A Travel Blogger Wedding on the National Mall

Note: This post isn’t really travel related (unless you’re traveling to a wedding in DC I guess). If you’re not interested in wedding photos feel free to skip this one, I won’t impart any valuable travel knowledge or tips. If you’re interested in seeing the results of all that wedding stressing I was doing a few months back, read on!

I’m really excited to finally share my wedding pictures with you guys! They were done by my very talented friend Erica Kuschel from Over Yonderlust, who flew all the way from Austin to capture our event.

We planned a small wedding (less than 40 people) on a gorgeous Saturday in downtown Washington DC. Our primary planning theme was: cheap, but we tried to add in some travel touches that represented our personalities and past adventures. In the end it turned out perfect, or at least perfect to me: simple, personal and full of love.

The dress, from Eliza J

Getting a little zipper help from Mom

My Maid of Honor organized a meat delivery! Wedding diet officially over.

The ceremony was held on the National Mall at the DC War Memorial (also known as the World War One Memorial). It’s one of three spots on the Mall you are allowed to get married  and a memorial I’ve always loved. Thankfully we missed the government shutdown by a couple of weeks.

We both almost had a last minute heart attack when our officiant showed up nearly an HOUR late (apparently he had gotten the time wrong?). For awhile there it looked like we might not actually be getting married that day at all, and we tapped my Uncle to officiate an unofficial ceremony for us. Not ideal because we both wanted to be married already dammit! I was in the car, just 30 second away from arriving at the ceremony when the officiant finally showed up. We were pretty pissed but mostly just relieved!

My friend Carolyn serenaded us on violin

My Dad wore his kilt in a nod to our Scottish heritage

Mike and I wrote our own vows and I basically sobbed through the entire ceremony. Don’t think there was a dry eye in the house!


Afterwards we did a little photo shoot. The whole thing felt very surreal, particularly wandering around the Mall in a wedding dress with all the tourists snapping pics and telling me Congratulations.

Looking out over the Tidal Basin

The woman sitting here only agreed to give us the bench if we promised to never get divorced.

Then it was on to our reception, held at the Beacon Hotel near Dupont Circle.

We named each table after a country we love, with a photo of us taken there.

Our Up! guestbook

Long ago we decided to incorporate details from the Pixar movie Up! It’s one of our favorites and we love the themes of love, travel and living for the moment in the film. There were hot air balloon details on everything from our invitations to our programs.

The amazing cake from Cake Love was one of my favorite parts! We had 3 different flavors.


Our first dance, to Jack Johnson’s “Better Together”

There is no combination of words I could put on the back of a postcard
No song that I could sing, but I can try for your heart
Our dreams, and they are made out of real things
Like a, shoebox of photographs
With sepia-toned loving
Love is the answer,
At least for most of the questions in my heart
Like why are we here? And where do we go?
And how come it’s so hard?
It’s not always easy and
Sometimes life can be deceiving
I’ll tell you one thing, it’s always better when we’re together

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54 Responses to A Travel Blogger Wedding on the National Mall

  1. Christine October 29, 2013 at 9:27 AM #

    Love the photos and oh my gosh the wedding song! So perfect for you two! Congratulations again <3

  2. Laura October 29, 2013 at 9:28 AM #

    Aww how beautiful! It looked like the perfect wedding. You looked beautiful! It must’ve been so much fun walking around the mall taking photos; love the comment by the woman on the bench! Congratulations and best wishes for a lifetime of happiness and love!!!

  3. Dannielle October 29, 2013 at 9:48 AM #

    What a perfect day! Great weather and all. I love the little personalised touches, I think that really makes a wedding special.

  4. Pauline October 29, 2013 at 10:27 AM #

    I’m so glad you finally posted your wedding pictures! I’ve been waiting to see them for a while now :p I suppose a huge CONGRATULATIONS is in order for you and Mike! Cheers to a new chapter in your lives and wishing only the best of everything!

  5. Vicki October 29, 2013 at 11:05 AM #

    What a beautiful wedding! And fantastic pictures! Congratulations and wishing you a lifetime of happiness from me and the rest of us at RoamRight.

