A Marine Wedding at St. Francis Hall

Jessica and Ryan met almost two years ago through CatholicMatch.com, and as their faith is a key component of their relationship, they chose to celebrate their marriage with a full nuptial Catholic mass followed by a simple and elegant seated-served wedding reception at St. Francis Hall.

One of the things I loved about this couple and their Washington DC wedding was how they integrated elements that represented them as individuals, as well as collectively as a couple, to make the occasion an experience in which their guests could participate.  Every aspect of the décor, menu, and itinerary reflected careful thought and consideration, and took what could have easily been a generic wedding and turned it into something unforgettable.


His & Hers.  A Marine Wedding

His & Hers. A Marine Wedding


The tone of class and poise that the couple wished to establish was conveniently inherent in their wedding reception venue.  St. Francis Hall is adjacent to the beautiful St. Francis Monastery, which features gorgeous landscaping that many couples take advantage of for wedding portraits, and on the inside it offers lovely Renaissance architecture by way of high, vaulted ceilings, soaring archways, and wrought-iron chandeliers.  Jessica and Ryan were excited about the space, and chose gold, ivory, and royal blue accents, as well as wrought-iron centerpieces, to complement the site’s gold chiavari chairs and warm twinkle lights adorning each arch.

Wedding photos of beloved relatives adorned the guest book table, inviting attendees to learn about each family’s history, and the guest tables featured table numbers made out of pictures of both the bride and the groom before they had even met, capturing the two of them participating in very similar activities.  Their love of both chocolate and coffee was represented by alternating favors of each at the place settings, and a slide show created by the best man further established lives leading into a relationship that was meant to be.

Coffee Wedding Favors

Coffee Wedding Favors


The menu embodied the couple’s interests and histories by showcasing favorite food items.  Passed to the guests were hors d’oeuvres of Rare Roast Beef topped with a creamy horseradish sauce and fried leeks on toasted crustini, Mini Crab Cakes with an herb-scented remoulade, Caprese Skewers drizzled with a balsamic glaze, and spicy Tandoori Shrimp Skewers.  For the main meal, guests enjoyed a dual entrée of Roasted Chicken with a Wild Mushroom Marsala Cream Sauce and Pan-Seared Salmon with a Bourbon Glaze, with sides of steamed asparagus bundles lightly flavored with butter and herbs de provence and our renowned garlic mashed potatoes.


Mmmm...Mini Crab Cakes!

Mmmm…Mini Crab Cakes!


Ryan is a proud Marine, so the wedding cake topper was that of a Marine dancing with his Bride, and was the cake itself was later cut with his sword.  And what better way of maintaining the concept of sharing the experience with friends and family than by serving the wedding cake alongside twelve (TWELVE!) different trays of homemade cookies!


Dessert Buffet at St. Francis Hall

Dessert Buffet at St. Francis Hall


This truly was a meaningful occasion for everyone in attendance, and the role that Putting on the Ritz played in helping carry off their theme – from customizing the menu to helping create the linen color scheme, assisting with vendor recommendations (the talented DJ Dan Goldman from Bialek’s Music played ALL of the right songs for this country music-loving crowd!), putting together centerpieces, and ensuring that everything flowed smoothly – served as a reminder of why I, personally, love being in the event industry.


Congratulations to Jessica and Ryan, and may they continue to share many more memories with those closest to them.



Cate Buscher, POTR Event Specialist