4th of July Wedding: A couple embracing while looking out at a firework show on their wedding night.

The Making of a 4th of July Wedding for Jackie and Ethan

Washington, Virginia
BY SHIRA SAVADA / 06 30 21
Photo by Corbin Gurkin

Every wedding vendor team is created a little differently. In this series we explore how and why each couple selected the right wedding vendor team for their wedding day.

Back in late 2019, Jackie and Ethan were visiting a winery in Virginia when he popped the question. After celebrating with their immediate families, they spent a romantic night at The Inn at Little Washington and soon began wedding discussions. With a few time constraints to consider, they decided on a wedding the following summer. Initially, they considered a July 4th soiree, but ultimately decided against it, instead opting for a date two weekends prior.

4th of July Wedding: A couple exchanging vows at an intimate outdoor ceremony in Virginia.

Wedding Planner/Designer

Plans moved forward for a wedding in the heart of Washington D.C.—where the couple resides—as they secured a venue. But by May 2020, it was clear that the pandemic and mass protests forced them back to the drawing board. Thankfully, by then they had booked planner Aimee Dominick of A. Dominick Events to guide them as they navigated how to safely and stylishly celebrate. 

“We found Aimee Dominick through references and some independent research. No surprise that she is highly regarded and great at what she does!” —Jackie, bride

4th of July Wedding: Red, white, and blue  bunting hanging from a balcony at an inn.
4th of July Wedding: A tented reception area set with neutral green and white decor at an outdoor wedding in Virginia.

Wedding Venue & Catering

Jackie and Ethan had previously considered The Inn at Little Washington as a wedding venue, and revisited it when adjusting their plans. And as it happened, their best availability was surrounding Independence Day. So they sprang for the patriotic date and embraced it as they forged ahead with a wedding that was elegant yet relaxed, with a hint of Americana throughout. Including an American flag cornhole set during cocktail hour, American flag pushpins to hold the calligraphed escort cards in place, and a surprise fireworks show at the end of the night. 

“Ethan and I were totally in love with the venue as we are both foodies (and lovers of all things wine) and had experienced such a special night there the day of our engagement. What an amazing place to dine on one’s wedding! We were so thankful they accommodated us during such a crazy time and grateful to have had the opportunity to host our guests there. I honestly wish I could eat there on a weekly basis.

The location also had the added positive of being out in the countryside where our guests could appropriately social distance outside under an open air tent.” —Jackie, bride

4th of July Wedding: Aerial view of a bride walking towards her groom along a pebbled garden path lined with green and white foliage.
4th of July Wedding: A bride and groom embracing outdoors on their wedding day.
4th of July Wedding: A couple kissing at their wedding reception, and guests holding sparklers next to them.

Wedding Photographer

From there it was on to selecting a wedding photographer. Jackie’s mother had done a ton of research about vendors, and formed a very short list for photographers. Lucky for the couple, the photographer at the top of that list (Corbin Gurkin) was ready and willing to document the destination wedding weekend.

“One person we engaged almost immediately was our photographer, Corbin Gurkin. All of the vendors were important and played key roles in making our special day come to life, but it was especially important to us to make sure those memories were well documented to last the years to come. Corbin is so easy-going, flexible, and insanely talented—we were just grateful she was able to accommodate our rescheduled date.” —Jackie, bride

4th of July Wedding: A flat lay of blue and white wedding stationery.
4th of July Wedding: A bride smiling with her bridesmaids on her wedding day.
4th of July Wedding: A groom twirling a bride at their wedding reception.

Wedding Stationer, Hair & Makeup, & Music

With plans officially shifted, it was time to loop in the guests. This happened in style, thanks Wouldn’t It Be Lovely, a stationer that incorporated beautiful watercolor artwork. At the same time, the window to plan the wedding was shrinking by the day, so several other decisions quickly happened in succession. Bridal Hair by Remona and Nour Kaoun were recruited to do hair and makeup, respectively. And a duo of talent was secured for the couple’s musical needs: Sage String Quartet for the ceremony and DJ Chris Stiles from Élan Artists for the reception.

4th of July Wedding: A bouquet of white flowers and lots of greenery on a reception table.
4th of July Wedding: Classic white and green reception table decor with wooden chairs in a tented area.

Wedding Florist & Décor

They then tapped Southern Blooms to design various floral elements—like a striking ceremony arch and cascading bouquet using a variety of white flowers and greenery. And Social Supply Design & Décor came on as a decor partner to round out the look and feel of the day.

4th of July Wedding: A tented reception area at a wedding in Virginia.

Wedding Tent & Rentals

To bring the bride’s long-standing dream of having a wedding under a tent in the middle of the countryside, a classic sailcloth tent was a must.

“Sugarplum tents was a no brainer. They have the most amazing team and beautiful products.” —Aimee Dominick, planner/designer

Then it was time to fill the tent, so furniture and tabletop pieces were selected from a mix of rental companies: Something Vintage, BBJ La Tavola Fine Linens, and Select Event Group.

4th of July Wedding: A three-tiered white wedding cake on a table at an outdoor reception.
4th of July Wedding: Couple kissing at the alter of their outdoor Virginia wedding ceremony.

Wedding Cake & Videographer

Dessert was the next decision, with Jackie and Ethan selecting Fleur and Flour to create their three-tier wedding cake. And around that time the couple explored options for videographers—ultimately landing on Bowen Films to document their day.

4th of July Wedding: A flat lay of customized wedding cookies with presidents' faces on them.
4th of July Wedding: Fireworks bursting over a tented wedding reception.

Wedding Cookies & Fireworks

Another sweet touch was added in the form of cookies piped with the likenesses of presidents past made by Fluffy Thoughts Cakes that were given as favors over the span of the patriotic holiday weekend. One final and fitting addition for a wedding on Independence Day was a fireworks display, which came courtesy of Virginia Skypainters.

4th of July Wedding: A bride and groom walking away into the sunset towards the forested hills.
A Classic Wedding for Jackie & Ethan
Corbin Gurkin