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Tomika & Jean-Philippe | The Westin Georgetown Wedding | Washington, D.C.


In the collected letters of F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, the former declared: “I love her and that’s the beginning and end of everything.” Both brilliant writers and creative masters, the Fitzgeralds couldn’t quite reckon their strong personalities with mutual interminable reverence. However tumultuous their relationship became, the Fitzgeralds nevertheless left us with important expressions of romance few after could articulate. F. Scott’s legendary The Great Gatsby immortalized a tale of love near obsession and, just as famously, how to throw an epic party.

Tomika and Jean-Phillippe, federal employees who connected on eHarmony, lifted Gatsby’s mythical penchant for finery and romance and rewrote it in a modern – and more wholesome – fashion. This contemporary twist on The Great Gatsby adapted the best parts of Jay Gatsby’s turbulent love affair: elegance, taste, adoration, and commitment, and rewrote their own story with a classy wedding and much happier ending.

"He knew that when he kissed this girl, and forever wed his unutterable visions to her perishable breath, his mind would never romp again like the mind of God."

— F. Scott Fitzergald, The Great Gatsby

The wedding ceremony at Westin Georgetown's courtyard was a sophisticated affair. White pillars decked the aisle, escorting Tomika to Jean-Phillippe with a train of elegant white roses, hydrangeas with gold painted eucalyptus. The snowy roses became a focal point in a black and white color scheme accented with blots of gold. Gilded eucalyptus hung angelically from the clouds of white flowers, adding a distinctly posh element to a classical design. Delicate sprigs of hydrangea gave volume and presence to the arrangements. The bridal and bridesmaid bouquets continued the theme of ivory shades in garden and creamy spray roses, gold eucalyptus, and charismatic anemones with dark black centers. The gentle notes of a harp sweetened the air, a fragrance of another kind, as the couple spoke their vows.

"I like large parties. They're so intimate. At small parties there isn't any privacy."

— F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

Sunshine melted into mood lighting as guests gathered in the Westin Georgetown’s ballroom for an elegant reception. A fun homage to the roaring 20’s crowned the name card display with a vase of fluffy white feathers. Gatsby fans will recall the scene in which the titular character, anxious to express the all-consuming adoration he feels towards love interest Daisy, fills their tea room to bursting with actual pounds of flowers. The couple’s interpretation was probably what Gatsby’s vision should have been: the tasteful white, black, and gold arrangements followed from the ceremony to become the table centerpieces, striking against midnight linens and glittering votives.

Mercury glass candleholders twinkled like stars or beacons, both imagery affiliated with Fitzgerald’s magnum opus, while floating candles carried pools of light up and down the head table. An assortment of monet and halo glass illuminated the dining tables amidst gilt cutlery and ebony napkins. A dainty single-layer wedding cake was supported by a tower of cupcakes with special flavors, including chocolate marshmallow and caramel apple.

“The way he looked at you, it was different from how he looked at other girls. He looked at you like the moon and the stars shone out of your eyes.”

— F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

The highlight of the décor was certainly the dreamy sweetheart table. It was a picture that could’ve been lifted directly from Gatsby’s glamorous parties: a thick, sprawling garland of fat white roses winged with ephemeral hydrangea and dribbling golden eucalyptus. The Midas-touched greenery caught fiery color from the mote of shining pillar candles at the foot of the table. The effulgent effect framed the new couple in literal and emotional beauty, everything warm, glowing, and transcendent.

“She held my hand for a moment, looking up into my face, promising that there was no one in the world she so much wanted to see.”

— F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

After the merriment, Tomika and Jean-Phillippe perused Georgetown and posed at local spots: the fire department, SoulCycle, and Capital Bikeshare dock. Amidst the cooling twilight and city lights, time slowed for the newlywed couple. It was a moment star-crossed Gatsby and Daisy would’ve been envious of, as Tomika and Jean-Phillippe’s stars aligned.

VENDORS

Photography: EDWARD UNDERWOOD

Venue: THE WESTIN GEORGETOWN

Planner: SENSATIONAL SOIREES

Florist: DESIGNS BY OOCHAY

Invitations: MINTED

Cake: SPRINKLES, ALEXANDRIA PASTRY SHOP

Hair: HAIR BY BAIJOUR

Makeup: WHITNEY RIVAS

Dress: MATTHEW CHRISTOPHER FROM LOVE COUTURE BRIDAL

Groom's Attire: MEN'S WEARHOUSE

Harpist: NADIA PESSOA

Rentals: SELECT EVENT GROUP

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Gaithersburg, MD 20879