Meagan & Akheil married on a warm December day in Washington DC in 2019.
“Meagan is an urban planner and has converted Akheil to an urbanist in his own right. So, when we were thinking about locations, we were immediately drawn toward the eastern cities that were foundational to who we are as people: Philadelphia and DC. We ultimately chose DC because it had everything we wanted: it’s a world-class city, it’s important to Akheil—who grew up in the DMV area—and it was a convenient location for our friends and family who are spread across the country.
Honestly, our process was pretty simple: our day should be a reflection of us, not of what other people think it should be. We wanted to have a short, extremely personal, ceremony and then just celebrate with all of the wonderful people who have walked with us as we’ve become the people we are today. As soon as we arrived at that conclusion, the rest fell right into place. Planning was work, to be sure, but it was a labor of love because we weren’t trying to be anything other than ourselves.
The visual theme followed our central idea: the wedding was not about convention, but about who we are as a family. To that end, we love urban, warm spaces that can speak for themselves. Instead of a color palette, we knew we wanted the intimacy of candles, lights, and, in our case, brick and wood. We kept everything else very simple, with small bud vases and greenery.
As for the venue, Toolbox was the first location we visited and it spoke to us immediately. The brick and wood floors gave us the intimate vibe we were going for; the space had its own personality and distinct charm. It was tucked down an alley, which we loved. And the gallery space meant we would have art along the walls—a fun, unknown variable, since we didn’t know what pieces would be on display during our wedding. The owner and coordinator were also fabulous and made planning a wedding from a distance very easy as well.” – Meagan & Akheil
Between getting ready at the Palomar Hotel and the ceremony at the ToolBox, we traveled to the Smithsonian Museum gardens for their first look and private vow reading.
“Initially, we didn’t think the private vow reading would be a significant part of our day. Had it not been for Julia’s suggestion, we probably wouldn’t have done it at all. However, we trusted her judgment and built a first look with a private vow reading into our schedule. And we are so glad that we did. The first look and private vow reading turned out to be among our favorite moments. That intimate moment gave us both the time to react purely to our vows, to laugh and tear up. It also gave us the space to reflect on our relationship and affirm to one another the life that we’ve built, before doing so in front of our friends and family. It set the perfect tone for the rest of the celebration.
Another favorite moment was walking down the aisle together arm in arm with our toddler. Rather than meeting at the front of the room, we elected to come into the room as a family and it just felt very much like us. Throughout the ceremony, as our dear friend officiated a ceremony we had built to reflect our life and values, we could hear our son chattering away and it was a lovely reminder of all that we have built together—and all we have to look forward to.” – Meagan & Akheil
I love the way Meagan & Akheil included their son in their celebration. I asked them what advice they would have for other parents looking to include their family in the day.
“Do not be too wedded to any single plan and know your family and child. At the end of the day, we wanted to celebrate our family, which included a—sometimes unpredictable—toddler. That induces some uncertainty, but we decided that including our son mattered more to us than predictability. So, it became simpler to be flexible in our plans to ensure our young son was a part of our day—without putting too much pressure on him. Initially, we planned to walk down the aisle with our son, hand-in-hand between us. However, as the wedding day got closer, we realized that he wasn’t ready for that: he was still a pretty new walker and he tends to get a little shy in crowds. So, we made a day-of decision to hold him as we walked together, arm in arm. It was perfect because it was us, within the limits of what worked for him.” – Meagan & Akheil
Another special detail from this wedding was the dessert. Captain Cookie catered the evening festivities and Meahan & Akheil even scooped ice cream for their guests!
“We don’t love having our pictures taken. We don’t love the idea of posed shots and we didn’t have the traditional wedding party. That’s just kind of who we are. But, we were absolutely 100 percent confident choosing Julia for our wedding because she’s so good at making people feel at ease and capturing the flow of the day. We’ve known her for years, but it’s more than that: she has an uncanny ability to just make you feel calm. This is, of course, to say nothing of her supreme talent as a photographer. Neither of us are experts in photography, but it doesn’t take an expert to know that her work is incredible. She thinks about the composition of future photos and helps you build that into your day. And since the photos are the things you ultimately remember most, this is invaluable. Lastly, Julia’s professionalism and attention to detail is outstanding: from the planning stage, when she helped us identify the moments (like the private vow reading) that we may want to consider, to the final delivery of photos in her signature wooden box, everything was beautiful and tailored to the kind of day we hoped to have. We cannot recommend her enough.” – Meagan & Akheil
Photographer: Julia Luckett Photography // Venue: Toolbox DC // Getting Ready Venue: Polomar Hotel // First Look: Smithsonian // Florals: Bee Inspired // Catering: Main Event Caterers // Dessert: Captain Cookie Food Truck // DJ: DJ Batchelor // Wedding Invitations: Zola // Officiant: Mary Rocco // Hair Stylist: A Stylist Abroad // Make-Up Artist: Blush Away Makeup // Rings: Cornelius Hollander Designs // Meagan’s Dress: BHLDN // Meagan’s Jewelry: Family heirlooms