Shelly Pate

Tudor Place Washington DC – a Wedding Venue Fit to Capture Your Love on Film

couple walks holding hands at Tudor Place Washington DC

Sometimes, a wedding day is just a simple wish. It is a desire to have intimate moments as a couple and enjoy the company of friends and family in a fun and meaningful way. This couple wanted to slow down and spend time with their closest loved ones to really take it all in. Through the slowness of film photography, and the intimacy of their Tabard Inn and Tudor Place Washington, DC venues–their wish was granted!

couple kisses in garden at Tudor Place Washington DC

How Wedding Film Photography Adds a Nostalgic Feel to The Day

Kelly and Brian planned a traditional wedding intentionally captured by timeless film wedding photography. This selection served the greater goal of not missing a moment of their wedding experience. One of my greatest goals with couples on their wedding day is to help them slow down time.

Capturing wedding photography on film requires a slower pace and a trust in your film wedding photographer. I felt complete faith from these newlyweds as we took the time to specifically photograph in film following the ceremony at Tudor Place in Washington, DC.

couple walks along garden path at Tudor Place Washington DC

These two greatly appreciate the imperfect nature of film photography that creates a more artistic quality mixed in with the digital. We scheduled the time to take meaningful photographs without breezing through any of it. It allowed the space to get creative and really use the different environments in the best way. I got more artistic with the golden hour light and slower shutter speeds for more blurred shots.

Film allows for different color temperatures and even though my digital editing style already emulates film, nothing ever truly looks exactly like it! They wanted a nostalgic feel, with the imperfect look of film which combined produces pieces of art. As Kelly shared, “I love your use of lighting and how natural the pictures look!”

groom kisses bride's forehead

 A Mix of Traditions at Tudor Place Washington, DC

couple walks across lawn at Tudor Place Washington DC

The traditional wedding looks included classic details and design: black and white colors (including their vow books), with accents of greenery, and the black and gold of their invitation suite (designed by Kelly’s mom!). They went for a flower garden vibe, also including fall colors: terracotta, burgundy, and navy.

Pops of texture were added via the pearls on Kelly’s unique wedding shoes. The shoes also tied in with Kelly’s pearl-adorned white silk slip and robe she wore while getting ready. Despite these traditions, the couple still chose to incorporate non-traditional elements into the day. One choice was going without a wedding party and enjoying a slower morning getting ready separately at Tabard Inn. The inn offers a spacious getting-ready space at the top of a long flight of stairs in this historic building.

Kelly then followed her getting-ready time with a first look for her dad in front of the inn. She wrote him a letter that he read first which always brings out the emotions in a first look moment!

A Tudor Place Washington, DC Wedding Split into Two Parts

couple exchanges vows at Tudor Place Washington DC

Kelly and Brian’s day was split into sections between two Washington, DC wedding venues: Tudor Place (Georgetown) and Tabard Inn (Dupont Circle). The wedding ceremony and portraits (both individual and of the couple) were done at Tudor Place Washington DC. The bride’s getting ready, and the reception was hosted by Tabard Inn. See how they also took their fall engagement photos in Georgetown!

Tabard Inn wedding reception table setup

Tudor Place a Washington, DC Georgetown Venue

couple has first look in garden at Tudor Place Washington DC
couple has first look on wedding day

Tudor Place is a Washington, DC mansion wedding venue that offers beautiful grounds with a green front lawn, gardens, and open spaces surrounding the historic architecture. The couple did their first look in the Bowling Green area after individual sessions on the grounds. Some brides choose to do a separate bridal session or even a bridal boudoir session, or like with Kelly’s, we can just allot time on the wedding day.

The couple selected the front lawn for the ceremony accompanied by stringed instruments and a friend who officiated over their personal vows. This was followed by a private moment in the adjacent gazebo before the couple shared a champagne toast welcoming guests.

wedding guests toast with champagne
bride holds white rose wedding bouquet under wedding veil


No matter if your ceremony is indoors or outdoors, I always recommend having a center aisle. This allows for a clear shot of both the two of you and your wedding ceremony decorations.

Tabard Inn a Dupont Circle Wedding Reception Venue

bride sits on groom's lap

Tabard Inn is an intimate space in the heart of Washington, DC. It offers all-inclusive packages which include catering and the cake! Following the ceremony at Tudor Place, Washington DC, Kelly and Brian utilized their reception space for additional couples photos. These also included experimenting with some wedding photography using the flash!

couple gives toast at Tabard Inn wedding reception

With a small 28-guest list, every person present meant a lot to the couple and they prioritized spending time with each one. The slowness of the day and the intimacy of the space allowed them to relish in visiting with their guests. The entire group sat at one long table for dinner and even enjoyed some fun dancing together afterwards!

After an evening filled with a first dance and parent dances, reception speeches, cutting the cake and a toast from the couple, this perfectly-crafted day came to a close. These standard wedding events were complemented by the couple’s experience of hugging and laughing with every guest. Whether the photos were captured digitally or on film, the evening as a whole was filled with so many sweet and beautiful moments.

couple embraces under veil


couple kisses in garden at Tudor Place Washington DC

Including a second photographer in your wedding package is not only for larger weddings. They are also especially useful when utilizing two different venues like this wedding. Needing to follow the bride and groom separately means your wedding photographer has to literally be in two places at once!

Having a second shooter was crucial particularly when shooting the bride and groom separately on the same property without seeing one another. This is what we did with Kelly and Brian at Tudor Place in Washington DC before their first look!

It does take a lot of organization to make this happen with timing and transportation between two venues. That’s why the piece of advice I always share is to build extra time into your wedding timeline so there’s flexibility as needed. When you have a great team on hand (like my 2nd shooter!), and a great coordinator, it is possible!

couple embraces at Tudor Place Washington DC

Ready to make your own wedding wish possible too? Let’s start planning!

Wedding Vendors

Reception Venue & Catering | Tabard Inn
Photographer | Shelly Pate Photography (2nd Photographer: Chloe Rose Photography)
Ceremony Venue | Tudor Place
Musician | Emily Lenck
Coordinator | Francisco Pelayo & Sahra Ahmad, The Coordinated Collective
Dress | Bridal Beginning, Essense of Australia
HMUA | You Glow Girl by Tonya


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