Weddings at the DC’s Cosmos Club are almost by definition elegant affairs. Located in Washington DC’s Dupont Circle neighborhood, the private club and wedding venue gives every marriage celebrated there a touch of class and luxury. It certainly did for Rachael and Ian’s Jewish marriage celebration! From the moment the bride and groom started getting ready in the Bridal Suite and Billiards Room, respectively, to the final songs that the Bachelor Boys Band played during the reception, every minute of their event felt luxurious. More importantly, every minute of the day was a celebration of more than just the happy couple. It was also about the family and friends who were there to support them. And with that much emotion on display, it’s no wonder that the photos of Rachael and Ian’s Jewish Cosmos Club DC wedding were both beautiful and meaningful!
Photos of the Bride Getting Ready in the Cosmos Club Bridal Suite
One of the downsides to a lot of non-hotel wedding venues is that they often don’t have dedicated getting-ready spaces. Which means that you need to deal with the logistical and financial hassles of prepping somewhere else. The Cosmos Club solves that problem by providing rooms in which the couple and their wedding party can get ready.
For brides (typically, but not necessarily), there is the Bridal Suite. This room on the top floor of the club is essentially the equivalent of a suite in a luxury hotel. In other words, it is comfortable and spacious, and has every amenity you’d need to prepare for your wedding.
This space is where Rachael and her half of the wedding party got their hair and makeup done. It is also where they got into their dresses. That initial part of the wedding day was relaxed and fun, with lots of laughter and even more group selfies. Our favorite moment to photograph was when Rachael’s mom helped her into the wedding dress as several bridesmaids looked on.
Pictures of the Groom Preparing in the Billiards Room at the Cosmos Club DC
The space where grooms usually get ready for their Cosmos Club wedding is the Billiards Room. In many ways, that space is ideal for the unique rhythms of a groom and his groomsmen preparing. (Again, we’ll point out that though the groom and his half of the wedding party usually use this room to get ready, the space is equally appropriate for anyone.)
In our experience, most grooms and groomsmen don’t need a ton of time to get prepared for the wedding. As a result, they spend much of the getting-ready time goofing around. They have a couple of drinks and a bite to eat, and share stories and some laughs. Venues that offer fun things for them to do during this time make the whole experience that much more enjoyable.
The Billiards Room at the Cosmos Club is exactly that kind of place. It has, unsurprisingly, two billiards tables – one for pool and another for snooker. And those are perfect ways for groom and groomsmen to entertain themselves before getting ready. The space also has a chess table for the more strategically minded. The bookshelves lined with tomes on a variety of topics, the ornate fireplace and antique mirror and the amusing political cartoons from the early 20th century complete the whole “private club” aesthetic and give the room an elegant feel.
Ian and his groomsmen spent most of the getting-ready portion of the day playing pool and chess. They swapped stories from their college days and generally took it easy. In addition to some creatively-lit pictures of the guys shooting pool, the most impactful images of Ian included him spending some time with his uncle and him, and a few groomsmen fixing their ties in the mirror.
First Look in the Cosmos Club Washington DC Garden
Though the Cosmos Club’s main selling point is its luxurious interior, it actually does have some outdoor space as well. The wedding venue has a charming little garden in the space between the club and the buildings around it. It’s a great spot for post-ceremony couples portraits with a bit of natural beauty in the background. But it’s also a lovely location for a first look. Especially because of the stairs that lead from the Cosmos Club down to the garden. We’ve talked about this in more detail elsewhere, but stairs (or a steep hill) add a visually pleasing height change to pictures of first look.
At our suggestion, Rachael and Ian saw each other in their wedding clothes for the first time in the garden. They wanted to put a more personal touch on it, though. So they asked their parents and wedding party to watch the first look from another part of the garden. That added a sweet and unique dimension to the moment when Ian turned around to see his bride-to-be. And it resulted in some awesome photos of the crowd celebrating the couple!
Couples Portraits Inside the Cosmos Club
Immediately following the first look, we took a few pictures of Rachael and Ian in the garden. But the late spring DC sun was starting to beat down. So we decided that it would be better to do the rest of the couple portraits inside. Of course, it didn’t hurt that the spaces within the Cosmos Club’s four walls are such gorgeous backdrops for portraits!
We started on the magnificent staircase that connects the different floors of the Cosmos Club. The plush red carpeting; dark, heavy wooden bannister, and ornate mirrors make the stairs are one of the club’s highlights. They really exemplify the luxury for which the Cosmos Club is famous!
