Courtney Manders, who runs a marketing firm, and Edward(Eddie) Ross, who pilots Cobras for the Marines, met in the summer of 2013, when she was working at a nonprofit and he was stationed at Quantico. They connected through a popular dating app (“You could say he swiped me off my feet,” she jokes), and were smitten at their first meeting: dinner at Old Ebbitt Grill followed by a walk around the Mall and gelato in Georgetown. “We found comfort in our commonalities: middle-child syndrome, strong Catholic faith, a love for American history, and a dream of travel to Italy,” Courtney says. They spent every weekend together before Eddie jetted off to flight school, and dated long distance for three years before he proposed over a nightcap at Quill in the Jefferson hotel. (See their engagement session, here!)
For their November wedding, they took inspiration from the magnolia tree Courtney and her sister planted as kids in their Florida back yard. Bold blooms and glossy leaves appeared everywhere from the invitation suite to the centerpieces. Another reference to Courtney’s Florida childhood: the raw bar with Apalachicola oysters. The Bachelor Boys Band kept loved ones on the dance floor long into the night, and as the newlyweds took their leave, guests waved the flags of Florida and Connecticut, Eddie’s home state. The pair made their Italian-adventure dream a reality when they set off to honeymoon in Rome, Borro, Florence, and Montepulciano.
“With such a transient courtship,” Courtney says,“it was important for us to have a ceremony and reception that represented where we came from.” They chose Annapolis—home toEddie’s alma mater, the Naval Academy, and near DC, where the two fell in love.