Real Wedding: Susanna and Peter

Instead of a guest book, this couple opted for “keys to happiness.”

Susanna and Peter on their wedding day in Baltimore. All photographs by Muriel Silva Photography.

With a first date at Dupont Circle’s Veritas wine bar, a proposal in Virginia, and a scenic Baltimore wedding, Susanna Samet and Peter Lalla’s romance has encompassed most of the region. The couple met during a fundraiser in Washington for Indego Africa, a social enterprise nonprofit benefiting women artisans in Rwanda. After a love-filled courtship, the groom, an assistant US Attorney, chose bucolic Charlottesville, Virginia, as the setting when he was ready to pop the question. “Peter rented us a cabin and proposed by a stream after a day of hiking and wine-tasting,” says the bride, a public policy manager. For personal touches during the wedding, guests were asked to share stories of the couple, as well as write their thoughts on the key to happiness, with unity, patience, and partnership in mind. Susanna and Peter’s nuptials took place May 27, 2012, at the stunning Evergreen Museum and Library grounds in Baltimore.


Photographer: Muriel Silva Photography

Wedding Venue: Evergreen Museum and Library

Bride’s Gown: Priscilla of Boston

Groom’s Tux: Custom

Hair/Makeup: About Faces Day Spa and Salon

Caterer: Linwoods

Cake: In lieu of cake, the couple opted for a bar of chocolate desserts, which the groom loves, and fruit-oriented sweets, which the bride prefers.

Florist: Julie Wit Cummings, Julie’s Floral Design

Wedding Flowers: Peonies, ranunculuses, calla lilies, dusty miller, poppy pods

Music/Entertainment: MyDeejay

First Dance Song: “Can’t Get Enough of Your Love” by Barry White

Invitations: The Pleasure of Your Company, Vera Wang

Biggest Surprise of the Wedding: “We designed our ceremony and asked seven friends to contribute readings that reflected a value that was important to us (family, intellectual curiosity, patience, joy and laughter, adventure and exploration, community and friendship, and partnership). We didn’t know what anyone would share until the ceremony. Our friends came up with a mix of beautiful contributions, and we loved being surprised by what each had to share with us.”

Favorite Wedding Detail: “We had antique keys placed at every place setting with a quote about marriage or happiness. We asked all of our friends and family to share a message with their ‘key(s) to happiness’ instead of signing a guest book.”

Wedding Theme: Casual elegance—“maybe a cliché, but we wanted people to be comfortable but treated to an elegant evening, as well.”

Four Words That Describe the Wedding: Intimate, personalized, relaxed, celebratory

Honeymoon Spot: Bali

Where They Currently Live: Logan Circle, Washington, DC