Jason and I spent a lot of time on the road in the last week. My second cousin Adam got married in Washington, DC, so Jason and I were excited to travel out East for the event.
We debated back and forth on whether to fly or drive, and driving won out in the end. Not only was it cheaper for us, it also allowed for a side trip to Shenandoah National Park. It was also set up to be my longest road trip to date – 14 hours one way, 1,875ish miles total. Knowing me, it could have been bad…
But it was actually really fun! I enjoyed seeing new places and adding new states to my list of states visited – Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia.
We crammed a lot into our five-day trip. So first things first, the reason for the trip: Adam and Ellie’s wedding!
As I said before, Adam is my second cousin; our moms are first cousins. Honestly, Adam feels much more like a first cousin to me than most of my actual first cousins.
Both the ceremony and reception were held at the Newton White Mansion just outside of Washington, DC.
It was such a beautiful setting. I couldn’t get over how perfect it was.
Interesting note: The ceremony was in the Quaker tradition. No officiant, but a friend who welcomed everyone and described the proceedings. No wedding party. No sermon. Just silence.
After the welcome and explanation of the “meeting,” we settled into silence. When ready, Adam and Ellie stood and made their vows to one another, and their vows were followed by another period of silence. At this time, guests could stand and share their own messages. Some told stories about the couple, one guest shared a poem, and others provided their advice for a happy marriage. Between messages, we sat in silent reflection. For Quakers, silence is as important as words. The period of silent worship was closed by a “community” vow – all of the family and friends being the bride and groom’s supporting community – the shaking of hands, and community signing of a wedding certificate.
It was simple, beautiful, and like nothing I have experienced before.
The clouds broke as we sat in silent worship. It could not have been more perfect.
We moved inside rather quickly after the ceremony – it was getting quite chilly – where we sampled some amazing food. I experienced several food firsts that evening: beets, served on crostini with cheese (maybe goat cheese); watermelon radishes, thinly sliced and topped with creme fraiche and caviar; brussel sprouts. I also enjoyed the signature cocktail for the evening, a mix of pear juice, lemon juice, lime juice, vodka, and a couple other things. Yummy! My entree was an amazingly delicious crab cake. And the cake – Seriously, it might have been the best wedding cake I have ever had, including my own 😯
Adam and Ellie’s first dance
Tearing up the dance floor with Mark, Adam’s younger brother.
Jason and I had a lovely time. I am so glad that we decided to make the trip from Wisconsin to share in such a special day.