Having met while both did contract legal work in the metropolitan D.C. area, Katerina LaMarche and Justin Sampson were simply inseparable after turning their initial friendship into lifelong romance. Although their conversations had hinted at marriage, Justin managed to catch Katerina off guard with a surprise proposal - and a sparkling ring - while enjoying dinner at Hotel Monaco.
Even more romantically, the two eloped privately in October of 2013, but later celebrated in style with a second ceremony for their family and friends at Long View Gallery in Washington. With Katerina originally from Seattle, and Justin from the Atlanta area, the couple has friends and family on both coasts, so a D.C. destination was ideal, and Long View, a premiere fine art and event space, offered the perfect, slightly non-traditional setting they both wanted. "We loved the artist who was showing at the time of our wedding," says Katerina. "The simplicity of the space made it the perfect backdrop for our day."
THE BRIDE WORE
To complete her wedding day ensemble - with a strapless Amsale gown with crystal waistband as the centerpiece -- Katerina added stunning Jimmy Choo heels and a beautiful garden-look bouquet mixing shades of pinks and cream. Already lucky in love, she followed the sentimental tradition of a lucky sixpence for her shoe as well, a gift from her mother-in-law.
As her own favorite creative aspect of the wedding celebration the bride coordinated an incredible design of black-and-white with a touch of gold for the invitations and other wedding stationery, which included save-the-date cards and cleverly designed map cards for out-of-town guests. That very personal statement regally announced a ceremony and reception at the gallery, where dinner kicked off with feta, basil, and watermelon salad, followed by choices of beef short ribs, blackened chicken, or vegetable lasagna, presented atop black, white, and gold chargers. For the delicious finale, the newlyweds shared a s'mores cake (yes, chocolate and graham cracker!) with an amazing marshmallow cream frosting, and their names in an elegant scroll font as the cake top. Adding their personal stamp to the evening's full bar, Katerina and Justin introduced signature drinks - their own favorites - that included a Paloma cocktail, a "dark and stormy," bourbon peach tea, and a St. Charles Streetcar, from one of their favorite New Orleans' restaurants. Even though they were already married, the couple truly loved having all their favorite people in the same place. "Our friends and family live all over the country and we don't get to see them often," says the bride. "It was really special." The beautiful end result of this couple's dream of marrying on their own terms paid off. Their advice? "Don't feel rushed to start planning," says Katerina. "Take your time and figure out what best represents you as a couple and make it whatever you want!"
Photography by Amelia Johnson
Ceremony & Reception Site: Long View Gallery, Washigton, DC
Gown: Designed by Amsale, purchased at Nordstrom
Bridesmaids' Dresses: Jay Godfrey and Erin Fetherston
Men's Attire: J. Crew
Catering: Main Event
Wedding Cake: Grassroots Gourmet
Invitations: Champagne Press
Flowers: Highway to Hill