When Jessie, who is in high-fashion sales, spotted Rick, an investment banker, from afar one night, she had a feeling she had to meet him. However, the evening slipped away without the opportunity to say hello, so Jessie had to pass along a message to Rick via one of his friends. It did the trick. By the next morning Rick had already called to set up a date, and later that evening the two met for dinner at Masa 14. A second date at The Source quickly followed, and the couple have been nearly inseparable since. An engagement on the tennis court at Kennedy Recreation Center sealed the deal, and the couple began to focus on envisioning their elegant nuptials, which took place in April at the Corcoran Gallery of Art.
For Jessie, a key word to describe their wedding was opulence, along with love, fusion, and family. She chose a glamorous one-shoulder Ines di Santo gown paired with oversize chandelier earrings and wore her hair in loose waves; very vintage Hollywood. The setting fit perfectly with the black-tie-and-romance mood. “The hundreds of votive candles on the floor of the main atrium were one of the biggest surprises of the wedding,” says Jessie. “It was absolutely breathtaking and romantic. I had discussed the detail with our florist, Philippa Tarrant, [but] seeing it on our wedding day was magical. We were speechless.”
Rick and Jessie and their guests celebrated with specialty cocktails: the Pearl for her, with watermelon, cardamom-infused vodka, and rose water; and the Utican for Rick, with bourbon, bitters, and pomegranate juice. “The cocktails reflected our personalities and backgrounds,” explains Jessie, who planned the menu with Well Dunn Catering. “I am half Sri Lankan, and the country is nicknamed ‘the pearl.’ Rick is from Utica, Ohio, and he’s a connoisseur of bourbon.” It was those kinds of touches that made the celebration feel heartfelt and personal—Jessie’s father and grandfather both escorted her down the aisle to “Ave Maria,” played by a string quartet; Rick’s father was his best man. “I loved walking down the grand staircase and being introduced as husband and wife,” adds Jessie of her favorite details. A first dance to Etta James’s classic “At Last” was eventually followed by slices of Maggie Austin Cake’s purple-hued dessert, a confection of white velvet with raspberry preserves and vanilla, and sour cream with peach apricot and milk chocolate Earl Grey buttercream. A sweet, sweet end to an over-the-top Washington wedding.
Event Planner: Anne Kelley of Atrendy Wedding
Hair: Manu Legourlay, Hair Lounge, Washington, DC
Makeup: Carl Ray, George Salon at The Four Seasons Georgetown
Photographer: Muriel Silva Photography
Musical Entertainment: Elan Artists and Nation Band
Stationery: ZOYA Couture
Honeymoon: Sri Lanka