Weddings

A Year After Eloping, This Couple Celebrated With Friends and Family

The couple didn't serve cake because they already had some at their first wedding.

Photographs by Vicki Grafton Photography

If you’re an avid Washingtonian Weddings reader, you may recognize Meredith and Christopher—we covered their intimate elopement back in 2020. Like most, their life plans were derailed by the pandemic—in their case, postponing the wedding they’d dreamed of. Here, we share the day as it finally transpired.

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The First Date

Meredith, a lawyer, and Chris, a sales worker, were set up on a blind date by friends who worked in the same office. Chris got to the restaurant before Meredith (they went to Bar Deco) and let her know he’d be right at the front when she arrived. Unfortunately, Meredith went up to the wrong person, and Chris got a front row seat to her introducing herself to a complete stranger.

“We laughed and I quickly realized how easy he is to talk to and his great sense of humor,” Meredith says.

After the small (but hilarious) hiccup, the two grabbed some gin and tonics, and ended up talking for hours. Hours turned into a second date, which turned into roughly two and a half years of dating before Chris popped the question.

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The Engagement (and Elopement)

Chris flew to Europe to join Meredith during a trip for work. Later, when visiting friends in the Amalfi Coast, Chris proposed on the couple’s Positano balcony under the sunset. (He had hidden the ring in a traveler’s money belt).

Meredith and Chris originally planned to marry in May of 2020, but covid had them postpone. Not wanting to let their original date pass and ready to commit, the couple decided to elope, and save a larger wedding for down the line.

In a matter of weeks, the pair eloped at the Goodstone Inn in Middleburg, Virginia, complete with cake, flowers, and beautiful pictures.

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The Wedding

Meredith and Chris fell in love with the Inn at Perry Cabin after staying there years before and knew right away that it was where they wanted to say their vows. In front of 75 of their closest friends and family, the couple got married in an outdoor wedding overlooking the property’s waterfront on May 8, 2021.

The day had a few of hiccups—their vendors were delayed because of a bridge closure for over five hours, and on-and-off rain got in the way of some of the day’s activities—but, they say, it was still perfect.

“The first look was a special moment between the two of us,” Chris says. “The morning was chaotic, with everyone trying to figure out what to do about the Bay Bridge closure and working around the inclement weather.  Finally seeing each other reminded us of why we were there and immediately put us at ease, no matter what happened that day.”

The couple chose a “joyful springtime garden” theme for their special day, decorating the venue in grays, blushes, and golds. Garden roses, ranunculus, peonies, campanula, stock, hydrangea, delphinium, larkspur, scabiosa, and butterfly ranunculus, adorned the space.

They chose southern tastes for their menu, serving guests shrimp and grits, short ribs, and chicken stuffed with pimento cheese. The couple chose a variety of small treats for dessert—like banana pudding, tiramisu, strawberry shortcake, and a lemon tart—because they’d already had a formal cake when they eloped.

Finally, for signature cocktails guests could sip on a Moscow mule for Chris, a French 75 for Meredith, or a grapefruit mocktail for their puppy Porter.

The couple honeymooned in Hawaii.

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The Details

Photography:  Vicki GraftonVenue: Inn at Perry Cabin | Rehearsal Dinner Venue: Harbor Inn | Planning & Design: Pamela Barefoot Events and Design | Florist: Philippa Tarrant | Stationery: Emily Baird Design | Catering: Inn at Perry CabinTent: Eastern Shore Tents & Events | Macaroons: Buttercream Bakeshop | Hair Stylist: Anna BreedingMakeup Artist: Anna Breeding | Bride’s Attire: Monique Lhuillier from Carines; Markarian for second dress | Groom’s Attire: Emporio Armani from Nordstrom | Ceremony Music: District Strings | Rentals: Something Vintage Rentals , Social Supply, La Tavola (linen)

Tori Bergel
Editorial Fellow
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