Rachel & Grant's Spring Reagan Building D.C. Wedding!

"Timeless and classic...yet fun!" Those were the words Rachel used to describe her wedding when we first met - mission accomplished I would say! With classic D.C. as a backdrop, Rachel & Grant incorporated fun, personal touches to their day, and guests who traveled from near and far felt right at home. Their day could not have been more perfect - from the flowers to the venue, to a surprise flash mob (yes, really!)...Abby Grace Photography's photos are a beautiful must-see!

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Caroline's Classics

Fridays are my favorite because I get to share my latest edition of Caroline's Classics with you! On the docket this week: a kitchen must-have I'm convinced will turn anyone (including me!) into a chef, my favorite flats, a wonderful site where you can build a charitable wedding registry and more. Keep reading and make sure to share what's on your wish list!

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Caroline's Classics

Today is the first post in my new series, Friday Favorites! From a pair of tassel earrings perfect for you and your bridesmaids to a dream Bermuda destination for a wedding, take a peek at this items at the top of my wish list this week...

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Shannon & Jim's Elegant Meridian House Washington, DC Wedding!

Shannon and Jim could not have enjoyed a more beautiful winter wedding day in January. The pair recited their vows at St Matthew's Cathedral before walking through two sword arches. Take a peek at this military couple's elegant Meridian House soiree!

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Chris & Susie's Classic St. Regis D.C. Wedding

Washington, D.C. is home to some of the stateliest architecture and richest history. Classic and timeless weddings, like Susie and Chris’s August soiree, fit right into the atmosphere of the city. It’s safe to say, the result of classic with a modern twist is always beautiful!

Susie, her bridesmaids, and Susie’s sweet mom spent the morning getting ready at The St. Regis where everyone would return later in the evening for S+C’s gorgeous reception. The ladies wore classic, black floor length gowns to compliment the couple’s palette, while the gentlemen sported tuxedos--there isn’t a more classic and timeless look! The only way to describe Susie’s wedding dress is to say it was stunning. The beautiful floral appliques and beading made Susie’s gown one I won’t soon forget, and she looked radiant on her wedding day while wearing it!

S+C love Georgetown University's campus, so it was only fitting for them to recite their vows in one of their favorite places during their ceremony. It’s safe to say Dalghren Chapel of the Sacred Heart is not only richly historic, but also one most beautiful ceremony spots in D.C. Post ceremony, Chris and Susie opted for a special and very unique mode of transportation to their St. Regis reception - Chris drove the pair in his convertible with the top down to their reception. They made such a statement when they arrived, and I know without a doubt it was a drive to remember! 

At The St. Regis, guests were greeted with gorgeous black and white escort cards complete with calligraphy. Tables were accented by centerpieces with ivory florals with just a hint of blush by MultiFlor, and menus with classic script were awaiting guests at their seats. In between a delicious dinner, cake cutting, and heartfelt speeches, the band "The Free" kept the couple and their wedding party, family, and friends celebrating on the dance floor.

I was honored to be a part of Susie and Chris’s lovely wedding day, and I’m so thrilled to share all of the images Elliott O’Donovan captured with you!

Wedding Professional Team: Planning & Design: Caroline Dutton Events | Photography: Elliott O'Donovan | Ceremony Venue: Dahlgren Chapel | Florals & Decor: MultiFlor | Bridal Party Transportation: Wadsworth Limousine | Reception Venue, Catering, & Rentals: The St. Regis Washington D.C.

Bridal Shower Inspiration!

Inspiration is all around us—from the multitude of ideas on Pinterest to the plethora of creative Instagram accounts devoted to the wedding space, creative inspiration is everywhere. This sky is the limit! As an event planner, it’s always fun anticipating the next big trend and I love seeing others in our space (and right here in DC!) really push the limit creatively.

