Real Wedding: Stephanie and Johnathon

This groom sent his bride on a proposal scavenger hunt.

By: Irina Grechko

When Stephanie Bui met Johnathon America she was instantly fascinated by his last name—who wouldn’t be? “It was so unique,” says Stephanie, a senior consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton. “He was also one of the smartest and kindest people I had ever met.” At the time the two were in the same Information Technology program at George Mason University; a first date at a steakhouse kicked off their two-year romance.

When it came to the engagement, Johnathon enlisted the help of Stephanie’s sister for a proposal to remember. “I told her that I set up a scavenger hunt to make her feel better after a hard week at work, and her sister was going to drive her around,” says Johnathon, a Linux systems administrator at Blackbird Technologies, Inc. “I wrote a romantic note for each location that contained a clue for the next, with each stop noting something significant to our relationship.” Along the way, Stephanie revisited where they first met, where they had their first date, and other important locations, until she arrived at the last stop and found a note telling her to simply trust her sister for this final step in the hunt.

Stephanie’s sister blindfolded her and transported her to National Cathedral’s rose garden, where Johnathon was waiting. “I put a new iPad in her hands, removed her blindfold, and told her that I knew that she’s been having a rough week so I got her the iPad she had wanted,” says Johnathon. “When she turned it on, the background picture was a collage of both of our families wearing custom T-shirts that spelled ‘Marry Me.’ ” A modern wedding with traditional touches followed 19 months later—and Stephanie became Mrs. America.

Details:

Photographer: Ethan Yang Photography

Wedding Ceremony Venue or Church: Saint Mary Catholic Church

Wedding Reception Venue/ Caterers: Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center

Event Coordinator: Tabitha Roberts, Roberts & Co. EventsĀ 

Bride’s Gown: St. Patrick, Ellie’s Bridal

Hair Dresser: Giselle Chreky, Hair by Giselle

Makeup Artist: Kim Giammaria, Beauty Mark

Groom’s Tux: Hugo Boss

Cake: Kendall’s Cakes

Wedding Cake Flavors: White chocolate lavender and Earl Grey maple

Florist: Petal’s Edge Floral Design

Wedding Flowers: Roses, Dendrobium and Cymbidium Orchids, Eggplant Calla Lilies, Hydrangeas

First Dance Song: “My Love” by Sia

Music/Entertainment: Dan Goldman, Bialek’s Music

Videographer: Hereafter Film

Invitations: Momental Designs

Photobooth: ShutterBooth

Bride’s Favorite Wedding Detail: “I adored the escort card arrangement — it was so unique and beautiful.”

Groom’s Favorite Wedding Detail: “Invitation and reception paper goods. They were hand painted and customized exactly how we wanted them to be. Plus we spent a great deal of time ‘rhinestoning’ them ourselves and everything turned out beautifully.”

Biggest Surprise of the Wedding: “How absolutely gorgeous the sweetheart table looked when put together.”

Wedding Favors: Personalized zombie cookies

Wedding Theme: Modern elegance with a traditional touch

Four Words that Describe the Wedding: Modern, romantic, elegant, and glamorous

Honeymoon Spot: Bermuda

Where the Couple Currently Live: Fairfax, Virginia