This Couple's Elegant Wedding in Maryland Was Filled With Nods to Grandmillennial Style

The pair opted for a relaxed, but traditional design scheme for their fall vow exchange.

bride and groom portrait
Photo: KT Merry

In 2015, Desiree and Jimmy first locked eyes at a dinner with mutual friends in college. Throughout their senior year, their relationship remained platonic—but Desiree finally reciprocated Jimmy's romantic pursuits before graduation. The couple dated long distance for over two years before Jimmy moved to Washington, D.C., to be close to Desiree, and on February 22, 2020, he popped the question. He staged a romantic scene in a private igloo on the patio of the Watergate Hotel and filled the enclosure with peonies, Desiree's favorite flower—and on a cozy winter night, she said yes to forever.

February 22, however, was just weeks before the COVID-19 pandemic hit stateside in 2020, but the duo was fortunate—they'd always planned on a long engagement. With the help of Tara Guerard Soiree, who brought their grandmillennial big-day vision to life, their wedding planned for October 23, 2021, went off without a hitch.

The couple said "I do" at the home of Desiree's longtime tennis coach and family friends, Shuby and Page. Jimmy and Desiree often play tennis there, and Shuby and Page mentioned in passing that they would welcome hosting the wedding on their property. The Potomac, Md., estate was the perfect setting, so Jimmy and Desiree took them up on their offer. Adding to the significance of the location, Shuby stepped in as best he could when Desiree's father passed away in February before the wedding. He'd always been like a second father, supportive and loving—and this made the couple's nuptials even more meaningful.

wedding invitation suite
KT Merry

A Custom Crest

The invitations set the elegant, traditional, and relaxed tone of the wedding. The Lettered Olive created the suite with a custom Bolivian-inspired crest (a nod to the bride's culture), monogram, and an envelope liner that matched the big-day stage partition.

bride and bridesmaids getting ready
KT Merry

Getting Ready for "I Do"

While the couple's pets, Cupid, Daisy, Sadie, and Romeo (three dogs and a bird!), didn't attend the ceremony and reception, they did join in on the fun while everyone got ready. The bridal party accompanied Desiree for a relaxing morning spent wearing feathered pajamas and having their hair and makeup done.

wedding dress with sleeves and flowing veil
KT Merry

A Dress for Dancing

Desiree was torn between two wedding dresses when she visited Carine's Bridal Atelier in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington D.C. The Reem Acra number won the starring role because the bride knew she'd be comfortable moving around in it. She added sleeves for a custom touch.

bride holding veil
KT Merry

Touching Elegance

The bride wore a veil, also by Reem Acra, for her walk down the aisle. She accessorized her big-day look with jewelry from her late mother to keep her memory close.

blue wedding bridal pumps
KT Merry

Baby Blue

Manolo Blahnik pumps were Desiree's "something blue." The slingbacks' blue satin hue was carried throughout the wedding day's color palette.

cascading bridal bouquet
KT Merry

Cascading Bouquet

Dahlias, garden roses, gomphrena, and greenery cascaded from Desiree's hand-tied bouquet. The result was an organic and lush arrangement wrapped in vintage cream ribbon and an embroidered blue monogram.

groom portrait in navy suit
KT Merry

Suited and Booted

Jimmy donned a handmade tuxedo designed by Brimble and Clark in Washington, D.C.; accents included a colorful liner and extra-wide lapel.

desiree jimmy wedding party
KT Merry

A Stunning Group

Desiree worked together with Kathia of Natasha Atelier to choose the design and fabric of the bridesmaids' dresses in two silhouettes (one-shoulder and A-line); each frock was custom fit to each attendant. Her bridesman wore a custom light blue tuxedo from Brimble and Clark to coordinate with the 'maids.

Groomsmen wore black tuxedos; the groomswoman chose a black dress to complement the others.

wedding boutonnieres
KT Merry

Organic Boutonnières

Each boutonnière was hand-wrapped and featured a flower that spoke to the bride's bouquet.

bride walking down aisle
KT Merry

Arm in Arm

During the ceremony processional, the bride walked down the aisle on Shuby's arm. "I've known him my whole life basically, and I felt that if my father couldn't be beside me, then he would've wanted Shuby to take his place," says Desiree.

bride and groom exchanging ceremony vows
KT Merry

Meaningful Moments

Both Desiree and Jimmy wrote their own vows, and the moment evoked happy, sentimental tears. One of the most meaningful touches was an ode to someone who wasn't there: Desiree wrote a poem for her father in Spanish, which was incorporated into the program.

ceremony florals
KT Merry

Relaxed Elegance

Tara Guerard Soiree designed all of the day's details with "relaxed elegance" in mind—including the oversized wooden ceremony structure which was topped with cascading greenery and florals in a mellow cream, lilac, and blue color palette. Overhead, swaths of blue fabric created a "sky" inside of the sailcloth tent.

