Inside Weddings - - Weddings - May 7, 2016 Wash­ing­ton, DC | Pho­tographed by Abby Jiu Pho­tog­ra­phy

May 7, 2016 Wash­ing­ton, DC Pho­tographed by Abby Jiu Pho­tog­ra­phy




Bridal Hair by Re­mona - hair Beauty ‘N The Bride - makeup Bridal Gown

Vera Wang

Bridal Salon/Veil

The Bridal Salon at Saks Jan­del Brides­maid Gowns

Bad­g­ley Mis­chka


But­ter­cream Bakeshop


Laura Hooper Cal­lig­ra­phy Cater­ing

Oc­ca­sions Cater­ers


Lau­ryn Prattes Styling and Events EVOKE - month-of plan­ning En­ter­tain­ment

Élan Artists

Melissa Tardiff Dvo­rak, harpist Flo­ral De­sign

Holly Hei­der Chap­ple Flow­ers For­mal­wear

Hugo Boss




Winifred Pa­per


Benny’s Jew­elry; Blue Nile

Light­ing De­sign

Sum­mit Event Pro­duc­tion


Nüage De­signs


Abby Jiu Pho­tog­ra­phy


Blue­print Registry


DC Rental; Fab­ri­ca­tion Events, Inc. Per­fect Set­tings

Revo­lu­tion Event De­sign and Pro­duc­tion

Some­thing Vin­tage Rentals Trans­porta­tion

Re­gal Limou­sine Ser­vice


An­der­son House

Event plan­ner Lau­ryn Prattes and her beau Michael Harn had been dat­ing for eight years prior to their en­gage­ment; how­ever, Michael still wanted the pro­posal to be a com­plete sur­prise for his beloved, so he de­cided to pop the ques­tion when she would least ex­pect it. Fol­low­ing a long day at a client’s wed­ding, Lau­ryn came home to can­dles on the floor and Michael in a suit wait­ing to ask her those four spe­cial words. Af­ter years of co­or­di­nat­ing the nup­tials of so many brides-to-be, it was now her turn to plan her own big day.

Since Lau­ryn has al­ways de­sired a spring wed­ding, the cou­ple had just over seven months to plan their May cel­e­bra­tion. “I thought I knew ex­actly what to ex­pect, and from the plan­ning stand­point, I cer­tainly did. I knew what team of ven­dors I wanted to work with, but I for­got that I would have to be both the bride and plan­ner,” she con­firms. Though she wanted to host a des­ti­na­tion wed­ding in Paris, the cou­ple ul­ti­mately de­cided to plan their soirée in Wash­ing­ton, DC, so loved ones could eas­ily at­tend. Thus, they chose a mod­ern, Parisian ro­mance-in­spired theme and a venue that ex­udes the or­nately dec­o­rated in­te­ri­ors, ro­man­tic court­yards, and in­ti­mate essence of the “City of Lights.”

Since Lau­ryn and Michael wanted their cer­e­mony to be fo­cused on each other, they had only one brides­maid and grooms­man. In the same fash­ion, the dé­cor was kept sim­ple, yet sweet. De­light­ful harp mu­sic filled the room with mod­ern tunes as guests found their seats in translu­cent chairs of­fer­ing views of the heart­felt vow ex­change that took place be­neath a crys­tal chan­de­lier. The bride glided down the aisle in a strik­ing mermaid gown car­ry­ing a time­less bou­quet of pe­onies, ra­nun­cu­lus blos­soms, or­chids, and lily of the val­ley blooms. A charm­ing ser­vice in­cluded two read­ings – one re­li­gious and one in which they felt a per­sonal con­nec­tion. “Af­ter al­most nine years to­gether, we felt a lot of the sug­gested read­ings didn’t nec­es­sar­ily ap­ply to us,” at­tests Lau­ryn. “We found ‘He’s Not Per­fect’ by Bob Mar­ley and edited the word­ing so that it was about both of us.”

“For those three min­utes of our dance, it felt like just the

two of us in the room.”

