Clarissa (she/her) and Victoria (she/her) met on a queer dating app and knew soon after connecting that they were meant to be. Victoria is originally from California, and is of Mexican descent, and Clarissa is Puerto Rican and from the Bronx. Now based in Virginia, they share deep pride for their heritage and the life they are building together. The couple celebrated their engagement with a stylish photoshoot at the National Gallery of Art and the Jefferson in Washington, D.C.

The brides wanted their fall wedding to be elegant, modern and festive. Clarissa and Victoria designed their wedding celebration around a black-and-white color palette with metallic accents. After getting ready separately, the couple did an intimate first look and vow exchange under a willow tree. Their ceremony took place just before golden hour, with the sun casting a warm glow across their outdoor venue.

The reception featured an arched photo wall backdrop with balloons and neon signs reading “Mrs. & Mrs.” and “Let’s Party.” After a first dance that included dramatic dry ice fog, the newlyweds and their guests enjoyed a fun-filled evening that ended with a sparkler send-off.

RELATED: Clarissa and Victoria’s black-and-white engagement photoshoot

We caught up with Clarissa to hear all about this stunning and elegant wedding.

Tell us about your wedding!

My inspiration really came from my love for design and architecture. We wanted a timeless wedding with a modern edge. Our color palette included classic white and ivory, matte black, sage, olive and metallics. We had a ceremonial wine box where both my wife and I selected a bottle and wrote a letter to each other. On our anniversary, we will open the box, drink the bottle of wine and read each other’s letters. Each year, we will replace the wine and letters to always bring us back to our special day!

Let’s talk wedding decor. How did you decorate your space?

We wanted the ceremony to be classic with white, roses, pillar candles and greenery. Then we decorated the reception area more toward our modern, edgy taste. We incorporated matte black signage, black rose petals, a luxe balloon design and plenty of areas for photo ops! A lot of our decor was DIY. I had a particular vision and knew it was something I wanted to create myself.

What were the flowers like at your wedding?

Florals were a big part of our day! We had a mixture of white and ivory roses, hydrangeas, calla lilies, variations of eucalyptus, baby’s breath and wisteria. In addition, we included some faux black eucalyptus, hydrangeas and roses. We used flowers in our bridal bouquets and centerpieces, and created a beautiful floral backdrop.

What personal touches did you add to your wedding?

We regularly go on dates to wineries. One of our favorite places is a restaurant and winery where they make all of their wines in-house. It was important to include them on our special day, so we ordered all of our champagne and wine from them, which was an homage to all of our amazing memories during our wine tastings.

Let’s talk fashion. How did you both choose your wedding day looks?

I always had a vision for my wedding day look. I wanted it to resemble my personal style but also have a classic look. I selected two dresses: my first dress was from a local couture boutique, House of BellaChic. The dress is ivory with long lace sleeves, a mermaid silhouette and a low back. It sparkles and has intricate detailing on the train. My second dress was from David’s Bridal, and we customized it a bit. The second dress was for the reception, so I wanted it to be a bit looser and fun. The dress is white, with iridescent sequins, gorgeous lace and glittery lining. For this dress, we added a corset detail in the back, removed the cap sleeves and cut the lining to have a sheer modern look. I paired both looks with a Swarovski necklace, large diamond earrings, Hollywood curls and pearl embellishments.

Victoria knew she wanted to wear a bridal suit, but did not want to blend in with all our friends and family. She chose a beautiful modern ivory tux from Little Black Tux, with satin lapel detailing. She wore an ivory bodysuit to compliment her figure, ivory patent leather shoes, an intricate low bun and a Movado blue watch.

What was the most anticipated or special moment of your wedding day?

The most special moment of our wedding day was the reveal. We decided to do a first look before the ceremony under a willow tree. We were so nervous and anxious to see each other! I remember us both shaking. I tapped on her shoulder, she turned around and instantly we both smiled and laughed. We shared our vows in private under the willow tree. This was by far my favorite moment because it was so pure and just us.

What advice would you give to LGBTQ+ marriers planning their wedding?

The biggest piece of advice I’d like to share is to take it all in. We all spend so much time preparing for the wedding: meeting with vendors, making decisions, working to pay for the wedding, getting spa services…and it is all for this one day. I saw this in a bridal group, and it was such a simple, yet fantastic piece of advice: “Every hour during your wedding, take a moment to look at your partner and take it in. You will carry these snapshots forever.” The Equally Wed heart is a trademark of Palladino Publishing, LLC.

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Photographer: Ariel Moriah Photography
Second shooter: Ashley Johnson Photography
Venue: The Osprey’s at Belmont Bay
Florist: The Flower Box Woodbridge
Victoria’s attire: Little Black Tux
Clarissa’s attire: House of BellaChic; David’s Bridal
Clarissa’s shoes: Badgley Mischka
Decor: Details by Clarissa
Hair and makeup: Carla Pressley
Catering: Hemibry Catering
Cake: Elevation Cake
DJ: Hercules Entertainment

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