When: July 9, 2016 | Where: Chevy Chase, Maryland | Theme: Classic, Cultural, | Colors: Blue
Inspired by family tradition and the groom’s Portuguese heritage, Julia and Nelson celebrated in the most classic of wedding days at the Woodend Mansion in Chevy Chase, Maryland. To honor her future husband and in-laws, Julia learned to say her vows in Portuguese unbeknownst to everyone except Nelson’s sister and the priest. To tie in her own family, Julia carried her grandmother’s rosary during mass – just like what brides before her had done.
Though Julia and Nelson didn’t do any DIY for their wedding, it was a complete community effort orchestrating their celebration. From the florist and hair stylist, family friends to the DJ and makeup artist that were fellow high school alumni – everyone knowing each other really gave a personal touch.
When asked what their favorite memories were, the Nelson and Julia said, “Everything happened the way that it was supposed to. Months and months of preparation and organization all came together in one beautiful day. The focus of our day was our love for one another, honoring our new commitment to God, and starting our lives. I can’t imagine the day more perfectly exceeding our expectations!”
About the Couple
“Nelson was my sister’s club soccer coach, so my family had known him for a couple of years. He was also a high school soccer coach, and when I graduated college and was looking to coach, my sister suggested that I coach with Nelson. He had a freshman soccer coaching job that he hired me for.
We coached together for a season and then started coaching a club soccer team together. We were dating within 9 months of having started coaching together. My family loved Nelson and my dad said he would love for me to date Nelson before anything between Nelson and I had ever even happened.” – Julia
Wedding Planning Advice
“Take lots of deep breaths – the only people you should be trying to please and impress are each other (yourself and your partner), though that is waaaaaaaay easier said than done. If you’re going to overly focus your energy on anything, have it be on the ceremony – that’s what the day is really about – your commitment to one another.” – Julia
More about the Classic Maryland Wedding
“The day was very personal for many reasons – the woman who did my and the bridal party’s hair has been doing my hair since high school, and her husband was our florist. The woman who did our make-up as well as our DJ (who DJ’ed my brother’s wedding) both graduated from the same high school as me. Nelson joked that Olney – where I grew up – is like a cult because everyone knows everyone and once you leave, you always come back. In this case, he wasn’t wrong! Lots of people from my community were involved!
Additionally, our day-of-coordinator is my cousin and the catering coordinator had also been married at the same venue as our reception. Our photographer had done one of my bridesmaid’s weddings so I got to know her then and what an incredible person she was.
The wedding had a very homey, comfortable, close feel. Also, Nelson is Portuguese – both his parents and their families came here from Portugal years ago. Nelson’s mother passed away when he was a freshman in college, and he and his two siblings have all her jewelry. Nelson proposed to me with one of his mother’s rings – a beautiful sapphire surrounded by diamonds. My wedding ring was then custom made to accent the engagement ring.
For the ceremony, Nelson’s sister helped me learn my vows in Portuguese. So the only people who knew I would be saying my vows in Portuguese were Nelson’s sister and our priest (who was the bomb dot com!) – not telling my mom was the hardest thing ever! Saying my vows in Portuguese was the only part of the wedding day that I was actually nervous about, but I did it and it meant a lot to Nelson and his family! Apparently they all thought my accent was terrible, but to all the non-Portuguese speaking people at the wedding I sounded GREAT!
At the reception, we had an iced coffee bar (which was AWESOME!) and cake pops instead of a cake (because I hate cake but love cake pops – weird, I know). We also danced the night away to old-school 80s hip hop and it was rump shakin’ magical.” – Julia
Ceremony Venue: St. Patrick’s Church | Reception Venue: Woodend Mansion | Photography: Stephanie Yonce Photography | Florals: Edge Flowers | Hair: Connie Ornstein | Makeup: Luxuria Salon & Spa | Catering: Corcoran Caterers | Day-Of-Coordination: K.Kess | DJ: Everything Entertainment | Ceremony Music: Henry Bauer