Modern Meets Classic at This Sophisticated Wedding at The Schuyler in Washington, DC

“We met in high school in 2009, and I had the biggest crush,” Alexis Alvarez reminisces. She and Mitch August formed a deep bond as best friends throu

“We met in high school in 2009, and I had the biggest crush,” Alexis Alvarez reminisces. She and Mitch August formed a deep bond as best friends throughout their school years, a friendship that blossomed into romance by the end of their senior year. Their relationship faced the challenges of distance as they pursued their respective dreams in college and law school, yet their connection and love remained. “The proposal was very special,” Alexis describes. “Mitch had my friends schedule a brunch for a random Saturday in October.” Unbeknownst to Alexis, Mitch had meticulously planned every detail to keep the surprise intact. “I had an incredibly normal brunch with my friends while Mitch drove to his friend’s house to drop off his phone so that if I checked his location, I wouldn’t know that he was setting up.” After brunch, Alexis’ friends suggested a visit to a nearby art museum. “We walked up the stairs, and I saw him standing in the middle of the atrium with a photographer standing nearby, and I immediately started crying,” she recalls. In that moment, Mitch got on one knee. The couple then drove home to a joyous celebration with both of their families.

Both bride and groom knew they wanted a quintessentially DC with a modern twist. Alexis had a vision for their big day that included contemporary elements of romance and flair. This meant lots of candles, a sleek black-and-white color palette with pops of nude tones and a venue that would provide the perfect backdrop for their stylish affair.

The first step in their planning process was finding the ideal venue. With many guests flying in from across the country, Alexis and Mitch wanted a location that offered convenience and luxury. They settled on a grand hotel ballroom, which allowed them to create a seamless wedding weekend experience for their closest friends and family. Alexis was thrilled about the convenience of being able to retreat directly to her suite after a night of dancing and celebration.

Once they confirmed their color palette of nudes, blushes, true greens and accents of black, the couple partnered with Dionisa of Wilori Lane to design their wedding invitations. The black embossed details and a custom monogram that bridged their first names gave guests a glimpse of the sophisticated and romantic event. This monogram would reappear throughout the wedding decor, from the menu to floor decals and an impressive eight-foot black acrylic escort wall adorned with soft floral elements and candles.

The bride knew she wanted her wedding day look to be timeless yet unique. She chose a strapless dress that made her feel like she was floating. “I always knew that I wanted a Monique Lhuillier wedding gown, but I didn’t know what style,” she explains. The gown’s classic silhouette and edgy pick-ups perfectly matched the city chic vibe she envisioned. Her bridesmaids wore floor-length black gowns with similar necklines, expertly complementing Alexis’ look.

As the ceremony approached, the ballroom was transformed into a romantic setting with white drapery and lush arrangements. Latte-colored velvet linens complemented the abundance of flowers and candles lined the space, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere. The room was divided to provide an intimate setting for the couple’s vows. “The most special moment was our vows,” Alexis recalls. “While there were tons of people watching us, it felt like it was just us.” To make the ceremony even more special, a string quartet played a bevy of modern songs, reflecting the couple’s musical tastes. “My husband and I both love hip-hop and R&B, so we decided to book a string quartet who could play modern hip-hop and R&B songs during the ceremony and cocktail hour,” the bride says.

Following the vows, the ballroom underwent a complete transformation for the reception. The VIP tables were framed by a striking black and white checkered dance floor that Alexis had her eye on from the early stages of planning. The reception decor featured a mix of short and tall flowering compotes, candles and contemporary black smoke elements, bringing depth and elegance to the vast space.

A standout moment of the reception was the newlyweds’ first dance. Having taken dance lessons in the weeks leading up to their wedding, the couple surprised their guests with a beautifully choreographed routine. “We had a live painter that painted our first dance,” Alexis smiles. “It was amazing to watch it come to life throughout the night, and our guests loved it.” The addition of cold sparkler releases during their dance added an extra layer of magic to the moment.

As the night progressed, guests were treated to a glam Kardashian-style photo booth and a tasty late-night bite. “We also had McDonald’s as our late-night snack as homage to my family’s business,” Alexis said. Quarter pounders, chicken nuggets and French fries were served on silver platters, giving guests a boost of energy to keep the party going.

Reflecting on their wedding day, Alexis had some words of wisdom for other couples planning their nuptials. “My wedding planning advice is that it will all be worth it in the end,” she explains. “No matter how stressful the planning might be, once you get to the end of the aisle none of that matters. It’ll be the best day ever! And if it’s in the budget, definitely get a planner! It’s so worth it.”

Bride in Low Hairstyle and Groom in Velvet Bow Tie Kiss in Sunlight
An elegant modern-meets-classic invitation suite featuring an all-black card, white details and pink accents with a black wax seal accented with flowers and a solitaire engagement ring.
Black-and-White Photo of Bride Tearing, Reading Card While Getting Ready
Bride in White Robe, Bridesmaids in Light Pink Robes on Bed, Balloons
Bride in Ethereal Makeup, Crystal Headband With a White Rose Bouquet
Small Bridal Bouquet of White Roses
Bride in Low Ponytail, Veil Posing in the Light
Bride in A-Line Gown, V-Neckline Twirling for Bridesmaids in Black Dresses
Bride in Low Ponytail, Headband Meeting Husband in Deep Suit for First Look
Bride in A-Line Gown With Groom in Tuxedo on Stairs With Bridal Party in All Black
A bride in an A-line gown with a V-neckline, bracelet, crystal headband and a long veil poses with her groom in a classic deep tuxedo and a velvet bow tie in the light from the window.
Bride and Groom at Altar With White Draping Backdrop, Candles and Arrangements
Groom in Tuxedo Wiping Tears at Altar Reading Vows, Bride in Long Veil
Bride in A-Line, Layered Gown and Groom in Tuxedo Walk Streets of Washington DC
A large, classic and elegant black-and-white seating chart display accented by pastel-colored flower arrangements and ample candles on the floor in dim, romantic lighting.
Classic, Elegant Ballroom Reception, White Table Linens and Black Charger Plates
Modern-Meets-Classic Place Setting, White Linen and Flowers, Black Plate and Flatware
Bride in A-Line Gown, Groom in Tuxedo Perform Dance on Checkered Dance Floor, Sparklers
Black-and-White Photo of Groom in Tuxedo, Bride in Lace, High-Neck Gown Posing
Three-Tier White Wedding Cake With Intricate White Ribbon Details
Bride in Flowing A-Line Gown Dancing With Friends on Checkered Dance Floor
Place Setting With Menu, Cake and McDonald's Burger and Fries as Late-Night Bites