This Luxe Wedding in Washington, D.C. Was Better Than a Fairy Tale
From the bride's princess-inspired wedding dress to the magical, lush florals, this elegant celebration is what big-day dreams are made of.
It all started with a passed note during psychology class. In it, Tyler asked Carolina if she'd be up for going to a party with him that night. To the "hot guy in class," she, of course, said, yes—but that wasn't the last time Carolina gave him that answer.
After the pair dated for nine years, Tyler decided to ask his next big question with more fanfare. While the couple was in Hawaii for his 30th birthday, he planned a surprise romantic dinner on Oahu involving roses, petals scattered across the ground, palm trees, a secret photographer, and a saxophonist playing their song, "Can You Stand the Rain?," a 90s ballad by R&B group New Edition.
Carolina, whose eyes were closed in anticipation as Tyler walked her towards the proposal setup, had a hunch about what was happening as soon as she heard those first notes. When she opened her eyes, she saw Tyler down on one knee. "I couldn't help but cry tears of joy. This was the moment I had been waiting for and it was absolutely perfect," says Carolina.
Just over a year later, on September 9, 2022, at the Larz Anderson House in Washington, D.C., the couple got the elaborate, love-filled wedding Carolina had been dreaming of since she was a little girl. Tyler and Carolina said, "I do," in front of 50 of their dearest friends and family with a Cinderella-inspired celebration designed by the illustrious Pamela Barefoot Events + Design.
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The Cinderella-meets-Parisian elegance of Tyler and Carolina's wedding started from the moment guests opened their invitations. The ivory suite from Michelle Moji featured a simple crest; notes were trimmed with gold foil and raw edges and a gold wax seal was the finishing touch.
Fit for a Princess
Carolina's princess dreams were realized with her sparkling, stunning wedding dress designed by Ese Azenabor. Obsessed with Lilly Ghalichi's big-day gown, she fell in love with the gown's intricate tiny pearls, crystals, and voluminous layers of glitter fabric—and customized it to meet her vision.
The final iteration of the dress was nothing short of royal. "I remember asking my mom and sisters if they thought it was 'too much' or 'too extra,' and I remember their responses were, 'You are extra. This dress is you!'" she says.
Ese Azenabor also made her veil and picked out the accompanying Swarovski crystal headpiece. Underneath the dress, she wore glittery Kate Spade Keds.
A Simple White Bouquet
As a child, Carolina loved to dress up and pick out flowers from the garden for her bouquet, dreaming of an all-white wedding. And that's exactly what she had. Her bouquet was full of white flowers—no greenery. The simple arrangement didn't distract from her stunning dress.
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Pretty in Pink
Carolina's favorite color is pink, so her bridesmaids donned soft pink mermaid dresses from Amsale. They offered a warm, feminine touch against the all-white décor of the wedding.
The groom wore a classic black tuxedo from Suit Supply, a black silk Tom Ford bow tie, and Christian Louboutin patent leather dress shoes. His groomsmen stood beside him in similarly sharp black tuxes.
Their Little Secret
Carolina and Tyler had quite the secret: While their official wedding took place September, they got legally married on July 19, 2022, their 10-year anniversary. They chose to wait until September for the celebration for one very important reason: D.C. summer humidity.
Before re-tying the knot, they shared an emotional first look so they could enjoy the moment and forget about the rush of the day about to unfold.
Abundant White Florals
The luxe white, ivory, and gold aesthetic spilled over into the gorgeous, white ceremony flowers.
The Mirror Room
The service took place in the mirror room of the Larz Anderson House, which is reminiscent of the hall in Versailles. Anchored by the marble floors and gold moulding, the overflowing ceremony arch at the end of the aisle was all the couple needed for dramatic impact. Gold Chiavari chairs and a harp added extra opulence.
Mother and Daughter
Carolina's mother raised her and her sister, and she was the only person the bride could imagine walking her down the aisle. Carolina's magnificent, princess-worthy train trailed behind them as they made their aisle debut.
In Your Eyes
"My favorite wedding-day memory is staring into Tyler's eyes during the entire ceremony and seeing his reaction," says Carolina, reminiscing about the romance of the moment. They had a short and sweet ceremony, exchanging traditional vows before saying "I do" (again!).
A Rose for Everyone
Small glass bud vases, filled with white roses in different blooming phases, were calligraphed with guests' names; they served as escort cards and keepsakes.
Related:Insanely Creative Escort Cards and Seating Displays
The reception décor was lush, romantic, and reminiscent of a poolside garden party—if that poolside garden party was black-tie. Stepping into the private courtyard felt like entering another world, far away from the city. "Our florist Kory Gravis of Springvale Floral, went all out on making the space look like a romantic floral dream," says Carolina.
Revolution Event Design & Production installed a floating pod with clear chairs and music stands in the reflecting pool for the orchestra to play Bridgerton-inspired music throughout dinner; they topped it with a custom laser-cut pergola overflowing with white florals.
White tables were set with Maison de Carine plates, champagne-hued cutlery, bell-shaped glassware, off-white flatware, small arrangements of white roses, and oval-shaped menus with gold tassels. While the couple originally had considered gold accents, their planner steered them towards champagne, which allowed for a softer, modern take on a classic look.
All in the Details
Arches of lush greenery framed the tables and chandeliers hung overhead, providing sparkling light as the sun went down.
A Bridgerton Celebration
While the orchestra trio played the hit show's soundtrack and set the scene for a celebration worthy of a royal court, the guests sipped on espresso martinis and ginger pear cocktails.
A Celebration in Partnership
The evening went off without a hitch, with every detail falling into plac—just like Carolina had imagined. But that was by design: The couple began planning their event with Pamela a year in advance and, each month, she gave the couple homework to stay on track. Tyler and Carolina fully trusted her as a partner throughout the process—and the result was breathtaking.
Cake and Florals
The pair's wedding cake was a classic white confection with a white floral sash scaled each tier. This was yet another iconic all-white moment at this luxe celebration.
Something More Comfortable
Carolina knew she wanted to change into something more comfortable after dinner. And that something more comfortable was a satin maxi gown with a long halter necktie by Sau Lee. Though she put on a more comfortable dress, she kicked off her sneakers and slipped on a pair of Jimmy Choo heels for flair.
Looking back on their romantic big day, the couple says their biggest advice is to invest in a planner who makes the entire process, from taste testing to picking table settings to deciding on florals, fun. All they had to do was show up and choose from the gorgeous ideas set in front of them.
Related:35 Reception Dresses Brides Changed Into for Their Parties
Photography, Manda Weaver Photography
Venue, Larz Anderson House
Wedding Planning and Event Design, Pamela Barefoot Events Design
Videography, DeVries Production
Flowers, Springvale Floral
Invitations, Michelle Moji
Other Paper Products, Pretty Mail Calligraphy
Wedding Dresses, Ese Azenabor and Sau Lee
Veil, Ese Azenabor
Shoes, Jimmy Choo
Hair, Evelyn Flores
Makeup, Arfa Beauty and Noemi C
Bridesmaids' Dresses, Amsale
Groom's Attire, Suit Supply
Music, Bialek's Music
Caterer, Main Event Caterers
Rentals, Maison de Carine and Select Event Group
Event Production, Revolution Event Design & Production
Styling Surface, Ultraviolet Backdrops