Simple, Friendly and Fun Washington DC Wedding by Aki Akiwumi Photography

I couldn’t resist this simple, dance-filled, fun wedding by Aki Akiwumi Photography to share with you.

This is the third wedding I have received recently where the couple have decided to ‘travel light’ and choose not to have a wedding party. No bridesmaids, best men or ushers. Is this becoming more popular in 2014, similar to many celebrities who prefer to keep their celebrations simple?

Beautiful Elaina a teacher with an infectious smile with Mexican heritage and Aaron of Japanese/American heritage, married in June 2013 at St Francis Hall Washington D.C. USA. They purposefully wanted to keep their wedding simple, about them, but to also celebrate the friends and family in their lives.

Elaina and Aaron’s subtle and personal DIY touches to accent their day and the use of ‘recycled’ flowers are definitely something to take note of if you’re looking to be creative and to save money in this area.

Over to Elaina and Aaron!

I had always said I thought proposals were kind of strange (why does the guy have to go through all that pressure?) (Nu Bride: You could have proposed  to Aaron Elaina. Tee Hee).  Also, I can’t help but feel it’s wiser to use the money one would spend on an engagement ring (which knowing me, I’d probably lose or drop down the kitchen sink drain) on a down payment (deposit) for a house, or better yet, for scholarships for some kid’s education.

So, there was no formal proposal. (Nu Bride; Really?! What happened instead?)

Aaron and I had been dating for about 2.5 years.  During the summer of 2012, I had to take a number of trips that caused us to be separated for weeks at a time; it was the first time we’d been separated like that since we had started dating.  After having had the time apart, when we were reunited, and when we realized how much we disliked being away from each other (something we laughed at), we started talking more seriously about getting married.  We began investigating wedding venues, quickly found one that met our needs and reserved a date, and then we realised we were basically engaged.

There was never an engagement ring.  But, there was a formal conversation with our parents.  I am a Baha’i, and one teaching of the Baha’i faith is that individuals seek parental consent prior to getting married.


A few weeks after we had secured the wedding venue, we met my parents in person.  They already knew we had a venue and were really excited about the whole thing.  I am the only Baha’i in my family, so my parents were not necessarily familiar with the whole “asking for consent” practice.  They are also pretty laissez-faire in their parenting style. Thus, when we sat them down, explained the desire to honour them and the life they have given to us by seeking their consent for our marriage, they looked at us like we were ridiculous.  Needless to say, they approved and the engagement became official.

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My favourite moment was walking down the aisle with my father. 

We walked down the aisle to Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World.” (Nu Bride: Perfect!)

Right before my dad and I entered the hall, we said to each other that neither of us could cry.  I remember feeling profound happiness and excitement to be marrying Aaron, and also extremely deep gratitude for my father and the amazing man he has always been in my life.

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I but I bought my dress from David’s Bridal, it was the 3rd dress I tried on. My accessories were from Dillard’s Department Store

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We used dried lavender in mason jars, which we inherited from another wedding.

For table decorations, we used pieces of burlap as table runners and placed the jars of lavender on top.  We surrounded the jar with fresh leaves that we picked from the giant fig tree in our front yard.

Also, we labeled each table with a year that is significant in Aaron’s & my lives.  For each year, we attached a relevant photo.  For example, “1969—the year Elaina’s parents got married!” and we coupled this with a photo of my parents on their wedding day.  Other years included when our siblings were born, when we each graduated from college, when we met, etc.  This year/photo was part of the table centerpiece.

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We decided to have 8 different kinds of cupcakes from our caterers. Palate’s Delight.

The funniest moment of our wedding day was when Aaron and I smashed cupcakes into each other’s faces. We got each other pretty good.  Even up the nose! 

We had one of my students Marcus Campbell as our DJ and one of our closest friends, Naaz Khan, was our emcee.  She has amazing enthusiasm, is articulate, and we knew she would lovingly work with Marcus.  And she did!  Having Naaz emcee the reception really gave our wedding a personal feeling, not to mention create an even greater atmosphere of joy.


Our first dance was to “Lovely Day” by Bill Withers.

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Our wedding was simple, it didn’t take itself too seriously, and it was friendly.  We wanted the wedding to not just be about us, but also to celebrate the wonderful family and friends in our lives.

Thank you for sharing a gorgeous snippet of your lives with us Aaron and Elaina. Many congratulations and wishing you an equally gorgeous 1st anniversary (Ps. I hope you haven’t lost your wedding ring down the kitchen sink already Elaina!)

Images courtesy of Aki Akiwumi|Mangolens Photography

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6 Responses to “Simple, Friendly and Fun Washington DC Wedding by Aki Akiwumi Photography”

  1. Ishari De Silva
    June 4, 2014 at 12:21 pm #

    Love the venue!!! Looks like the wedding reception was so much fun x

    • Nu Bride
      June 8, 2014 at 10:01 am #

      I know! I would have loved to have been on the dance floor with Elaina and Aaron xx

  2. Laura Babb
    June 5, 2014 at 2:33 pm #

    What a beautiful space they held their reception in. Love it.

  3. chris
    July 12, 2014 at 5:04 am #

    I had the privilege of being at this beautiful couple’s wedding. Another awesome detail is that they were married by Aaron’s dad, Dennis.

    • Nu Bride
      July 12, 2014 at 10:50 am #

      Wow! Now that is just perfect. How lucky you are to have been there Chris a beautiful wedding ! Thank you for sharing xx


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