Political power couple Symone Sanders, Shawn Townsend tie knot in surprise D.C. wedding

"I'm very grateful just for everything that you are,” Sanders told Townsend at the Larz Anderson House in D.C. on Friday

MSNBC host Symone Sanders and Shawn Townsend, known as Washington, D.C.’s former “night mayor,” tied the knot in an intimate ceremony on Friday to the surprise of many guests in attendance.

The political power couple kept the purpose of an elegant gathering at the Larz Anderson House on Embassy Row a secret from most of the approximately 100 family members and close friends in attendance.

Sanders, a former political strategist, shared a highlight video of the big day on Instagram Saturday with the caption, “Woke up 7.15.22 and got married.”

MSNBC host Symone Sanders and political consultant Shawn Townsend tied the knot in a Friday surprise, intimate ceremony in Washington, D.C. (Credit: Symone Sanders Instagram)

Sanders shared vows with Townsend, whom she called “the best man I know,” according to People.

“I’m very grateful just for everything that you are,” Sanders said, the outlet reported. “You have always just been the most thorough person. You are so kind. You are so loving.”

In Townsend’s vow, Sanders was described as his “ride or die.” Townsend, a principal at Dewey Square Group political consultancy, fondly recalled the moments the couple has shared together as some of the most meaningful to him, per People.

“It’s the moments behind closed doors that we’ve shared,” Townsend said. “Whether it’s me complaining about Real Housewives, a political debate or photobombing my Zoom calls. It is all time well spent together.”

CNN host Abby Phillip, “Symone” executive producer Catherine Snyder and activist Deray McKesson were among the high-profile guests at the affair.

Known for her sharp analysis and unapologetically Black commentary style, Sanders quickly blazed her own trail to political prominence, previously serving as a key advisor to the campaigns of Sen. Bernie Sanders and now-President Joe Biden.

Sanders served as chief spokesperson and senior advisor for Vice President Kamala Harris before departing to start her self-titled own show on MSNBC in May.

Sanders told theGrio in May that leaving her White House job was not an easy decision, yet it was one she felt was necessary after growing “tired” of the hustle and bustle of government and campaign work over the years.

“I had spent the last three years hopping on and off planes all over this country for primaries and general elections. And then we went through a transition in the middle of COVID,” Sanders said. “And then I went into the White House hopping on and off planes during COVID…I needed a break.” 

Political consultant Shawn Townsend shares a vow with MSNBC host Symone Sanders before guests at a wedding ceremony Friday. (Credit: Symone Sanders Instagram)

Sanders said she also needed time to plan her wedding with her then-fiancé Townsend. “I wanted to be able to enjoy being engaged. I wanted to really be able to focus on walking into a marriage,” she shared.

After Pastor Dededrick O. Rivers of Ward Memorial AME Church declared Sanders and Townsend husband and wife, the couple jumped the broom, a longstanding tradition at Black weddings.

The newlyweds held their first dance to the R&B ballad “So Into You [Darkchild Main Version]” by Jac Ross featuring D-Nice as attendees enjoyed glasses of champagne, according to People.

Per People, the couple will soon pack their bags and travel to the Mediterranean for a two-week honeymoon in the fall.

theGrio’s Gerren Keith Gaynor contributed to this report.

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