In addition to your wedding, the bridal shower is another large, anticipated event during your engagement. Your shower is a fantastic opportunity for your friends and loved ones to celebrate this momentous occasion you’re about to embark on. Drawing on my Instagram account for inspiration, I’ve decided on six essential categories that ultimately create the perfect bridal shower. For family and friends planning your bride-to-be’s special shower, check each item off the list below for a timeless affair with fun twists!

First, a custom cocktail is always a good idea! Create a beverage that speaks to the bride-to-be's taste and adds flair to this once-in-a-lifetime occasion.

Second, add a hint of personalized branding throughout the event. From napkins to coasters, there are so many subtle opportunities to take advantage of custom branding.

Third, pick a design aesthetic and stay true to it! Whether you opt to base your design off a color or a theme, carry your inspiration throughout every facet of the day. An easy way to accomplish this is by coordinating floral arrangements with your color palette!

Fourth, no bridal shower is complete without a little rosé! Once guests finish their cocktail, offer a selection of rosé to compliment the remainder of the day.

Fifth, while your menu is important, a great opportunity to customize the shower is through dessert items and snacks. These floral-inspired, painted macarons are the perfect added treat to make a bridal brunch truly unique! Spring for something different that your bride and guests will remember.

Sixth, when it comes to the cake, choose something fresh and different. While a classic vanilla cake will never go out of style, opt for a design that the bride will swoon over. While the wedding cake may be more traditional, the bridal shower cake is a chance to have some fun.

We’d love to hear about your favorite bridal shower memories--share below!

Vendors //

Cocktail: Lauren Conrad | Napkins - Calligraphy: Laura Hooper Calligraphy | Decor - Floral Design + Décor: Edge Flowers // Carpet: The Fab Empire // Venue: Hay-Adams Hotel // Source: Abby Jiu | Champagne: The Knot // Photography: Sarah K Love Photography | Macaroons: Martha Stewart Wedding // Bella Sweets! | Cake: Sweet Bakes

Celebrity Bridal Hairstyles

In preparing your wedding day look, it’s fun to source inspiration from celebrity bridal style! There has been a multitude of show-stopping, celebrity brides in recent years that are the perfect place to start for inspiration. Whether you’re inclined towards a classic up-do or relaxed blowout, celebrity brides through the years have done it all. Take a peek at nine of my all-time favorite celeb brides to help pin (get it?) down the look you are going for on your big day.

Let’s start with Lauren Conrad: a standard in the blog and lifestyle arena and a leader of trends. Her relaxed, beach-inspired blowout is the perfect choice for an outdoor ceremony. We love her jeweled hairpiece at the crown of her veil for a little extra flair!

We are still not over Nicky Hilton’s stunning London nuptials. Her sleek bridal bun that perfectly complimented her timeless, high-necked Valentino Haute Couture gown is one to be rivaled.

You may know her from The Bachelorette, but this beautiful woman is now a bride! Her long blonde locks are tastefully gathered over her left shoulder. We love how this look doubles as a low ponytail and a perfect blowout all in one!

Olivia Palermo has quickly become a fashion icon not only in New York, but worldwide. Her sophisticated, modern look is topped off with a messy ponytail, which we love for a number of reasons! For starters, her gown is definitely a statement piece and her tussled pony is a muted, yet chic choice, as it doesn’t deter attention from her overall look.

John Legend and Chrissy Teigan’s Lake Como vows were nothing short of spectacular, as was her bridal style! Opting for a traditional up-do, Chrissy’s hairstyle had extra texture for modern flair. We love a good up-do paired with a strapless dress—you can’t beat an element of drama!

Cascading, beach-inspired locks are always in style! Blake Lively’s side parted blowout is idyllic for an outdoor wedding. We love the loose curls for added bounce!

You just can’t beat a true classic, and Kate Middleton is a shining star for bridal style inspiration. Her sleek locks and gown have inspired many recent brides—you can’t go wrong with this cotemporary, yet classic look.

Badgley Mischka can do no wrong, especially when it comes to a custom-designed couture gown. Morgan Stewart tied the knot this past May, and her wedding was as incredible as her bridal style. Her bright blonde hair was tied back in a loose up-do, which we adore.

