The Engagement Ring Was Nearly Stolen The Week This Groom Planned to Propose

Kellie Dwyer’s bridal portrait graces the cover of Washingtonian Bride & Groom’s Winter 2017 cover, and here you’ve got the chance to peek inside the full day of her wedding to Aksel Yavalar. Take a look at their Maryland celebration in the photos below by Anna Reynal Photography

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After meeting at York College, Kellie and Aksel’s first date in February was cancelled when a blizzard blew into town. Rather than rescheduling, the pair were just friends through the rest of their schooling. Though they didn’t stay in touch for a few years after college, when they met up once more at an alumni event in New York City, the sparks flew once more. Soon after, Kellie invited Aksel to her 24th birthday party, where they shared a first kiss and set them up for a first date.









Three and a half years later, Kellie and her parents planned to combine a trip to California for a wedding with a celebration of Aksel’s 30th birthday. They flew in the week before the wedding and set about site seeing. While exploring San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf with Aksel’s sister, their car was broken into and Kellie and Aksel’s bags were stolen. “It could have been worse,” Aksel’s sister said. Later in the week, Kellie finally understood Aksel’s sister’s response when Aksel pulled out a ring and proposed: “It could have been worse,” because though they’d lost some bags, the ring hadn’t been stolen with them.











Over a year later, the pair celebrated with a June wedding at a private home in Maryland. After their outdoor ceremony overlooking the water, the newlyweds recessed up the aisle under a shower of rose petals that had been saved from bouquets Aksel had given Kellie over the years.




Custom Solo cups with a drawing the Natty Boh logo figure proposing to the Utz’s chips logo girl were used to serve beer from a beer stand made by the bride’s father. After cutting into their raspberry vanilla bean cake and dancing to Frank Sinatra, the newlywed’s magical night came to a close as they set sights on their next journey: a honeymoon in Thailand.


Venue: Private Estate | Photographer: Anna Reynal Photography | Event Planner: Lemon & Lime Event Design | Bride’s Gown: Casablanca, Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo | Groom’s Attire: Suitsupply | Hair Dresser: Ashley Riddle of Up Do’s For I Do’s and Erika Fitzpatrick (colorist) of Oscar Blandi | Makeup Artist: Julia of Up Do’s For I Do’s | Cake: Sweet Hearts Patisserie | Florist: Cache Fleur | Caterers: Rouge Fine Catering | Transportation: An Extraordinar Limousine Service Inc. | Videographer: Just Hitched Films | Music/Entertainment: Hero Entertainment | Rentals: Party Plus Tents & Events | Weekend-of Paper Goods: Highwing Creative Co. | Calligrapher: Anchor Point Paper Co.

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Associate Editor

Caroline Cunningham joined Washingtonian in 2014 after moving to the DC area from Cincinnati, where she interned and freelanced for Cincinnati Magazine and worked in content marketing. She currently resides in College Park.