ELIZABETH SLOTWINSKI & CODY ARNETT
JUNE 21, 2014
| WASHINGTON, D.C.
he courtship of Elizabeth Slotwinski and Cody Arnett had more than one hint of a fairy tale. First there was the mutual “love at first sight.”(Elizabeth called her mom after their initial date to declare that she had just met “the one.”) A month later, Cody watched Elizabeth, a ballerina, dance the role of Princess Aurora in a rehearsal of The Sleeping Beauty. “I was totally mesmerized by her grace and beauty,” says Cody, a sales manager for Tesla Motors. “I even got a little teary. I was in love.”A mere four months after that, Cody proposed during a horse-drawn carriage ride through New York City’s Central Park. It was just like Cinderella, except this carriage never turned into a pumpkin.
For their own royal ball, um, wedding, the Washington, D.C.– based couple wanted to celebrate their two great passions: the ballet and all things French. (Elizabeth grew up traveling to Europe, and she and Cody visited Paris, along with her parents, soon after their engagement.) They found the right venue in the Meridian House, a 1919 Louis XVI– style vision of marble, antiques, and tapestries, designed by the architect of the Jefferson Memorial.
The Christian ceremony took place in the mansion’s pebbled courtyard, while the garden was the scene for the elegant cocktail hour that followed. A six-piece ensemble played French jazz of the 1920s, ’30s, and ’40s, as 150 guests found their escort cards on a 12-foot-tall vintage replica of the Eiffel Tower. Inside the mansion, the dinner of lobster salad and glazed duckling was modeled on memorable meals the pair shared during their post-engagement trip. And the menu wasn’t the only souvenir of that vacation; on a side trip to Reims, Elizabeth’s parents bought Champagne that they secretly earmarked for the wedding toast.
After dinner, the bride surprised her new husband by performing a short ballet set to music from the wedding scene in the third act of The Sleeping Beauty, wearing her pointe shoes along with her Enzoani Couture gown. “She took my breath away,” Cody says. It was a grand finale for the evening, but for the newlyweds, just a prelude to living happily ever after. —Michelle Stacey SOURCES Location Meridian House Event design and styling Strawberry Milk Events & Styling Catering Design Cuisine Cake Maggie Austin Cake Flowers Edge Floral Photography Abby Jiu Photography Videography East West Stationery Aerialist Press Calligraphy Laura Hooper Calligraphy Music Carte Blanche (ceremony); C&J Entertainment (reception) Rentals La Bella Luce Décor, furniture, and lighting Syzygy Events International; Revolution Event Design and Production Bride’s gown Enzoani Couture Bride’s accessories Dolce & Gabbana Groom’s tuxedo Canali See The Guide for more vendor sources