Samantha and Ben got married at the beginning of December, and because DC’s weather is pretty unpredictable, they chose a brand new location (that’s now one of our favorites!) — Epic Yoga. It was an awesome alternative wedding venue, with exposed brick and a gorgeous mural by Janelle Whisenant. The photo opportunities were everywhere! And our photographer Barbara O. definitely took advantage of them, the photos turned out fantastically!

How did you two meet?

We met online and had our first date at a coffee shop. Coffee turned into dinner, turned into walking around Old Town Sacramento. Ten days later we were “official”. A few months later we went back to the spot of our first kiss in  Old Town and left a love lock (a gorgeous old style lock) hidden out of view and dropped the keys into the river. That was hard for me (Samantha) because I didn’t want to throw away such a pretty key. We danced on the bridge over the river that night. We love dancing together in the most random places; waiting in lines, in the kitchen, in parking lots… etc.

When and how did you decide to get married?

We started talking seriously about getting married early in the year. Our original plan was to get married in August, 2018 (because 8.18.18 would have been a cool date). When we started talking guest list, Ben is one of 10 kids, we realized it was going to be a HUGE wedding. I suggested that we elope to Vegas, but Ben wasn’t a fan of the “married in Vegas” idea. We settled on a “mini” wedding in Napa, however we never really found “the place”. We went to a music festival in San Francisco called Outside Lands in August this year, and while waiting for Metallica to start their set, one of us suggested just eloping before the end of the year. From there everything just started coming together. We decided to travel to D.C. and get married.

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Tell us about your wedding planning process.

So…. Looking for a venue is a nightmare! Maggie had so many beautiful places that she suggested, but none of them jumped out as the perfect, unique fit for Ben and myself. My biggest request was that there had to be a brick wall somewhere nearby. I LOVE RED BRICKS. I searched Google, Airbnb, Instagram #DCminiweddings, Facebook, and Pinterest. That was probably the most work we did on the entire wedding. I think one of the hashtags I tried searching on Instagram led me to find Epic Yoga Studio. I fell in love with the entire idea of it. One of my favorite things about getting ready to leave was telling people we were going to get married in a yoga studio! Everything else was really simple. We ordered a few decorations from Amazon to add some personal touches and POOF! It was all done. Maggie and her wonderful group really took care of everything else that could possibly be stressful.

Your wedding had so many beautiful details, anything in particular you’d like to share?

The heart light hanging in the center of our reception was something I had picked out on a whim a few weeks before our wedding. I saw it in a sale bin at the framing shop and just HAD TO HAVE IT! We had it set up in our kitchen for a while before our wedding. When we got to D.C. and started setting everything up in the studio the lights didn’t work! I remember thinking about all the stories I had read telling you to prepare for at least one thing to go wrong and thinking to myself, “well if this is the only thing that goes wrong today, I win!” The funniest part was, when we got home and started unpacking all of our wedding stuff we realized that the batteries were put in wrong! Now it’s our kitchen nightlight.
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What was your favorite part of your wedding day?

Our wedding went so smoothly! It was a lot of fun, zero stress, and just what we had hoped! I think my favorite part was our photographer. Barbara really captured our style. She got to know us in just a short time before our wedding and just went with our personality in a lot of the photos. Nothing really felt posed or forced. Also the CAKE! Red velvet is my absolute favorite kind of cake and the dinosaurs were the perfect topper! When we first moved in together the only thing I really insisted on buying for our new place was T-Rex salt and pepper shakers. They have bowties and make quite the handsome couple on our table. 😛 OH! AND THE BOX!!! I loved the box our wedding papers came in! We even added it to a few of our pictures! We loved all the simple but fun touches that you guys added! Also, our grandparents were wonderful. It was really special having them involved in our big day, and we are so grateful for their generosity in letting us stay with them in D.C. and helping with our mini wedding. It was super special that they celebrated 40 years of marriage just a few days after our wedding, and we loved signing the Pop! Wed marriage certificate with them.

I am also totally in love with our NEW PACKAGING! Check it outttt!!

How did you celebrate after your Pop! Wedding?

After the wedding we had a nice dinner with our grandparents – we were hungry! Then we drove down to Virginia Beach for our honeymoon. We both love the beach, and Samantha had never been to the east coast. It was cold, but lots of fun. We explored the beach, visited some of the historical sites, went to a Christmas parade, and did a holiday dinner cruise on the Spirit of Norfolk. Samantha loved the cruise, and we spent a good amount of time on the dance floor. 🙂 Afterwards, we drove back to D.C., with a small detour to explore Jamestown. Our grandparents took us on a personal tour of the monuments and museums.
Yayy! Congratulations Samantha and Ben! We hope you’re still celebrating 😁
Winter Elopement in DC With Pop Wed Co
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