Last but not least, Sarah Jessica Parker did the bridal world proud in the Sex and the City Movie. Her structured bun and long veil are a match made in heaven and are still emulated years later!

So, we’d love to hear—what’s your favorite look and why? Comment below!

My Top 6 Picks For A Beach Destination Wedding!

To be fully transparent…I adore a beach wedding; whether it’s the ceremony, reception, or both, beach weddings are some of my all-time favorites! The beach is a perfect backdrop and can really act as a blank canvas that’s ready to be transformed to fit your vision. It’s hard to pick a favorite beach spot, but I’ve compiled my top six beachfront locales that would be dreamy for a destination wedding. From Costa Rica to Fiji to Mexico, the options are seemingly endless!

Enjoy!

Hawaii always comes to mind when thinking of beach destinations. Nothing short of tropical paradise, Hawaii is full of pristine beaches, exhilarating cliffs, and lush mountains. This beach location is perfect for the couple seeking a tropical destination, without the added planning that goes into leaving the U.S. At the moment, we’re obsessing over The Grand Hyatt Kauai Beach & Spa on Kauai, the Garden Island. Sounds like tropical bliss, right?!

Costa Rica is such a natural, raw environment that feels much more untouched by man. Full of unspoiled tropical backdrops—including mountaintops, volcanoes, white sand beaches, and lush rainforests—Costa Rica is stunning, yet full of modern comforts. We’d recommend a Costa Rica wedding during the dry season, lasting from late December through April.

St. John and St. Thomas are small, secluded destinations in the Virgin Islands, and we can definitely guarantee you’ll enjoy the privacy and beauty of a secluded island with all the luxurious amenities of an upscale resort. If your vision for your wedding weekend includes crystal clear waters and white sand beaches, these islands are the best of the best!

Sometimes, it’s fun to be adventurous! Travel to Phuket, Thailand for a once in a lifetime experience that’s sure to wow your guests and leave you and your spouse with memories that’ll last a lifetime. Surround yourself with majestic rock formations, golden beaches, and emerald coves in beautiful Thailand. It doesn’t get much more spectacular…

Turks and Caicos epitomizes island bliss. This location is less developed and definitely a bit more upscale than much of the greater Caribbean area. Turks and Caicos is the perfect place for a walk on the beach and a slightly more intimate, romantic vibe. But, be sure to avoid hurricane season from June through November! 

There are many great locations in Mexico, including Los Cabos, Cancun, and Riviera Maya. The Grand Velas Riviera Maya is an all-inclusive resort, which offers 8 different wedding venues, including a chapel in the Mayan jungle that fits up to 143 people. Definitely a one of a kind wedding experience, and sure you leave you, your spouse, and your guests immensely satisfied! 

What’s your pick? We’d love to find out! Comment below. 

The Importance of Registering for Classic Pieces

When it comes to the wedding planning process, it can be easy to forget—or just seem very overwhelming!—one of the most important steps: registering! While some couples today choose to register for a honeymoon fund, we’re still fans of the classic wedding registry. Your engagement signifies your commitment to one another and your soon-to-be union as a couple, starting your lives together. While you may have odds and ends—from furniture to glassware to kitchenware—from your first apartment or even from your college days, it’s time to create a home aesthetic that feels like you as a couple.

This is your time to talk about the direction you want to take your home. Are you more traditional or do you have more modern taste? Are you the entertainers in your social circle? These are just a few of the questions you will want to ask yourselves. Take a minute and discuss your goals for your future, starting with how you envision your home!

Registering for classic pieces is so important, and that can mean anything from registering for china, investing in classic pieces that you use on the weeknights, even if it’s a little more fancy than you would normally use—because, well, Tuesday’s should be celebrated, too!

