Leigh and Derek holding their hands together

Creative Garden Party Wedding at Strong Mansion | Leigh + Derek

September 14, 2022

When Leigh and Derek were planning their wedding at Strong Mansion, they told me that they were taking inspiration from the concept of a  “casual but luxurious garden party” that was “timeless with a twist”. They decided to go for the combination of neutrals with pinks and bright green stems, and the reality of this was more than I could’ve imagined.

Classic Architecture and Modern Floristry at this Strong Mansion Wedding

The contrast between chic black and white with the vibrant pinks of their florals really elevated this Strong Mansion wedding. Leigh wore a sleek white dress with an all-white bouquet and Derek in a classic black tuxedo. The Strong Mansion interiors are very elegant, with plenty of white and hints of pale wood and gold.

All of these neutrals made the altar display of flowers all the more vibrant and striking. The lush colors and the arrangement in levels on the floor pushed back against the traditional aesthetic, bringing a creative and modern edge to the whole atmosphere. And Derek and Leigh kept on doing that in different ways throughout their celebration at Strong Mansion – they served mini sliders during their cocktail hour, for example, and opened the dance floor with an amazing brass band.

The Bride and the Groom

Always elegant, Derek and Leigh are also not ones to be totally traditional. They actually got ‘engaged’ after they were legally married! Derek took Leigh on a surprise trip to Miyajima, which is a small island not far from their house in Japan. He booked a beautiful hotel with a private onsen and got down on one knee surrounded by cherry blossoms in full bloom! You can see how beauty and creativity are at the heart of their ethos as a couple.

That was so evident on their wedding day. Derek and Leigh were so comfortable and romantic with each other. It was inspiring to see. Some of the stand-out moments from this were right after the ceremony when they took a second to be together; and also the champagne toast, which was so fun!

Kind Words from Leigh and Derek

We absolutely love the editorial, classic style. Old school effortless, simple and casual elegance that translates through time is what we are looking for. Nothing posy that looks like a prom photo. Love black and white photos that look like they’d appear in Town & Country. Your aesthetic matches all of these things.

For more of this style of photography, peruse through Dana and David’s Capitol Hill wedding and Kate and Gage’s Grand American Hotel wedding.


Photographer: Kyla Jeanette
Rentals: Something Vintage
Caterer: Get Plated
Planner: Jade & Joy Events
Lighting and Tent Draping: Curated Events DC (formerly Capital Party Rentals)
Venue: Strong Mansion
Florals: The Art of Violets by Lizzie Schuman
Hair: L’OR Hair Salon
Makeup: Allison Fax