A sweet DC micro wedding filled with meaningful moments & joy. Celebrating such an important milestone of their journey with their families all together Natalie & Joey didn’t allow COVID-19 to stand in the way of whats most important about a wedding day, getting married! Many details of this couple’s story are so heartfelt & touching, showing the world that love isn’t canceled even if the wedding has to be rescheduled a few times along the way!
How did you meet?
“We met on the Sunday of Martin Luther King weekend in 2017. Our first date was at the bar formerly called the Commodore on 11 and P Street. Little did we know that three years later we’d be celebrating our wedding just on the other side of Logan Circle! We immediately had so much fun that the date turned into Natalie meeting Joey’s brother Conrad and cousin Christina for dinner that night.”
What is your proposal story?
“The morning of August 23, 2019 Joey woke up at 3:30am very anxious over a “a big meeting” and left the apartment before 6am – definitely unusual but not completely out of the ordinary. Around 5:00pm Joey texted Natalie that the meeting was going exceptionally well and to get dressed for a date night out – it was time to celebrate. Natalie wanted to do something special for Joey so she immediately went out and bought flowers and champagne to surprise Joey as he walked in the door. She was confused when she saw Joey walking (storming) into the apartment with a giant bouquet of flowers – he proposed in the entryway of our apartment (where we ended up celebrating our marriage!). Joey was very excited and had to cool off/pace around for a few minutes while we facetimed our parents and siblings. The rest of the evening was filled with thoughtful surprises that Joey had planned throughout the night – from wine to drink on our 10 year anniversary to dinner and drinks at the Line Hotel in DC where everyone knew we had just gotten engaged from all of his prep and planning!”
Tell us a little a bit about your wedding (your vision, color, style, and location choices).
“This wedding is the result of postponing our larger wedding two times and trying to get family together during a pandemic! We would be lying if we had a “vision” for this event at all! Once we decided to get married with our families this year, we were hoping to go to church and have dinner at one of our favorite restaurants in DC. Due to the pandemic restrictions, our group of 14 was not able to go to any restaurants – so we landed at hosting ourselves in our apartment. While our original wedding plan was a giant garden party, we wanted to have the city counterpart at our apartment in DC. Some themes we carried from our original wedding plans were hydrangeas – we had these on the liners for our formal invitations.”
Tell us about your attire choices.
“Joey and I decided that we wanted to save our original attire for a larger future celebration. Joey decided to get a new suite from Exra Paul, who also made his tuxedo. He wore the bulldog cufflinks I gave him on our original wedding date – May 9, 2020 – now our “Wally Anniversary.” I wanted something to mirror that classic “going to the courthouse in the city” vibe and fell in love with the Self Portrait dress. The shoes I originally purchased to go with my original wedding gown – a little something blue – and I am so happy this dress was able to show them off.”
What was the most important to the two of you while planning? Was there anything that you chose to splurge on or skip? “Getting married! This wedding is a testament that we did not want to wait any longer to be married, regardless of the “wedding” itself. After shopping around for caterers for the menu we had planned for our original wedding, we decided to make the main ourselves – I cooked Maryland crabcakes and Joey cooked tenderloin. We cook a lot in our house and it felt right to be making dinner for our loved ones.”
What were your favorite parts of the day?
“My dad and I arrived at the church 5 minutes before 4 to walk down the aisle. For some reason, there was a delay. My dad began to peer through the doors of the church and give me a play by play – the first thing he said was “Joey is here and he looks very handsome.” We had to wait about 15 minutes while the readings were sorted out – another reality of not having a rehearsal for your covid wedding! Our favorite memory (we compared separately) was holding hands while I finally made it down the aisle. It was amazing to be standing in front of our families in such an intimate ceremony. I laughed the whole ceremony – it was truly happy and joyous. Joey’s family is from California and Natalie’s is from Maryland. This was the first time our entire families had been together at once – we will cherish having the memories and time with just the families forever. After the wedding in DC we all went to Bethany Beach, DE – where Natalie’s parents live half of the year and were able to show the Tavarezes life on the Eastern shore, including a crab feast and late night pizza on the beach.”
Notes from the photographer – “When Natalie and Joey contacted me about photographing their DC micro wedding last June, I was over the moon. Right now you may know that the COVID-19 pandemic has ravaged the DC wedding industry. My couples and many other events in the area were rescheduled or flat-out cancelled, so I was thrilled to hear that Natalie and Joey were not going to let the state of the world stop them from getting married. I enjoyed the short, yet sweet flow of their ceremony and intimate family reception at their Logan Circle home. We met the couple at Saint Martins Catholic Church in Northeast DC. With less than 20 guests in attendance, it was a small ceremony but absolutely full of joy. I enjoyed being witness to those brief interactions Natalie and Joey shared with their guests, something that doesn’t happen often with larger wedding ceremonies! Later in Logan Circle, the couple organized a heartfelt champagne toast with their families in celebration. It goes without saying that the star of the show here was Wally, the couple’s American/English bulldog puppy. Natalie and Joey adopted him on the date of their originally planned wedding, so Wally holds a special place in their lives. Of course we had to pull him in for a few portraits to commemorate the day! Later on I found out that Joey had incorporated Wally into his own details – his cufflinks! I’ve never seen anything cooler and what a special way to include Wally in another part of their day! Natalie looked stunning as well in her Self Portrait Lace midi dress and pale blue Jimmy Choo heels.”
Please describe any DIY, handmade, or personal details.
“From the tablecloths to the dish-ware to the decorations – it was all from our own home. It was so special to be able to use the plates, glasses, silverware, etc. that we received as gifts from our registry for our wedding dinner! We will always remember who gave them to us and that they were used on this special day.”
Did you include any family heirlooms or special traditions?
“On Thursday my mom took my sister and me (also getting married this year) out to lunch. She gave us the prayer book and clutch purse that my grandmother, mother, and aunt all carried down the aisle and during their wedding day. I carried it with me as well.”
Tell us about your wedding flowers.
“Joey ordered my bouquet from the same florist he got the bouquet on our engagement day! He had some ideas from our original wedding vision and ordered as a gift. My mom ordered white hydrangeas from Sam’s club to decorate the apartment in vintage milk glass pieces! They turned out beautifully and lasted for weeks.”
What did you do for favors?
“We put together “welcome bags’ with all the essentials for being in DC during a pandemic – hand sanitizer, chocolates, and bug wipes. For placeholders, we ordered custom wine charms with each person’s name scripted into a write charm that they were able to take with them.”
Do you have any advice for couples planning their weddings now?
“The most important thing that matters is marrying the one you love! Plans can be made, changed, and delayed. If you’re doing a micro-wedding, keep it simple so you can enjoy the time with your families during this pandemic – not worrying about details.”
Photography: Michelle Whitley Photography | Ceremony Venue: SAINT MARTINS OF TOURS | Reception Venue: PRIVATE RESIDENCE, WASHINGTON, D.C. | Floral: Lee’s Flower Shop | Floral: DIY by the Bride’s mom | Wedding Cake: DIY by bride | Rentals: DIY by bride | Linens: DIY by the Bride’s mom | Hair: DIY by the Bride | Makeup: DIY by the Bride | Accessories: Babette Wasserman | Bracelet: David Yurman | Earrings: DIY by the Bride’s mom | Wedding Dress: SELF PORTRAIT | Groom’s Attire: EZRA PAUL | Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Engagement Ring: Nuggets and Karats | Wedding Ring: Bloomingdales | Wedding Ring: The Tiny Jewel Box | Veil: MrDonDon | Submitted via: Matchology