Friday, June 30, 2017

Alison's Bridal Luncheon, 4.30.17, Washington, DC

Are you sick of the love fest that is Alison and Michael Koenigs yet? Me neither! In April, a few gathered in the Foxhall neighborhood to celebrate the bride at a ladies luncheon. I brought the flowers from Baltimore and the coral peonies were simply ravishing. The co-hostess admitted she was nervous about handing the flower reins over to me, but I insisted. I trust Ellen Frost with my most important board meetings. I knew she would knock it out of the park for our most wonderful bride. Do look up Local Color Flowers if you are ever in Baltimore. 

None of us could shut up about the flowers. They were so pretty.

Susanna was such a gracious hostess and the adorable creature had to jump on a plane in the middle of the party to go to another friends birthday party in Jamaica. Way to multi-task.

I Snapped this shot of these two bickering about ball gowns for the Met Gala. Ha! I kid you not. They are simply too glamorous for words. Fran is Susanna's oldest daughter's godmother. 

Claire A. Pattison Rea catered the event and I've been dreaming of the Thai Peanut Hummus ever since. 

Loved having my Marge at this fun celebration too. We got to have another slumber party with Stinger back in the early spring.

Mike came at the end to say hello. He and Eric helped load cars with the prizes at the end.

It was so wonderful meeting Michael's family before the big wedding weekend. I love these pre-events to get to know new friends. 

Hadley had just had her beautiful little doll baby Millie a few weeks prior. Alison is HER godmother, and the angel was baptized just this past weekend at Christ Church.

I'm mean really, how precious are these two?

The perfect hostess gift has been a great vehicle for peanut M&M's at Stony Run. That's next on the blog friends. How we went from Stone Hill to Stony Run. Thanks for reading and find Stone Hill Farm again. 

Have you ever had a wedding weekend hang-over? Not the cocktail flu kind. But the heartache of leaving all the people you love after the wedding weekend is over? That hit me like a ton of bricks on Monday. By Tuesday I couldn't stop talking about Christ Church and what wonderful memories I had "growing up" there. I had meetings with two priests that same day, kid you not! It inspired me to really get back in touch with what is important to me at St. David's Roland Park. I look forward to seeing what this church can do with the power of the Holy Spirit. Join us to come and see if you are ever in town.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Brunch in the Garden, 6.11.17

Stinger and I got to have a sleep over with her family over the wedding weekend. It was a rush of activities on all ends but man was it fun to see the Plum girls.

I even did a sneak attack at the soccer pitch on Saturday afternoon to surprise my goddaughter. Stinger the Ringer was in great form even though they got 14 to zero. She still had a great attitude and coach Scott was a champ.

It was hot for the last game of the season.

So proud of this little nugget. Way to go coach, Daddy Scott.

Sissy was off with Momma Marge to a party after church. We got a few hugs and giggles in before the garden brunch send off.

Janice, Frederica and Margaret hosted the most gorgeous party at Janice and Wiley's home by the pool. 

I hadn't been to their house in years but I asked Eric to notice how beautifully Janice uses hot pink as accents. I've always admired Janice's style and taste and begged her to show us her pink china. Of course she was more than gracious and we had such a fun adventure to the basement with Hads, Brads and Frederica to see her fun patterns. She even showed us her gorgeous hot pink bedroom. She does the best job mixing masculine and feminine details, and gives all the credit to her amazing decorator Jeannie. Yellow is the happiest color. That porch awning is to die for beatiful and was a perfect landing spot to cool off and visit with old friends.

The pink tandem bike cocktail napkins were such a perfect touch for their send off brunch. 

