Last winter, during the depths of Vermont’s shortest, darkest, and coldest days, I had the great pleasure to work with Annie and Michael on a custom wedding certificate featuring Washington DC’s famous cherry blossoms. Needless to say, working on this special illustration was a very welcome break from the winter blues!
Recently, the newlyweds Annie and Michael were kind enough to send me some stunning photos of their special day. The pictures even included a shot of an incredible surprise flash mob coordinated by their friends! The couple was kind enough to let me share some photos here as well as answer a few questions about their experience working together on a custom wedding certificate. Thank you so much, Annie and Michael!
Photos by Lauren Bulbin.
Why do the Washington DC cherry blossoms and skyline have significance to the two of you?
Even after years of living in DC, Michael and I agree that we get a huge charge out of the first glimpse we catch of the skyline whenever we return to town from time “outside the Beltway.” It doesn’t matter if we’re driving or flying, it’s always fun to see these iconic buildings and memorials appear in the distance.
Beyond this, we’re both really familiar with some of the most recognizable buildings (the Lincoln, Washington, and Jefferson Memorials; the White House; the Capitol) from running miles and miles around the city over the course of the last several years. In fact, Annie’s morning runs to work take her right down Capitol Hill, and Michael’s lunchtime jaunts have him looping both the White House and Washington Monument. You’d think we’d lose the sense of wonder that seeing these things for the first time inspires, but we haven’t yet.
Finally, we had an early spring wedding. A late season blizzard blanketed the city in snow just a few days before we tied the knot, and yet, the cherry blossoms persisted.
In what other ways was Washington, DC incorporated into your wedding theme?
Michael has lived in Washington, DC since 2012; Annie, since 2015. The city has been the backdrop to our entire relationship, and we knew that we wanted our friends and families to experience our version of the city for our wedding. In fact, all of our wedding weekend events took place within walking distance from our home. We started the weekend with hosting our guests at a favorite local bar, Tunnicliffe’s Tavern, and kicked off the big day with a Wedding Day 5K for all of our guests along the Anacostia River. (Participation prizes? Plastic tumblers with the skyline sketched on the side.) We got ready at home, together, and took a short stroll over to Eastern Market, where we held both our ceremony and our reception.
Annie’s cousin designed the programs, which reflected the skyline/cherry blossom theme that Adriana’s wedding certificate set, and the skyline outline also showed up on our seating chart and online invitations. We used different Carlos Carmona Medina postcards, inspired by DC neighborhoods in place of traditional table numbers—and even commissioned him to do one of Eastern Market with us dancing in the background to use for our thank you notes. The band from DC’s famous New Vegas Lounge played the reception, and even the liquor stocked at the bar was (mostly) of DC origin.
How was your experience commissioning custom artwork from Ink with Intent for your wedding certificate?
We found Adriana through A Practical Wedding, and loved the idea of (1) working with her to create unique artwork to commemorate our wedding, and (2) asking our loved ones to sign their names as as they witnessed our commitment to one another—particularly because we self-officiated the ceremony! (Another special way of incorporating DC into the event: Serving as our own officiants, as permitted by a law on the books in DC, as well as in a few other states.)
We emailed Adriana about 5 months before the wedding to set up a 30 minute Facetime consult, during which we had a good time getting to know one another, heard a little bit about her story, and told her a lot about ours. Going into the call, we weren’t entirely clear on what art we hoped she’d create—there was a moment when it looked like the Blue Ridge Mountains might carry the day—but Adriana was able to listen to us and describe how she could design an image that met our goals of being place-specific as well as not too far removed from the natural world. We loved the idea, and also loved the no-commitment sketch she shared within the following two weeks (as promised)! We ended up signing a contract in mid-December, and had the certificate in plenty of time for our March wedding.
When it came time to figuring out logistics, Adriana and her team shared some very useful suggestions, right down to best gel pens to use for signing. I’d say we’d love to work with her again, but as neither of us ever foresees the need for another wedding, we’ll be content with the beautiful art we have.
Thank you, Annie and Michael! It was a joy to work with you on such a special project.