Friends, I am extra excited to share today’s beautiful wedding, because as soon as I saw it for the first time last summer, it made me think, “This is what I want my wedding to be like.” Not because of the details Inslee and Anderson chose, although they incorporated so many lovely and classic touches, but because they look so incredibly joyful in each and every picture! I love that amongst all of the details, from their gorgeous invitation suite to their Southern-inspired cuisine, the happiness they so clearly felt on their special day is what sticks out above everything else. I can only imagine how that pure love and joy must have inspired their guests–it most certainly inspired us!
I am very hands-on and love doing things myself, so when our stationer assumed they would assemble and stuff our invitations for us (for a fee), I told them they didn’t need to. I brought all the components of the wedding suite home, and my mom, bridesmaids, and I set up an assembly line, donned our surgical gloves, and assembled the invites together. It was such a happy memory, getting to see each friends and family members’ names in gorgeous calligraphy.
I tried on at least a hundred dresses–I can safely say no other dress could have been better for me, because I’ve tried them all on. I love how my dress was feminine and romantic without being overly sweet. The draping of the horsehair gave it a strong architectural quality.
What was the design inspiration for your wedding? Why was this design special to you as a couple? I wanted to keep with traditional and formal etiquette for the design and flow of the day. We didn’t want to go over-the-top on anything–we just wanted to celebrate the natural beauty of our venues in the spring and the joy of being with friends and family. We kept the colors soft and natural, with lots of greenery mixed in.
Bride’s favorite detail of the wedding: Just one?! Probably the huge floral arch over the doorway to Christ Church. It set the tone for a beautiful service. Or…can I have two? I loved our wedding invitation. I got to add my own touch to it–the envelope liner was a botanical pattern that I painted. If I get a third, I also loved the bridesmaids’ earrings, created just for them by my friend, jewelry designer Loren Hope.
Our ceremony was truly the most incredible and meaningful experience. The groom and I began–begrudgingly at first–going to church more regularly during the year of our engagement. Over the course of time, we found that we really enjoyed the ritual and the connections we made with the clergy and the friends we encouraged to join us. Standing in the church together, feeling the full weight and significance of the commitment we were making, in light of our joined effort of preparation, was incredible.
Tell us all the basics of your wedding! We were inspired by springtime in Washington, DC. The service was at Christ Church in Georgetown at 4:30 and the reception followed at The Chevy Chase Club. We chose Georgetown because Anderson and I fell in love there–we lived in Georgetown for three years before moving to NYC together. Christ Church holds a lot of meaning for me because it is the church my parents married at, where I was baptized, and where my father’s funeral took place. The Chevy Chase Club is my favorite place in Washington (even though it’s technically in Maryland). My adopted dad introduced my mom and me to this magical wonderland of gardens and relaxation in the midst of the busy grind of Washington, and it has always served as a place of happiness and celebration for our family.
Did you have a cocktail hour? If so, what was it like? Yes! It was magnificent, out on the lawn in the perfect afternoon sunshine, complete with the club’s signature Adirondack chairs and mint juleps galore.
What was Southern about your wedding? About two thirds of our guests! And the hospitality and warmth shared by everyone. We chose Southern-inspired foods like ham biscuits, fried green tomatoes, chicken and waffles, and shrimp and grits.
Tell us a bit about your first dance. It was an athletic feat. The groom’s nickname is “Crazy Feet Fariss,” if that helps describe his moves on the dance floor. We danced to “You Put the Flame On It” by Charles Bradley.
Were there any family traditions you included in the reception? We started the dancing with our family wedding favorite, “September” by Earth, Wind & Fire, and celebrated the cake cutting and toast with the same champagne flutes that were used at my parents’ wedding. Hopefully, champagne saber use will be a new family tradition in years to come!
Who was one of the most special guests at your wedding? The groom’s grandmother, who managed to tear up the dance floor in a wheelchair, and my 101-year-old grandmother who joined us via Facetime on her iPad to see the flowers, the bride, and the groom (in that order)!
When did y’all get married? May 17, 2014
How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. We met in college when a friend set Anderson up as my date to my sorority formal in the spring of 2008. I wasn’t too sure about it at first, but he finally won me over by speaking in a faux British accent on the bus ride home about how excited he was to vote for Barack Obama. You can’t make this stuff up.
Describe the proposal: We were visiting my family in Leesburg, Virginia for Easter. He crept into my childhood bedroom at 7 A.M. on Saturday morning and woke me up, kneeling next to the bed with a ring! We spent the rest of the weekend celebrating with our families, which made it even more special.
Tell us about your beautiful engagement ring and how/why your husband (or the two of you!) chose it: My engagement ring was formerly the ring that my father gave to my mother for their engagement. My parents had a tragically short time together, as he passed away a few short years after their wedding. Later, when my mom remarried my adopted dad, she set the ring aside for me to wear someday. When Anderson asked for my hand, my mom knew it was time to give him the ring. Anderson reset the stone in its original antique Cartier setting with new diamond baguettes. To say I am obsessed with it is an understatement.
Three adjectives that describe the day are: Joyful, traditionally elegant, and spring-like
How many guests attended your wedding? 250
What was the biggest challenge you faced while planning your wedding? Deciding what I wanted our wedding invitation to look like. As an artist and a stationery designer, this felt like the biggest decision of my life. I over-thought it for weeks! The day those finally were signed, sealed, and delivered, I felt so relieved!
Who was your officiant? Why did you choose him/her? The officiant was the Reverend Stuart Kenworthy. He officiates the majority of weddings at Christ Church and is adored by his congregation. Having him marry us was such an honor, especially when we learned we were one of the last couples he married before his retirement.
What was the most memorable or touching moment about your wedding day? One moment I loved was when the Reverend asked the congregation to respond with “We will” in response to the question of would they do everything in their power to help us uphold our vows. Everyone responded in unison, “We will” and then a moment later, one of the sweet little flower girls (twin four-year-olds) piped up, “WE WILL!” very enthusiastically, just a moment after the crowd. I loved that she was listening to and participating in our big day, even if her timing was a little off.
What’s next for you as a couple? We’re settling into married life in our new apartment in NYC and trying to decide if there’s room in our tiny love nest for a puppy!
Best advice or most memorable comment someone made to you during the wedding celebration: My matron of honor warned me to give my toast first, before anyone else gave me a chance to start crying by giving an emotional toast before me. I’m so glad I listened. I was able to give a toast to Anderson that showed him how much I love him without bursting into tears!
Photographer: Kate Headley / Planner: Simply Chic Events / Ceremony venue and ceremony flowers: Christ Church / Reception venue, catering, and cake: Chevy Chase Club / Flowers, lighting, and reception decor: Amaryllis / Bride’s gown: “Katherine” by Vera Wang / Bridal salon and veil: Vera Wang / Bride’s shoes: Jimmy Choo / Bride’s jewelry: Cartier / Bridesmaid dresses: Jenny Yoo / Hair and makeup: Audrey Bethards / Bow ties: Lumina / Paper goods: Dempsey & Carroll / Envelope liners: Inslee by Design / Rentals and linens: DC Rental / Transportation: International Limo