The 15 Best D.C. Wedding Planners
Sometimes it takes one to know one, and such is the case when it comes to recommending wedding professionals. To find out which wedding planners in Washington, D.C. right now are stylish, fun, and trustworthy to work with, we reached out to Cicely Procopio of Procopio Photography who has photographed well over 200 weddings in the D.C. Area. Here are Cicely’s recommendations and what her favorite planners have to say about their unique wedding planning businesses.
Cicely says, “When it comes to planning a D.C. wedding, you’ll want to hire the best wedding planner you can find. However, with so many to choose from, it can be difficult to make the right decision, especially if you don’t live there.
“As a longtime resident and busy wedding photographer, I’ve photographed hundreds of weddings in D.C. and Virginia and worked with dozens of planners of varying levels of experience. Over the years, a few have stood out from the crowd for their personalities, professionalism and distinctive style. To celebrate them, and give you a path to a stress-free celebration, I am sharing my recommendations for the 15 best wedding planners in Washington D.C. (in alphabetical order) along with descriptions of their unique services. Scroll down to learn more about each of these extraordinary wedding planners and choose the one that fits your style.”
Teresa Antonucci of Rex & Regina
Teresa Antonucci is very polished and handles all situations with decorum and grace. She cares deeply about her clients and all guests to make sure everyone is having a first class experience. She told us this:
“Our guiding philosophy is rooted in our name. Rex & Regina, Latin for king and queen, is all about extending gracious hospitality. When kings and queens entertained centuries ago, the royal court became an extension of their family. We believe that whether it is a corporation entertaining clients, a nonprofit organization courting donors, or a couple planning their wedding, the ultimate goal of the host is to ensure that each guest has a memorable experience and feels like family.
“As we work with our clients, we wear "bifocals." Through one part of the lens we see the event through the couple’s eyes and what is most important to them. Through the other part we consider every guest touchpoint from the time they receive their invitation until the time they depart. We then plan an unparalleled event that honors both of those perspectives.
“The hallmark of our work is creating experiences that evoke all five senses so everything a guest sees, touches, smells, hears, and tastes tells a consistent story. We are particularly known for our passion for all things culinary and for collaborating with our clients to bring their palate preferences to life in unique and meaningful ways.
“Our refined planning process is efficient and organized, which means wedding planning is enjoyable for our couples rather than a burden. They can trust that no detail will be overlooked, and everything will be thoughtfully and seamlessly executed.
“The couples who hire us want a “quiet luxury” wedding that is elegant, personalized, and fun, and they’re looking for a planning partner that has the expertise and experience to make that happen. While we specialize in weddings in D.C., Southwest Florida, and New England, we are equipped and ready to travel anywhere to make our client’s vision a reality. We customize our work for each couple so everyone has a truly tailored experience.
Sara Bauleke of Bella Notte
Sara Bauleke is well known for her engaging personality and impeccable events. It is always a joy to work with Sara and to have a chance to talk with her. Here is what she had to say in our last conversation about Bella Notte.
“As a company, Bella Notte is personality driven, and we excel at both logistics and design. The company is modern, playful, political and bold because I am all of those things myself. We excel at bringing visions to fruition with creative and fun visual elements that reflect our couples' personalities. Our events always run smoothly from both the guest and vendor team perspective, and it’s the combination of our specialized skills that sets Bella Notte apart in a large field of D.C. event planners.
“We work with a wide range of clients both locally and from across the world. What they have in common is they want a Washington D.C. wedding that feels modern and fun while incorporating details and ideas they haven't seen before. Our clients are attracted to interesting venues including museums and art galleries, warehouse spaces, historic estates, and residential events. Their choices often allow us to start with a blank slate and build the entire event vibe and vision around the couple. Most importantly, our clients are looking to create a stylish, upbeat and memorable experience for the people most special to them, and we are experts at doing that!”
Janice Carnevale of Bellwether Events
Janice Carnevale believes in having fun and you can feel it in the air at every one of her weddings. Offering a wide range of options for all kinds of budgets, she focuses on delivering what her clients are seeking without going over the top. Janice had this to say about what makes her services special.
“Experience and passion give us the confidence to plan any celebration with ease and style.
“We are proud to offer an array of personalized services so couples can get exactly what they are looking for and exactly the help they need without paying for things they don't want or need. Whether they have already started climbing the wedding planning mountain or they're just lacing up their boots, we want to join in on their journey and guide them to where they want to go.
