Mandy Hovland and Adam Sedgewick first met while watching the 2012 vice presidential debate at a favorite DC bar. "We made each other laugh," tells Mandy. The two began dating and were inseparable, but Mandy was totally surprised by Adam's December proposal in 2015. Both were getting ready to go visit family, and Mandy thought that wonderful window of opportunity for a holiday engagement had closed. But the romantic Adam had her engagement ring wrapped and waiting under their Christmas tree. "I had often said that if we got engaged I wanted to go out for pizza afterwards," says Mandy. "Adam remembered and had arranged for us to go out for pizza that night. It was perfect."
Mandy had always wanted to marry in the winter months, so given its built-in festive mood and abundant décor already in place, Christmas in the capital was ideal. "When we walked in to the ballroom at the St. Regis Hotel we knew that it was the place," says Mandy. Already stunning on its own, the setting needed very little additional décor to shine and feel really special for a mid-December celebration.
THE BRIDE WORE
When Mandy's mom, dad, and sister joined her in DC for a wedding planning weekend she scheduled a handful of bridal salon appointments. "This was the very last dress I put on, at the very last appointment," she says. Mandy started the shopping journey knowing she envisioned a style with texture and design interest, and adored her final gown's intricate fabric and low V-back. She combined something "old, borrowed, and blue" all into one thing to accompany her "new" dress, headpiece, and shoes. "I wore a blue cameo that had been my great grandfather's tie tack in the 1920s, and my grandmother had it made in to a ring," says Mandy. She also thought to select a timeless fragrance that would always remind her of the day - Chanel No. 5 - as well as a classic fur wrap that reflected her personal style (and the season!) and a glorious garden bouquet of white flowers and green hellebores.
Following the intimate ceremony in front of boxwood and hanging votives, the wedding party moved upstairs to the hotel's grand ballroom for cocktails, dinner, and dancing. Mandy and Adam took great care in planning their reception menu, and happily chose a fabulous frozen lemon soufflé to end the meal on a light note, in lieu of the traditional cake cutting ceremony. Dinner began with a corn and crab chowder, followed by a beef, salmon, or vegetarian option. "The quality of the food at the St. Regis was another big reason we chose the venue," says Mandy. With a nod to the holidays, guests were delighted to find at their places pretty mercury glass ornaments that coordinated with the evening's table décor and were tied with charming notes reading "Thank you for meeting us under the mistletoe!" It was a dream day from start to finish but both the bride and groom had their standout moments. "My favorite was our first look," says Mandy, recalling how excited she was to see Adam and spend a few moments alone. For Adam, it was the warm, personal touches brought to the day by dear friends. Since they did not have a traditional religious service the two relied on a close friend to offer heartfelt remarks during the ceremony - a mix of personal, loving, and funny sentiments -- which set the tone for the entire celebration and their new life together.
Photography by Steve Canning Photography
Ceremony & Reception: St. Regis Hotel, Washington, DC
Officiant: Bob Sellers
Wedding Planner: Karson Butler Events
Bride's Gown: designed by Theia, purchased at Lovely, Georgetown
Headpiece: Jennifer Behr
Bridesmaids' Attire: Vera Wang
Jewelry: Sequin Jewelry
Men's Attire: Men's Wearhouse & Vera Wang
Makeup: Carl Ray
Hair: Updos for I Do's
Catering: St. Regis Hotel
Invitations: Just Paper and Tea
Entertainment: String of Pearls Quartet, DJ Neville C.