Real Wedding: Kristin & Sean Brunett

Sparks flew for this couple, who wed over Fourth of July weekend.

Photographs by Greg Gibson.

Sean and Kristin met in the spring of 2006 while studying abroad in Auckland, New Zealand. What began as a fun friendship full of laughter turned into romance by the end of their trip. Excited about the possibilities, Sean and Kristin decided to embark on a long-distance relationship—with Sean returning to school in Honolulu, Hawaii, and Kristin to Blacksburg, Virginia. Over the next two years, their relationship grew stronger—thanks to Skype and Kristin’s visits to see Sean in Hawaii during spring breaks. After they both graduated in 2008, they moved overseas to London together, where Sean completed his master’s degree at the London School of Economics, and Kristin worked at a marketing research firm. 

In February 2013, Sean surprised Kristin with a trip to Fairbanks, Alaska, to see the Northern Lights—something at the top of both of their bucket lists. They endured the minus 37 degree temperatures while marveling at the beauty of the Northern Lights as they danced through the sky. On that trip, Sean proposed to Kristin, who quickly replied with a “Hell yes I’ll marry you!” 

Sean and Kristin settled on July 5 for their wedding, knowing it was a holiday weekend and could make for a really fun Fourth of July rehearsal dinner with the fireworks in the evening. They secured a venue at Top of the Town in Arlington for the rehearsal dinner, which provided a spectacular view of the show. The wedding followed the next day in Old Ebbitt Grill’s atrium, complete with cocktails on the roof looking out over the White House and the Washington Monument. 

The Details

Wedding Venue and Reception: Old Ebbitt Grill

Wedding Date: July 5, 2014

PhotographerGreg Gibson

Bride’s Hometown: Great Falls, VA

Groom’s Hometown: Honeoye Falls, NY

Bride’s First Impression: “I thought Sean was funny, nice, and always up for a good time.”

Groom’s First Impression: “I thought Kristin was fun, welcoming, and full of life.”

Bride’s Gown: Demetrios, Macy’s

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

Hair and Makeup: Paolina Rios, Modern Bridal Studio

InvitationsWedding Paper Divas

Caterer: Old Ebbitt Grill

Music/Entertainment: Onyx

Bride’s Favorite Detail: “Running out to ‘Enter Sandman’ (Go Hokies!) with my dad instead of a traditional bridal march.” 

Groom’s Favorite Detail: “The whole wedding was a perfect representation of ‘us’ tailored to our story and personalities.”

Biggest Surprise: “The stunning, dragon-stemmed glass toasting glasses hand-blown by the bride’s brother, Robbie Maclay, and the unbelievably perfect weather.”

First Dance Song: “Into the Mystic” by Van Morrison

Four Words That Describe the Wedding: Fun, memorable, personal, perfect

Wedding Favors: Flip flops for the favors, luggage tags for the escort cards, miniature globes for the centerpieces.

Honeymoon Spot: British Virgin Islands and Newport, Rhode Island

Where They Currently Live: Reston, VA