When it came to their wedding, Jessie Brown and Christopher (Chris) Fanelli opted for the best of both worlds: a small, meaningful ceremony to exchange vows, followed by a big party to celebrate their marriage to give their friends and family the chance to celebrate with them. Take a look at their wintry, festive reception in the photos below, captured by Katie Stoops Photography.
As fate would have it, Jessie and Chris were placed on the same team for the DC 200-mile Ragnar Relay. Though their 12-person team was divided into two vans, and Jessie and Christopher weren’t together for most of the race, at the end they started talking. Despite the fact they were unshowered and exhausted, the attraction was mutual. After completing another overnight relay race together, Chris finally mustered up the nerve to ask Jessie out on a date at Room 11.
Their stand-alone reception gave them the change to party with their family and friends. Decking out Long View Gallery with greenery, red berries, and an eclectic mix of homey furniture, the holiday spirit was high at their December affair.
Guests dinned on food stations, including a gourmet grilled cheese bar and Thai takeout containers, while also munching on passed appetizers. In place of cake, an array of desserts was offered, one of which was a s’mores bar. One of Jessie’s long-time friends provided the music with her band, Locust Honey String Band, and to keep the evening centered on their community they loved, rather than accepting toasts from a best man or maid of honor, the happy couple made their own toasts to honor their friends and family.
Venue: Long View Gallery | Photographer: Katie Stoops Photography | Event Planning: Tabitha Roberts of Roberts & Co. Events | Bride’s Gown: St. John, Lord & Taylor | Groom’s Attire: Suitsupply | Hair Dresser: Bridal Hair by Remona | Makeup Artist: Leah Margosis Professional Makeup Artist | Caterers: Spilled Milk Catering | Floral Design, Decor & Furniture Rentals: Amaryllis | Music/Entertainment: Locust Honey String Band; Bruce Pike Productions | Catering Rentals: DC Rental | Lighting and Pipe and Drape: Bruce Pike Productions
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This article has been updated.