“Andy and I had met a few different times over the years through mutual friends, but we were both never single during those meetings,” Jennifer Somers reflects. Surely enough, the two happened to be at the same bar one night and discovered they were both available. Although Andy moved to Seattle three weeks after they started dating, the distance didn’t stop him from proposing a few years later. He flew to California one summer evening and surprised his sweetheart with a beautiful ring at sunset.

Considering that most of their relatives reside in Washington, DC, the pair decided to wed in the nation’s capital. They chose their venue and theme based on Jennifer’s wish to tie the knot in the state where she and Andrew currently live. “I wanted it to be California-style. I wanted it to look earthy and outdoorsy because that’s the type of venue I would’ve chosen in California,” the bride claims. The décor highlighted The Golden State as it featured upside-down sunflowers above the dance floor, ferns hanging from the ceiling, and a verdant tree placed amidst three reception tables in the back. “I wanted the venue to look very California-style, so I was willing to go all out to get it to look that way,” she affirms. It was equally important for the couple to host a Catholic ceremony in honor of their parents. They recited their memorized vows and exchanged rings at the same church where three of their nieces and nephews were baptized.

Their 100 attendees were seated at gorgeous banquet tables adorned with earthy-toned blooms, candles, and clear vases showcasing handwritten menu selections. Each guest received a selfie stick and wine-bottle coaster with his/her name on it as favors from the occasion. Since the bride works for Taco Bell Headquarters, she hired a franchisee to bring food later in the reception. During the late-night dining, someone dressed in a Taco Bell hot sauce outfit and danced with guests for a short while. These features, along with not having a wedding cake, bouquet toss, or garter toss, enhanced the uniqueness of the day. “I’m a pretty nontraditional bride,” Jennifer says.

Musing upon her special day that she coordinated with her husband and EVOKE's team, Jennifer stresses the benefit of hiring a planner to ensure that your day is just as memorable. “People can get really worked up planning every detail of their wedding. In my opinion, couples should identify the most important details they want to be involved with and let someone else coordinate the rest.”