washington chinese youth club

Crystal and Stephen's Dumbarton House and China Garden Wedding!

I'm so excited to share Crystal and Stephen's full wedding with you today!  I don't even know where to begin with this couple.  When I met with them the first time they told me all about their history, and it was pretty incredible to hear.  Both Crystal and Stephen's parents knew each other before Crystal and Stephen were even born, and Stephen's parents even guessed that Crystal would be a girl.  Needless to say, Crystal and Stephen ending up together is a real-life fairy tale, and I'm so honored I was there to photograph their big day! We started the day at the Hyatt Arlington where the gals and guys got ready, and boy did I love some of the getting ready photos we took!  I got a little carried away with Crystal, but she just looked so gorgeous and she kept doing all of these amazing poses...I couldn't help myself!  After we left the Hyatt we headed straight for The Dumbarton House for the wedding ceremony.  Due to the rain everything was indoors, but it still looked so lovely!  Crystal and Stephen tied the knot and included a red Chinese rope in their ceremony, which I had never seen before.  Red is a color you'll see a lot in their photos, because signifies love, joy and prosperity in the Chinese wedding tradition.  After their ceremony we stayed for a bit a Dumbarton and got some great group photos, and yes, you guessed it, went out in the rain for a bit!  Crystal coordinated everything so well with some umbrella's and I was really pleased with those shots!

Before we went to the reception, I asked if we could go back to the Hyatt's lobby and utilize this giant bench and cool background for some photos.  The best part about that was the giant bench I wanted to utilize was...bright red!  So, keeping in line with the prosperity of the Chinese tradition, we got some great photos of the wedding party and the happy couple before we hit up China Garden.

Once we got to China Garden, a party was unleashed!  Crystal and Stephen had their first dance, then changed into their Chinese attire, and then launched into some awesome Chinese traditions.  First, Crystal and Stephen had a tea ceremony where they offered tea to their parents and elders in their family, and in return received lucky red envelopes full of jewelry and money.  Second, they had an incredible Chinese Lion Dance with drummers come in and perform for the bride and groom!  The lions went all over the room collecting gifts for Crystal and Stephen while doing some really crazy dancing!  My favorite part of the dance was when Crystal and Stephen offered the lions lettuce, which is representational of their payment for the dance.  Then the lions chewed the lettuce and spit it out to spread prosperity in all directions.  The lions then offered Crystal and Stephen their gifts and it was all over!  The last tradition I experienced with Crystal and Stephen was the table toasting, where the bride and groom walk around to each table to thank their family and friends for the gifts they've offered.  It was really sweet to watch them walk around and acknowledge everyone there!

Once the traditions were finished, Crystal and Stephen changed back into their original attire and they got to relax and dance the night away.  Before I left, I did get some pretty great shots of them just outside of China Garden in an elevator lobby, which I just loved.  Stephen is solely responsible for making that happen, as we had some security issues with being able to use the space, but of course he worked his magic.  Did I mention how great Crystal and Stephen are?  ;)

Many thanks to Crystal, Stephen and their friends and family for letting me be part of their special day.  And also many thanks to Roberts Event Planning for keeping the day super awesome and organized.  More vendors at the bottom of this post!  Enjoy!

Photographer: Lisa Boggs Photography Planner: Roberts and Co. Events Hair: Valerie Bogley Makeup: Allison Leigh Makeup Artistry Brides Dress: P. Lawrence Bridals and Formals Hotel: Hyatt Rosslyn Ceremony: Dumbarton House String Trio: Bay Strings Officiant: Amber King (A King Celebration) Florals: Twinbrook Floral Design Cake: Fancy Cakes by Leslie Limo: KV Limo Reception: China Garden DJ:  Marc Augenbraum DJ Services Chinese Lion Dancers: CYC Lion Dance Program Chairs: DC Rentals

Thanks for looking!