China is a sentimental staple, and is a classic choice for your wedding registry. Besides the fact that your china can one day be passed down through generations, it also comes in handy. While you may not be hosting the holidays this year, you never know when your day to host will come. And honestly, I’m a big believer that china and cut crystal glassware also make for great additions to any party--crystal wine glasses look great with simple white Crate & Barrel plates! It’s all about layering; certain pieces really lend to all types of occasions.

And on that note, classic comes in many forms. I’ll be the first to admit that we didn’t register for china, as living in a condo on Capitol Hill doesn’t allow for tons of storage space. But, we did register for classic, yet modern pieces from Kate Spade that can easily be used alone (yes, even for takeout!), mixed and matched when we have company over, or elevated with some crystal stemware for a dinner party.

Classic pieces—whether it’s fine china or pieces you just love and will utilized for years—are always a great choice. Take a peak below at some of our favorite things to add to your wedding registry. We’d love to know what you’re registering for, comment below! 

XO, Caroline

My Top 3 Picks for a Wine Country Destination Wedding!

Who doesn’t love a good glass of wine?! Well, I love wine just as much as the next woman, but I love wine country weddings even more! In planning for your special day, consider the beautiful surroundings of a Napa Valley vineyard, or even the stunning countryside in Tuscany, Italy. With a vineyard wedding, you’re guaranteed a romantic and timeless affair—with beautiful photo opps of course! Just two hours outside of Paris, the Loire Valley is beloved for its castles, historic villages, charming people, food, and wines (of course!). This countryside spot is at its prime between April and June, and again in September through early November. If you’re inclined towards wine country, the Loire Valley is the perfect canvas for your design aesthetic.

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When we dream of wine country, I think it’s safe to say that Tuscany comes to mind as iconic and idyllic. The rolling hills, rich culture, and Italian cuisine culminate in a truly spectacular investment for your big day. Anything can happen under the Tuscan sun, so why not make it your nuptials?

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Napa Valley and Sonoma Valley are staples of California wine country. The sweeping vineyards, green lawns, and bright blue skies make for the perfect outdoor wedding venue. And to quote Brides.com, I definitely concur "it doesn't get dreamier than Auberge du Soleil's newly expanded wedding deck, with its sweeping valley views.” Both Napa and Sonoma are only fitting for a classic winery and vineyard wedding.

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We’d love to know your favorite. Comment below!

My Top 5 Picks for a Romantic City Destination Wedding!

Your wedding is one of the biggest moments in your life—if not the biggest—why not make it extra special? When it comes to planning your wedding, I think it’s wise to consider a “destination” as a realistic and viable option. Destination weddings are a great opportunity to make your big day truly one of a kind. So, why not create the perfect, timeless event in a destination that’s near and dear to your heart? While the world really is your oyster when it comes to destination weddings, I love romantic city locations for a number of reasons. City locations have so much to offer, making for a truly unforgettable occasion! Take Paris, France, for example—you can enjoy all that the “City of Love” has to offer in different ways. Imagine whisking your guests away to Vaux-le-Vicomte, a 17th century chateau an hour outside the city. Side note: the chateau has customizable options including fireworks!

Or, if you prefer to stay within the city proper, Hotel Le Bristol is located just steps away from the Champs-Elysées and the Louvre. Created in the grand Parisian style, it shows off this city's spirit and elegance with it's unabashedly extravagant style.

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There’s no denying that “City of Love” epitomizes a romantic destination, but other European cities offer equal romance with added flair! Destination weddings in Ireland invite guests to enjoy sweeping views of the Emerald Isle’s rolling green hills. Even castles on the Irish cliff sides make for some of the most ideal backdrops for your vows. Or, imagine meandering waterways, cobblestone streets, and arched bridges in a stunning Amsterdam affair.

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Rome is another one of my favorite cities and an unbeatable choice when it comes to romantic city locales. The “Eternal City” is perfect for its romantic backdrops, amazing wine, and, of course, authentic Italian fare. If you’re intrigued by Rome, you also can’t beat the Amalfi Coast. The scenic stretches of the Italian coastline house plenty of dramatic views of the sea—perfect for your nuptials.