When the Youth Groupies were in full effect we traveled to Holy Island, England for a pilgrimage in 1999 and to Tecate, Mexico in 2001. While in Mexico, we gave all the kids nicknames. Ali's stuck. This was a trick from my sorority days:

Alison Kenworthy
Ken doll
Barbie Hot Wheels
Hot Pink

I joked with Stuart asking if he got stuck in a walk of shame situation. That's his tux from the night before. I mean, how perfectly awesome is that? He got stuck in the Pride Parade. Who knew the fun spilled into Sunday? He and Franny couldn't get back to their condo over the river so he rocked the tux day two, in gajillion degree weather. Way to rock it Padre Stu.

The Kenworthy kids, less Ali, stayed up very late, at Old Ebbitt...until 3 am. Nice form gang!

E dashed home early, which gave me time to talk to Ali's new husband. Michael and I spoke about the parish family that is Christ Church, Georgetown. How they have been looking for something similar in New York. Being home at CCGT ignited something in me as well. It reminded me how close I felt with these church friends. They are like family. From the outside it may look a lot like Hermes ties and Tory Burch everything, but the spiritual depth of this parish is alive with the Holy Spirit. From the mission groups to the traveling homeless shelter. From compline after Lenten Wednesday suppers to the Red Cross Food Truck. I miss it terribly. I pray you find your parish home in New York guys. And you should really teach a J2A class to give back, both of you!

When I was 24 I drove to CCGT on the snowiest of Sundays. A WInc friend told me to go to Christ Church because the balcony was the best singles scene in DC. Christ Church, Georgetown doesn't HAVE a balcony. I was supposed to go to Christ Church in Old Town. Mistake, or was it the Holy Spirit leading me to this parish to find my spiritual legs? I had been reading Stuart's Courier three months prior to committing and felt called to finally show up during one of the worst snow storms in DC history. I got my car stuck in the ice right outside of the church. Howard S. and Jay C. pushed me out of my spot after church. They were the first people I met and it was incredible celebrating with them and other church friends over these past few months to celebrate this family and this couple. 

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Alison and Michael 6.10.17, Washington, DC

You can tell I'm rusty at blogging. I didn't take my normal wedding shots so had to steal many a FaceBook picture from the sister of the bride and sweet Melissa. Thanks in advance guys. 

Ali got ready at the Sulgrave Club with her cute, smart and really fun bridesmaids. Her dear friend David reminded her that it was gay pride weekend. She was in the heart of Dupont Circle getting ready. Nary a hot pink pump got in the way of being at the church on time.

The nervous Nellie in me got to the church a little early too. E was driving back in from Baltimore. Poor guy had to do a work thing that morning so he met me in the pew, perfectly on time. I love you Charlie. Thanks for loving me despite my nervousness. 

I was a little jittery because I was also a reader. I love reading at weddings. It's such an honor, but you really have to hold it together. 

I also cry at weddings. Every wedding. Even the ones where I'm working. Watching Stuart walk Alison down the aisle was beautiful, touching and the moment I lost it in the tear department. He finally got to be the father of the bride, not the rector. Stuart was beaming with emotion and they both had tears in their eyes on that lovely walk to Michael. Photos weren't allowed during the ceremony but I'm so glad a friend caught this moment. Alison's veil looked so elegant. By the time they made it to the front I was using Linda's vintage handkerchief from the luncheon the day before and thanking God we had a four verse hymn before I had to read. By the fourth verse I got it together, wiped my tears and headed up to the lectern for the first reading from Michah. 

Micah 6:6-8

“With what shall I come before the Lord,
    and bow myself before God on high?
Shall I come before him with burnt offerings,
    with calves a year old?
Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams,
    with ten thousands of rivers of oil?
Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression,
    the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?”
He has told you, O mortal, what is good;
    and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
    and to walk humbly with your God?

The ceremony was holy and wonderful. The new rector was adorably funny, touching and knocked it out of the park with a reference to the two rivers in New York City joining, like this marriage. Such a fantastic visual. I also caught Stuart smile with pride to Michael's parents after the choir sung. Christ Church has the most talented choir.

It was all smiles and alleluias as they took their first steps down the aisle as man and wife. Another church friend, Tess, wrote how many on the flower committee cried after putting the final touches on the church flowers.  

