Kaitlyn and Stephen say they immediately “clicked” when they began working together at a software company in Sterling after both graduating from James Madison University. After dating for five years, Stephen proposed at Meridian Park, and the pair planned a DC wedding. But thousands of baked cookies (guest favors!), two postponements (three different wedding dates!), and one venue change later, the pair said “I do” at a micro-wedding in Annapolis. Read on for their story.
Get more Washingtonian Weddings inspo:
Kaitlyn, a management consultant from Crofton, and Stephen, a project manager from Pittsburg, met on their first day of work at a software company in Sterling. “We were both new college hires and graduated from James Madison University the same year, but we never knew or met each other at JMU,” says Kaitlyn. “We clicked right away.”
There is some discrepancy about their official first date, but, Kaitlyn insists, it was sharing nachos at Ragtime in Arlington. The pair dated for five years before Stephen proposed at Meridian Hill Park on December 8, 2018.
“We always go outdoor ice skating around the holidays, it became a tradition of ours,” says Kaitlyn. This particular year, Stephen suggested ice skating earlier in the year than usual, so the pair went ice skating in Pentagon City and then got in an Uber to head downtown under the guise of checking out a new barbecue spot for lunch.
“Stephen started walking us through Meridian Hill Park and told me the BBQ place was right through the park. He ended up stopping in front of the foundation… then he got down on one knee to propose.” Stephen had arranged for their friends to be hiding in the park taking photos, and afterwards, they met their families for a a celebratory lunch.
And for yet one more surprise, Stephen planned a post-lunch surprised party with more loved ones at their house.
“The house was decorated by our friends and there was catering from one of our favorite restaurants in Arlington, Arlington Kabob. It was a special day shared with our families and closest friends,” says Kaitlyn. “The proposal day was similar to how our wedding planned out to be, now looking back.”
The Wedding Plans
Kaitlyn and Stephen had planned to marry on April 4, 2020 at the National Museum of Women in the Arts, but postponed their wedding (twice) due to Covid. (The couple had originally planned for a “Pittsburg cookie table,” for which Stephen’s grandmother had baked literally thousands of cookies. The cookies were frozen, and eventually delivered to some family and friends, enjoyed at home, and donated to a shelter in Pittsburgh.)
Another postponement, a venue change, and a reduced guest list (from 135 to 25) later, the couple got ready at the Grand Hyatt in DC, shared a first look at the Lincoln Memorial, and then married at the Annapolis Maritime Museum in Maryland on March 20, 2021.
The Wedding Day
The couple chose a palette of gold, light pinks, white, cream, and green for a design they called “modern, classy, and romantic.”
Kaitlyn’s favorite details was the head table and the florals she says “made everything feel so romantic and dreamy.” Stephens favorite detail as the Annapolis Trolley, which transported the newlyweds and their guests around Annapolis at the end of the evening.
The menu—prioritized by the couple, who say they enjoy cooking together at home—featured appetizers of tacos and tequila, truffle mac and cheese lollipops, spicy tuna, mini chicken corn blue bites, and more. the first course was a goat-cheese stuffed strawberry salad, and for the main course, sliced tenderloin with wild mushroom risotto and grilled asparagus, and pan-roasted salmon with wild rice pilaf.
Dessert included a vanilla pound cake with raspberry jam, plus mini cannolis, key lime pie, tiramisu, and fruit cake.
For favors, the newlyweds gifted guests with face masks, hand sanitizer, and to-go dessert boxes. As a special touch, the couple had guests sign a big champagne bottle that they’ll open on their first anniversary.
The newlyweds, who live in Falls Church, honeymooned in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Photographer: Jennie Raff Photography | Venue: Annapolis Maritime Museum | Event Planning & Designer: 2Hands Studios | Florist: Floret + Vine | Invitations: Shine Wedding Invitations; Minted | Catering: Spilled Milk Catering | Cake: Heidelberg Pastry Shoppe | Hair & Makeup: Carola Myers | Bride’s Attire: Matthew Christopher, Love Couture Bridal | Groom’s Attire: Calvin Klein, Jos. A. Bank | Bridesmaids’ Attire: BHLDN | Groomsmen’s Attire: Calvin Klein, Jos. A. Bank | Music: Bachelor Boys Band | Transportation: Annapolis Bus Company; Limousines, Inc. | Videographer: Bowen Films (watch: https://mediazilla.com/62HXkovZwC) | Rings: Ascot Diamonds | Getting Ready Venue: Grand Hyatt Washington | Rentals: Honeywood Rentals (arbor); 2Hands Studios (table numbers, signage, menus, bar); DC Rental (linens, tableware, silverware, ghost chairs)