Real Wedding: Anastasia and Gregory

After meeting at the Naval Medical Center, this couple tied the knot at the Naval Academy Chapel.

All photographs by Karen Santilli Photography.

When Anastasia Pike met Gregory Chesnut at the National Naval Medical Center (now Walter Reed National Military Medical Center), it seemed like serendipity: She was a volunteer with the American Red Cross; he was a surgical intern. They decided to head to the Center’s coffee shop together for a brief first date, and both felt an instant connection. “We talked effortlessly—it felt like we were just catching up rather than meeting for the first time,” says Gregory, a urologist at the United States Navy. “Anna had to remind me that I was about to be late to start working in the ER, we had been talking for so long!”

After 15 months of dating, Gregory conspired with family friends to pop the question in time for a Sunday morning picnic on the Elizabeth River. “After a breakfast picnic, Gregory surprised me with a nervous one-kneed question,” says Anastasia, a member of the faculty at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University. “We went straight to church afterward, but still had to wait eight months before walking down the aisle!” The wedding ceremony at the United States Naval Academy Chapel was followed by a reception at the Crofton Country Club.


Photographer: Karen Santilli Photography

Ceremony Venue: United States Naval Academy Chapel

Reception Venue: Crofton Country Club

Bride’s Gown: Alfred Angelo

Rings: Tiffany & Co. for the bride’s engagement ring and wedding band; Tilghman and Company for groom’s wedding band

Hair: A Style Above

Bridesmaid Dresses: J.Crew

Cake Flavors: Lemon

Florist: Flowers by Gina

Flowers: White roses

Music/Entertainment: Capital City Symphony, Monte Maxwell, and Michaela Trnkova

First Dance Song: “Yellow” by Coldplay

Calligraphy: Bride

Bride’s Favorite Detail: “Saying our vows and having our friend, a pastor, conduct the ceremony.”

Groom’s Favorite Detail: “Watching Anna and her father walk down the aisle while Monte Maxwell and members of the Capital City Symphony played ‘Nimrod’ from Edward Elgar’s Enigma Variations. Absolutely stunning.”

Biggest Surprise: “Getting to wave from the balcony to all of our guests as they exited the chapel and before we exited under the sword arch.”

Favors: Professionally mastered CDs of music performed by the bride, a concert harpist

Decor Details: “A Celtic harp flanked by two hard-carved wooden ducks (a nod to Duck, North Carolina, where we shared our first kiss) decorated the escort-card table.”

Theme: Classic

Four Words That Describe the Wedding: Joyful, elegant, timeless, unforgettable

Honeymoon Spot: Ocho Rios, Jamaica

Where They Currently Live: Fort Meade, Maryland, and Norfolk, Virginia