ceremony tent decor details
KT Merry

Tented Décor

After the service, guests exited ceremony space and entered the cocktail hour and reception area, located under another tent nearby. In this space, gingham drapes added color and dimension overhead.

cocktail hour reception and seating chart details
KT Merry

Lived-in Details

Every detail—from the sweet, informal patterns to the soft color palette—used throughout the duo's wedding day spoke to their relaxed, personal design aesthetic. "We wanted the venue to feel like a home, rather than a room thrown together for one night," says Desiree. "Lived-in, but at the same time, fresh and complementary of the view and the hosts' home."

guest seating chart
KT Merry

Take Your Seats

Lettered Olive created the escort cards, which spoke to the pair's invitation suite. The folded standing notes were presented on gold trays inside a gingham-backed book case; small floral arrangements added a pop of contrasting color.

cocktail hour bar
KT Merry

A Trio of Cocktails

Light blue touches and timeless motifs covered every inch of the reception tent, including the wrapped bar, which featured the same print used on the escort card case's exterior.

The newlyweds served three signature cocktails: the "Bonfire" (with vodka, cider, and prosecco), a pomegranate bellini, and a pear martini with lemon and rosemary.

wedding appetizer
KT Merry

Light Bites

The cocktail hour's passed appetizers included tiny buttermilk biscuits, served warm; they were split and topped with crispy fried chicken, coleslaw, and spicy remoulade.

reception dining decor
KT Merry

A Grandmillennial Gets Married

When it was time for dinner, curtains were drawn to reveal the dining room, a grandmillennial-inspired space. The green chinoiserie wall made multiple appearances throughout the reception—it even served as the backdrop to the guests' photo-op station. Gold chandeliers and cascading greenery tied the elegant reception space together.

dinner place setting
KT Merry

Perfect Place Settings

Custom cerulean velvet linens, floral chargers, tonal blue menu covers and place cards, and marble salt and pepper cellars accented the tablescape.

bride and groom walking in reception tent
KT Merry

The Newlyweds

Desiree and Jimmy put their complete trust in Tara Guerard Soiree—something they knew paid off when they walked into the reception tent for the first time. "There were so many details. We could've walked around for hours," says the bride.

bride and groom reception kiss
KT Merry

This Love

Looking back at their big day and its design, décor, and styling, Desiree and Jimmy have some advice for other couples currently in the planning phase: Pick a few things you love as a foundation and scale from there. "Like your favorite color, texture, or even personal inspiration like a poem—don't let the amount of choices overwhelm you," they say. "The end result will resemble a reflection of you both and feel like a dream."

floral three-tier wedding cake
KT Merry

Sweet Confection

The pair's marble mousse ribbon and strawberry shortcake from Pastries by Randolph was adorned with cherry blossoms—a nod to the couple's home near Washington, D.C.

wedding band playing music at reception
KT Merry

Music to Their Ears

While Kiral Artists, a string quartet, performed live music, including "How Sweet It Is," by Marvin Gaye and "Mi Persona Favorita," by Alejandro Sanz and Camila during the cocktail hour, Jump Street Band took the stage—and made the rounds in between tables—during the reception.

bride and groom first dance
KT Merry

Every Little Step

The duo chose "Could I Have This Kiss Forever" by Enrique Iglesias and Whitney Houston for their first dance.

Their custom dance floor was inspired by Bolivian tiles and colors—including a mosaic in Desiree's home in Portugal.

bride and groom dancing with guests at reception
KT Merry

Dancing the Night Away

One of Desiree and Jimmy's favorite memories after tying the knot included dancing and spending time with all of their loved ones. "Some people we hadn't seen in over five years," they say. "It just warmed our hearts."

wedding guests sparklers
KT Merry

Starry Night

The couple's friends and family waved sparklers during the bride and groom's send-off into the starry night.

bride and groom walking portrait
KT Merry


Photography, KT Merry
Wedding Planning, Event Design, and Flowers, Tara Guerard Soiree
Videography, Siegel Films
Invitations and Paper Products, The Lettered Olive
Bride's Gown, Reem Acra
Bride's Shoes, Manolo Blahnik
Hair, Kudret Terkes
Makeup, Jeff Enriquez
Bridesmaids' Dresses, Natasha Atelier
Engagement Ring, Spicer Greene Jewelers
Wedding Rings, Cartier
Groom's Attire, Brimble and Clark
Ceremony and Cocktail Hour Music, Kiral Artists
Reception Music, Jump Street Band
Catering, Occasions Caterers
Cake, Pastries by Randolph
Rentals, Fabrication Events and Maison De Carine
Transportation, Armada Transportation
Lighting, Production Design Associates
Dresser, Cacky's Bride Aid

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