique cathedral length veil. The party continued into the Pavillion with a surprise appearance for the Groom by a Washington Nationals running president! Thank you to Will Greene Photography for sharing this fall Virginia black tie wedding with us!
From the Bride: Since I was a little girl, I have been enamored by my maternal grandmother’s wedding dress and veil. Her veil was over 20 feet long, and her 1930s dress was a classic ivory satin that I used to love to try on and pretend to be a bride. I was very close to her when she passed away when I was 15, so to pay tribute to her, I restored her veil and wore it for our ceremony. I also removed the beaded fabric headpiece and had my florist wrap it around my bouquet. My paternal grandmother is also no longer with us, and she and I shared a love of accessories, and luckily, I was able to have a few pieces of hers with me on the big day as well. I love that I had personal mementos of theirs on our wedding day.
Tip from the Bride: Remember to celebrate everything along the way during engagement. It’s easy to treat wedding planning as a business transaction, but we tried to celebrate every little decision we made. “Cake flavor selected – YAY! Let’s celebrate!” “We found a song we both actually like – YAY! Let’s have some wine and practice dancing!” No matter how big or small, we wanted to celebrate our decision making process together as a couple. Planning a wedding can be stressful, to say the least, but it can also be a time when you see how well you work together as a team.
Tip from the Bride: In regards to DIY, just know what you are getting yourself into It is all about what’s worth it to you – your time or money. For me, it was money, so I chose to do a lot myself. Luckily, I really enjoy planning and being creative, so I enjoyed the DIY process, but I didn’t consider how much space it would all take up in our tiny Arlington apartment. If you choose to make things yourself, I would encourage others to think about how they are going to store all of these items in the meantime, and how to get everything to/from the venue.
Overall personal touches were important to us. For our signature drinks, we chose to honor our dads, so we had a classic Manhattan in honor of my dad, and an Irish Mule in honor of Shawn’s, who is of Irish decent. Our wedding favors were an ode to each of our home states. We had Cheerwine soda from the Bride’s home state of North Carolina and Fisher’s Popcorn from the Groom’s home state of Maryland.
From the Groom: We had a pretty formal wedding but it blew me away that she was willing to sacrifice having a “by-the-book” classic wedding for something that was just totally fun that she knew both I and our guests would appreciate. Whitney and I had meticulously picked out every song for our reception, so when the DJ suddenly started playing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame”, it’s safe to say I was confused. Then I turned around and saw “Teddy,” one of our Washington Nationals mascots walking into our reception. The look on my face in the pictures says it all – “I’m confused…Did you do this?? WOW this is cool!” I truly had no clue that she organized this! Teddy stayed and did a couple of dances with our friends and family, all of whom seemed to also get a kick out of it.
Congratulations to Whitney and Shawn! Thank you for sharing your timeless black tie Virginia Airlie wedding with us!
The following Washington DC area wedding professionals contributed to their wedding:
Photography: Will Greene Photography
Videography: Jon Key Photography
Wedding Planner: Andrea Green Events
Floral Design: Buttercups Floral Design
Beauty: Creative Images Hair and Makeup Artistry
Gown Designer: Ulla Maija Couture
Bridal Gown Salon: Pre-Owned Wedding Dresses
Bridal Shoes: Badgley Mishka
Bridal Party Attire: Jim Hjelm
Grooms Attire: Jos. A Bank
Groomsmen Attire: Mens Warhorse
Ceremony and Reception Venue: Airlie Center
Officiant: Pastor Katrina Holland
Ceremony Musicians: David and Nancy Gavin
Wedding DJ: Davis DJs
Cake: Signature Sweets by Amanda
Entertainment: Washington Nationals Mascot
Wedding Rings: Robinson Jewelers
For more wedding vendors, please visit our Washington DC area wedding vendor guide and for even more amazing local ideas, check out our wedding inspiration galleries and other Washington DC area real weddings.
Photo Credits: Will Greene Photography