“When couples trust us, magic happens. Whether they are local residents or visitors from halfway around the world, most of our clients have stamps on their passports, love to eat and drink, and are not afraid to play with color and explore new ideas. They care deeply about their guests and want them to have the ultimate experience.
"We make wedding planning fun. That means we don’t bog couples down with a million options. We listen to what they want and base our plans on their guest list, budget and aesthetics. And according to our client’s reviews, so far, soooo good!”
Vicky Choy with Event Accomplished
Vicky Choy is kind, caring, and fun but more importantly, she is always on top of things. I have seen firsthand how level headed and organized she can be in a chaotic situation. The Event Accomplished ship sails smoothly even in the roughest of seas. This is how she describes her business:
“We want your friends to tell you that your wedding was one of the best days of their lives, while ensuring it is one of the best days of yours.
“With our logistics-based wedding planning approach, your wedding will look phenomenal, run smoothly, and flow seamlessly. We’ve learned from almost 20 years of experience how to wow your guests by understanding and anticipating their needs and going beyond them. It’s that experience that enables us to create the right mood, the right space, and the right timing to keep your event humming with high energy and guests fully engaged from before the ceremony until the end of the evening.
“We love working with people who know themselves well and have some ideas about how they envision their wedding, and we specialize in incorporating their ideas and elevating them while we take care of the multitude of tasks and details involved in planning an extraordinary celebration.”
Aimee Dominick of A. Dominick Events
Providing a bespoke client experience, Aimee Dominick is an accomplished planner and designer who creates truly unique wedding day experiences full of fun ideas and alive with color. I’ve had the pleasure of working with her numerous times and here is how Amy differentiates her services.
“I try not to compare myself with other planners and to offer what we do best. We are often told by the vendors we work with that we are very organized and calm on the event site, which allows them to produce their best work. I am proud that we approach every event as a team and employ all our skills and talent to provide the best overall experience for our clients.
“Our clients come from everywhere and we often travel for events. I think the couples who are a great fit for us are fun loving and ready to let us guide them through the planning process.”
Margo Fischer of The Bright Occasions
It is always a pleasure to work with Margo Fischer, whose classically elegant style is frequently published in leading magazines. I spoke with her about her approach to wedding planning in D.C. and beyond and this is what she said.
“At Bright Occasions, we are client driven and love working with people to spark their imaginations and bring their visions to life. Beyond planning and designing, we are a creative concierge service and make the entire process super easy and fun for our clients. With years of experience at the best and most interesting venues in the D.C. area, we know what it takes to make an event truly special from conception to execution.
“Our clients tend to focus on their guests' experiences, prioritizing that friends and family have a wonderful time and feel taken care of. They value great cuisine, love pretty details, and want a gorgeous ambiance at their celebrations. We help them hire excellent vendors they trust, and our clients enjoy celebrating without worrying on the day of their big event.
“Working with clients who live in D.C. and people from all over who want to come here for their destination wedding or event, we know the best luxury hotels, historic mansions, museums and wineries in and near D.C. and throughout the VA countryside. We have developed relationships with other event service providers and value the ability to give our clients wonderful, reliable recommendations.
“Emphasizing quality over quantity, we take a limited number of weddings and events per season to allow us to give our uninterrupted time and attention to each client.”
Alison Golt & Alex Pare of Cherry Blossom Weddings & Events
Oh, so pretty, I can never wait to photograph a weekend wedding by Alison and Alex. With experience working at the best venues in D.C., their company stands out in the following ways:
“Cherry Blossom Weddings & Events is a planning team of four, planning weddings and special events in D.C. area for more than 15 years. With over 140 five-star reviews on WeddingWire, we specialize in creating custom wedding designs with well matched vendors to produce personalized experiences for each of our clients.
“We frequently plan weekend weddings, starting with the rehearsal dinner or welcome reception and wrapping up with a gorgeous and delicious Sunday brunch. Our clients want to give their guests a once-in-a-lifetime experience, whether that’s an intimate candlelight service or a grand affair at the Portrait Gallery, The Line Hotel, Dock 5, or another stunning D.C. venue.
“Come with your ideas and desires, and let us take them from your imagination into the most memorable celebration of your life!”
Tara Melvin of Perfect Planning Events
Highly professional, Tara Melvin’s attention to detail and ability to overcome any challenge makes her a trusted D.C. planner and designer for a discerning clientele. When asked what makes her business so popular Tara says this.
