Featured in Spring/Summer 2016 Print Issue
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Andrea Manafort had a crush on Christopher Shand since the first time she met him. He was acting in a film that Andrea’s sister wrote and directed and it was at the movie’s premiere where they were introduced. “I think there was always a spark between us,” says Andrea.
Although Chris became good pals with Andrea’s sister and a close friend of the family, it wasn’t until five years after that first meeting that they acted on that chemistry and shared their first kiss. “I knew I had never connected with someone like that before,” says Andrea. “I think I fell in love with him that first weekend.”
The couple dated long-distance for about a year but soon realized they wanted to be together full time and settled near Washington,
D.C. Only a few months into dating, the couple was out for a walk and Andrea put her arm around Chris. “I just thought how something so small made me so happy,” he says. “The next day I started thinking about how I was going to propose.”
He chose to do so on Andrea’s birthday while friends and family were gathered at her parent’s home in the Hamptons. It was where they had shared their first kiss and her grandparents would be there. “In our opinion, they are the epitome of what marriage should be,” says Chris. After getting her alone and proposing to her on the beach,the two were able to celebrate with their loved ones.
Memorial Day weekend was chosen for the wedding festivities. A “roast and toast”—complete with a giant pig roast, buffet and drinks—on Friday night at the couple’s home kicked off the party. Saturday’s rehearsal dinner at Cafe Milano in Georgetown paid homage to Andrea’s Italian heritage and was also one of the first restaurants she brought Chris to when he moved to D.C. The St. Regis hotel was the location for the Sunday nuptials. Chris did not want a first look: “I knew she was going to be a stunning bride and I figured the only way I could truly convey that would be the look she saw on my face.”
Post-ceremony, the almost 300 guests were treated to a happy hour on the terrace with cocktails before being shuttled to cocktail hour at the Mellon Auditorium with specialty drinks as well as a sushi and Italian station. Dinner and dancing followed with the newlyweds sharing their first dance to “La Vie En Rose.” A gigantic dessert bar and almond buttercream wedding cake—“I have a serious sweet tooth,” says Andrea—rounded out the reception.Then it was back to The St. Regis for the after party while the bride and groom escaped in a classic car for a moment alone before rejoining the revelry. “I’m really sentimental so I was figuratively and literally trying to take in everything I could for future memories,” says Chris.
The honeymoon to Japan and Bora Bora started a travel kick and they continue to find getaways as their schedule allows. “I sincerely enjoy my wife’s company,” says the groom, “and she’s the best travel companion.”
> Written by April C. Miller