Four years after their first and only date, Pamela Kasenetz and Matthew Kahn thankfully reconnected at a dinner organized by a mutual friend. “We both realized we regretted not going on that second date,” confirms Matt, who made sure to take Pam out just a few days later. Their chemistry was undeniable, they felt effortlessly comfortable around one another, and this time, their timing was perfect. Three years later, they were engaged.
Pam and Matt began organizing an April 2020 wedding; however, their plans were halted a month before the big day once the pandemic was declared. As they didn’t want to wait to be both religiously and legally bound as husband and wife, the couple was married in June 2020 by the bride’s childhood rabbi in front of their closest friends and family. Once they felt it was safe to gather with all of their loved ones, Pam and Matt celebrated in true wedding fashion at what they deem “the best first anniversary party ever.”
A moody, floral invitation suite introduced the design of the glamorous event, which was attended by 152 guests at a five-star landmark hotel in Washington, DC, where the couple resides. “It’s quintessentially DC and replete with history,” affirms Matt of the property, which showcases classic aesthetics adored by the bride, gorgeous ballroom murals depicting scenes from American history loved by the groom, and ornate décor.
Since they already had a ceremony the prior year, the celebration began with a lively cocktail hour in the famed Crystal Room. “For at least a decade, I would imagine hosting some party in that room, and I was thrilled that we were able to make that party the start of our wedding weekend!” exclaims Pam. Incorporating their personalities throughout the event, kombucha cocktails honored the pair’s beloved beverage and cocktail napkins were embellished with quotes about love and marriage from their favorite authors.
As the couple and their guests entered the ballroom for the sit-down kosher dinner service, they were in awe of the whimsical décor. Designed to bring the outdoors in, the ballroom was transformed into a gorgeous garden to fit the vision Pam expressed to her talented wedding team, including Amaryllis Floral & Event Design. “I was inspired by an evening one summer when I attended a performance in Regent’s Park in London,” describes the bride. “I wanted to recreate the feel from that night in our wedding décor.”
“I was inspired by an evening one summer when I attended a performance in Regent’s Park in London. I wanted to recreate the feel from that night in our wedding décor.”
Vibrant, rich florals and verdant foliage enveloped the space and decorated a blend of round and rectangular tables surrounded by Lucite chairs. Some centerpieces were kept low so guests could easily converse across the table, others featured tall gold candlesticks with midnight-toned taper candles, and larger arrangements showcased a towering tree-like design adorned with suspended florals and candles. It was the bride’s main request of an inverted garden, however, that served as the pièce de résistance. “My jaw actually dropped when I first saw the installation,” remembers Pam of the multicolored blooms and verdure suspended from the ceiling over guests’ tables and the dance floor.
As a surprise for attendees, the couple hired The Amazing Bottle Dancers to excite the crowd before the hora. “I love a good hora, so we made sure everyone was on their feet cheering for over 20 minutes!” says the bride. The rest of the night was spent dancing to classic and modern hits performed by a live band. For additional entertainment, a lounge area presented a game the groom is particularly fond of: Connect Four. “We created a personalized set to commemorate our wedding,” explains Pam.
After waiting so long to celebrate their nuptials with friends and family, the newlyweds were overjoyed with their soirée. “I knew it would be a great day, but I wasn’t prepared for how much elation and happiness I felt,” smiles the groom. His bride adds: “It really is something special having all of your favorite people in a room together, knowing it will never happen again… The party was not just a celebration of me and Matt; it was a thank you to all of our loved ones who have supported us throughout our lives.”
This real wedding was originally published in the Summer 2022 issue of Inside Weddings magazine.