Melissa & Brian: An Outdoor Wedding in Vienna, VA

Melissa and Brian first met as undergrads at Union College when her sorority and his fraternity co-sponsored a youth olympiad. “It was one of those in

Melissa and Brian first met as undergrads at Union College when her sorority and his fraternity co-sponsored a youth olympiad. “It was one of those instant connections, where something completely indescribable happens and takes hold of you,” Melissa says. Though the school year was almost over, Melissa didn’t forget about Brian -- and after reconnecting on their first day back at school, the two became inseparable. The Bride Melissa Cistoldi, 26, consultant The Groom Brian Terlinsky, 28, attorney The Date September 17 Almost five years later, Brian surprised Melissa with a proposal on Valentine’s Day -- the one day when she wouldn’t suspect that a romantic gesture had an ulterior motive! Brian woke her with a bouquet and a giant fortune cookie. The fortune read, “Melissa, be my valentine forever. Will you marry me?”

Some tables had tall arrangements of glass vases filled with Brussels sprouts and cabbage leaves that were topped off by lush blooms, including hydrangeas, orchids, dahlias, ferns, and pods. Other tables featured long, low centerpieces of orchids, bells of Ireland, celosia, dahlias, and artichokes.
The mother of the bride created the programs, which incorporated the couple’s monogram logo.
Melissa and Brian’s reception decor was all about the details. Tables were covered in different cloths all in shades of brown and ivory, and each boasted bowls of dark and white chocolate–dipped nuts, dried fruit, and chocolate Ms, Bs, and Ts -- a yummy twist on the monogram theme.
The Jewish couple incorporated many traditions into their day to honor their heritage, including the hora dance.
In keeping with the theme, Chinese take-out boxes filled with spicy beef lo mein were emblazoned with the couple's monogram.
The First Dance
“To incorporate the colors of the day into the favors, and to share one of our favorite treats with our guests, we chose caramel-dipped, chocolate-covered apples as favors for our guests,” Melissa explains. Green Granny Smith apples were dipped in caramel and then drizzled with milk and white chocolate. The monogrammed tags on the apples also told guests where to sit, letting the favors do double duty as escort cards.
The third centerpiece was a square vase filled with lime slices and an arrangement of hydrangeas, cosmos, celosia, and dahlias, accented with berzillia and poppy pods.
Melissa held a bouquet of white mini calla lilies accented with curly willow tips and bear grass.
Melissa and Brian married on the terrace of The Atrium at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens. The couple exchanged vows they’d written themselves beneath a huppah covered in natural-colored dupioni silk and draped with curly willow and moss. “We sat down and discussed what we felt were the important factors in keeping a marriage strong and healthy,” Melissa explains. “We came up with several components that we both vowed to each other, and then we each wrote separate verses dedicated to the other.”
Melissa and Brian cut a small, three-tiered cake covered in ivory fondant and decorated with brown ribbon and polka dots. The cake was mostly for show, however, the real desserts were individual cheesecakes topped off with little flags bearing the couple’s monogram.
The groomsmen wore poppy pods accented with fiddlehead fern on the lapels of their suits.