TILGHMAN Blue skies, shimmering waterfront and an intimate country setting were the perfect backdrop last Saturday afternoon at tiny St. John's Chapel along Black Walnut Point Road on Tilghman Island for William Kennedy Smith, a member of this country's political royalty the Kennedy family to wed Anne Henry.
Early in the day, several members of the wedding party, attired in casual clothing and jeans, arrived at the chapel to rehearse for the day's big event, even giving the church bell a toll before departing. By midday, florists arrived to festoon the chapel and its surroundings with blooms for the 5 p.m. nuptials.
The 50-year-old Smith is the son of Jean Kennedy Smith and the late Stephen E. Smith. Jean Kennedy Smith is a former U.S. Ambassador to Ireland and the only surviving sibling of John. F. Kennedy, the 35th president of the United States, and his brothers, Senators Robert Kennedy and Ted Kennedy. Stephen Smith was political advisor and political campaign manager for John, Robert and Ted Kennedy.
A 1991 graduate of Georgetown University School of Medicine, Smith founded Physicians Against Land Mines in 1996, which led to the establishment of the Chicago-based Center for International Rehabilitation, where Smith was president. In 2004, Smith opened MedRed in Washington, D.C. A physician, Smith is CEO of MedRed, which aims to make medical knowledge accessible to patients and health care providers, according to its website, www.medred.com.
In 1991, Smith was at the center of a highly publicized trial, in which he was tried and acquitted of rape by a Florida jury.
His bride-to-be Anne Henry most recently worked in arts fundraising, according to The Washington Post, which said she previously had been communications director for the nonprofit that Smith ran. This past December, the Post reported Smith and Henry's engagement, in which Henry was described as an "attractive, early-30s brunette."
By 4 p.m., the quiet, island church soon was surrounded by parked SUVs, private cars and transport vehicles that had brought several recognizable Kennedy family members to join in the happy occasion. Attending the ceremony were Kara Kennedy Allen, Victoria Kennedy, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg and Sydney Lawford McKelvey.
Allen is the oldest child of the late U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts and his former wife, Joan Kennedy. Victoria Kennedy is Ted Kennedy's widow. Townsend is the oldest child of Ethel Kennedy and the late Sen. Robert F. Kennedy; Schlossberg is the daughter of former president John F. Kennedy and Jackie Kennedy Onassis; and McKelvey is the daughter of Patricia Kennedy Lawford and movie star Peter Lawford. Also present was Stephen Smith Jr., the oldest child of Jean Kennedy Smith and the late Stephen Smith.
The bride, who wore a white, lacy, cap-sleeved wedding gown, opted to go without a veil, but accented her updo with several small, white flowers. The groom wore a black suit with a light gray tie. The outside entranceway to the chapel was adorned with white tulle and white roses.
After the ceremony, the newlyweds celebrated with family and friends at a reception held at Smith's nearby waterfront property on Bar Neck Road, which he purchased last September. A large, white tent sitting on the outskirts of the property toward the water's edge was visible. Later that evening, the Smiths, their guests and many islanders were treated to a fabulous fireworks display reportedly rivaling those put on throughout Talbot County during July 4 celebrations over the Smith property.
The 5.53-acre property on Bar Neck Road previously was owned by Robert Pascal, a St. Michael's businessman, Talbot County resident and a Republican. Pascal is a former Anne Arundel County executive and former aide to Democratic Gov. William Donald Schaefer.
Pascal sold the property to Smith for $1.1 million. The two-story, 2,886 square-foot residential property was built in 1920. It was owned by Carl F. and Colette C. Godfrey until September 2005, when it was purchased by Pascal for $1.7 million, according to the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation (SDAT). Listed as a farm house, the home features six bedrooms, living and dining rooms, a kitchen, breakfast room, recreation room, a family room and three other undesignated rooms, as well as two full and two half baths. It offers views of Black Walnut Cove and the Choptank River as well as the Chesapeake Bay.
The entire sale to Smith was handled through the real estate company, Pascal said, so he never had contact with Smith personally.
"I've never met him, so I can't comment on him," Pascal said.
The selling agent, Paul Meredith of Lacaze Meredith, cited client confidentiality and said he couldn't provide any information on the sale. According to SDAT, the property isn't Smith's principal residence.
At presstime, the marriage license had not been returned to the Talbot County Circuit Court.
(Managing Editor Barbara Sauers and Photographer Chris Polk contributed to this report.)