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Whatever your dreams, there’s a destination out there that’s a perfect fit for your vision. Romantic city locations offer the best of both worlds, and are a fabulous way to kick-off your forever together. Which location is your favorite?

XO, Caroline

Elie Saab 2017 Wedding Collection

When it comes to your wedding, your wedding dress is one of the biggest decisions you’ll make. Do you want a princess-style ball gown, a more structured mermaid silhouette, or a simple, but chic A-line gown? And, even if you haven’t been dreaming about your wedding dress since you were a little girl, we’re all guilty of fantasizing about our dream dress at one point or another! So, when the Elie Saab 2017 Atelier Pronovias gowns were recently released, I think it’s safe to say that all of our dreams were answered. This collection is straight out of a fairytale, but a contemporary, luxe fairytale. Each of these one of a kind haute couture gowns are timeless and classic, with modern twists perfectly fit for today’s bride. I’ve selected five of my favorites, so take a peak below at all this stunning collection has to offer! Meet the Emery

A bateau neckline is always flattering, and with the Emery, I think every bride will look and feel her absolute best. And as if a complimentary silhouette wasn’t enough, the gemstone mosaic on the back and sleeves are a beautiful addition to this simple crepe dress.

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Meet the Elva

The lace trend is still alive and well! This elegant mermaid wedding dress has a V neckline that is sure to make a statement. The intricate design varies between lace, tulle, and Chantilly, which makes this dress all the more unique and special.

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Meet the Edith

I’m not usually a fan of strapless, but any dress with a removable train is something I can get behind! This sweetheart gown is flattering and classic, with a bit of drama. The mermaid silhouette is sophisticated and delicate, and the overskirt is quite simply an added bonus!

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Meet the Elvira

This long-sleeved lace gown is the perfect balance of classic and chic. The high neck design is feminine and complimentary, and the simple silhouette frames the female shape while not exaggerating her curves. I love this contemporary take on a traditional design!

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Meet the Elma

The Elma is classic to a T. This dress is the perfect choice for a traditional bride. This sleeveless gown has a voluminous skirt and the added appeal of pockets. And who’s to say this dress is conservative? In my opinion, it’s definitely business in the front, party in the back! The gown’s back is sure to be a show-stopper.

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We’d love to know your favorite! Feel free to comment below and share your pick with us.

XO, Caroline

Check out the collection by Elie Saab!

Ceremony Details

Your wedding is all about you and your partner. And when the big day finally arrives, your ceremony should be a reflection of the love that you share for one another—and, most importantly, it should feel like you as a couple. When designing your ceremony space, keep in mind that it sets the tone for the rest of the wedding! Surrounded by your family, friends and loved ones, your ceremony will be a moment in time that you hold dearly in your memory forever. And that you’ll have lots of pictures of as well!

So, when envisioning your ceremony, be authentic to your personality as a couple. If you gravitate towards a more traditional look, be true to yourself. Or, in this instance, if you enjoy pops of color and a more organic look—go for it! There are many ways to add elements of color in a tasteful way. Our bride Diane worked with the talented Wild Green Yonder to design a space that was elegant and perfect for them as a couple, as well as their Sunday brunch ceremony. Lining your aisle with small arrangements is a fantastic way of mixing in your wedding party color palette. When it comes to your ceremony backdrop or huppah, incorporate fresh florals and candles to create an elevated look. In this case, once the ceremony was complete, we flipped the space for brunch and the florals and candles on the fireplace served as a perfect backdrop to the sweetheart table. Utilizing florals from your ceremony is not only a great way to save money, but an easy way to bring continuity to your vision.

By designing a ceremony that fulfills your vision and stays true to your personality, you’ll be sure to not only have the ceremony you’ve always imagined, but one that is truly unique and meaningful to you as a couple—memories to last a lifetime!

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XO, Caroline

Photography: Mike Snyder | Venue: Josephine Butler Parks Center | Floral Design: Wild Green Yonder