An intimate DC wedding is a perfect choice if you want photos that are personal and deeply meaningful. With a guest list trimmed to the absolutely essential invitees, every person present matters. Which means just about every moment matters. And that every picture will be special to you in 30 years. Chrissy and John’s intimate DC art gallery wedding on the rooftop of Fathom Gallery was certainly not a large affair. But every one of their approximately 30 wedding guests was someone close to either the bride or groom. There was an easy familiarity among everyone there. We knew from doing their engagement photo session that Chrissy and John were quiet and reserved people by nature. But you could see them light up every time they interacted with one of their guests. That atmosphere of easy familiarity made the couple’s marriage celebrations relaxed, personal and above all, fun. Which shows in every photo we took!

Bride Getting Ready for Her DC Art Gallery Wedding

All of that was evident from the moment we arrived at Fathom Gallery to start documenting Chrissy and John’s wedding day. The bride got ready in the bridal suite — one of the most unique spaces in one of DC’s most unique venues. Sitting upstairs from the main event areas, it comprises a cozy pair of rooms equipped with a shower and several sofas. Fathom Gallery’s bridal suite has everything a bride or groom needs to prepare to get married. Perhaps more importantly, the space allows you to do nearly your entire marriage celebration at the same site. The bridal suite has a very comfortable and casual feel to it. That makes it a perfect place for sharing pre-wedding moments with your family and friends. Especially when the event is an intimate gathering like Chrissy and John’s DC art gallery wedding.

The getting-ready portion of Chrissy’s wedding day started in a very low-key way. When we arrived at Fathom Gallery, the bride was putting on her makeup along with her mom and two sisters. The easy and relaxed back-and-forth in their conversations made the closeness of their relationship plain as day. We could see how special the time they were spending together was. Chrissy’s sister helping their mom apply her makeup, for example, was a particularly sweet and tender moment.

No less significant were the moments the bride shared with the other family members and friends who stopped by to wish her well. Without knowing a thing about them, you could tell that every one of them knew Chrissy very well. Their visits were a great reminder to the bride-to-be of how much the people in her life cared about her.

Viceroy Washington DC Wedding Preparation Photos

Fathom Gallery’s bridal suite is technically large enough for both halves of the couple to prepare in. But if the spouses-to-be don’t want to see each other before the ceremony, one will have to get ready offsite. Fortunately, it is not hard to find awesome places to get into your wedding clothes within a short walk of Fathom Gallery. The venue sits near Logan Circle in Downtown DC. You can’t walk ten feet in that part of the Nation’s Capital without finding a chain and boutique hotel that is a great getting-ready option.

John chose to get dressed at the Viceroy Washington DC. A host to DC marriage celebrations in its own right, that luxury establishment is also an ideal place to get ready for an event at Fathom Gallery. For starters, it is literally around the corner from the art gallery. Perhaps more importantly, its rooms and suites seamlessly blend modern elegance and comfort. That creates a perfect atmosphere for pre-wedding preparations in the company of close family and friends.

Just like his future wife’s, John’s Viceroy DC wedding preparations were very much about those closest two him. The groom got into his elegant suit in the company of a very small gathering. His parents, brother, cousin and cousin’s wife were by his side, and a close friend joined them just before the group departed for Fathom Gallery.

The intimacy of the gathering made it a heck of a lot of fun to be a part of. And even more enjoyable to photograph! There were good-natured jokes at everyone’s expense, toasts to John’s impending nuptials and some very tender moments among the different family members. The images we captured of that time spent together stand as a testament to how special it was.

Intimate DC Wedding Ceremony on Fathom Gallery’s Rooftop

Once John and his family made the short walk over to Fathom Gallery, the rest of the guests convened on the venue’s outdoor rooftop space for the wedding ceremony. That area is yet another feature that makes Fathom one of the best galleries in DC that do weddings. For starters, it gives you the possibility of a wedding outside in the middle of DC with a gorgeous view of the sky. Perhaps more importantly, the space’s unique layout allows you to configure the seating in really fun ways. Several of the options — like the one Chrissy and John used — allow for “wraparound” arrangements. So your guests can watch you exchange your vows from really fun angles.

Like the other parts of their wedding, Chrissy and John’s intimate DC wedding ceremony was a celebration of their relationships with their family and friends. For example, they chose not one but two officiants. One was a good friend of the bride’s; the other was close to the groom. The officiants spoke at length about the couple’s time together, sharing stories about what brought them together. Those anecdotes were sometimes humorous, occasionally touching and often a bit of both. They clearly resonated with everyone in attendance, which was not surprising, given the intimacy of the event. The couple similarly funny and heartfelt handwritten vows also affected their guests significantly.

