Local couple finds time to marry during busy holiday weekend

Mattie and Celia hold their pet dogs and pose with family members. (WTOP/Dick Uliano)
Mattie and Celia hold their pet dogs and pose with family members. (WTOP/Dick Uliano)

The D.C. World War I Memorial is on the National Mall, east of the Korean War Memorial. (WTOP/Dick Uliano)

A photographer poses the bridal party. (WTOP/Dick Uliano)

The bride, Celia Lewis, is pictured here. (WTOP/Dick Uliano)
The bride, Celia Lewis, pictured inside the World War I Memorial on the National Mall. (WTOP/Dick Uliano)

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Mattie and Celia hold their pet dogs and pose with family members. (WTOP/Dick Uliano)
The bride, Celia Lewis, is pictured here. (WTOP/Dick Uliano)

WASHINGTON — Thousands of visitors come to Washington to see the monuments and memorials and to pay tribute on Memorial Day. But a peek beyond the tourist crowd shows that life goes on in D.C.

At the gleaming white marble D.C. World War I Memorial on the National Mall, Celia Lewis, 30, married Mattie McGhee, 32, over the weekend.

“We wanted to do something that was very D.C.-related and show that we were married in D.C.,” says Celia, pastry chef at Washington’s DBGB Kitchen and Bar.

The circular, marble memorial is one of three sites in D.C. for which the National Park Service issues wedding permits. The other two are the George Mason Memorial in West Potomac Park and the West Lawn of the Jefferson Memorial.

Like the bride, the bridegroom knows his way around the kitchen.  Mattie McGhee is chef du cuisine at Range.

“We’re very, very busy all the time. Both restaurants are very popular so we’re happy for that. We love it,” says Mattie.

The offbeat wedding was organized by D.C. Elopements, which specializes in mini-destination weddings.

“They wanted to do something that was more special than the courthouse but not a big to-do, they’ve got busy lives but wanted to make the day really special,” says Laura Cannon, owner of D.C. Elopements.

“I think it’s beautiful here with the trees and everything and it just makes it very beautiful and that’s what we’re going for with the wedding, very simple,” Celia says.

Dick Uliano

Whether anchoring the news inside the Glass-Enclosed Nerve Center or reporting from the scene in Maryland, Virginia or the District, Dick Uliano is always looking for the stories that really impact people's lives.

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