“Classic, elegant, cozy, and joyful.” How Adrienne describes her and Matt’s fall wedding sounds delightful, doesn’t it?
These two met while they were in Washington, D.C.—Adrienne was a med student at Georgetown University and Matt had recently moved to Arlington, VA. They stuck together through Adrienne’s rotations in Philadelphia and Chicago, with Matt 100% behind Adrienne moving wherever they needed to be for her residency.
While they were traveling in Portugal and Spain, Matt waited for the perfect time to propose and then dropped to one knee at sunset at Cabo da Roca, Portugal! Back home in Philadelphia, they knew exactly where their celebration had to take place—Georgetown, where it all began.
From Adrienne, whose bridal look was not what she’d expected (more on that below!) and is beyond excited to travel with Matt to Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia for their honeymoon this month:
How did you guys meet?
“Matt and I met through Hinge, the dating app, while we were living in Washington, DC. I was a third-year medical student at the time at Georgetown University and he had just moved to the area after graduate school to work in management consulting in Arlington, VA. Our first date was coffee at Baked & Wired, a bakery in Georgetown. Afterward, we walked around the Georgetown waterfront. We had our first kiss in front of a yellow house in Georgetown, featured in our engagement photos.”
How did you know each other was “the one”?
“Matt says he knew I was the one about 2 months into our relationship. Something big and personal had happened in Matt’s life and he completely shut down and tried to push me away; stubborn as I am, I wouldn’t let him and pushed him to talk through his feelings. He said that’s when he knew that my hard-headedness may just mean I was the one for him, the one to push him to be better.
I knew when I was applying for residencies (~3-4 months into our relationship) and I did away rotations in Philadelphia (where we now live) and Chicago. Long distance is hard, and it’s even harder getting someone to commit to a move to a new place. When I knew that he not only was okay with the distance and moving wherever we needed to for me, I knew that he was really in this for the long haul.”
How did your sweetie propose?
“We were traveling in Portugal and Spain, and the day he proposed, we were in Sintra, Portugal, a magical town off the west coast of Lisbon. Our day in Sintra was cloudy but we found out that sunset was actually going to be sunny, so we headed to the coast to see the sunset at Cabo da Roca, the most western point of mainland Europe. We were walking the cliffs and it was stunning and Matt asked me if there was anything that could make that day better. I said, “Don’t be silly! This day is amazing.” He got down on one knee and proposed and my response was utter shock, I said, “Are you serious right now?! Yes!” A passerby who photographs took some shots and surprised us with them; I cried to that stranger and he later emailed us the photos. We ate dinner at a hole-in-the-wall family restaurant that night and it was amazing.”
How did you choose your topper? How did it complete your look?
“I envisioned that my wedding dress would be all lace with longer sleeves, a form-fitting look. I tried that look on at the first bridal store and thought it was the one, but was hesitant to commit and plus my sister wasn’t there yet. Just to be sure, I decided to proceed to my second appointment at The Bride Room. When I arrived, I didn’t really see anything that fit the look that I had envisioned, but I’m pretty open-minded. Rachel, the store owner and the person overseeing my appointment, asked if she could try some different looks. After 5-7 dresses, she put me in something very different than what I imagined: a shantung silk, form-fitted, trumpet skirt sweetheart dress from Antonio Gual. I had been adamant about lace and sleeves, so I wasn’t sure what Rachel was thinking, but then she pulled out the Lea-Ann Belter Mackenzie topper and it was a perfect fit. The look was exactly what I wanted, but done in such a unique way. Everyone assumed that the topper was for my ceremony (Catholic), but I insisted on wearing it the whole time as I couldn’t imagine not having that stunning lace on me!”
Tell us about your day!
“We knew that we would go back to DC to get married, and wanted our wedding to feel intimate and homey—like a large garden party for all of our friends and family. I was really invested in our wedding being at a historic home, as I’m a history buff and love the idea of respecting heritage. Dumbarton House is a stunning home in Georgetown, down the street from our first date, and I knew immediately it was the place. Dahlgren Chapel of the Sacred Heart is a stunning locale on the Georgetown campus, and it seemed only fitting that we would wed at Georgetown as it was my entire reason for being in DC. Matt also went to Loyola University for graduate school and has a deep connection to the Jesuit tradition.
