Weddings

How They Met: An Unlikely First Meeting at Kramerbooks Led to Love for a Congressional Staffer and a Lobbyist

Jason Geske and Patrick Wilson wed in November of 2017 in Washington, DC.
All Photography by Ronald Flores of RFDCPHOTO

Browsing the travel section at DC’s Kramerbooks in 2009, Jason Geske struck up a conversation with Patrick Wilson, whom he says he found both funny and—as a Republican and an Army officer—“slightly exotic.” Patrick, on the other hand, thought Jason was too young to date, noting with disbelief that he had never been to a hockey game. This could never work! But after getting to know each other by text, they agreed after several weeks to meet for drinks at a Cleveland Park sports bar.

Later that year at a family wedding in New Jersey, Jason came out to his loved ones by bringing Patrick as his date, one of the defining moments the couple would face together. The military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy prevented the couple from formalizing their relationship, but they persevered through a first deployment. When it was time to gear up for another—Patrick’s yearlong stint in Iraq—they decided to celebrate New Year’s Eve and all that was to come at the Greenbrier in West Virginia. As midnight struck, Patrick presented Jason with a ring and asked that he wait for him while he was overseas.

Nine years later, Jason, a congressional staffer, and Patrick, a lobbyist, finally celebrated their nuptials—a simple standing ceremony in the Hay-Adams’s mahogany-paneled dining room. “There was laughter, tears, and amazing warmth from all of our guests—more people mentioned the vows than the expensive dinner and dancing details that we’d sweated over for weeks,” Patrick says. One of the special touches that no one could overlook: a tiered “cake” made of various fine cheeses, served with an assortment of ports and spirits from around the world, and accompanied by a cigar to savor the evening.

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Jason Geske & Patrick Wilson | Ronald Flores rfdcphoto | Jason Geske & Patrick Wilson | Ronald Flores rfdcphotoJason&Patrick-5
Jason Geske & Patrick Wilson | Ronald Flores rfdcphoto | Jason Geske & Patrick Wilson | Ronald Flores rfdcphotoJason&Patrick-5.1

The Details

Photography: Ronald Flores, RFDCPHOTO | Venue: The Hay-Adams Washington | Event Planning & Design: Ida Rose Events | Florist: Stem and Thistle | Caterer: The Hay-Adams | Cake: Buttercream Bakeshop | Jason’s attire: Armani | Patrick’s attire: Joseph Abboud tuxedo, Vintage Smoking Jacket | Music: Bachelor Boys Band | Cigar Roller: Castañeda Cigars | Favors: W. Curtis Draper Tobacconist

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Assistant Editor

Hayley is an Associate Editor at Washingtonian Weddings. Previously she was the the Style Editor at The Local Palate, a Southern food culture magazine based out of Charleston, South Carolina. You can follow her on instagram @wandertaste.