Tell us a little about yourselves!
Shawn and I met over 8 years ago during a time in our lives when neither of us were really thinking about settling down. I was still in design school and Shawn had just moved out on his own. But we figured out pretty quickly (Shawn sooner than me) that this was something special. As the years went by, we grew a lot as individuals but every milestone we shared felt so natural and special. So when Shawn proposed in 2020 during a Thanksgiving trip to the Hamptons, it was an easy yes!
Why did you decide to get married where you did?
We tossed around many ideas when we first began planning, but ultimately hosting in our home city just seemed to make sense. The hotel itself checked all the boxes for the vibe we were trying to create for ourselves and our guests - beautiful sunset views, eclectic local artwork, cosy furniture and vibrant colors everywhere. Paired with the delicious food and drinks they served, we couldn't have asked for a more perfect backdrop for our special day.
How many guests did you have?
Tell us about your outfits.
I must have tried on over a hundred dresses in several states over the course of my shopping journey. Only to find the perfect one in a local boutique, Carine’s Bridal, 20 mins from home. I couldn’t verbalize exactly what I was looking for at the time, but when I tried on the Lela Rose Brighton dress, I knew that was it! It was classic, flattering, comfortable and 100% me. I had reservations about wearing a traditional veil, and came across my pearl cape on Etsy. It felt like the perfect modern take. Shawn's suit was designed from scratch and tailormade by Enzo Custom. The only requirement was that the suit should be as vibrant as he is. Shawn and I vacationed in Italy for 2 weeks this past summer and hit the jackpot with finding his accessories! His tie, pocket square, socks and shoes were all found in the local shopping district of Naples.
What was the most important aspect for you, in terms of planning your wedding?
Pretty early on we decided we were going to do things our way! We felt that it was easy to fall into traditions and others’ visions for the day, many of which simply didn't fit our budget or feel authentic to us as a couple. Everything from wedding playlist, to our custom stationery (designed by me and close design friend) screamed Anike and Shawn.
Were there any elements that were important for you to incorporate?
We were determined to host an authentic city wedding in the place where they fell in love and are lucky to call home. From the monument views at the rooftop ceremony to the local bakery cupcakes to the flowers from our favorite neighborhood shops, we wanted every detail to demonstrate our individual flair and the beauty of Washington DC. We also paid homage to our shared Caribbean heritage by including a traditional rum cake on the dessert table and playing Caribbean music that kept everyone moving on the dance floor! Since we didn’t hire a coordinator, we felt so grateful for the village of family and friends that helped us pull off a beautiful event without a hitch!
Any tips for couples getting married?
Don’t follow tradition just for the sake of it (especially if it will add stress or blow your budget).This is your day! So keep the things that are meaningful to you, and leave out the rest.
Are there any vendors that you would like to tell us a little more about?
Our photographer, Margaret Wroblewski, was truly the best. She was such a calming presence during the hustle and bustle of the day and captured our special moments even more beautifully than we could have imagined. Our DJ Kendollaz was also a true artist. We met unexpectedly in Saks 5th NYC and I couldn’t be more grateful that we connected. She was super accommodating to our eclectic music taste, and made sure that the vibes were just right at every moment during the evening.
Photographer : Margaret Wroblewski @margaretwroblewski | Ceremony + Reception Location : The Kimpton Banneker Hotel @thebanneker | DJ: DJ Kendollaz @djkendollaz | Flora : SheLovesMe, and Trader Joes @shelovesmedc @traderjoes | Cake : Baked and Wired + Crown Bakery (for Traditional Rum Cake) @bakedandwireddc | Stationery : Custom designed by the Bride and friend, Kathy Chen @kchendesign | Shawn's Suit : Enzo Custom @enzocustom | Anike's Dress : Lela Rose from Carine's Bridal Atelier @carinebridal @lelarosebridal | Engagement + Wedding Rings : A.R. Morris Jewelers @a.r.morrisjewelers | Bride's Shoes : Cult Gaia @cultgaia | Groom's Shoes : Otisopse @otisopseshoes | Pearl Earrings : Gabrielle Sanchez @gabriellesanchezjewelry | Tie : FeFe Napoli @fefe.napoli | Cape : Etsy @etsy