Natalie Garagiola, a marketing coordinator for National Geographic Partners, and Eddie Longosz, director of scouting for the Washingtonian Nationals, met working for the Nats, she as an intern and he as a fourth-year employee.
“What started as banter about the office printer turned into friendship,” Natalie says, and eventually, romance.
Eddie finally asked her out while they were in Florida at spring training, and they dined at one of his favorite hidden spots. He also got her attention by stashing a case of Natalie’s favorite iced tea in her desk so she wouldn’t have to buy it every day from the vending machine. Eddie’s surprises, Natalie says, always pay off.
The pair dated for about two-and-a-half years before Eddie surprised her again by showing up at the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, where Natalie was visiting her family, to propose on the day after Christmas. They married one year later.
Their classic winter reception at the Willard took festive inspiration from their shared love of the national pastime. (Natalie’s grandfather was major-league catcher and later television personality Joe Garagiola; her father was general manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks before moving to the MLB commissioner’s office; and Eddie played at the University of Richmond before joining the Nats’ front office.) Custom black-and-gold cocktail napkins read all you need is love and baseball #eddiesgotnattitude.
Reflecting Natalie’s Southwest roots, succulents served as place card holders (and went home with guests as favors), and the late-night menu featured breakfast burritos and churros.