Kelsey, a USA Today opinion editor from North Carolina, and Jordan, an urban planning and American studies graduate student from Arlington, met at the party of a mutual friend in DC in the summer of 2014. Kelsey, who’d just moved here for a job at The Hill newspaper, actually met Jordan’s roommate (and later, best man) first. But once said roommate realized the two had a shared interest in journalism (Jordan was working for The Daily Caller at the time), he suggested the two chat.
Kelsey introduced herself, focused (unromantically, she says) on purely networking. “I thought he was a cutie, but it wasn’t a lightning bolt moment for me or anything like that,” Kelsey recalls. “I just wanted to meet another person in my industry. He was friendly and had (still has) wild curly hair and he was wearing a tannish-yellow tweed sports coat. He still wears that coat.” On the flip side, Jordan was smitten.
A few days later, they wound up on their first date—a pepperoni pizza and beer at Liberty Tavern in Arlington. They shared a kiss at the end of the night, and Jordan told his roommate, “I’m going to marry that girl.” They officially began “going steady,” (that’s the phrase Kelsey remembers Jordan using when he asked), in November. That following July, Kelsey joined Jordan on a trip to Rhode Island for his family’s annual “epic” family reunion, and after an ice-cream-outing and a stroll along the beach, Jordan proposed with his great grandmother’s ring.
The pair spent a little under 10 months planning their May 20 wedding, which included a ceremony at Washington, DC’s Immaculate Conception Church, and a reception at the Lee-Fendall House in Alexandria.
The ceremony included a mass sung by the St. Luke’s Choir—a favorite part of the day for both the bride and groom. Placed in the pass-way from the Lee-Fendall House out to the lawn, where the reception was held, was a table of framed family photos of the couple’s parents and grandparents on their wedding days. Instead of a traditional guest book, the couple had guests sign the inside covers of a coffee table book full of vintage photos of Washington, DC.
Outside, at the “elegant, dinner-party themed” green-white-and-ivory reception, the couple opted for taupe-and-beige floral-patterned linens that added a subtle layer of color to the white tents. Jordan’s favorite part was the DJ, who shared his eclectic taste in music—including 60s garage rock and underground pop. Dinner featured chicken and pork barbecue, collard greens, cucumber-mint salad, baked beans, rolls, potato salad, and coleslaw, and as favors, personalized shot glasses held Jordan almonds in a sack tied with green ribbon.
For their honeymoon, the pair headed to first to Pamplona, Spain, where they walked 581 miles to Santiago de Compostela, Spain, as part of an ancient pilgrim route called the Camino de Santiago (“The Way of Saint James”). Including a few sightseeing-only days, the route took 33 days. After leaving Spain, they travelled to Fatima, Portugal, for the centennial anniversary of Our Lady of Fatima’s apparition.
Photographer: Liz Stewart Photography | Ceremony Venue: Immaculate Conception Church, Washington, DC | Reception Venue: Lee-Fendall House, Alexandria, VA | Wedding Planner: Lynn Nelson, Bridal Silhouette | Florist: Flowers by Lisa | Invitations: Minted.com | Caterer: Rocklands BBQ | Cake: Heidelberg Bakery | Hair Stylist: Leanne Heatley, Best Face Artists | Makeup Artist: Larissa Norris, Best Face Artists | Bride’s Attire: Casablanca from Ellie’s Bridal (dress); Ellie’s Bridal (veil); Badgley Mischka (shoes) | Groom’s Attire: J-Press | Music/Entertainment: DJ Dave Battery | Bridal Party Attire: Weddington Way | Officiant: Fr. Mark Lewis