washingtonpost.com
The Details

Friday, October 2, 2009 9:24 AM

Kerilyn Fox and Peter Russo's wedding was full of personal touches. They wrote their own vows and chose to include a Celtic handfasting ritual, where their hands were bound together by cloth. Their 130 guests at the Hotel Monaco in Alexandria were asked to toast them in Italian as a nod to their shared heritage. They also planned multiple surprises for their guests and each other.

The ambiance: Wedding planner Chantal Rotondo of Cherry Blossom Weddings and Events helped the couple plan a memorable affair. The couple had life-size cardboard cutouts of themselves made so every guest had a chance to take a photo with the bride and groom. Their friends Scott Cooke and Roxanne Averill did the flowers. During dinner the newlyweds sneaked a tarot card reader and cigar roller into the bar area to add to the entertainment. Fox also surprised Russo, a car lover, with a ride in a classic Chevy Chevelle. Russo and his groomsmen serenaded Fox before dinner.

The food: Russo, a chef, worked with the hotel staff to design a menu that included a pasta bar. They left it up to friend and pastry chef David Guas of Damgoodsweet Consulting to surprise them with dessert. He made them a lemon vanilla cake with amaretto and hints of lavender in the buttercream.

The dress: A strapless gown by Demetrios by Macy's.

The photographer: Ash Imagery.

The first dance: "Lucky," by Jason Mraz and Colbie Caillat.

View all comments that have been posted about this article.

© 2009 The Washington Post Company