Surprise Washington, DC Marriage Proposal to Go Down in History
Brooke and Eric’s love story begins in the hustle and bustle of Washington, DC. After living in DC for one week, Brooke already missed her southern home in North Carolina and convinced herself that DC was not the place to be. But, as we all know, love and fate always have other plans. Everything changed for Brooke the day she met Eric. Not only did Brooke fall in love with Eric, but she quickly fell in love with a new life and home in DC!
As many couples know, it’s difficult to plan a successful surprise on the person who knows you best. But in September of 2016, Eric planned a surprise proposal that would go down in US history. While Eric’s mom was visiting DC, the couple planned to take family out to a nice restaurant for dinner. Brooke became frazzled when Eric’s mom changed the dinner plan to include a sunset stop at Lincoln Memorial before dinner. Once at the memorial, Eric’s mom disappeared to “call family and see where they were”. Brooke and Eric wandered over to the reflecting pool to take a few selfies before dinner. Brooke remembers Eric frantically whispering under his breath, “Wow, there are a lot of people here!” to which I replied “Yes! Of course there are. It’s the National Mall on a Saturday!”. Brooke noticed tears gathering in Eric’s eyes, “Are you ready for this?” he asked. In that moment Brooke felt like time had stopped and all of the noise of DC faded away. Before Brooke could call her family and share the news, Eric whisked her off into a cab toward a surprise dinner at the restaurant they had first met at!
At the restaurant, Brooke and Eric were greeted by an overwhelming chorus of applause and ‘Congratulations!’ by their families and closest friends. Eric had spent the previous three weeks calling relatives and friends (from both near and far), to be a part of the special surprise proposal. The couple spent the rest of the night dancing and celebrating in each other’s arms.
“It was the perfect proposal followed by the perfect evening, and it is certainly a day I will never forget!” -2018 Bride, Brooke
Letting Your Love Story Shine Through Wedding Details
As Bride Brooke got ready for her wedding day at The Sutherland, she let her family and friends feel loved and appreciated. Each bridesmaid received gold coordinate bracelets with the longitude and latitude of where they met the bride. Brooke’s sisters each got a bracelet with the coordinates to their family home. Brooke asked her bridesmaids to choose their own dresses for the wedding day. Are you worried about letting your bridal party choose their wedding day outfits? Don’t! Give your bridal party a few guidelines such as swatches of different shades of your wedding color palette, dress length, and seasonal considerations such as outdoor or indoor attire. Bride Brooke explains why she let her bridesmaids choose their wedding attire,
“I wanted their personalities to shine through with their dress selection and I wanted them to feel comfortable and excited about the dress the would wear!”
For Brooke’s “something blue” she had a heart-shaped patch sewn into the inner lining of her wedding dress. The blue heart patch was embroidered with their wedding date, Brooke’s initials, and the words, “Something Blue from Grandma to You”. The blue fabric was cut from a blue shirt of Brooke’s late grandma who was dear to her heart. These type of hidden wedding details are an important way for family and friends to feel loved and honored.
Another unique wedding detail for bride Brooke’s wedding day includes bumblebees! The cute flying insects have become an extremely special symbol for the bride’s family since all of the sisters’ names start with “B” (Brittany, Brooke and Barrett). Brooke and all of her sisters have beautiful gold bumblebee hairpins that they will wear in their wedding hair.
The Groomsmen gifts included custom embroidered coolers, taco socks (for Cinco de Mayo) and Star Wars Storm Trooper cufflinks! Groom Eric chose to wear a pair of Darth Vader cufflinks for the special day! Our team at Southern Bride and Groom love to see the unique love stories and personalities of brides and grooms shine through wedding details.
Southern Inspired Spring Garden Wedding Ceremony at The Sutherland
Brooke and Eric said their vows on the gorgeous, spring lawn of The Sutherland wedding venue. The spring garden atmosphere of The Sutherland gave their wedding ceremony a naturally beautiful essence. Two colorful floral arrangements stood on either side of the wedding ceremony altar. And in true southern tradition, Brooke and Eric “Buried the Bourbon” upside down on the grounds of The Sutherland exactly one month before the wedding day. This is an old southern tradition that helps ensure beautiful weather on the day of your wedding. Brooke and Eric dug up the bourbon bottle with the entire wedding party before the ceremony and shared a taste and a toast!
“It must have worked because the weather was perfect on our wedding day! We have the bottle of bourbon at home on our bar cart and will keep it forever.” -2018 Bride, Brooke
Southern Bohemian Inspired Wedding Reception at The Sutherland
After their gorgeous outdoor wedding ceremony, the bride and groom led the way to the cocktail hour and reception at The Sutherland. The rustic reception space was decked out in fresh, spring greenery and romantic candle light. Linens and dishware from CE Rental gave the room an elegant look. Bride Brooke designed dinner menus with cute calligraphy saying “Eat Your Heart Out”. Wedding guests loved finding their seats by searching for their “party animal”, tiny painted gold figurines attached to table numbers.
For dinner, Rocky Top Catering served Cinco de Mayo inspired dishes with flavor and color. The couple’s wedding took place on May 5th, so they asked Rocky Top Catering to create a taco and nacho bar with salsa, guacamole, and the most delicious queso. Brooke and Eric’s signature cocktails were a mix of Southern tradition – Bourbon Old Fashioned, and Cinco de Mayo – strawberry and classic margaritas! Yum.
“Rocky Top had such a wide selection of food options that were delicious and perfectly tailored to our Southern – Cinco de Mayo wedding!” -2018 Bride, Brooke
Brooke and Eric danced the night away on their dream wedding day at The Sutherland. The happy couple now lives permanently in Raleigh, NC. Brooke works as a graphic designer and Eric is a commercial banker. Our team at Southern Bride & Groom is beyond grateful to have gotten to share their incredible love story.