We’ve seen hundreds of weddings in the B.I.O. pages over the past six years, and every year we think we’ve seen it all. Once again, D.C.’s creative brides and grooms proved us wrong. Here are our favorite weddings from 2011, chosen by our B.I.O. team for having that special something that brought smiles to our faces or made our hearts go pitter-patter.
Cake: Athena Kramarius + Forest Allread
A DIY, camp-on-the-beach wedding and a formal cake? That just wouldn’t fly. Too many plates and forks. So for their summer wedding at Assateague Island National Seashore in Maryland, Athena and Forest chose to serve everyone’s favorite childhood dessert: s’mores, plus some extras. “We had s’mores cupcakes, s’mores brownies, and cupcakes the colors of s’mores,” like caramel or peanut butter with white icing, Athena adds. Also present: red velvet whoopie pies from Alexandria’s Buzz Bakery. Forest, who’s “good at coming up with names,” Athena says, named the dessert buffet “Smoresgasbord.” “Our best friends from D.C. picked everything up, then everyone pitched in and set up the table,” Athena says. “And it was devoured within minutes.” Read their original profile.
Music: Michael Dumlao + Daniel Arrieta
“I come from a family of performers who were forced into music school from the time we were fetuses,” says Michael, left. “So I wanted to make sure our music was all live.” Their Montreal wedding (dubbed “Perupino,” a word the couple made up that combines their nationalities, Peruvian and Filipino) kicked off with Michael’s younger brother playing the theme from “Sex and the City” on the trumpet; a cousin performed Snow Patrol’s “Chasing Cars” for the processional, and the reception featured an hour-long cabaret. “And that was after editing,” says Daniel, right. “It could easily have gone on for two hours.” Other selections: the love theme from “Battlestar Galactica” (Daniel’s request), “One Hand, One Heart” from “West Side Story” (Michael’s choice), and a duet of the “Elephant Love Medley” from “Moulin Rouge” — Daniel’s first experience singing in public. “I realize how ‘Glee’ it sounds,” Michael admits, “but all of this is traditional for my family.” Read their original profile.
Proposal: Brianne Burger + Travis Dougherty
Travis owns his own business, DeafTV, so when he suddenly appeared onstage after the final dance in Synetic Theater’s “King Arthur,” Brianne, in the audience, was confused. She assumed he was making a professional announcement and had somehow gotten Synetic’s permission to do so. Then Travis, who is deaf, signed Brianne, also deaf, to come onstage. “I got incredibly nervous and shy,” Brianne says. For the play, the stage was covered in six inches of water, so her nice shoes got soaked. “I assumed [the water] would be lukewarm. WRONG!” Travis says. “I told the actors not to splash her or anything.” Then he announced his love (in sign language), knelt and popped the question. “Then all of the actors splashed us anyway,” he says. Read their original profile.
Dress: Rebecca Cooke + Josh Rodriguez
Rebecca’s parents have always been history buffs. When they moved to Gettysburg, Pa., they “got into the pretty side of re-enactment” — balls and teas, not battlefields and blood, Rebecca says. “I got interested in it because I saw the pictures, and what girl doesn’t like to play dress-up?” While most people might think a flowing white gown counts as dress-up, Rebecca took it a step further with a Civil War era-style gown that her mother had sewn for her. Rebecca’s mother and one guest also came in period dress. “My family’d never seen anything like it,” Josh says. “It was really nice to have a wedding a bit different than you’re used to. This made it kind of neat,” he says. Though Josh has participated in re-enactment balls before, he got off easy for the wedding: “I’m glad she didn’t make me [dress up],” he says. “I wore a Men’s Wearhouse suit.” Read their original profile.
Readings: Jillian Levine-Sisson + Scott McCormick
How do Trekkies celebrate their love? In Klingon, obviously. Though Jillian’s parents requested a traditional ceremony, during the reception, two friends delivered a dinner blessing in the fictional alien tongue. The Shakespearean sonnet and a passage from “King John” were translated by Marc Okrand, the linguist who developed Klingon, who happens to be an acquaintance of Scott’s. One could even say the couple’s love was written in the stars: On their first date, Jillian told Scott, “I did some spying on you on Facebook. I know you’re a Star Trek fan, but I’m a fan of [spin-off] ‘Deep Space Nine.’” “I was like, ‘Who says that? DS9 fans are a rare breed.’” Read their original profile.
Theme: Alli Bottoms + Mark Hoffman
Disclaimer: Alli and Mark were never in B.I.O. They appeared in DC Rider, our transit column, because they met on Metro. Mark accidentally boarded Blue instead of Orange, and Alli almost sat in his lap by mistake. They themed their wedding accordingly, with handmade centerpieces that looked like station pylons and save-the-date cards resembling Metro tickets. Alli even found, on Etsy, cuff links made from Metro tokens. The wedding location: Charlottesville, Va. “Nobody could take the Metro there,” Alli says sadly. Read their original profile.
We analyzed the 130 couples who appeared in B.I.O. in 2011:
Best Places to Meet
Bars: 15 percent
Work: 13 percent
College: 12 percent
Through a friend: 12 percent
Online: 10 percent
High school: 4 couples
Middle school: 1 couple
Church: four couples
Vacation: four couples
Drinks: 11 percent
Dinner: 58 percent
Popular first-date dinner spots: Cheesecake Factory, Vapiano, Carrabbas Italian Grill, a football game, his place (if he can cook)
At home: 13 percent
Within site of the monuments: four couples
On a jog: two couples
At the National Christmas Tree: two couples
Her birthday: eight couples
Christmas: four couples
His birthday: two couples
Their birthday: one couple
Photo Credit: Brian Nguyen; Courtesy the couple; Nony Dutton of Quaker Studio Photography; C. Stanley Photography; Kaitlyn Rodriguez; Jodi Miller Photography