Outdoor ceremony at Fathom Gallery DC by Potok's World Photography

Mom and groom moment at Fathom Gallery DC outdoor ceremony by Potok's World Photography

Outdoor ceremony at Fathom Gallery DC by Potok's World Photography

Couple exchanging vows at outdoor wedding ceremony at Fathom Gallery in DC by Potok's World Photography

Post-Ceremony Washington DC Art Gallery Wedding Portraits

Also unsurprisingly, the newlyweds were eager to start the post-ceremony celebrations with their family and close friends. Before they joined the cocktail hour, however, we pulled them aside for a quick round of couples portraits. We started with some very sweet pictures of them embracing in front of the row of evergreens along the back edge of Fathom Gallery’s roof. As an aside, we’ve always found those trees to be a secretly lovely feature. Not only do they give the space an added measure of privacy, they also give a bit of a natural feel to an otherwise urban setting.

After getting some shots with that nature-y vibe, we then decided to change things up. Greenery aside, Fathom Gallery is at heart a hip, modern establishment in the middle of a city. To create some portraits with a vibe more consistent with that, we had Chrissy and John pose in front of the brick wall that makes up one side of the rooftop space. We felt that that background would give the images a more “DC art gallery wedding” vibe.

As luck would have it, the timing of the newlyweds’ portrait session happened to coincide with the sun dipping below the horizon. That turned the sky a deep, dark blue and the few wispy clouds a lovely pink. So before letting Chrissy and John join the party, we captured some images of them against that backdrop. The strings of lights that illuminate Fathom Gallery’s rooftop added some nice leading lines and visually interesting elements.

Fun and Quirky DC Rooftop Wedding Reception

With all that out of the way, Chrissy and John were more than ready to celebrate their wedding in earnest. The entire day up to that point had felt like a preamble; a necessary path to walk before reaching the end goal. It wasn’t that the ceremony wasn’t meaningful and heartfelt. It was simply that the couple couldn’t wait to spend time with those who came to support them.

Befitting their very intimate DC wedding celebration, Chrissy and John’s reception was low-key and personal. The couple’s schedule included a cocktail hour that was more like a “cocktail couple of hours.” That extra time allowed them to really enjoy the company of all their guests. The highlight of this part of the day came when the bride’s beloved nephew gave her and her new husband a small gift. He offered them a homemade card with a Harry Potter theme. (Apparently, the newlyweds had not seen any of those films until recently.)

Following some very touching and tear-inducing speeches from various family members, the couple moved their DC rooftop wedding reception back outside temporarily. Fathom Gallery’s staff had set up their cake there, and the newlyweds had all sorts of fun cutting it and feeding it to one another. Like just about everything in Chrissy and John’s wedding, the cake was a personal creation. A delicious red velvet cake comprised the base, while the top was an equally delectable lemon concoction.

The dance floor was also an entirely personal affair. The couple decided not to hire a DJ or band for their reception. Instead, all of the dance music came from a hand-picked Spotify playlist. Because every song meant something to somebody present, there was always someone getting a little extra crazy on the dance floor.


A Late-Night Surprise to Cap Off a Lovely Fathom Gallery Wedding

The hands-down highlight of the couple’s reception, though, was something that was not originally on the script. The groom has long campaigned on social media for the return of Wendy’s Spicy Chicken Nuggets. Ketchum PR, a branding and marketing company, picked up on that and decided to “sponsor” the wedding. Much to John’s delight, the firm sent over dozens of bags of the cult favorite menu item as a late-night snack.

Even though the groom knew the “Spicy Nugs” were coming, his excitement at their arrival was unmistakable. As soon as he stepped out onto Fathom Gallery’s rooftop and saw the chicken treats, his face lit up. He began pumping his fists in celebration and shouting into the air. His joy was so contagious that the entire wedding soon burst into an impromptu parody song about his love for Spicy Nugs. It was one of the most spontaneously funny moments we’ve ever witnessed, and the quirky wedding photos we took of John enjoying the snacks are some that will always make us smile.

Wendy's spicy chicken nuggets at Fathom Gallery DC wedding reception by Potok's World Photography

Thank you, Chrissy and John, for allowing us to share in this wonderful celebration of your love! We appreciate your trust and hope that you’ll always treasure these photos of your DC art gallery wedding!

Vendor team:

Bridal Gown: Anthropologie Bridal Wear

Groom Attire: Suitsupply

Wedding Venue: Fathom Gallery

Cake Artist: Sweet Crimes

Late Night Snacks: Wendy’s

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