Capitol Hill weddings rock! We’ve had the good fortune to photograph several of them, and we’ve come away impressed with the quality of the locations. There are a surprising number of really awesome wedding venues on Capitol Hill. Boutique hotels, historic churches, rooftops with killer views… Whatever you want, this iconic Washington DC neighborhood has got it. Lyndsay and Troy went with all of the above for their marriage celebration. The bride got ready at Phoenix Park Hotel. The couple then tied the knot at St Vincent De Paul Catholic Church. After some portraits at the Jefferson Memorial and in the Smithsonian Gardens, they and their guests celebrated big time at their Capitol View at 400 wedding reception. It was the complete Capitol Hill wedding!
Wedding Preparations at The Phoenix Park Hotel
As we mentioned above, Lyndsay and her half of the wedding party got their hair and makeup done at Phoenix Park Hotel. It was very much a family affair. Lyndsay’s sister was her maid of honor and 3 of her cousins were also in the bridal party. Both grandmas helped her with the veil after she had put on her dress which her mom and sister helped with. Because family was so important to Lyndsay, she made sure to get lots of pictures with them out on the balcony, with that gorgeous DC view in the background!
The getting-ready portion of Lyndsay’s wedding day was also a lot of fun! The champagne was flowing, and mimosas were in everyone’s hands all morning which continued even in the party bus on the way to the church! And one of the highlights of this part of the day was Lyndsay and her bridal party breaking into an impromptu song and dance sequence using hairbrushes as microphones (The tune was pretty dirty, so we’ll refrain from mentioning it here. We’ll just say that Lyndsay’s drink of choice was part of the title.)
Though Lyndsay only got ready Phoenix Park Hotel, the location is also available as a venue for wedding ceremonies and receptions. With an in-house wedding planning team, onsite catering and absolutely gorgeous facilities, it has everything you’d need for an unforgettable marriage celebration. Oh, and right outside its front door is one of the best views of the US Capitol in the city.
St Vincent De Paul Catholic Church Wedding Ceremony
Troy and his groomsmen opted to get ready at the couple’s apartment in Arlington VA. (Which, coincidentally, is just around the corner from where we live!) The vibe was definitely more laid-back than the raucous atmosphere in Lyndsay’s bridal suite. But we still got some really nice photos of the moment’s the groom shared with his brother and closest friends.
Both halves of the wedding party met up at St Vincent De Paul Catholic Church. Though technically not in the Capitol Hill neighborhood, the venue is not far from it. And like Phoenix Park Hotel, the street outside offers a stunning view of the iconic home of the US Congress.
It was a view that became an integral part of Lyndsay and Troy’s celebrations. At the conclusion of their traditional Catholic wedding ceremony, they exited the church to the cheers of their guests. And one of the first things they saw as a married couple – after the crowd of family and friends, of course – was the US Capitol!
Wedding Portraits at the Jefferson Memorial and Smithsonian Gardens
As soon as the wedding party hopped onto the bus, everyone was ready to get the reception started. They busted out some White Claws, cranked up the music and got to work partying on the way to the Jefferson Memorial. That was the first stop on our little mini wedding portrait tour of Washington DC.
Once we got to that iconic monument, we left the wedding party on the bus and took the couple out to the area by the Tidal Basin. It’s one of the best spots for portraits with the Washington Monument in the background, so we started with some pictures of Lyndsay and Troy embracing there. Then we changed things up and created a fun seasonal portrait with a Halloween pumpkin in the foreground. Finally, we went for something a bit more innovative and captured an image of the couple’s silhouette on a fence with the Jefferson rising behind them.
From there, the bus took us all to one of our favorite portrait locations in Washington DC: the Smithsonian Gardens. The Enid A. Haupt and Mary Livingston Ripley Gardens have everything you could want for unforgettable couples pictures: natural beauty, creative possibilities and an iconic backdrop. We didn’t have a ton of time at this location and had to also do the wedding party portraits there as well. But we did still find some time to take the newlyweds to the Moongate Garden – a cool little corner of the main space. There are so many ways to create mind-blowing images there. We took advantage of the opportunity and got some inventive wedding portraits of Lyndsay and Troy reflected in the waters of the Moongate Garden’s pool. Our favorite is the one with the Smithsonian Castle behind them.
Capitol View at 400 Wedding Reception
With the formalities out the way, Lyndsay and Troy were able to truly celebrate their wedding. From the moment they entered their reception at Capitol View at 400, you could tell that the party was on. Their wedding party certainly found ways to make their entrances memorable. Two different pairs chugged beers. Another put on colored sunglasses and struck a “Charlie’s Angels” pose. The highlight, though, was when the maid of honor and best man did shots from a personalized “MacMullan” ski. That made another appearance during Lyndsay and Troy’s first dance. The bride’s sister held it up triumphantly when the newlyweds shared a sweet kiss.
Dinner, the toasts and the parent dances gave everyone a breather. But once the floor opened up, Lyndsay and Troy’s wedding reception got crazy again. Their guests danced with abandon, threw their arms in the air and sang along with the music. Before long, someone broke out multicolored glow sticks, which naturally gave the pictures an added boost!
There were a couple of breaks in the action, though, that made for beautiful photos. The first was a special Slovenian “unveiling” ceremony that was a nod to the bride’s cultural heritage. To signify the bride’s transition to “womanhood,” her maid of honor removed her veil, gave it to their mother and replaced it with a crown of roses. Similarly, the best man took the boutonniere from Troy’s lapel and the sister of the groom pinned a rose in its place. This was followed by a fun cake cutting moment where Lyndsay tried to “feed” Troy’s whole face! And then an epic bouquet and garter toss!
The other interruption was something we planned. As you can probably guess from its name, Capitol View at 400 has a spectacular, uh, view of the US Capitol. So of course, we had to get some very Washington DC wedding portraits of the couple! Because no Capitol Hill wedding would be complete without a few Capitol Hill wedding portraits!
Photography: Potok’s World Photography
Getting ready location: Phoenix Park Hotel
Wedding Ceremony: St. Vincent de Paul Church
Reception Venue: Capitol View at 400
Bridal Gown: Something White Bridal
Groom’s Tux: Men’s Warehouse
Hair and Make-up: TC Beauty Care
Florals: Nana Florals
Wedding Bands: Ascot Diamonds
Engagement Ring: James Allen
DJ: Frank Young
Catering: Main Event Caterers
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