Brittany Frank, 26, is a student at West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine. Misha Smirnov, 27, is pursuing a PhD in neuroscience at Georgetown University. They live in Rosslyn.
Wedding date: June 23
Location: Mount Hope Farm, Bristol, R.I.
How they met: The two were working at the National Institutes of Health in Baltimore during the summer of 2007 and met at a happy hour for research assistants. Smirnov was dating someone at the time. At another happy hour six months later, both were single. They had a few beers, played trivia and shared a first kiss.
The proposal: The couple traveled to Aruba for a romantic getaway in December 2010. Frank fell ill, but after two days of not leaving the hotel room, Smirnov persuaded her to go to the beach for photos. He set up an automatic timer, ran over to where Frank was standing, got on one knee and presented the ring as the flash went off. Her “Yes!” was caught on camera.
The wedding: Smirnov was born in Moscow, and at the end of the ceremony, he and Frank exchanged pieces of bread dipped in salt. According to a Russian tradition, the salt stands for flavor in life, the bread for sustenance. The reception tables were appointed with centerpieces of hydrangeas and stargazer lilies arranged by Frank. For wedding favors, the couple infused vodka with raspberry, bottled it and labeled it “Smirnov Vodka.”
The honeymoon: The couple took a short trip to Puerto Rico and stayed on the outskirts of the El Yunque rain forest, where they hiked in the jungle and swam in waterfalls. They are heading to Thailand in December for a longer vacation.