Real Wedding: A Custom-Made Celebration

 In Feature, Style

DIY-style touches went a long way in pulling off this ultra-creative couples fun and formal wedding.


Growing up in St. Louis, Jami Washington had always known of Matthew Dale— the two attended the same schools a year apart from elementary to high school. It wasn’t until after college, though, when he moved next door to her friends’ house, that they became better acquainted.

Matthew eventually asked Jami out to dinner at Jazz at the Bistro, and they started dating. Three years later, Matthew decided to propose. He had initially planned to pop the question a day before Jami’s birthday in January 2008, but she came down with the flu. So, he decided to wait until the next day— which happened to be unseasonably beautiful and presented the perfect opportunity. He took Jami on a romantic picnic in Forest Park and revealed the ring.

The Ceremony: The couple exchanged vows on April 11, 2009 in front of nearly 400 guests at the majestic Memorial Presbyterian Church near Washington University—the same church that had Jami awestruck since attending a wedding there when she was 10. Forgoing traditional flowers, Jami had the ceremony site decorated with black and white balloons and floor-stand candelabras, which lined the aisle and formed an elegant altar. The gorgeous and unique touches were photographed by Stephen Seward Photography (

The Rings: Lordo’s Diamonds (314.432.8008) in Clayton custom created Jami’s two white gold, black-diamond-dotted eternity bands to surround her cathedral-cut rock. Matthew’s smooth black tungsten band also came from the jeweler.

The Stationary: Matthew custom designed save the dates and invites featuring black-and-white photographs of the couple.

The Dress: Jami found her elegant, floor-length, white satin strapless gown on, with the intention of embellishing it with lace. Instead, the savvy fashionista tied a black satin sash around the waist and let it drape past the back edge of the dress to double as a train. Black satin elbow-length gloves and peep-toe J.Crew shoes finished off the fashionably formal look. Bridesmaids donned chic black strapless As You Wish cocktail dresses from Nordstrom (

The Cake:Although the decorations—black satin ribbons and white and red rose petals— were simple, the white-on-white, triple-tiered wedding cake looked anything but. Baker and family friend Daila Siemens of Rick’s Bakery ( in Fayetteville, Arkansas, traveled to St. Louis to assemble the delectable after-dinner dessert.

The Flowers: Jami purchased blooms in bulk from Dierbergs Florist ( and assembled all the bridal bouquets herself—clustering together stems of two dozen white roses with red accents for herself and a dozen red roses for her bridesmaids with a ribbon knot design.

The Celebration:
A yellow school bus from Metropolitan Shuttle ( transported the wedding party to Moulin (, 314.241.4949) after the ceremony. Votive candles surrounded black-and-white-balloon centerpieces, and a table of black-and-white framed photographs celebrated the couple’s early dating days. A chef prepared pasta, meat and veggies
at a special station, and DJ Doug Curtis from London Calling kept guests moving on the dance floor after dinner.

The Favors: Keepsake photographs from a photo booth ( made for fun favors. Hours after dinner, a popcorn station— complete with different seasonings—served a special late-evening snack.


251_149.jpgCake by Daila Siemen’s of Rick’s Bakery


250_149.jpgThe couple on their big day



Photo credit: Photos by Stephen Seward Photography

Recent Posts