On Love: Joy Purcell weds Kevin Roach

May 4, 2012
Joy Purcell & Kevin Roach

Joy Purcell, 29, is a lawyer for Children’s Law Center. Kevin Roach, also 29, is a lawyer for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. They live in Washington’s Mount Vernon Triangle neighborhood.

Wedding date: April 7

Location: Carnegie Institution for Science, Washington


Joy Purcell and Kevin Roach at their wedding reception at the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington, D.C., on April 7, 2012. (Brooke Bready Photography)

Guests: 115

How they met: Roach and Purcell sat next to each other in eighth-grade English class in Marietta, Ga. She caught his attention and admiration when he saw her reading “The Diary of Anne Frank” instead of listening to a grammar lesson. In high school, they went to prom together and, a few weeks later, he asked her to be his girlfriend. They subsequently attended the same college and law school, and moved to Washington together in 2008.

The proposal: They were walking through a grove of cherry trees at the National Arboretum on April 2, 2010, when Roach dropped to one knee and said, “Joy, I wanted to bring you to the most beautiful place that I know to ask you if you would do me the honor of marrying me?” When he gave her the ring, Purcell prompted him to put it on her finger.

The wedding: They chose to wed on April 7, the same date on which they officially became a couple more than a decade earlier. They both love jazz and asked a friend who is a professional pianist to play jazz tunes for the processional. Tables were named after famous musicians such as Duke Ellington. The couple had taken dance lessons and showed off their fancy fox-trot steps to Chet Baker’s “Let’s Get Lost.” For late-night snacks, the offerings included mini peach pies and cheesecakes, as well as Cuban sandwiches — foods representative of Georgia, New York and Florida, the places where they had lived in the past 11 years.

The honeymoon: Since the two are Spanish speakers and were Latin American studies majors in college, they toured Mexico, with stops in Cuernavaca, Zihuatanejo and Mexico City. They most enjoyed the urban feel of Mexico City , where they explored small neig hborhoods, took walking tours and dined on first-rate food.

More Weddings and Engagements:

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Engagement stories: Upload a photo and share the story of your marriage proposal

Timeline: When and how to plan your wedding

Getting married in the Washington area? Tell us your story to be featured in On Love.

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