Sarah Raybin Portlock and Samuel Louis Fellman are to be married Sunday afternoon at Miller Chapel at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis. Rabbi Joshua Sherwin will officiate the ceremony, with a reception to follow at the William Paca House and Garden.
Sarah, 27, is a reporter at the Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones Newswires. She graduated from New York University in 2007. She is the daughter of Nancy Raybin and William Portlock. Her mother is a fundraising and management consultant at Marts and Lundy, and her father is senior educator at Chesapeake Bay Foundation. Sam, 33, is a senior staff reporter at the Navy Times. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 2002. He is the son of Deborah Awde and David Fellman. His father is retired; he formerly ran the UnPainted Place, a Minneapolis furniture manufacturer and retail store, for 42 years.
The couple met in 2009 while pursuing masters’ degrees at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Sam, then an intern for Harper’s Magazine, was instantly attracted to Sarah. “All my friends seemed to think I worked at Harper’s Bazaar, the fashion magazine, but when I told Sarah where I was working, she knew right off the bat. I immediately recognized a kindred spirit, who fortunately had a beautiful smile, to boot.”
A two-year long-distance relationship followed graduation in 2010. Sam was working at the Navy Times in Old Town Alexandria; Sarah was covering real estate for The Star-Ledger in Newark, New Jersey. On May 4, 2012, Sarah was offered a post in Washington—the same day, as fate would have it, that Sam would propose. Now the couple enjoys exploring the Washington area together. “We love riding our bikes along the Mount Vernon bike trail and also around Beach Drive. We love how accessible Washington is—we have all the benefits of a major city without the grime, hassle, and crowds,” says Sarah.
When it came planning their wedding, Sarah says the hardest thing was to establish priorities, mind the intersecting opinions of two merging families, and keep their personal vision for what they truly wanted on their big day, which essentially came down to three things: a beautiful waterside setting, great food, and a bluegrass band. “Planning a wedding is great practice for being married. It’s hard work; it takes a lot of time and communication and patience and healthy compromise. But at the end of the day you’re married, the party is wonderful, and you’re with your best friend,” she says.
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