In terms of our ceremony, we wanted people to embrace the simple beauty of the chapel so we chose to not add much to it. Just us! Our ceremony had a beautiful homily performed by Father Brian McDermott, a connection that had been recommended to us through Loyola. We had lunch with Father McDermott several times at the Jesuit residence prior to our day to get to know each other and he really nailed it the day of our wedding.
Our reception was outside on the upper and lower terraces at Dumbarton House. Again, I wanted it to feel very relaxed yet intimate, and very classic but also organic (I am VERY into plants and eco-friendly practices, most of our wedding was paperless or made from recycled papers). I wanted to be outside for most of the night to be close to the trees and nature, as that is my happy place. We had White Glove Rentals out of Maryland set up a sitting area outside and had a bar and a table with food for our cocktail hour. One of the band members played music on a guitar. It was so perfect.
Our dog couldn’t be there at the wedding but she’s the light of our life. We had her incorporated through our signature cocktail bearing her name, Harper’s Maple Sour, and through homemade (by me!) dog biscuit favors from her. We brought our current home, Philadelphia, into the mix by using Reanimator Coffee (based in Philly) as our favors and by featuring a “Philadelphia Fizz,” a gin fizz cocktail. Our florals were simple but dramatic with lots of greenery and neutrals but pops of dark red.”
What was your first dance song?
“Matt was really into having a song that would timestamp our marriage, something released the year we wed that spoke to us. He found a budding country artist out of Nashville that had written a beautiful acoustic song called “Where You Are” that spoke to our adventurous spirits. I never imagined loving the song, but when we first practiced dancing to it I broke down in tears. It really is so beautiful, and our band did an amazing job learning it.”
What was the funniest moment of your day?
“Getting to dance with our band! They were amazing. We used The Lone Rangers, a band with Sam Hill Entertainment based out of Charlottesville. We are old souls in terms of our music taste (I’m a HUGE Queen fan, as well as several other classic rock artists), and they absolutely killed our dance session with their set list. We had so many people complimenting them!”
What was your something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue?
“My something old was my pearl bracelet, given to me at 17 as a birthday gift by my mother. My something new was my earrings, a beautiful pearl and rhinestone combo made by someone on Etsy. My something borrowed was a 1980s Pi Beta Phi badge ring given to my mother by my father (they are divorced now) when they were dating; when I was initiated in college, my mother gifted it to me and I wear it on my right hand every day. My something blue was the patch that my seamstress placed inside my dress that featured the lace from my mother’s wedding dress.”
Three words that best describe your partner (you or both of you can answer!):
“Patient, passionate, curious.”
Any advice for future brides/grooms?
“My best advice would be to 1) get at least a month-of coordinator, as mine (Brielle Davis) was a true godsend!, 2) try not to work to make every single person happy. You won’t win that battle, and will stress yourself out more. I know people say it’s not really YOUR DAY, it’s your parents or whoever’s day, but honestly at the end of the day, it actually is your day and you and your partner should matter. We started making a lot of decisions at the end with that in mind and honestly I wish we’d learned it sooner. 3) Things will go wrong, and honestly from one Type A/OCD person to the next, that was SUPER hard for me. Roll with it. You will barely remember the day (why did it go so fast?!), so try to savor as much as you can and just love the people there celebrating YOU!”
Adrienne + Matt’s Dumbarton House Wedding Vendors
bride’s finery: Lea-Ann Belter Mackenzie jacket, Antonio Gual gown and Toni Federici veil via The Bride Room | photographer: Shelly Pate Photography | coordinator: Brielle Davis | hair + makeup: Poetically Brushed | groomsmen suiting + ties: Suit Supply + The Tie Bar | ceremony venue: Dahlgren Chapel of the Sacred Heart | reception venue: Dumbarton House | paper goods: Carleigh Courey Design | florals: Love Blooms | catering: Eleven Courses Catering | cake: Buttercream Bakeshop | rentals: White Glove Rentals + Sugarplum Tents | favors: Reanimator Coffee | band: The Lone Rangers | film: G1 Studios