  6. Leslie October 29, 2013 at 11:12 AM #

    Beautiful! So special and personal. Congratulations!! 🙂

  7. Erin De Santiago October 29, 2013 at 11:25 AM #

    I teared up just reading this. I couldn’t be happier for you and Michael – you are two of the nicest people I know and deserve all the happiness in the world – I’m glad you found each other. Erica did a fantastic job on the photos and I love, of course, the Disney/Pixar tie in! 🙂 Wishing you all the best and hope to see you soon! Missed you in Dublin!

    • Steph October 29, 2013 at 11:25 AM #

      Now you’re going to make me cry!

  8. Camels & Chocolate October 29, 2013 at 11:25 AM #

    Yay, I’m so happy for you guys! And what a beautiful day and venue for a wedding.

  9. Flora October 29, 2013 at 11:26 AM #

    Utterly gorgeous photos of such a special day – I love the Up touches and the table themes! I’m so happy for you guys 🙂

  10. Cacinda Maloney October 29, 2013 at 11:30 AM #

    Beautiful! So happy for you two! Congratulations!

  11. Ali October 29, 2013 at 11:41 AM #

    Congrats! Looks like such a great day!

  12. Robin Carlson October 29, 2013 at 11:41 AM #

    These photos are simply amazing! I love the venue! Well chosen. Congrats!

  13. John Barba October 29, 2013 at 11:44 AM #

    Still disappointed (and relieved) that I didn’t get to perform the ceremony! Some awesome stuff kiddo – but you’re still a joker in my book 😉

  14. Leigh October 29, 2013 at 11:46 AM #

    Lovely photos and what a fantastic wedding. It looks like you all had an amazing time, which really is the most important part. Congrats!

    And now you’re in Mexico. With your husband. 🙂

  15. Val October 29, 2013 at 11:46 AM #

    Congratulations! I’ve loved watching your relationship grow through your blogs and am so happy for you both! The photos are gorgeous!

  16. Explorista October 29, 2013 at 11:53 AM #

    Your hair and make-up is insanely pretty. And those pictures are super cute. And such great quality. I love the UP-details, it’s one of my favorite movies too.

  17. Candice October 29, 2013 at 12:20 PM #

    Love love love it! Congrats again!!

  18. Colleen Brynn October 29, 2013 at 1:21 PM #

    Omg this is going to get so much attention, so many comments.
    Beautiful day. Such a lovely dress.
    I would have been so stressed if the officiant didn’t show up. I get that lots can go “wrong” on a wedding day, but that’s like … ummmm kind of important!!!
    Congrats girl! I love the photo of you guys on the bench looking out over Tidal Basin.

  19. Anne October 29, 2013 at 1:50 PM #

    Oh my, I LOVE the Up! guest book!
    I’ve been reading both of you for years, so to have a peek at your wedding day makes me happy!
    What beautiful photos. Congratulations, all the best, and thanks for sharing.

  20. Sammi October 29, 2013 at 2:20 PM #

    Massive congratulations!

    You look absolutely stunning and your dress is beautiful.

  21. Sammy Dorn October 29, 2013 at 3:35 PM #

    Congratulations!! I love that you had an ‘Up’ type theme. What a great idea!

  22. Tom @ Waegook Tom October 29, 2013 at 4:48 PM #

    I love these pics, Steph! I also love the idea of having the tables named after places you’ve been. My best friend actually did the same thing when she got married in March. I was sat at London. Also, I really love the first picture of the ring on top of the globe. And I did wonder if tourists would stop to congratulate you since you got married on the National Mall! 🙂

  23. Ourjourneytothesea October 29, 2013 at 5:29 PM #

    How lovely!! Beautiful photos. It looked like a stunning day of a stunning bride!

  24. Jade October 29, 2013 at 5:48 PM #

    Amazing! I love the idea of naming the tables after favourite countries. Very original! You guys looked amazing and SO happy! Congratulations & here’s to many happy years together in the future!

  25. Alouise October 29, 2013 at 5:58 PM #

    Your wedding looks like it was an amazing and beautiful day. Congratulations.

  26. Dave October 29, 2013 at 6:02 PM #

    Was Jack Johnson’s “Better Together” your official wedding song? 🙂

    • Steph November 1, 2013 at 11:19 AM #

      Well it was a song, that we played at our wedding. So i say yes!

  27. Lindsay October 29, 2013 at 6:46 PM #

    It looks like an amazing and perfect day! And I LOVE Cake Love! I used to live down the street and was slightly obsessed!!

  28. Ed Graham October 29, 2013 at 9:23 PM #

    Congrats you guys!

