Continuing on with Rachel’s big weekend… (the bridal luncheon back here). After the luncheon I headed back to the hotel. We were late arrival on Thursday and apparently these fancy city hotels double book, so long story short, they sent us to another Marriott a few blocks away. So while I was away at the luncheon, I dropped Steve to check out the Smithsonian’s until check-in time. After he was done we met up here at the hotel. Y’all, this was the view from our room. It was beautiful! The whole hotel change ended up being a lot less inconvenient than it sounds, and driving up on Thursday night made the whole long-weekend seem a whole lot longer.
It was rain, rain, rain for the rehearsal and, (spoiler alert), a gorgeous sunshine day for the wedding!
The venue for the wedding was the Ronald Reagan International Trade Building in downtown Washington D.C. Who knew you could even rent this thing out for a wedding?! It was gorgeous and beautiful and so DC, which is so them, because it’s the city they’ve grown together post-college!
Every time I see this guy, I can’t believe I’m lucky enough to have him as my date. Forever. We were so excited to have a kids-free weekend full of dressing up and dates! We miss those crazy kids when we’re gone but it’s so nice to spend some time like the good-old dating days with the added benefits of marriage… like not having to scare him away with constant wedding and future baby talk 😉
And so the rehearsal began with everyone’s fingers crossed that we would be doing the real thing outside the next day. The back-up plan was this gorgeous room, but there’s nothing quite like an outdoor wedding. Shoutout to my husband for these rehearsal pictures. He has the Kourtney-pick-up-my-camera-and-take-pictures nod down pat. And he’s a pretty darn good photographer if I do say so myself!
And so after the rehearsal everyone ran to the Ubers (still haven’t grasped the concept of that and don’t think I ever will), and we straggled out and caught an elevator with the bride and groom! Sometimes it’s the littlest moments that are so special, and those 45 seconds in the elevator we spent with Rachel and Grant we got to have our own little celebration with them and express to them how excited we are to experience all the joys of married life! Our marriage is one of life’s greatest gifts, and we get so excited for our friends to have this journey – especially when the couple is as good of a match as Rachel and Grant! It was still pouring rain when we made it outside, so we paused for a few umbrella pictures before we made our way over to the rehearsal dinner – again, I was so honored for Rachel to let me be the pre-wedding-photographer photographer! Some of my favorite pictures of the weekend. You can’t go wrong with romantic kissing in the rain pictures!
You better believe we walked back to The W in the pouring rain for the rehearsal dinner in our heels. Ha!
And so we made it to the rehearsal dinner, where all of Grant and Rachel’s love continued to shine through in the thoughtfulness of the little details. Like the frames of Rachel and Grant’s parents on their wedding day. Who were all there, more in love than ever giving away their children to get married. I can’t imagine what that might feel like quite yet, but what a wonderful part of life. And what a blessing to Grant and Rachel as two marriages strong enough to weather the storms of life and come out celebrating their love and loving God.
Rachel was so thoughtful to nix the old bridal party table tradition and made a giant ‘X’ with the room. Who wants to celebrate such a fun night with your date on the other side of the room eating with strangers!? Her setup was absolutely perfect and the room was stunning.
And so all of the guests filled in for a night of celebrating the soon-to-be bride and groom!
And so the speeches began and the laughing continued.
This whole wedding was as good as it sounded and looks, I promise. Grant and Rachel continually left their guests feeling so included and cared about. Everyone talked about how each event got a little more elaborate and added a few more people. With a destination wedding, I was so impressed at how welcomed and included everyone continually felt! It was certainly fitting for Rachel. After all, she always dreamed of being an event planner! Next up, their rooftop welcome to DC for all of their wedding guests, as Rachel continued to outdo herself!