Congratulations are in order for MSNBC host Symone Sanders. After a year-long engagement, Sanders said “I Do” to Shawn Townsend in a beautiful surprise ceremony at the historic Larz Anderson House on Embassy Row in Washington, D.C.
Only a few guests knew the couple was getting married when they exchanged vows in front of an intimate group of family and friends. Pastor Dededrick O. Rivers, of Ward Memorial AME Church, a close friend and advisor of the couple, officiated the ceremony. As the couple exchanged vows, Townsend called Sanders his “ride or die.” “It’s the moments behind closed doors that we’ve shared … whether it’s me complaining about Real Housewives, a political debate or photobombing my Zoom calls. It is all time well spent together,” he laughed.
Sanders expressed her appreciation for her new love saying, “To put it simply, you’re the best man I know. I will always be here for you. I’m very grateful just for everything that you are. You have always just been the most thorough person. You are so kind. You are so loving.”
Later that evening, the new Mr. and Mrs. Townsend celebrated with even more guests from across the country, including CNN’s Abby Phillips, Opal Vadhan, Remi Yamamoto, Tammy Haddad, Minyon Moore, Maude Okrah, Alencia Johnson, Amos Joseph, MSNBC Executive Producer Catherine Snyder, Malcom Thomas and Brittany Ruff. The pair’s first dance was So Into You by Jac Ross featuring D-Nice (Darkchild Version).
Townsend and Sanders were introduced by former South Carolina legislator and political analyst Bakari Sellers in 2019. The pair got engaged on Easter Sunday, 2021 – an already celebratory day for the couple that now carries even more meaning.
Mr. and Mrs. Townsend have plans to honeymoon in the Mediterranean in the fall. For now, they’ll enjoy life as newlyweds in Washington, D.C.