Nora and James had a DC elopement with family scattered about, cheering and hugging and so happy to see them get married. I have a soft spot in my heart for outdoor winter weddings since Steven and I were married outside in January when it was 17 degrees! There’s something about that shivering cold that just kind of makes everything a little more magical 💖

Their elopement took place at one of my favorite murals in the city, “Every Day I See Something New” by Cita Sadeli (Chelove). I’m so thankful for DC’s fantastic artist community and all the gorgeous public art they create for us to enjoy every day! And, these gorgeous photos brought to you by Barbara Oliveira.

Nora and James shared some of their story with us…

DC elopement with family by Pop! Wed Co.

How did you two meet?

We met in college in January of 2013, while playing in the orchestra for the theater departments production of Little Women. It was odd that this was the first time we met because we were both in the college’s music department (which was really 😳 small.)

We grew close during rehearsals and performances, and were pretty much inseparable after that point. Fast forward to May 2013 and I (Nora) was heading to England to study abroad, once there I FaceTimed James and with a little help from a mutual friend in the background, decided to make our relationship “official”.

DC elopement with family by Pop! Wed Co.

When and how did you decide to get married?

After a year, we pretty much knew we wanted to annoy each other for the rest of our lives and started day dreaming, looking at rings, dresses, venues etc. One day while Nora was looking at rings online I (James) casually (or not so casually 😂) asked her what her rings size was to which she replied “I don’t know an 8?”

Nora HATES being the center of attention, so on one of our frequent trips to Disney World we saw a couple get engaged to which she said “I would never want to be proposed to at Disney World.” So, on our two-year anniversary we went to Disney to celebrate and I popped the question right in front of the castle! She still never believes me when I say “I just wanted to show my world to the world!”

DC elopement with family by Pop! Wed Co.

Tell us about your wedding planning process?

After the engagement, we started planning and saving up for our dream wedding. But then on May 1st, 2017, James after months of chronic headaches, was admitted to the hospital with a life-threatening brain abscess. 15 days, two craniotomies (brain surgeries), and a truck load of IV antibiotics later, he got to come home. After reflecting on this life-changing event, we made the decision to get married sooner than we had anticipated.

After what felt like a never-ending search for an affordable small wedding venue without all the al a carte bells and whistles, I (Nora) found Pop Wed Co! It was PERFECT 😍. We told our parents, and they were on board with our decision considering all that James had been through that summer.

I (Nora) used to live in Arlington, Virginia and after my mom and I relocated to the Tampa Bay Area for work and school, we would travel back to the D.C. area for Christmas with my family as my grandma can no longer travel. This was James’s second time coming up on the trip, so we thought it would be fun to have his parents, brother, and sister-in-law come up for the weekend before Christmas for the wedding.

What was your favorite part of your wedding day?

Nora: My favorite part, was actually…being the center of attention! Barbara was really great with her direction as we had never done professional photos before, she didn’t even know my flowers weren’t real until half way through 🤣 thanks to the great work done by Blue Orchid Creations. But the best part was all the love and congratulatory remarks made by passerby’s and delivery drivers. One women even offered to hold the train of my dress because it was dragging behind me! And HOT DAMN did I mention my HUSBAND looks like a GQ Model?!?😱😍

James: My favorite part was seeing my beautiful bride for the first time; a woman who stayed by my side through my difficult time in the hospital, and loved and supported me unconditionally. In that moment, I knew I would never be alone again because I would have my best friend for the rest of my life.

How did you celebrate after your Pop! Wedding?

After photos, we stopped to pick up Georgetown Cupcakes for dessert, this was a requirement for our reception. My mom (Nora’s) thankfully had her head more in the wedding planning game than we did, and set up reservations at one of our favorite restaurants Cooper’s Hawk Winery. So, we got to share our first meal as a husband and wife with our families!

Cake cutting at elopement in DC

How did you share the news of your marriage with the world after your wedding?

Well, to be honest we still haven’t announced it to the world. We kept our marriage between us, immediate family, and co-workers (James couldn’t hide his ring forever.) We are hoping to plan a rad party soon, to invite our all our friends and family to celebrate, again!🎉

Yayyy, thank you so much for sharing your awesome story with us, Nora and James! We loved getting to be part of your wedding day. Happy new year as married folk!

DC elopement with family by Pop! Wed Co.

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