This National Arboretum Wedding Features a Birch Huppah, a Timeless Color Palette, and a Chic Greenery-and-Basket Chandelier

Kerry Townsend & Max Meltzer married at National Arboretum in Washington, DC.

Photography by Connor Studios

A mutual friend put Kerry, a resident physician at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, and Max, an assistant editor with Gallery Books, together—literally. Kerry, a granddaughter of Robert F. Kennedy, was in medical school when she participated in her friend’s Passover Seder, which Max attends with his family every year. They were seated next to each other, and sparks flew. Within a month they were dating, and almost three years later Max proposed to Kerry at the end of her jog in Rock Creek Park, with a picnic blanket, a bottle of Champagne, and Gatorade—since he knew she would want to hydrate.

Their outdoor ceremony at the National Arboretum’s Capitol Columns featured a birch huppah decorated with greenery and fabric from Max’s mother’s wedding dress. Kerry walked the aisle in a gown embellished with crystal and beading, and as the newlyweds recessed, they were surprised by members of the reception band, scattered throughout the guests, reenacting a scene from Love Actually to the tune of the Beatles’ “All You Need Is Love”—a special touch orchestrated by the mother of the groom. Cocktail hour included a cheese-board display, a tuna poké bar, plus passed bites and signature drinks. For the tented reception, Kerry and Max chose a blue, white, and green color scheme, represented in their escort display, dishware, and centerpieces. A greenery-and-basket chandelier centered attention on the head table. After dinner and some time on the dance floor, friends and family helped themselves to a sundae station and ice-cream sandwiches.

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Fun fact: Max gave each groomsman a cherry blossom–inspired lapel pin that doubled as a boutonniere.

The Details:

Photographer: Connor Studios | Planning & Design: Cheers Darling Events | Florist: Floral & Bloom | Invitations: Sincerely Yours | Caterer: Spilled Milk Catering | Hair & Makeup Artist: Makeup by Ana B | Attire: Lucia Zanotti Kissing, Atelier Aimee (bride); Geoffrey Lewis suit, Bonobos necktie, Etsy lapel pins (groom and groomsmen); Azazie (bridesmaids) | Music: Garrett Gleason (ceremony); Rhythm 10 (reception) | Transportation: Limos Inc. | Decor: BD3 Design, Something Vintage, DC Rental, Party Rental, BBJ Linen (linens and furniture) | Restrooms: Blue Ribbon Restrooms | Tent & Lighting: Sugarplum Tent Company | Video: BE Video


Assistant Editor, Washingtonian Weddings

Jacqueline comes to Washingtonian with close to five years of digital content experience and SEO best practices. She previously was a senior editorial associate at WeddingWire, specializing in wedding fashion, and before that, an assistant at Vow Bride. Originally from Norfolk, Virginia, she now lives in Columbia Heights.