Real Wedding: Kathryn and Adam

Snowmageddon, a hot air balloon, and a reception that featured a “Hail to the Redskins”–themed hora all play a part in this couple’s story.

Kathryn and Adam on their wedding day on July 6, 2013. All photographs by Irene Abdou Photography.

It took a literal storm for Kathryn Donohue and Adam Freedenberg to meet. Despite attending the same high school and sharing acquaintances, the two never crossed paths until after college, when the infamous 2010 Snowmageddon prompted them to join mutual friends and seek refuge at Bethesda’s BlackFinn restaurant. The two instantly connected, and soon after had their first date at Black’s Bar & Kitchen, also in Bethesda.

For the couple’s second anniversary, Adam, a certified public accountant, planned a proposal to remember. He decided to whisk Kathryn away for a weekend in Charlottesville, where he arranged a wine-tasting tour followed by a romantic picnic. But it was during a private hot air balloon ride over the mountains that Adam decided to pop the question. “We toasted 1,200 feet up with Champagne; it was the most magical day in the entire world,” says Kathryn, a middle school teacher. A year later, an elegant wedding at the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel paid tribute to the couple’s Maryland roots as well as the intersection of their Catholic and Jewish faiths.


Photographer: Irene Abdou Photography

Wedding Venue/Caterer: Bethesda North Marriott Hotel and Conference Center

Event Coordinator: Randi Jacobs, Bethesda North Marriott Hotel

Bride’s Gown: Jenny Yoo, Love Couture Bridal

Groom’s Tux: Black by Vera Wang, Men’s Wearhouse

Hair: KC Felton Bridal Hair

Makeup: Jan Scott

Wedding Cocktail: Shirley I Do spiked Shirley Temple

Cake: Lilly Magilly’s Cupcakery

Florist: Edge Flowers

Wedding Flowers: White hydrangeas, Anna roses, Eskimo roses, blush garden roses, dusty miller, soft pink hydrangeas, white stock, Tibet roses, green hypericum berries, baby green hydrangeas, and soft pink stock

Music/Entertainment: Sage String Quartet for ceremony, Retrospect Band for reception

First Dance Song: “Smile” by Uncle Kracker

Invitations: William Arthur, Papyrus

Photo Booth: Event Share

Bride’s Favorite Wedding Detail: The flowers and the wedding band. “Edge outdid themselves and made everything look so beautiful. My breath was taken away when I first saw the ceremony and reception space. And the band were so great at getting everyone out on the dance floor and making sure everyone had an amazing time.”

Groom’s Favorite Wedding Detail: The mashed potato and cigar bars

Biggest Surprise of the Wedding: “The biggest surprise for us at the wedding was how smoothly our interfaith ceremony and all the traditions went,” says Kathryn. “I was raised Catholic and Adam was raised Jewish, and we were really careful when planning to make sure both sides were represented. We knew we wanted to include the traditional hora, but were not sure how it would go. It was the best decision we made; everyone in the entire room was on the dance floor. We also included our favorite team in the hora—they merged in ‘Hail to the Redskins’ as it played.”

Wedding Favors: Kathryn says, “Because we had a cigar bar and a signature cocktail, we had special napkins and matchboxes made with our names on them. Many of the other favors had a Maryland theme. For example, the hotel goodie bags included a small container of Old Bay, two bottles of Maryland wine from Linganore Winery in Mount Airy, beer from Flying Dog Brewery in Frederick, and saltwater taffy from Ocean City. We also ended the night with a popcorn station that came from Fishers Popcorn in Ocean City.”

Wedding Theme: Simple elegance with hints of Maryland

Four Words That Describe the Wedding: Romantic, memorable, exciting, and filled with love

Honeymoon Spot: Maui, Hawaii

Where They Currently Live: Bethesda