Where do you want to fly?

Madeleine Marie and Dolan Patrick Sullivan Jr. (Patrick) met in rather unconventional style: Madeleine in a fitted one-piece swimsuit with a swim cap and Patrick in his micro speedo at the other end of the Lee District Rec Center swimming pool. Madeleine was a recent high school transfer and Patrick had been en route to the University of California swim program when their two worlds crossed paths. The pair recall that first meeting as anything romantic, with “the feint aroma of chlorine filling the air under the florescent lighting.” Nevertheless, with Patrick’s decision to stay home and train with his club team, and a bit of fate, the two went on their first date to a local Tex Mex spot and married nine years later.

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Madeleine Sullivan + Dolan Patrick Sullivan Jr | Molly Lichten Photography-3
Madeleine Sullivan + Dolan Patrick Sullivan Jr | Molly Lichten Photography-3.1

When it came time to plan their special day, Madeleine and Patrick knew they wanted their wedding to feel minimal. Their formal elegance theme was mirrored in the bridal party’s classic black and white attire and the bride’s tasteful white-laced gown with a jewel bodice.

Patrick’s favorite wedding moment was watching Madeleine in her wedding dress. “I was stunned and speechless when I saw her. Then, the realization that this woman is going to be my life partner – it’s surreal. Truly I don’t know if that feeling or emotion can be put into words,” says Patrick.  

Madeleine Sullivan + Dolan Patrick Sullivan Jr | Molly Lichten Photography-7
Madeleine Sullivan + Dolan Patrick Sullivan Jr | Molly Lichten Photography-8

For this darling couple, the most important detail was the venue. They set their eyes on The George Washington Masonic National Memorial and immediately knew it was the perfect locale for their wedding.

Madeleine Sullivan + Dolan Patrick Sullivan Jr | Molly Lichten Photography-14.1
Madeleine Sullivan + Dolan Patrick Sullivan Jr | Molly Lichten Photography-14

“Not only were they attending a wedding but celebrating our love in the place we fell in love, Old Town, Alexandria. The venue was the detail. The ceremony overlooked the Old Town skyline and the reception was simple and elegant. It just felt like the perfect place that would leave a lasting memory for all of our guests,” Madeleine notes about their wedding venue.

Madeleine Sullivan + Dolan Patrick Sullivan Jr | Molly Lichten Photography-18
Madeleine Sullivan + Dolan Patrick Sullivan Jr | Molly Lichten Photography-18.1

To pair with their historic venue, the couple opted for simple, elegant decor. They chose classic white linens, eucalyptus runners for the king’s table, acrylic Chiavari chairs, and gold accents to be placed throughout the space.

Madeleine Sullivan + Dolan Patrick Sullivan Jr | Molly Lichten Photography-20
Madeleine Sullivan + Dolan Patrick Sullivan Jr | Molly Lichten Photography-20.1

The couple worked together as a team planning for their special day. Every decision from the open bar to the live band was hand-picked by both Madeline and Patrick. For dessert, the couple ditched the traditional tiered wedding cake and instead offered a hand-rolled truffle station.

As for the honeymoon, it’s still TBD. Hurricanes on the British Virgin Islands forced the couple to scratch their original plan. Then, last minute the couple scraped together a Northern California wine tasting adventure, but the wildfires broke out just before the trip. Now the the couple are living together in a quaint town home just a few blocks from the waterfront in Old Town Alexandria, looking forward to their May 2019 re-do honeymoon.

The Details:

Natalie Colonna

Natalie is an Editorial Fellow at Washingtonian Weddings. She is a senior Media Studies student at The Catholic University of America in DC.