A Classic Minimony at The Hay-Adams in Washington, D.C., Complete With Epic Fashion
To celebrate their union, Angela Wisniewski and Awenate Cobbina planned a wedding complete with a meaningful religious ceremony, epic fashion (including an over-the-top bridal hat!), portraits in a Washington, D.C., metro station and an intimate reception dinner at the iconic Hay-Adams Hotel with views of The National Mall. "Like many couples in the era of COVID-19, we knew we wanted to tie the knot sooner than later because of the uncertainty surrounding large event planning," explains Angela. "My husband, Awenate, is a D.C. guy. He spent many years working in The White House and went to high school there so although we now live in Detroit, Michigan, where we met and fell in love, it was important for him to marry at his former high school, a Benedictine Monastery, by a monk he is close with. Given his history in D.C. and mine from Detroit, we created an intimate minimony with details that reflected both of us (we are very different but it came together seamlessly). And did it all in less than a month of planning (somehow, someway)! A little Detroit style, a little D.C. A little pop culture, a little politics—just like us! It was a mid-February wedding so our palette was generally cool with a warm hint, mostly shown in my floral arrangement and incredible cake—black, white, gray, navy, teal and coral."
Given the short timeframe in which Angela and Awenate planned their minimony at The Hay-Adams, and added complications from the pandemic, the duo leaned on their community to help bring the classic wedding day together. For the floral decor, Angela tapped a good friend from Michigan. "One of my close friends in Detroit, Lindsay McWhorter, is a floral designer that is very creative, specifically with dried arrangements. She understands my vibe and aesthetic so I knew I had to bring her creations to D.C. with me. She created my bouquet (which almost didn't make it to DC with me complete as we were waiting on a gorgeous, but delayed delivery of Haus of Stems' patented iridescent anthurium—my brother ended up intercepting the package and bringing it to me in D.C.). As for entertainment during their reception dinner at The Hay-Adams Hotel, Awenate mother graced the attendees with her piano playing. "My husband's mother, a gifted pianist ended up treating us to come music post-dinner and everyone sang along," recalls Angela.
While the couple leaned on friends and loved ones for some wedding-related tasks, Angela leaned on her own experience in the fashion industry when it came to deciding on wedding attire. "I knew it was going to be a small wedding and it was going to be out of state so I had to keep it simple but chic as to not travel with tons of baggage during COVID. I own a women's clothing store in Detroit and my style is usually a bit over the top. For this special day, I wanted it to feel timeless but also reflect my sense of style. As a small business owner, in a pandemic to boot, an expensive dress that I will only wear once was simply not an option. That is not how I spend money. I found an A.L.C dress that I loved, it was sold out in white everywhere. But, I ended finding it new with tags on Poshmark! For like $300. This is the type of silhouette I can wear again to an event as it doesn't look like an obvious bridal gown," shares Angela. To complement her gown, Angela donned a dramatic hat that filled her look with whimsy and personality. "I worked with a local milliner, Boswell, to create my wedding day hat and paired it with a classic birdcage veil to give a sense of tradition."
Looking back on their mid-pandemic wedding weekend, Angela shares that "the whole weekend was truly perfect. And to be honest, although it was a tiny wedding (ten people total, including us, due to D.C. COVID restrictions), planning an out-of-state event in just a few weeks during a pandemic was quite stressful. I felt extra pressure to ensure that our guests had a great time and it was worth it. We even had a rapid PCR tester on site! We had an ice storm on our wedding day which killed all of our outdoor locations and most photos were take inside of our hotel and the subway. Andrew, our photographer made everyone feel wonderful and really captured the magic of the celebration. Aside from celebrating in a perfectly intimate setting with those we are closest with, pulling it all off the way we did, so beautifully, is something I will always cherish. Guests even commented how thoughtful we were with taking care of them which we take great pride in. No wedding is fun unless everyone is enjoying it!"