Swanky & Funky Carnegie Institution Wedding | Adam + Ryan

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My first wedding shoot in Washington, DC was absolutely one I’ll always remember! Adam and Ryan brought class and elegance to their matrimony at the Carnegie Institution for Science, as well as a kickass party.

We started off feeling incredibly classy in Carnegie Institution’s library upstairs for some portraits of just the guys. Their matching bold blue tuxes made for the perfect contrast against all the dark wood shelves of the library. Even though I’m usually shouting with glee during portrait sessions, shooting in this library space gave everything a nice sense of calm and even I was able to whisper in the face of such kind intimacy.

We ran outside briefly since DC’s heat and humid was making everyone feel especially swampy, but in just a few minutes I think we captured some magic. The Carnegie Institution for Science is tucked away in a surprisingly residential part of DC, right between the lively gayborhood Dupont Circle and Downtown’s copious office buildings, so its gorgeous Greco-Roman facade stands out beautifully. I loved offsetting the classic architectural elements with these two cuties in love. Also, the nearby homes all had lovely blooming flowers which was a nice bit of tropical contrast.

We wrapped up portraits inside with their big wedding party (SEVEN EACH!) of family and chosen family. Although it was a little cramped, everyone was game for some dynamic arrangements, then all toasted after signing the marriage license.

Then came the official business: saying their vows in front of a hundred and fifty of their favorite people. I loved that the Atrium in the Carnegie Institution for Science allowed for everyone to sit in the round, so Adam and Ryan were surrounded by love. Even more amazing was Adam and Ryan’s openness and affection, with heart-wrenching hand written vows to one another that left everybody happy crying (including me).

And now a quick little divergence to just gush about their day of coordinator, Katie Wannen of The Plannery, who seamlessly pulled off a million moving parts, complicated choreography of guests and chairs and entrances moving around, and a big surprise (read more later) having just had a baby a few months before. She is a rockstar, and here’s some of the perfectly executed details to prove it to y’all. I loved their guest book tree where all their guests signed a leaf, the gobo light that changed after the ceremony to unite their names, and even the tall flower centerpieces which brought a simple posh vibe to the reception.

After a relaxed cocktail hour, the wedding party turned the party with badass entrances to Madonna’s “Like a Prayer” blasting and everybody clapping along. Was there flossing? Check. Choreographed lip syncing? Of course. A giant *THWORP* fan? You know it. That’s how you start a party.

Even though I usually don’t post toasts in speeches very often, I truly loved how joyful everyone was throughout the toast to Adam and Ryan’s love. Everyone was laughing their butts off the whole time, too.

After everyone moved back out to the atrium for Adam and Ryan’s first dance, the guests were all treated to a surprise performance by world famous Beyoncé impersonator, Riley Knoxx. Ryan, a former drag performer himself, wanted to bring the lively energy of the pageants and balls he competed in to the wedding. Riley brought all of her Sasha Fierceness to an incredible set — spangled bodysuit and wind machine included — that got all the guests hype for the rest of the night.

The rest of the evening was spent eating delicious desserts and dancing the night away. Everybody brought their best dance moves, from spins to grinds to splits, and i never wanted to leave. I particularly loved the juxtaposition of doing a death drop on the Carnegie Instituion’s marble floors. (Also, OUCH!) If this is what all Washington DC weddings are like, I need to get me an office in the Beltway, ASAP!