KellyAnne and Duke’s Hawthorne Hotel wedding struck the perfect balance between elegant, playful, and oh-so-heartwarming. But there’s a little bit more to my personal connection to this particular story.
You know those people who run in similar circles as you but aren’t quite in your circle? Your paths seem to keep crossing and they’re definitely not not your friends, but you aren’t quite friends in your own right? That’s how it was for Kelly and me for about a decade.
We were in the same dorm during our freshman year of college and chose the same major. After some initial mingling and intense Organic Chemistry study groups, we both eventually changed to different majors. Though we still had friends in common, after that, our paths only occasionally crossed.
Cut to 5 or 10 years later, when we again found ourselves in new, but still intersecting circles, bumping into each other at parties and movie nights, feeling a comfortable familiarity through our shared history, but never instigating a strong independent relationship.
It was really only when they invited me into their wedding that I realized how much I was missing out on by only being “friends of friends” with Kelly and Duke.
First there was their thoughtfulness, which was evident in their wedding planning process. They didn’t come to the decision lightly; it wasn’t a foregone conclusion that they would have a wedding. And that kind of introspection is something I deeply respect. Ultimately, they decided they wanted to have a wedding celebration to honor not only their own relationship, but all of the friends and family that support the two of them. And they wanted to bring everyone together in the town they love so much – Salem, MA! The Hawthorne Hotel was the perfect place for their wedding celebration. And those sentiments they value so highly – friends, family, and home – were deeply enmeshed throughout the weekend.
Next, there was their generosity. During their engagement shoot, they sweetly showed me around Salem, which they clearly adore, and bought warm cookies for us to share. Afterwards, we grabbed dinner and they let me ramble on about my trip to Japan, then Kelly and I dove deep into conversations about hospice and healthcare. And it’s always like that with them – an ease, honesty, and thoughtfulness that flows from both Kelly and Duke through every interaction.
And at their Hawthorne hotel wedding, well, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen two people who are more deeply adored and admired by their friends and family. Friends praised their thoughtful, intentional way of being and their way of turning even small outings into big adventures. Sweet Duke was reminded that he is so caring and inviting to everyone around him. These two clearly value both the families they were born with and the ones they have created, cultivating rich, deep friendships full of tradition, support, and care.
But I’m making everything sound awfully sweet and serious. And while there were moments of that, it was also a wedding that was playful, joyful, and wildly fun. Especially when everyone started tearing it up on the dance floor!
So make sure you scroll all the way down for some killer dancing pics. And I hope you can feel the joy, friendship, and love that flowed through that perfect September wedding day at the Hawthorne Hotel in Salem, when my friends KellyAnne & Duke got married.
Venue & Food: Hawthorne Hotel // Officiant: Jim Williams of Gloucester Assembly of God Church // Florals: Flowers by Darlene // DJ: TSG Weddings // Cake: Montilio’s Bakery // Hair: Theda Sak // Make up: Luana Urils // Dress: BHLDN // Paper: Linden Leaf Designs