Kathleen Youngblood, 35, is director of political affairs at the National Apartment Association in Arlington. Brad Gamble, 46, is a senior bartender at Charlie Palmer Steak. They live in Belle Haven, Va.
Wedding date: Jan. 14
Location: Bucuti and Tara Beach Resorts, Aruba
How they met: While having a drink at Charlie Palmer in December 2009, Youngblood struck up a conversation with Gamble and invited him to a holiday gathering. They got to know one another better at the party. For their first official date, they dined at Mendocino Grille and saw a show at the Kennedy Center.
The proposal: The two had discussed marriage, and Feb. 18, 2011, was a rare night off for Gamble. He suggested dinner at Tosca, their favorite restaurant. During dessert, he placed a small box on the table and asked, “So, you still want to get married?” Seeing Youngblood’s stunned look, he joked, “Do you want to see what’s inside, or should we order coffee?”
The wedding: They planned a small, intimate wedding in Aruba with family and close friends. The ceremony was held on the beach under an organza-draped arch, followed by a shore-side dinner that included tuna tartare, duck salad and a three-tier wedding cake. Instead of signing a book, Youngblood and Gamble gave their guests self-addressed postcards, asking them to write back with reminders of the day.
The honeymoon: After the wedding, they changed suite rooms, making them feel as if they were in an entirely new place. One of the highlights of the vacation was a sailboat voyage that stopped at three locations for snorkeling.