Caitlin Grace Gorham and William Robert Wheeler’s first date began with a little fairy-tale symbolism. They met while Robert was in his first semester at Harvard Business School and Caitlin was finishing her senior year at Brown University. Three months after being introduced by a mutual friend at a Brown party, they went on their first date, during which Robert took Caitlin around Harvard’s campus. The tour included a trip to the baseball field where Robert played as an undergraduate. “I was in totally inappropriate shoes. He had to pick me up and carry me across the baseball diamond, since I was sinking like quicksand,” says Caitlin, a model and manager of digital business development at Condé Nast.
After an almost two-year courtship, Robert, now a senior management associate at Bridgewater Associates, proposed during a vacation at Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, on a little clearing by the water. “The moment was perfect. After I said yes, a boat came by honking and cheering. It was amazing,” recalls Caitlin.
When it came to the wedding, Caitlin, a McLean native who was then living in Chicago, knew she wanted the ceremony to take place close to home. She worked closely with Jamie Sears of Simply Chic Events to plan the wedding in a little more than a year. The ceremony took place on November 3 at DC’s Holy Rosary Catholic Church, with Robert’s childhood priest presiding. “It was so personal—we laughed and cried, and it really was the most meaningful part of the day,” says Caitlin.
The ceremony was followed by a reception at DC’s St. Regis hotel. Candles and arrangements of pink and red roses surrounded the Astor Ballroom, creating a romantic and elegant backdrop for the night. “My mom found mini candelabra that we used on many of the tables, and we also had real candelabra on the head table,” says the bride about one of her favorite details from the night. Other touches included his-and-her cocktails, a cigar bar, pashmina favors, and flip-flops for guests to wear on the dance floor.
A first dance to Van Morrison’s “Crazy Love,” was followed by a surprise from the bride. “Rob was intent on having Chinese food in some form at the wedding. . . . I surprised him with a groom’s cake that was shaped like a food box from his favorite Chinese restaurant,” says Caitlin. Guests packed the dance floor right until the last song at midnight, prompting the wedding band to perform an encore.
After such a party, it’s no surprise that the couple, now living in New York, plan to come back to the District in the future. “I think we will end up back in DC someday. It’s a very special place for us,” says Caitlin.
Photographer: Leo Druker
Reception Venue/Caterer/Cake: St. Regis Washington DC
Wedding Cake Flavors: Hazelnut sponge cake with dark chocolate mousse and buttercream frosting
Wedding Cocktail: Cait’s spiked cider and Rob’s whiskey smash
Bride’s Gown: Vera Wang
Hair: Remona Soleimani, Bridal Hair by Remona
Makeup: Nour Kazoun, MadeUpArt
Event Planner: Jamie Sears, Simply Chic Events
On-Site Coordinator: Alicia Bell, St. Regis
Florist: Philippa Tarrant, Philippa Tarrant Floral Design
Hand Lettering: Meant To Be Calligraphy
Music/Entertainment: Onyx, Washington Talent
Lighting: Frost Lighting
Honeymoon Spot: Bora Bora and Tahaa
Where They Currently Live: New York City