“Ask any past client to describe who I am and they will lean in as if they possess knowledge about a best kept secret. Their eyes will light up as they share that I am much more than their wedding planner. I am their partner, trusted advisor, and close confidante who cares about their wedding vision. Intuitive, I anticipate any issue before it arises. Insightful, I ask the questions they don't know or are afraid to ask. Instinctive, I solve unforeseen problems and overcome challenges before they cause distractions. In me, you have a new found friend.
“My ideal client exemplifies a discerning sensibility towards a refined lifestyle and desires a highly personalized approach in everything they do. One of the top similarities of my clients’ lifestyles is their love for travel and fancy fine dining, which is a top priority when planning their wedding day. My clients insist on ensuring their wedding day cuisine is truly memorable for their guests, so we work with only the best caterers and dining establishments,
“My many years of experience partnering with talented and highly professional vendors allows me to elevate my client’s experience to something that is never less than extraordinary!”
Sara Muchnick of Sara Muchnick Events
Never cookie-cutter, Sara Muchnick designs events that are based on each couple’s personality. No two are alike. Here is what Sara has to say about her services.
“Every celebration we design is as unique as the couples we work with. It is important to us that every family member and guest can see and feel how the celebration reflects the couple's personalities from the moment they arrive. My top priority is that the couple and their families feel not just like guests, but like guests of honor. We ensure they can relax and enjoy the day, because it will go by so quickly! Couples always know when we are a fit for them, and when they feel relaxed and confident we’re ready to start supporting their dreams.
“I can’t say we have a favorite type of client because it’s all about connection and the excitement of working together. Truly the only way to do that is to work with someone you trust completely. Then you won't be worried about anything.”
LynnAaron Nichols of Nouvelle Weddings
Focused on celebrations for a discerning clientele, LynnAaron of Nouvelle Weddings is sought after by sophisticated couples in D.C. and worldwide. This is how she described her services to me recently.
“Nouvelle Weddings is a luxury wedding planning team based near Baltimore, MD. Working with a limited number of couples per year, our personal boutique approach was designed to ensure that every couple receives our full attention and creativity. We'll be your planners, your designers, and your friends. With over 15 years in the wedding industry, we are your experts in all things wedding, guiding you through the planning every step of the way, so that you can truly relax and enjoy this exciting process. With a foundation in organization and management and a focus on current and classic design trends, we combine the best of both worlds, creating memorable events where one-of-a-kind designs meet perfectly planned logistics. If you are dreaming of an elegant, romantic wedding filled with intentional details that speak to you and your fiancé’s love, story, and style, then we are the right fit for you!
“We love working with funloving couples with sophisticated taste who want to have a wonderful time planning a luxury wedding. We welcome couples planning their wedding in DC/MD/VA, whether they are local or not, and we travel frequently with couples planning destination weddings.
“Our wedding designs are all created around each couple's style and personality. Every wedding we design will be both elegant and romantic, but the rest is up to you! Whether you are envisioning a wedding that's classic, traditional, coastal, or boho, we'll design your wedding to reflect everything you want it to be and more.”
Rebecca O’Donnell of The Plannery
Friendly, creative and down to earth, Rebecca O’Donnell plans high energy, seamless events for couples who want to kick off their shoes and party! This is her approach in her own words.
“At The Plannery, we care that the process of wedding planning is as smooth as possible for the couples we work with. We care just as much about how they FEEL on their big day as how things look. When we’ve taken care of every detail, allowing them to feel calm, relaxed, and in the moment, then we have done our job.
“For me, having a couple hire us and trust us to enhance their vision is HUGE! With our expertise, we can make things so much easier for them while both impressing guests and creating a fun atmosphere for full blown celebrating.
“We work in D.C. and the Baltimore area with couples who want their weddings to reflect their values and their priorities, not ours. We don’t make wedding decisions for clients, we help make those decisions easier. We help couples narrow down options when it comes to vendors, and keep things practical when it comes to working within budget to maximize options.
“I would just add that we are a super inclusive company and we fully support marriage equality. We giddily enjoy planning weddings and other events for everyone.”
Tabitha Roberts of Roberts & Co. Events
Creating wedding plans based on style and budget with clear communication every step of the way, Tabitha Roberts designs atmospheres and brings confidence to couples in D.C. and around the world. Here are her thoughts on wedding planning after 14 years.
