A Wedding with Ballroom Elegance

A Wedding with Ballroom Elegance

With the mother of the bride as event planner, every detail was covered

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The couple: Allison Reines, 31, grew up in Bethesda and is a physical therapist at C.O.R.E. Physical Therapy. Jonathan Zygielbaum, 31, moved from South Africa to Bethesda when he was in eighth grade and is an attorney at Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP. Allison and Jonathan graduated from Walter Johnson High School in 2002 and now live in Washington, D.C.

The wedding: June 21, 2014, at the Four Seasons Hotel in Georgetown. The 7 p.m. ceremony was in the ballroom, which was transformed for the reception while guests enjoyed a cocktail hour—partially outdoors with couches and a fire pit—in another part of the hotel.

Allison’s mom, Ellen Reines, an event planner in Bethesda, handled all the details for the wedding. “I never had to worry,” Allison says. “I knew everything was going to be covered. She thought of things I didn’t even know existed. She exceeded any vision I could have potentially ever had. I didn’t even know you could make a room look so beautiful, so unique and so custom.”

How they met: The couple met their senior year at Walter Johnson when they had an AP psychology class together.

First date: In 2002, Jonathan asked Allison to prom, and the event was the first time their families met. After graduating, they went off to separate colleges (Jonathan to the University of Maryland and Allison to the University of Michigan) but stayed in touch and began dating seriously after college in 2006. Their rehearsal dinner included a slideshow with a photo from their prom.

The proposal: On an April 2013 weekend trip to Allison’s uncle’s house in St. Michaels, Maryland, Jonathan pretended to get up early to take pictures of the sunrise. When Allison woke up and came outside, he proposed alongside the water. “He surprised me by having both of our families come for the whole rest of the weekend, and he had gone food shopping and bought all of our favorite foods and cooked all weekend,” Allison says.

Wedding theme: While there wasn’t a distinct theme, the wedding encompassed various shades of whites and creams, along with matte metallics in gold and silver. “And some blush for a little pop,” says Allison.

Number of guests: 240

Special detail: “Our chuppah had spray-painted pearlized foliage on the sides of it,” Allison says of the Jewish canopy they were married under. The entire structure was covered in lush flowers and the top featured woven branches and dangling globe lights.

Most meaningful moment: Rabbi James Kahn, who performed their ceremony, suggested that Allison and Jonathan write each other a letter that they read in private after the service. “We didn’t want to have long personal vows but we still wanted to share things that we felt about each other,” Allison says. “We’ve been together so many years, it was nice to have both of us put all of our thoughts into one place.”

The food: Allison is a vegetarian, so having food options was important to her. The cocktail hour had both passed hors d’oeuvres and stations of nibbles. The dinner started with a first course of baby arugula and citrus salad served on a glass plate. The entrées were miso-glazed sea bass and New York strip steak, with vegetarian options available. The couple’s four-tiered red velvet cake was covered in cream cheese frosting that had a different texture and style for each layer.

Party treats: Guests sported favors on the dance floor: customized sunglasses that said “Zig & Al” and the wedding date. And mini ice cream treats and candy pops were given out on the dance floor later in the evening.

One-of-a-kind touches: The décor company Chicka designed pieces for the wedding, including a custom dance floor with a taupe-and-ivory diamond pattern. The company also created an elaborate wall with shelves for candles, flowers, table assignment cards and old family wedding photos in various frames. “I love that it had all of our family history in it,” Allison says.

Cost-cutting tips: “Be the daughter of a wedding planner,” Allison quips. Her mom’s connections and knowledge of the industry helped keep costs down.

Gown: An ivory strapless gown with a tulle layered bottom, bought at Vera Wang Bridal Salon in New York. Allison accessorized with a Vera Wang jeweled belt and a veil.

The honeymoon: A trip to the French Polynesian islands Bora Bora and Moorea. “We wanted relaxation,” Allison says.

The details: Catering and cake were provided by Four Seasons Hotel; décor, Chicka; event planner, Ellen Reines of Ellen Reines Events; flowers, Edge; hair, Maggie Sprague; invitations, Dauphine Press (ordered through Sidelines); lighting, Frost Lighting Co. of D.C.; makeup, Carl Ray; music, L.A. Starz of EBE Entertainment; photography, Michael Bennett Kress; videography, Bill Bowen of Suburban Video.

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