~ 40 photos with narrative
How we met
I was working as a consultant when Dan
contracted me to do some work for his company. I worked in his office for
a number of months, and then was asked back as a full-time employee. After
1 year of employment, I left to go back to college to obtain my life-long
dream of a college degree. We started dating and became engaged almost 3
Dan's big family Christmas celebration
is on Christmas Eve. On the morning of December 24, 2001, we went to the
town of Great Falls for breakfast. On the way back, he asked if I wanted
to go for a walk at Great Falls Park.
I reminded him that I was dressed up [as is
my custom on holidays] in vintage heels and a dress. The air was brisk as
we walked to the first overlook at the Falls. He urged me to the railing
where you could overlook the Falls, but I backed away because of my
vertigo. [Unbeknownst to me, he wanted to kneel, but was trying to avoid
the frozen puddle at our feet]. Because I had backed up, he had to kneel
where I stood. He took my hand while kneeling on one knee, and asked me to
marry him! I was surprised and wondered if he was for real. He had hinted
at popping the question several times before, and each time I asked "is
this real" and he would say no. I just assumed this was one of those
moments, so I asked him, "is this for real?" He said, "yes!" I was too
stunned to reply. After several moments, he said, "and your answer is..."
[as the icy water worked it's way up his pant leg...remember, I didn't
realize that he was kneeling in a frozen puddle]. I said yes, with tears
in my eyes. He stood up and THEN removed a LARGE blue box from his
I didn't know that he'd gotten me a ring,
and I had said yes without knowing that he had a ring. He had been
carrying the box in his pocket for a week, and I never even noticed!!! A
family arrived at that moment to look at the Falls, and we told them that
we'd just gotten engaged and asked if they would take our picture.
When we arrived at the family
Christmas celebration, we announced our engagement!
And that's the romantic story on how Dan and
Maria got engaged.
Our wedding [and
I wanted a winter candlelight church
wedding. This was the second marriage for both of us, and I had never had
a church wedding, and it meant a lot to me to be married in my new church
home. As a second wedding, I wanted "understated elegance," and that theme
was carried through all the way to my wedding gown. We prepared a small
wedding with 50 attendees.
We wrote our own invitation which
"This day I will marry my best
the one I laugh with, live for, and love
Two lives, two hearts
united forever in
Once we decided on the season of our
wedding, I got to work choosing the colors for the flowers, pew bows etc.
I decided on a dusty rose, pearl ivory, and a beautiful purple iridescent
ribbon to match my maid of honor's favorite color;
which was her gown color too!
I own a vintage wedding gown business,
and I searched for 6 months for the "right" winter wedding gown, and we
choose May 2002 as our wedding date! I sold my favorite wedding gown and
started the search again.
To read the story of my "saved" wedding
gown, go here.
My wonderful 80 year old
We also wrote our own vows, chose
the hymns, and the musical accompaniment.
The Marriage of
Louise & Danny
Lutheran Church of the
May 25, 2002
Jesu, Joy of Man's
Ode to Joy
Honor Sheep May Safely
Canon in D Major
Greeting & Prayer
Psalm 96:1-4, 6, 7
Hymn - Holy, Holy, Holy
Song of Solomon 8:6, 7
Hymn - Oh, for a Thousand Tongues to Sing
The Homily - Pastor
The Rite of Marriage
Declaration of Intentions
Presentation of the Ring
Hymn - Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee
The Wedding March
Finale from Concerto in
The Wedding Participants
Best friend of the Bride
Youngest brother of the Groom
Brother of the Groom
Son of the Bride
Here's the new bride and
Our wedding reception was at
the Sheraton Premiere in Tyson's Corner, Virginia.
Our wedding cake made by the famous
Heidelberg Bakery of Northern Virginia
[pew bows, and bridal bouquet decorated the
The bride's and groom's table [decorated with the pew bows from church!]
Our first dance [view of bride]
First Dance [view
of the groom]
Bride and son dancing
The wedding toast given by the best man
Cutting the cake
Feeding each other cake.
Pictures of Guests
Bill and Mia
Richard and Jennifer
Jeff and Maggie
Kristin and Evan [daughter of the groom, son of the bride]
Bride and one of her best friends,
[L to R] Irene, Lou, and Harriet [Mother
of the groom seated with Uncle, Aunt of Groom]
Jim and Pastor
The cousins together
Tom and Stacey
The whole family!
For our honeymoon we traveled to
San Juan, Puerto Rico, St. John's, and St. Thomas' in the Virgin
Our favorite part of San Juan, was the home of
El Yunque National Forest
as well as the architecture of Old San Juan. The National Forest
was breathtaking, and it was a particular thrill for me, because I worked
for the National Forest Foundation of Washington, DC [the foundation for the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture's Forest
Service] in the 90's.
We stayed at the beautiful
Caribe Hilton in San Juan, home of San Juan's most exclusive beach
[our room overlooked the pool...just like the picture!]
We enjoyed the pool, boating, and the peacocks
and peahens [prevalent in the tropical
In the evenings, we would go for
a walk on the grounds of the Caribe Hotel where the balmy breeze
was best felt near the breakwaters.
Near the National Forest, we
found a wonderful eating place at The Anchor's Inn.
In the Virgin Islands we stayed on the island
of St. John's and traveled across to St. Thomas' for shopping when we were
bored playing. This is the view of our resort as we arrived by
We LOVED the beautiful warm waters!
The most amazing fish too.
The waters in the islands are really as blue as
in the postcards!
When we traveled to St. Thomas for shopping and
sightseeing, we ate at colorful local restaurants like the one
Below is a picture of us as we leave at the end
of wonderful honeymoon!
Dan "The Man" is an entrepreneur in the
Washington, DC metro area with more than 20 years experience as a
contractor for Federal systems integration as well as a consultant. He has
spent his life as an entrepreneur, and started his first company when he
was 19 years old to pay for his college education and help his mom and
teenage brothers. In the 80's and 90's, he was a well-known soccer coach
in his spare time. He has five grown kids from his first marriage, and six
grandchildren. Now he starts his life with a new bride, a border collie
and much, much more!
Maria Louise is in the
renaissance of her life:-) Her
career started right out of high school working for one organization for
nearly 20 years. Then she realized her life-long dream of attending
university and getting her degree. Simultaneous with working on
her degree, Maria has also been an entrepreneur
with two businesses in two very different areas! Her retail business is
vintage gowns and accessories, and her web
business American Web Wizards both
located in the Northern Virginia area. Life has started anew for this
40-something person who found true love late in life with her new husband,