“We strive to create a personal experience that goes way beyond planning a "pretty wedding." By listening deeply and adapting our plans to our client’s desires, we allow their love story and history to come alive within the design and feel of the wedding. We work hard to keep the client organized, budget minded, and excited about the options in front of them. At the end of the day we recognize that this is one of the most important milestones in their life and it shouldn’t be stressful or feel impersonal. That is why we work alongside the couple and their families to incorporate traditions and design elements that celebrate their journey together.
“Above all else, we are honest and straightforward. We maintain honest dialogues about budget and what elements of a wedding truly make sense in the larger scope of planning so there are no worries before or after.
“We love clients that trust in color, texture, and elements that don't fit the everyday mold. We want to explore unique foods and design ideas with our clients who trust in the process we have honed over the last 14 years. We have clients from all over the country, and we do love to travel to destination locations. It's all about the atmosphere the client wants to create and we work to build that ambiance seamlessly.”
Jana Robinson of Defined by Design Events
Multi-faceted designer Jana Robinson is known for her exquisite events, from prestigious galas to luxury weddings. I am always excited to see what she is working on and be part of her plans. This is what drives her and defines her business.
“As the Founder and Principal Event Strategist for Defined by Design Events, I believe my diverse background in event planning and over 20 years of experience allow me to bring a broad perspective to planning and designing experiences for my clients. My expertise in event planning ranges from styling fashion shows, to producing large scale galas, community events, product launches, and high end weddings.
“When I plan weddings, I pull from all of my experiences to create a celebration that is not only visually beautiful but produced with a high level of detail and execution. My team crafts each event with genuine care for our clients and their guests who want us to curate a custom experience. I love the quote from Maya Angelou “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you make them feel.” That quote speaks to me because that is the drive behind the planning process for all my weddings and events – it is about designing something magical and also making people feel amazing.
“Our clients are people and organizations that truly understand the value of an experienced planner and what they can bring to their event. This allows for a strong partnership and for the vision of the client to really come to life. We love working with people who like to break the mold and move away from “traditional” elements, especially for weddings. That trust and ability to be creative allow DBD Events to offer elegant and often unexpected alternatives that elevate their events. Many of our clients seek venues that are unique, including historic places with lots of character and modern architecture with large windows that fill the space with light. When we design with a blank slate and reimagine the space to be impeccably personalized, we take our clients’ events and celebrations to beautiful, new heights!”
Arney Walker of Arney Walker Studio
Creating stunning atmospheres in unlikely locations, Arney Walker Studio is a boutique company that caters to couples looking to make a one-of-a-kind experience for their family and guests. With a boutique approach, this is how she approaches wedding planning.
“I plan a very limited number of weddings each year. I am a firm believer that all my clients should have the best experience possible, so I have to limit the number of events I take on. I specialize in weddings held at private homes and historic venues and all of the intricacies that it involves, from setting up stunning tented spaces, dance floors and walkways to seating people in elegant surroundings. I love figuring out the best way to use the space available, how to move guests through it, and how to make it feel authentic to the place and the couple.
“My client is someone who can be based anywhere in the world and be getting married anywhere in the world. It's not unusual for me to work with a client who doesn't live in the same place that I do, or the same place their wedding will be held. Most of my clients get married at their home, whether it be their primary residence or a vacation getaway. They want an event that reflects their story and style and they care very much about the guest experience.”
Michelle Whyte of Ambiance Special Events
An etiquette expert specializing in small weddings and catering to military families, Michelle Whyte’s services are ideal for busy couples who want a beautiful wedding with no-nonsense plans that fit their lifestyle and budget. I love her engaging attitude and the way she makes everyone feel at home. Read on to learn how she describes her business.
“For more than 17 years, I’ve been a CEO, military spouse, and mom. My superpower is orchestrating systems, people, and logistics into memorable, personalized events.
“I offer VIP Days and help clients unravel the insanity of wedding planning in just ONE day, and those are just a couple of things that make Ambiance shine and stand out among D.C., Maryland, and Northern Virginia planners.
“Ambiance’s signature Bypass Bridezilla framework prepares couples to find their voice and version of their wedding day while crafting a streamlined wedding plan that's easy to implement and execute, all outlined with a 90-day action plan.
“Whether getting started or 60 days til “I do,” my team at Ambiance will wave their VIP Day wand to help you get more done in less time, no strings attached. If you are looking to cut straight through the noise, unsolicited advice, and overwhelming expectations, we’re ready to help you plan your small wedding in less time with less hassle.”