On Love

Nuptials: Sarah Kapenstein & Joe Maiellano

(Cramer Photo)
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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Sarah Kapenstein, 24, works in public relations. Joe Maiellano, 25, is a political fundraising consultant. They live in Arlington.

Wedding date: Oct. 2

Location: Philip Carter Winery in Hume, Va.

Guests: 130

How they met: Sarah and Joe were a year apart at the same high school in Philadelphia but didn't meet until his freshman year at the University of Pennsylvania. Sarah's senior government class offered extra credit for students who attended a political debate at the university; Joe went along to visit with some younger friends. After the debate, the two hit it off over pizza and pool.

The proposal: A dog, a condo and seven years later, Joe told Sarah he was taking her to New York for a weekend trip. The real destination: Venice, Italy. Sarah found out the true plans at the airport check-in, when airline staff mentioned their final destination. Once in Venice, Joe proposed in a garden believed to be a favorite date spot of Casanova.

The wedding: Sarah and Joe's retro-inspired affair mixed classic elements (a black-and-white checkered dance floor, a standards-playing jazz band) with personalized details (game-based hors d'ouevres and a bridal toast with prosecco, both nods to Joe's hunting Italian family).

The honeymoon: Joe had always wanted to marry at the Stanley Hotel in Colorado, so Sarah planned a honeymoon to the historic Estes Park hotel as a surprise, leaving clues in the year leading up to the trip. While there, the newlyweds also took day trips to the nearby Colorado cities Fort Collins and Boulder, and to Cheyenne, Wyo.

-- Michelle Thomas

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