Once they were at last pro­nounced hus­band and wife, guests en­joyed an el­e­gant cock­tail hour fea­tur­ing his-and-hers li­ba­tion sta­tions. “Michael’s Mar­tini Bar” was an ode to the groom’s pas­time of en­joy­ing the drink af­ter work, and fam­ily and friends in­dulged in three va­ri­eties: clas­sic with a twist, gin with an olive, and laven­der. For Lau­ryn, a gold bar cart dis­played a tower of coupe glasses filled with Rosé Cham­pagne and gar­nished with el­der­flower mac­arons. At­ten­dees found their seat­ing as­sign­ments by way of unique es­cort cards, which dou­bled as fa­vors. Fabergé egg-in­spired trin­ket boxes with blush cal­lig­ra­phy tags de­not­ing each at­tendee’s name were opened to present gold charms that dis­played ta­ble num­bers on a bed of grey tulle. “Those were keep­sakes to take home and some­thing I see at our friends’ houses when I visit,” shares Lau­ryn of the spe­cial de­tail.

When it came to the re­cep­tion, Michael was ea­ger to have a live band and wanted their loved ones’ ex­pe­ri­ence to be above and be­yond. “The en­ter­tain­ment was awe­some!” he ex­claims. “Lau­ryn sur­prised me by hir­ing a soul­ful singer to sing Si­na­tra-type tunes dur­ing cock­tail hour.” As a fur­ther sur­prise, the cou­ple’s en­ter­tain­ment com­pany also ar­ranged for the crooner to per­form their first dance song, “I Won’t Give Up” by Ja­son Mraz. “It was hands down the most mem­o­rable moment of our wed­ding,” re­mem­bers Lau­ryn. “For those three min­utes of our dance, it felt like just the two of us in the room.”

The al­fresco re­cep­tion space evoked a Euro­pean feel with light, airy dé­cor and spring­time flo­rals. “I love soft and ro­man­tic flow­ers, which is why I se­lected May for our wed­ding,” notes the bride. Din­ner took place in the gar­den around a re­flect­ing pool, and twin­kling café lights trans­ported loved ones to the court­yards of “Paris.” Guests dined at a mix of round and rec­tan­gu­lar ta­bles show­cas­ing lovely cen­ter­pieces, am­bi­ent can­dle­light, or­nate place set­tings with gilt charg­ers, and ro­man­tic menus with laser-cut el­e­ments. The dra­matic head ta­ble fea­tured four tow­er­ing ar­range­ments brim­ming with hy­drangeas, pe­onies, and cas­cad­ing or­chids and tulips in shades of blush and ivory. Chairs were cov­ered with draped linens tied with in­tri­cately de­signed gold in­ter­laces fea­tur­ing a rose mo­tif, which in­spired ad­di­tional de­tails through­out the day.

Though the cel­e­bra­tion was cer­tainly a for­mal fête, the cou­ple made sure to in­clude per­son­al­ized de­tails. As a play­ful nod to their eight-year re­la­tion­ship prior to the en­gage­ment, a cus­tom crest fea­tur­ing a fly­ing pig with a ban­ner read­ing, “Michael and Lau­ryn At Last,” was in­cluded in the save-the-date cards and also be­came a sub­tle touch through­out the fes­tiv­i­ties. For dessert, guests vis­ited “La Pâtis­serie” where they could en­joy three in­cred­i­ble cakes as well as a fourth minia­ture con­fec­tion topped with a mac­aron sphere and dec­o­rated with ruf­fles, re­lief de­tails, and su­gar flow­ers. A cus­tom dessert cart dis­play­ing Parisian-in­spired sweets al­lowed guests to order their de­sired se­lec­tions from the pas­try chef. As rev­el­ers left, break­fast bur­ri­tos from the groom’s fa­vorite eatery were served as a late-night snack be­fore the ro­man­tic sparkler send-off.

As both an ex­pert event plan­ner and a bride, Lau­ryn of­fers sage ad­vice to other bridesto-be. “Hire a plan­ner! Even as a pro­fes­sional who knows what to do, be­ing the bride felt more like a job in­stead of be­ing an en­joy­able time,” con­fesses Lau­ryn, who hired a month-of co­or­di­na­tor so she could fo­cus on en­joy­ing the last few weeks lead­ing up to her wed­ding and take care of “bride” things, such as nail ap­point­ments and fi­nal fit­tings. She adds, “I loved our wed­ding! It was per­fect, and I am so thank­ful to our friends and fam­ily as well as my amaz­ing ven­dors who made it hap­pen.”

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