Simon Sanders Surprise Wedding.

MSNBC’s Symone Sanders Weds Shawn Townsend in Surprise D.C. Ceremony — Even the Guests Were Shocked!

Simon Sanders Surprise Wedding.

Simon Sanders Surprise Wedding.

credit: friends and family

Simone D. Sanders is having a banner year – first as the anchor of her own show, now as a pretty bride!

The MSNBC host said “I do” at a surprise wedding ceremony in Washington, D.C., on Friday afternoon after her year-long engagement to Shawn Townsend. The pair started their happily ever after at the historic Large Anderson House on Embassy Row.

In May, Sanders told PEOPLE that she and Townsend planned to wed in Mexico this summer, but it looks like the busy host made other plans.

Surrounded by nearly 100 friends and family members—only a few of whom knew they were attending a wedding—the couple exchanged vows, with Townsend telling the bride to “ride or die.”

related: Simone Sanders talks White House life, ‘Anchor Boot Camp’ for her new show and her summer wedding plans

“It’s the moments behind closed doors that we’ve shared,” Townsend continued. “Is it complaining to me real housewives, a political debate or photobombing of my zoom call. All this time together is well spent.”

Sanders vowed to “always be there” for her new husband. “To put it simply, you are the best man I know,” she said. “I’m so grateful for everything that you are. You’ve always been the most profound person. You’re so kind. You’re so loved.”

Simon Sanders Surprise Wedding.

Simon Sanders Surprise Wedding.

credit: friends and family

Cheers met the newlyweds when Ward Memorial AME Church pastor Dededric O. Rivers, a close friend and advisor to the couple, officially declared the couple husband and wife.

Mr and Mrs Townsend then jumped off the broom to seal the union, a common practice at black weddings.

Later that evening additional guests gathered, hoping to celebrate the couple’s engagement, but were surprised when the pair were announced as “Mr and Mrs. Sean Townsend”.

At the ceremony were fellow media professionals and political advisers, including CNN’s Abby Phillips and MSNBC’s Katherine Snyder, who executive produces the Sanders Show. simone,

Simon Sanders Surprise Wedding.

Simon Sanders Surprise Wedding.

credit: friends and family

Guests sipped champagne and praised the couple in Anthony Hamilton’s “Best of Me” during their first dance.

In the fall, Mr. and Mrs. Townsend will begin a two-week Mediterranean honeymoon. For now, they will enjoy the newlyweds’ life in Washington, D.C.

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Although it looks like Sanders deviated from the plans she made this spring, one thing that didn’t change was the intimacy of the ceremony.

“I’m very, very excited about the moon,” Sanders told PEOPLE then. “It will be a small wedding. I know people are probably expecting a big, big bang thing, but it will be our immediate circle, our friends and family.”

related: Simone Sanders, Kamala Harris’ Former Chief Spokesperson, to Host Her Own Show on MSNBC

Simon Sanders Surprise Wedding.  https://www.instagram.com/p/CfnKGMPgSyJ/?hl=en.

Simon Sanders Surprise Wedding. https://www.instagram.com/p/CfnKGMPgSyJ/?hl=en.

Simone Sanders / Instagram

Sanders and Townsend are a political power couple in the nation’s capital.

Sanders spent many years in politics and working on cable TV simoneThe presidential campaigns ran for Bernie Sanders in 2016 from the office of Omaha mayor and now-president Joe Biden in 2020, before serving on its transition team and then as chief spokesperson and senior adviser to Vice President Kamala Harris.

Townsend formerly served as director of the DC Mayor’s Office of Nightlife and Culture, aka the “Night Mayor”.

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