Barbara Harrison’s ‘beautiful baby’ from TV shines bride-fully bright.
Dr. Alexandra Corriea and John Stewart
Aug. 31, 2019 | First Congregational Church and Westmoor Farm (family home), Nantucket, Mass.
Before she was even born, Dr. Alexandra Elizabeth Corriea was a star. Her mother, NBC4 news anchor Barbara Harrison, delivered her on television on Dec. 30, 1987, at Columbia Hospital for Women while documenting her pregnancy for the local station’s campaign “Beautiful Babies Right From the Start”— a report tracking the District’s high infant mortality rate.The production would win an Emmy.The 8-pound 4-ounce baby girl would grow up, choose a career in medicine, and get married to John Robert Stewart, with her mother—one of Washington’s most recognizable faces—right by her side. This time, no TV cameras allowed. (A star needs some privacy).
“I had to hold back the tears of joy, seeing the faces of all the friends and colleagues who had made the trip to be with us on such a special day,” Harrison says of the wedding venue set at their Nantucket farm where the family summers. “So many of them had celebrated Alex’s birth with me, cried with me when we lost her father to cancer, then danced at my wedding when I found love again [to John C. Pyles III]. Having them there made the already great day even more perfect.”
A media and social fixture in Washington, Harrison also had a vivid presence at home while Corriea was growing up. “My mom stressed the importance of helping the most vulnerable communities through her work with the program “Wednesday’s Child” that she created and ran on NBC.This was a large part of why I chose to go into Emergency Medicine at a safety net hospital in Brooklyn, N.Y.,” Corriea says.
Even the bride’s dress choice for the day reflected a sense of charity and giving. A percentage of proceeds from her RitaVinieris bridal dress went to mental health awareness via the non-profit Project Semicolon.
Top left: Table cards hung on a whimsical string; Bottom left: The menu included fried chicken, shrimp and corn pudding prepared by Eithne and Mark Yelle of Nantucket Catering Company.; Right: The cake was by Josie Lemay.
Leading up to the big day, Corriea spent several weeks of 12-hour overnight shifts at the hospital and Harrison played a “huge role” in planning the wedding (along with her four sisters and Stewart).With instructions to keep the menu simple, they settled on a menu of fried chicken and corn pudding and grandma’s lemon meringue pie. Bridesmaids chose their own blue and white dresses and flowers followed a simple white and green garden theme. For Stewart, a lawyer at Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom, his bride will always be a star. “She can find the fun in any situation, is smart, brave, passionate and caring,” he says. Yes, just like her mama.
Candelabra centerpiece with flowers by Dawn Kelly, Soirée Floral. One of the couple’s rescued terriers (left). Corriea has been rescuing and rehabilitating dogs since college.
EVENTS AND NOTABLE HOSTS
Welcome Party: Spanish-themed dinner thrown by Washington lawyers Carolyn Lamm and Peter Halle at their home in Nantucket.
Bridesmaids Lunch: Hosted by Grace Bender, Ginny Grenham, Laurie Monahan and Ginger Pape at Westmoor Club.
Welcome Fiesta/Rehearsal Dinner: A Mexican-themed event at Westmoor Farm for all wedding guests featuring a Mariachi band.
Bridal Preparation Party: Held at the home of healthcare entrepreneur Robert Haft and his wife, writer and producer Mary Haft, in Nantucket, Mass.
Wedding Ceremony: performed by Rev. Dr. Gary W. Klingsporn Reception and After-Party: Westmoor Farm
Bride’s Dress: Rita Vinieris from Kleinfeld’s Bridal • Groom’s Attire: Monsieur Brunold • Flowers: Dawn Kelly, Soirée Floral • Music: The Sultans Event Planner: Maggie Stewart, Nantucket Island Events • Catering: Eithne and Mark Yelle of Nantucket Catering Company • Cake: Josie Lemay • Photographer: Zofia & Co.