Kemah Dennis-Morial and Julius West are both clearly Washingtonins: Kemah is a senior adviser to the assistant to the Majority Whip (Rep. Cedric Richmond) while Julius keeps stride as senior adviser to the House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi (she sent flowers!). Clearly, they’re on a similar path in life. We love DC for a lot of reasons, but especially its energetic cityscape where the dialogue of the past informs the conversations of the present. The River View at Occoquan has a similar quality, in which we celebrate fresh beginnings amidst a forest that has superseded us for generations. “Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose”: The more things change, the more they stay the same.
The River View at Occoquan is a relatively young venue situated between the Occoquan river and surrounding preservation park. This area incorporates contemporary design with historic buildings like the charming brick kiln and Groom’s Cottage. A dramatic angular structure, half-wood, half-window, the River View is aptly named – there’s no better seat in the house. We instantly felt refreshed by the surrounding foliage dappled with sunlight and the glittering dips and bends of the ever-expressive water.
We talked about the purpose of blue in one of our recent Instagram posts discussing electromagnetic instinct. Humans are most attracted to this color for the connotations of blue skies (safe to travel) and blue water (safe to drink). Kemah and Julius truly embody the organic peace imbued in blue in their first look photoshoot: everything about their expressions promises many blue skies ahead.
Kemah wowed in her lacy fitted gown brandishing a bridal bouquet as vivacious as her spirit. A thick net of eucalyptus cradled ivory garden roses, peonies, ranunculus, and stock in this lively floral sculpture accented with custom-painted gilt leaves. The bridesmaids carried similar bunches of sweet white blooms and greenery, an elegant accompaniment to their champagney dresses and berry lipstick. The groom and his crew were looking sharp in their dark suits, Julius unique in his textured heather jacket.
When it came time for the ceremony, The River View hosted guests in a scenic outdoor space. Kemah and Julius met at magnificent arch, poetically braided with clusters of smilax and roses. Silky drapery flowed down on either side like a floral waterfall. Lit by the glow of a late spring evening, #atribecalledwest united at last.
The couple’s vision for their wedding allowed us to craft a classy, chic, polished reception space. Gold linens covered the tables with an especially opulent selection for the sweetheart table, crowned with an animated collection of florals and greenery. Floating candles and bud vases with dainty hydrangea stems carpeted the circumference of a towering arrangement thick with blooms. Emerald chargers, golden flatware, and spotted mercury votives brought stylish detail to the gathering. Complimentary arrangements both large and small featured extra eucalyptus greenery in our cultivated forest of design.
We contributed flowers to Girl Meets Cake’s lovely creation and the couple sliced the symbolic confection with hands entwined. As the magical day wound to a close, Kemah and Julius shared a moment gliding through an ethereal patch of fog. As the gossamer mist rolled across the dance floor, the bride’s dress seemed to rise and take shape from the depths of a cloud. Like we said, blue skies ahead.
WE ♡ OUR VENDORS.
Photography: BURROUGHS | KNIGHT PRODUCTIONS
Hair: TIERRAS NICHOLE ARTISTRY
Makeup: IMAGE CONCIERGE
Cake: GIRL MEETS CAKE
Florals: DESIGNS BY OOCHAY
Bride’s Dress: THE BRIDAL ROOM VA
Bridesmaid: ADRIANNA PAPELL
Groomsmen: THE BLACK TUX
Linens: BBJ LINENS
Rentals: SELECT EVENT GROUP
Menu Cards: PARCHMENT BY DAMI
Seating Chart: JUST WRITE STUDIOS