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Nuptials: Jess McCann & Erik Ballagh

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Sunday, October 17, 2010

Jess McCann, 33, is a dating coach and the author of "You Lost Him at Hello: A Saleswoman's Secrets to Closing the Deal With Any Guy You Want." Erik Ballagh, 30, is an engineer. They live in Falls Church.

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Wedding date: Sept. 11

Location: Kingsmill Resort, Williamsburg

Guests: 180

How they met: After penning a dating book that advocates using sales techniques to land a man, Jess found herself fielding questions about her own relationship status (single). She resolved to start taking her own advice. In September 2008, she and a pal went to Arlington's Liberty Tavern for happy hour. At the next table: Erik and his friends. Jess told her friend to spark a conversation by asking for a menu.

The proposal: Last December, the couple were in the car about to leave home for a holiday party when Erik went back inside to get his wallet. He took so long that Jess went in after him -- and found flowers, candles and Erik on one knee. The holiday party? It was actually an engagement party.

The wedding: Jess wanted a destination wedding. Erik didn't. So they compromised with Kingsmill Resort in Williamsburg, where they married outdoors, by the James River. The romantic reception's look focused on layers of white and lots of texture, from Jess's flowing organza gown to fluffy peonies and white umbrellas for the guests.

The honeymoon: The newlyweds split 10 days in Hawaii between the islands of Maui and the more secluded Lanai.

-- Michelle Thomas


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