Friday evening was a perfectly glorious, eighty degree, no humidity night for the rehearsal dinner at The Hay-Adams. Secret service guys were checking into our hotel as I left to walk down the street two blocks to dinner. E met me there coming in from Baltimore. All were greeted by these Shinola bikes at The Hay-Adams Hotel. Such a nice nod for this bike loving couple.
Don't you love a gorgeous invitation? The gray ink. The ecru paper? Love it. The lipstick is covering up the private email address of Momma Bear Jeanne. Michael calls his mom, Momma Bear and it suits. She is a rock star!!! Thank you Koenigs for such a perfect night. One of the best parts of weddings is getting real mail and stamps. As a side note, this lipstick is a good one if anyone is looking for a perfect matte. Thank you Brittany from House Lars Built Instastory for the makeup tip. And can we discuss balloon arches for anything event related? How fun for an art college event.
The flower boxes at the Hay-Adams were simple red begonias. I can't get enough of flower boxes now that we only have a porch, no more Stone Hill Farm...but that's a story for another post.
Again, the weather was perfection. Guests gathered for cocktails on the terrace. They passed crab cakes and the most wonderful Manchego cheese and fig bites.
We were told to go to the 9th floor. The rooftop. If you've never been to the top of The Hay-Adams Hotel, do whatever you can to get there. The views of the White House, monuments and all of DC are second to none. Yes, it's even better than being at the W hotel. Back in the 1990s when I worked at WashingtonInc we did World Bank dinners here often. My colleague Nancy had the first wedding EVER on the roof of The Hay-Adams in a tent. You can tell they've updated the roof and it was climate controlled and elegantly latticed.
Two long tables of 40 each made for an intimate feel for speeches and toasts.
|Photo credit, Emily Stephen|
The gorgeous bride.
Fran and Margaret enjoying cocktails on the terrace.
The Kenworthy crew.
Name that monument. It's a truly breathtaking view. Eric and I could even see the Mandarin Oriental where we found our love from the roof.
E arrived as we sat down for dinner. He sat next to Stuart's brother and sister-in-law. Emily, another youth groupie, took pictures for the night. The next three are Emily's photos.
I will cherish this one Emily. Nothing like a ring shot with snuggles on the side. Do you see the bracelet nearest Ali's elbow? Michael's mother gave Alison this gift at the bridesmaid luncheon earlier that day. Chris, Mike's dad, gave it to Jeanne when Michael was BORN. Oh my tears. What a gorgeous gift and as you can see, Alison collects these antique bangles.
You truly couldn't pick better role models for marriage than these parents. Mike spoke about the way his Dad still grabs Momma Bear for a dance around the kitchen. Be still my dancing heart. Stuart has often told us that marriage is work but it truly gets better with age, like wine!
We had an excellent meal that Jeanne organized to perfection. The lobster bisque started us off. I nearly used the cream soup bowl handles to chug the last drop. Did you know that's actually what the handles are for, per my mother's stories. Mac and Elise have Grandmommy Nancy's china and Mom always said the cream soup bowls were the coolest part of that set.
A simple wedge salad rounded out the second course.
I admit I stole this picture from little Margaret Grace's FB page. Love you Phoof. The entrees arrived and each guest had a choice of fish or beef. The gratin potatoes were a decadent treat of crunchy cheese topping and heavy cream layers. My filet was perfectly prepared and I know E enjoyed his salmon. Jacqueline and I broke our bread literally so we could share my olive bread and her French roll. It felt like a family gathering. It was such an elegant evening, but everyone was so wonderfully authentic and casual like old friends.
The red wine was also so good I took a picture of the label so I wouldn't forget it for my next event. I need to get this for our fall board meeting. This Pinot packed a punch of dark cherry and forward fruit. Ha! My notes pale in comparison to the Food Network writer at our table.
This bride left no stone un-turned! Ali paired us next to the biggest foodies in the room. When your husband ends up talking the whole night to his neighbor you know the bromance is real. Follow our new foodie friends @eriniam and @uneviecreative on Instagram, and this beautifully written fashion blog from Jen.
As we were eating our entree I noticed four helicopters flying, not landing, outside of the open balcony windows. The sun was setting. Then I heard the the whap-whap of blades and noticed this across the lawn.
I stole this from another friend on FaceBook via Instagram, from Friday, June 9, 2017. His timing had this at 5:30 pm. So my story may not be completely factual since cocktails began at six. But why let facts get in the way of a good story, right? I did notice the fire alarm lights go on, and did actually see a helicopter fly over somewhere before dessert. But we were all so engrossed in the conversation and Alison and Michael's love fest that no one paid attention. Maybe Emily caught it on camera?
A trio of desserts and coffee were served while the speeches began. Strawberry eclairs anyone? This event space was so special even for the lifetime Washingtonians in the room, which Hadley pointed out so eloquently in her toast.
We left as the waiters passed mini sliders and sorbet cones to keep the party going for guests who arrived in town late. Nice touch Mamma Bear Jeanne!!!
There were no tears in the toasts. Everyone was so focused on the present moment, the goodness of fate bringing these two together, and the stories of friendship. If we could bottle the love from this evening we could cure all the world's problem.
That evening I took Ali and Michael into a quiet corner and prayed for them. I asked them to imagine Alison's veil as a covering over both of them in the next hours before their wedding, and all throughout their marriage in their minds eye. I prayed that the Holy Spirit would cover them, like this veil, and protect them from any harm, anxious thoughts or negative energy as they prepared for their journey together as husband and wife. I asked it in the name of Christ Jesus. Amen.