Jessica and Amir’s New Year’s Eve wedding included all the New Year’s Eve-themed details, from neon signs to monogrammed ice cubes in the “New Year, Old Fashioned” signature drinks. Personalized details and an epic party, they say, were among their top priorities. See their story, and the details of their glitzy big day, below.
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Jessica, an orthodontist from Erie, Pennsylvania, and Amir, an oral surgeon from Potomac, first met as students at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry. Jessica “friended” all of her future classmates on Facebook, and Amir had been looking forward to meeting her in person—a meet cute that finally took place in the elevator at the gym on the first day of orientation. “Amir mustered up the courage to put together what would prove to be his best pickup line to date: “What’s up?”,” they joke, and Jess, they say, swooned immediately. The following night at the welcome social at a bar in Federal Hill, the pair hit it off. It was friendship at first, but by spring, they were “official.”
They dated four years before Amir popped the question at Virginia bed-and-breakfast Stone Manor, followed by a surprise engagement party immediately after at Bluemont Vineyard. Jessica had been convinced the weekend was a birthday celebration for Amir and two close friends, and after spending Friday night in the B&B, Amir proposed over “pre-birthday party” mimosas in the garden. Jessica called family and friends on the way to what she was still thinking was a birthday party, only to find those same loved ones—more than 50 friends and family members who’d flown in from across the country—all together, awaiting the newly engaged couple’s arrival.
On December 31, 2021, the Arlington couple hosted a fully vaccinated list of guests for a New Years Eve-themed wedding and reception at the Hotel Washington, where they pulled out all the festive stops. Both the ceremony and reception were decorated in black, white, and metallics, with all-white florals including mostly white roses, some hydrangeas, peonies, spray roses, and cala lilies.
The ring bearer carried down the aisle a pillow that was made from the wedding dresses of the bride’s mother and the mother of the groom. One of Jessica’s brothers officiated the wedding, and the couple exchanged personalized vows. As guests exited the ceremony, they were passed champagne with mirrored drink tags that said #RingingInTheItanis.
Cocktail hour hors d’oeuvres included truffle cheddar grilled cheese, fried coconut shrimp, and empanadas. For dinner, the first course was a cheese trio, followed by a choice of stuff chicken breast, seared striped bass, or braised beef short rib, and for dessert, cake, cookies from an Iranian bakery (Amir is half Iranian), and specialty chocolates from the bride’s hometown. Later, guests were treated to late-night pizza from a DC food truck.
Their Favorite Details
The bride’s favorite detail was the neon “The Itanis” sign, celebrating their married name, that her mom had surprised her with at the reception. (It was a detail she’d mentioned to her planner months before but that was ultimately cut from the list of decor elements.) The groom’s favorite detail was the Disney pins that the groomsmen wore in lieu of boutonnières—Disney World was the couple’s first vacation together, so it holds special meaning to them. As a nod to that, the theme song from the movie Up, called “Married Life,” was chosen as the processional, and Amir picked out a special pin for each guy and wrote a personalized note about why that pin represents each person. The groom himself wore the grape soda pin from “Up,” and gave Jessica a matching one, which she wore on her bouquet.
Jessica designed the AJ monogram, which was featured everywhere from the wax seal on the invitations and the signature drinks—a topper on the martini and etched into ice cubes for the old fashions—to the menu and the bar napkins.
The escort wall lined with Hershey kiss-filled acrylic boxes, read “Midnight Kisses,” and guided guests to their tables. At the tables, designated by clocks that read the table number, each seat was assigned with personalized gold champagne bottles.
For the guestbook, the couple invited guests to leave a joke as a nod to Amir’s oral surgery residency, when Jessica would tuck notes with jokes on them into his lunch.
A statement mirror in one space was adorned with balloon garland and a decal of the wedding hashtag, and inside the bathrooms, the bride and groom left messages on the mirrors for their guests: the women’s room’s note said “You look incredible—xoxo, Jess” and in the men’s room: “WWDD,” stood for “what would David do?” as a tribute to the groom’s dear friend who’d died unexpectedly earlier in the year.
An oversized screen in the reception room played a slideshow of photos of the bride and groom and their friends and family during dinner, and then the Time’s Square Ball Drop at midnight.
The couple plan to honeymoon in Spain, visiting Barcelona, Marbella, Mallorca, and Ibiza.
See the video of their big day, by nVu Films, here. https://vimeo.com/661642884
The Vendor Team
Photographer: Anna Schmidt Photography | Venue: Hotel Washington | Planning and design: ALLORE Events & Design | Florist: Edge Floral Event Designers | Invitations: custom design from Minted | Catering and cake: Hotel Washington | Hairstylists: Pins N Brushes (bride); Total Babe Hair (bridesmaids) | Makeup Artist: Muse Studios | Bride’s Attire: ‘Marilla’ gown by Lazaro, from Love Couture (ceremony); Jovani, from Aram Boutique (reception); custom Celeste Batista (veil); Jimmy Choo (shoes) | Groom’s Attire: Wm. Fox & Co (custom tux) | Bridesmaids’ Attire: Jessica Angel, from Aram Boutique | Music: Zandi Entertainment | Videographer: nVu Films | Lighting: Encore | Rentals: Party Rentals Ltd | Welcome panels and balloons: Lucy Blossoms | Custom decals: Grofik Installations | Other signage (bar signs, table numbers, tabletop signs, acrylic welcome signs): Creative Amme | Marquee numbers: Alpha Lit DC | Late night food truck: DC Slices
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.