We brought Rachael and Ian down to the ground floor, where the stairs widen as they reach into the lobby. We like that particular spot as a location for couple portraits because the light is a little better than elsewhere on the staircase. It also gives us the opportunity to give our couples something more creative. So after a few more standard portraits of Rachael and Ian posing on the stairs, we asked them to do something a little unusual.
The couple lied down on the marble floor of the Cosmos Club lobby. In the meantime, we climbed up to the top of the staircase. From there, we took some really cool portraits with the stairs spiraling around them. As you can see, the resulting images really stand out!
We finished the couple portrait portion of the day with some more romantic pictures of the soon-to-be spouses in one of the Cosmos Club’s libraries. With the warm wood walls, comfortable chairs and unique accents, the room infuses wedding portraits with coziness and romance. As you can see in the photos featured here!
Traditional Jewish Wedding Ceremony in the Cosmos Club’s Warne Ballroom
The more formal parts of Rachael and Ian’s Jewish wedding celebration started with the traditional signing of the ketubah. As a setting for this sacred ceremony, the couple chose the National Geographic Room that leads out into the Cosmos Club garden. With bright white walls, an exquisitely tiled floor and lots of natural light, it’s a great spot for a ketubah signing ceremony. So after a few words by the rabbi, the couple and their witnesses inked the document and enjoyed the cheers of celebration from their closest family and friends.
After a bit of downtime with the wedding party in one of the Cosmos Club’s other libraries, the couple was ready for their traditional Jewish wedding ceremony. That took place in the magnificent Warne Ballroom. Inspired by Versailles, this glorious room positively glows thanks to the gold accents throughout the space and the huge mirror at the far end. You won’t find a more luxurious location for a wedding ceremony anywhere in the DMV!
Rachael and Ian’s exchange of vows included most of the elements of a traditional Jewish wedding ceremony. Once the couple met under the chuppah at the mirrored end of the room, the rabbi began by blessing a cup of wine and offering some welcoming remarks. The bride and groom then read their handwritten vows and exchanged rings. Once they finished, the rabbi invited various members of Rachael and Ian’s family up to read the seven traditional blessings. (This is one of our favorite parts of Jewish wedding ceremonies to photograph, because it really highlights the role of family in a marriage.) The ceremony then concluded with the groom smashing a glass, a lovely first kiss and the guests singing their congratulations to the couple as they exited as newlyweds.
Wild Washington DC Cosmos Club Wedding Reception
After the cocktail hour, the entire wedding reconvened in the Warne Ballroom for the first part of Rachel and Ian’s wedding reception. In between dinner courses, the couple got to enjoy speeches and toasts from both sets of parents, the maid of honor and the two best men. As is often the case, their words were sometimes touching, often funny and always sweet. We got lots of photos of the newlyweds roaring with laughter and wiping away tears.
At the conclusion of the dinner, the couple and their guests did a “photo song.” That’s a fun tradition in which the newlyweds and their photographers (us) run from table to table taking a picture with each group of guests. The catch is that all of this needs to be completed by the time a five-minute song finishes. We made it with seconds to spare, and the whole experience left everyone laughing and ready to party. Before they moved into the Crentz Room for the dancing, though, there was one piece of business left: singing the Cornell alma mater. Rachael, Ian and about 30 guests graduated from that university, so there were a lot of voices raised for “Far Above Cayuga’s Waters.” (As a Dartmouth alum, Pete was sorely tempted to yell, “Go Big Green!” at the end. But he resisted!)
The dancing kicked off with a lovely first dance and transitioned immediately to the father-daughter and mother-son dances, which the couple did concurrently. Then the dance floor opened to everybody. And it did not take long for things to get rowdy! Rachael and Ian’s guests danced, sweated, shouted and sang unflaggingly for the entire rest of the night. We had so much fun capturing all the craziness on film for the couple to enjoy forever.
Special Thanks to a Wonderful Couple
Thank you, Rachael and Ian, for making us a part of your Jewish wedding at the Cosmos Club! It was an enormous honor and pleasure for us!
Venue: Cosmos Club
Planning and decor: Dailey Forte Designs
Florals: Park Florist
Photography: Potok’s World Photography
Videography: Rivion Wedding Films
Band: Bachelor Boys Band
Hair and Makeup: No Filter Glam
Wedding Cake: Baked and Wired
Wedding Dress: Kinsley James Couture
Groom’s Tux: Hugo Boss
Bridesmaids’ Dresses: David’s Bridal
Contact Us for More Information!
Interested in learning more about our services? Please visit our Wedding Photography FAQ page for answers to all your questions! Ready to inquire about our availability on your wedding date? Contact us now to get the conversation started!