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When Kimbell Rush Duncan proposed to Michelle Kosinski, he didn’t get the answer he expected—at first. After just over a year together, “of course I wanted our relationship to go there,” Michelle says. But like any good reporter, the TV journalist had some questions. For the next few minutes, she quizzed him on his priorities: “I had to know we agreed on our values!”
Luckily, they did, and with her “yes” on the record, it was on to the next question: Where to wed—and live? Kimbell, an American-born philanthropist and a widowed father of two, had been in the U.K. for 20 years. Michelle, a New Jersey native, was working in London when they met at a party. “We had no idea where to get married,” she says. Fate intervened when she received a job offer stateside to be a CNN White House correspondent. “It was a great opportunity, and Kim grew up near D.C.,” says Michelle. With their future home settled, the pair chose the historic Anderson House, which contains artifacts from the American Revolution, as their venue, and developed a playful Britain-meets-America theme.
On August 9, 2014, about 170 friends and family members gathered for what Michelle and Kim dubbed a “Lovebration.” Before the event, the couple had asked guests to submit photos that captured love in their lives, and after the Catholic ceremony, a slide show of the images played on a loop. In the same vein, the newlyweds requested that attendees stand up and, rather than offer a toast, share their own love stories. “We wanted everyone to have fun and laugh,” says Kim, “and, honestly, not to focus on us too much.”
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The Stationery Suite
Guests were invited to the “Lovebration” by way of booklets that held vintage postcards of Washington, D.C., and a leather bookmark.
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The couple and Kim’s 5-year-old twins, Sofia and Nikita, posed with a statue of George Washington.
Along with celebrating Britain and American, the couple also honored their heritages. Michelle wore a flower crown as a nod to her Polish roots; Kim, along with his father and son, sported a kilt in the Duncan clan’s 19th-century tartan.
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The Bridal Bouquet
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The four flower girls, who also wore floral crowns, carried miniature versions of Michelle’s bouquet, with lavender garden roses as the focal point.
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The ceremony programs featured a linen cover, each guest’s escort card, and a logo of crossed silhouettes of the British and American flags that Michelle and Kim developed for the wedding.
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Michelle and Kim recited their vows under an arch of ninebark, olives, willows, and hydrangeas.
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A Polish Tradition
At the cocktail hour, each female guest was offered a floral crown, a traditional Polish adornment, on antique silver trays. The head toppers were made of vines, leaves, flowers, and other natural bits, such as acorns.
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Both British and American influences were evident throughout the event. Pimm’s cups and mint juleps were on offer during the cocktail hour.
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For dinner, multiple spaces inside the Anderson House were utilized, including the ballroom, conservatory, and garden. Terraces like this one were set up with French barrel furniture and copper and glass lanterns.
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Square tables, like these in the ballroom, were topped with vases crafted of twigs. The tables were spread out among three spaces for dinner. To keep everything connected, TV screens showed a feed from the other rooms and the slide show of photos guests had submitted beforehand.
“Honoring your guests and ensuring that your wedding is full of what makes you unique as a couple will make the day sing,” says Michelle.
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The Table Décor
Centerpieces included garden roses, geraniums, scabiosa, basil, rosemary, and verbena.
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A Dance Break
Halfway through the reception, Polish dancers performed a polka and invited guests to join in.
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Honeydew frozen treats were served toward the end of the night. Sticky toffee pudding and pie à la mode for dessert was another nod to the pair’s British and American roots.
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The First Dance
For the couple’s first dance, they asked musician Jon Regen to perform an original song titled “Revolution.”
Later, as the couple made their exit, guests waved the countries’ flags. It was a fitting sight for a duo who met in England and were just starting to build a home in America.
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Location: Anderson House
Event Planning: Pineapple Productions
Catering: Design Cuisine
Flowers: Beehive Events
Photography: Kate Headley
Officiant: Father Michael Kelley of St. Martin’s Catholic Church
Stationery: SimpleSong Design
Calligraphy: Arney Walker Calligraphy
Cake: Fluffy Thoughts
Videography: Suburban Video
Lighting: Frost Lighting, 703-866-5153
Bride’s Gown and Veil: Oscar de la Renta
Hair: Peggy Ioakim of Karma Beauty Lounge by Erwin Gomez
Makeup: Leah Margosis
Menswear: Albion Highland
Transportation: Linder & Associates
Audio/Visual: All Stage & Sound
Bagpiper: Robert Mitchell
Comedian: Tom Wilson
Silhouette Artist: Caricature Artists Group
Valet Parking: MJ Valet