A Modern, Elegant Wedding at the Mandarin Oriental in Washington, DC

Danielette (Dani) Dennis (30 and a fashion publicist) and Sean O’Neill (31 and a lawyer) celebrated their nuptials with a modern and elegant ceremony and reception at the Mandarin Oriental in Washington, DC. Since Dani’s family lives in Virginia and the DC area, the couple looked for an urban venue that could accommodate their 250 family and friends. “Our major focus was to keep everything modern, minimal, clean and intimate,” Dani says. She and Sean said “I do” in a traditional Episcopalian ceremony in the hotel’s courtyard during sunset. “We planned the ceremony for sunset, so that it would be dark by the time we walked up the aisle, with candlelight and fire from the heaters providing the majority of the ambient light,” Dani says. Minimal decor included trees in the courtyard along with large glass vases filled with white calla lilies at the end of the aisle. A color scheme of white and amber was used throughout the ceremony and reception decor. “We did add greenery at the reception to break things up a bit, but overall, we wanted to stick to a clean, sleek vibe,” Dani says. The couple incorporated Liberian traditions into their reception, a nod to Dani’s roots. The Grand March, a traditional dance, was accompanied with African music. “It was so much fun seeing everyone dancing to it,” Dani says. The couple also had a traditional Liberian entrance, where women place lapas (brightly colored pieces of fabric) on the floor to create a pathway for the newlyweds to walk on. —Marissa Hermanson