  29. Desiree October 30, 2013 at 7:40 AM #

    Congratulations!! I’m so happy for you and I don’t even know you in real life! Hahaha. The wedding looks beautiful. And I love that you wore flats with your dress! 🙂

  30. Jade October 30, 2013 at 10:59 AM #

    This is lovely. Congratulations! My boyfriend and I recently got engaged whilst backpacking, so I love all the little travel touches in your wedding! Great inspiration.

  31. Chanel @ La Viajera Morena October 30, 2013 at 12:10 PM #

    Congratulations to the two of you!

  32. Dani & Jess October 30, 2013 at 12:51 PM #

    Congratulations to you and Mike! What a beautiful wedding and the day seemed to have been just perfect for an outdoor ceremony.

    • Steph October 30, 2013 at 2:35 PM #

      Yes for the first time in my life the weather was actually on my side! It was beyond gorgeous and a perfect 70 degrees.

  33. Erica October 30, 2013 at 1:12 PM #

    You look so pretty! Congrats to you both!!

    LOVE the Up guest book 🙂

  34. Jessica of HolaYessica October 30, 2013 at 2:04 PM #

    Congratulations! What a beautiful wedding. The table idea is so cute.

  35. Michelle at Triposs October 30, 2013 at 6:27 PM #

    Wow so pretty! I love your pictures 🙂

  36. Adina | Gluten Free Travelette October 30, 2013 at 7:01 PM #

    Congrats and such fun pictures! I love how you included some fun travel details – as a guest, I love that kind of thing. I went to one wedding where the dinner was set up in stations with food from their favorite destinations around the world. We did our tables by places we would be visiting on our honeymoon.

  37. Sky October 30, 2013 at 7:29 PM #

    Such beautiful photos! I absolutely love your dress, Steph, and the ring is just gorgeous! And all the Up details are just too cute. 🙂 Congrats to both of you!

  38. Beth October 30, 2013 at 7:44 PM #

    Erica did such a wonderful job, and you look stunning!

    I absolutely love how you incorporated Up into your wedding– so cute!

  39. Brandy October 30, 2013 at 9:45 PM #

    Beautiful photos, and congratulations! Also, love that song choice.

  40. Zara @ Backpack ME October 31, 2013 at 8:26 AM #

    Congratulations guys!
    Gorgeous photos – and I absolutely love the UP! themed guestbook and cakes.. such a great movie that combines love, adventure and love for adventure!
    Wishing you all the best! 🙂

  41. Lauren Meshkin October 31, 2013 at 6:38 PM #

    SO lovely! What a gorgeous location and of course you both look amazing! Your reception looks beautiful and I loved the little Pixar and travel touches 🙂

    Thank you for sharing your special day with us!

  42. Edna November 1, 2013 at 3:26 AM #

    This made me tear up a bit, I love so much about it — the dress, the countries named after tables, the song — it looked like a perfect day. Congratulations again you two!

  43. Kirsty November 1, 2013 at 12:59 PM #

    The photos look amazing – and so does the weather! Congrats again!

  44. Heather November 1, 2013 at 4:41 PM #

    What incredible photos! How special to be able to create these beautiful memories in such an iconic setting. Waiting for the officiant must have been super stressful, but it doesn’t show at all. Love your dress and ring!

  45. A Cook Not Mad ( Nat & Tim ) November 3, 2013 at 7:34 PM #

    Congratulations you two! Nice job on the pics Erica!

  46. Chelsea November 3, 2013 at 7:51 PM #

    CONGRATS! what a beautiful wedding! i especially love your dress, and that ring?! beautiful! we also danced to jack johnson at our wedding but to ‘angel’. let’s face it, jack johnson is good for any occasion : )

  47. Sandra Foyt November 14, 2013 at 8:09 PM #

    Aww…love seeing the wedding photos of my favorite travel blogging couple! Gorgeous!

  48. todd June 7, 2014 at 3:18 PM #

    What a beautiful wedding. Thanks for sharing. Love the photos.

  49. todd June 7, 2014 at 3:20 PM #

    Also love the pictures of both the bride and groom in front of the monuments.

    • Steph June 7, 2014 at 5:52 PM #

      Thanks! Those are my favorite too.

  50. Maya January 22, 2015 at 2:56 PM #

    You got married on my birthday! It’s almost like I celebrated with you.

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