The Centerpieces at This Halloween Wedding Featured Real Bugs and Butterflies

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We feel sure you’ve never seen decor like that of this “gothic fairytale” celebration.

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Photographs by Akbar Sayed Photography.

A year and a half after they discovered each other on Hinge, Jason, a nonprofit development coordinator, proposed to Sunitee, a video producer, in a hammock under the stars during a trip with Sunitee’s family to Grand Cayman.

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Over a Halloween weekend, they wed in a “moody, romantic, gothic fairytale” affair at Bethesda North Marriott Hotel. At the multicultural ceremony, dramatic purple draping and jewel tones set off the brass chuppah/mandap. The Victorian-themed cocktail hour featured candelabras and otherworldly decor, plus a showstopping escort display with larger-­than-life gilt portraits of their pets and stylized skulls, bones, and bugs offset by laser-cut, calligraphed butterflies that directed guests to their seats. Black-­velvet drapes transformed the hotel ballroom, a neon til death sign identified the sweetheart table, and seven “creepy yet beautiful” trees, says their planner, created a vampire-inspired forest punctuated by a massive tree overhanging the four-sided black bar. Real butterflies and other bug specimens were integrated into the centerpieces. Before the big day, the couple got matching tattoos of a death’s-head hawkmoth, and guests took home shot glasses etched with the same design.

_5 - Suni and Jason - Details - Akbar Sayed Photography

_2 - Suni and Jason - Details - Akbar Sayed Photography

15 - Suni and Jason - Wedding - Akbar Sayed Photography

17 - Suni and Jason - Wedding - Akbar Sayed Photography

The Details

Planning and design: Ida Rose Events + DesignFlorist: Sweet Root VillageInvitations: Saima Says DesignCaterer: IndAroma and Bethesda North MarriottCake: Jisoo Cake DesignHairstylist: Hair by MimiMakeup: Makeup by ShirinSaree draping: Vedic SpaBride’s attire: B Anu Designs (ceremony), David’s Bridal (reception) • Groom’s attire: B Anu Designs (ceremony), Indochino (reception) • Wedding-party attire: Utsav FashionMusic and lighting: Exclusively EntertainmentVideography: Akbar Sayed PhotographyCalligraphy: Jessica McSweeney CalligraphyDecor: Social SupplyRentals: Something Vintage, Select Event GroupDrape: Fabrication EventsHorse and carriage: Harmon’s CarriagesMobile DJ and dhol: ShiVish Entertainment

This wedding originally appeared in the June 2022 issue of Washingtonian.

Amy Moeller

Editor, Washingtonian Weddings

Amy leads Washingtonian Weddings and writes Style Setters for Washingtonian. Prior to joining Washingtonian in March 2016, she was the editor of Capitol File magazine in DC and before that, editor of What’s Up? Weddings in Annapolis.

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