The guests immediately got into shuttles heading to the reception. The bridal party headed up the hill to Tudor Place for group photos. I love this one of the Koenigs that Margaret shot.

We drove our car from Georgetown, ran into the Pride Parade in Dupont and had to turn around. What a beautiful sea of hot pink up at the Dupont fountain. I've never seen so many people up there at once. We were far enough away that we weren't affected, but it was so fun to see all those people partying in the streets. And we almost got a ticket a half a block from the reception. We got off with a warning. Praise God. We were greeted by beautiful place cards, signatures cocktails, tasty lamb lolly's and the gorgeous big bar on the first floor of the Metropolitan Club in Washington, DC.  Franny had the Aperol Spritz signature cocktail and Manhattan's were also a hit.  My former boss from The George Town Club was the Kenworthy's contact for the wedding at the club. Loved seeing you Melanie.

This was one of those weddings were we had more fun because we knew most of the guests. Alison babysat for James and John when the kids were little. James gave Alison her first job in DC at a TV station. It was so fun seeing our Baltimore besties at "home" in DC. 

Photo credit Melissa Overmyer

Poor E was coming down with a head cold so we scooted upstairs early to take pictures of the ballrooms and find a quiet seat in the upstairs bar. 

There is something magical about a room moments before the guests sit down. It's as if the chairs sit up straighter, the flowers open just so to show off and the candles flicker like the wink of a snowman. Magic.

The photographer was shooting these same moments. 

The escort cards had a beautifully painted table number with gorgeous watercolor flower details. The welcome card had the same artwork with a little froggy in the corner. Mike calls Alison Froggy because she is always hopping from one thing to the next. One country. One event. One segment. Michael gave the most romantic toast to his bride that evening. He mentioned that when Ali travels he would create a little doodle artwork of a froggy hopping to the next adventure. He did this as a coping mechanism because he missed her so much. He created a little story with each trip. And Froggy is always the hero! It was so eloquent and adorable. Froggy is ALWAYS the hero. 

The calligraphy on the place cards, monogrammed stemware, navy base plates, menu cards with the gorgeous watercolor K and frog details were subtle and classic touches.

The grooms cake.

The flowers were so gorgeous on the wedding cake and her bouquet. 

We sat at the top of the stairs with a great view of the dance floor. We sat with some of our favorite people in DC and enjoyed a gorgeous meal. For club food no one does it better than The Metropolitan Club.

We sat down with Stuart, James and John for a visit. I mentioned how pretty each of the flower arrangements were and he sort of snapped into the present and said, "Are those on every table?" Isn't it funny when you are so wrapped up at weddings that you forget to look around? It all goes by so fast too. Look around my dears. Especially you couples who may be reading who haven't yet tied the knot. I charge you to sit and listen to your wedding. Take 5-10 seconds and just listen to how much love is in the room. Listen to the candles showing off. Listen to your flowers. Can you hear them telling you how beautiful you are, and that they are there to make YOU happy?! Enjoy that sip of your Manhattan. Listen to the love that is in the room. It will carry you for your entire marriage. It's not just a party. It's a reflection of God's love. The couple is a reflection. The people there to support you are a reflection. Enjoy it and savor every second that you can to really be present.

Life is a journey. Dance your little faces off and love each other for the rest of your days. 

As we left, satisfied by the beautiful meal, wonderful music, dancing with old friends and cake in the bar, we were greeted by an ICE CREAM sandwich truck. What an absolute surprise and delightful moment. We got huge ice cream sandwiches to go and headed straight to the CVS for a Mucinex/Tylenol Cold nightcap desperately needed for my Charlie. 

If you want to see more fun photos from the weekend go follow the hilariously named hash tag #KoenigsIsWorthy. Also, here is a little video from Magesto that sums up this wonderful couple dancing their hearts off. Sparkle on you darling creatures. We love you.