OnLove: The wedding of Leslie Weipert and Luke Diorio
Saturday, February 19, 2011; 3:58 PM
In early 2009, when Leslie Weipert's mom said there was a guy she needed to meet, it prompted some exasperated soul-searching.
"Am I so desperate and lonely that my mother has to set me up on dates?" Weipert wondered.
The Herndon native had been living in New York for a year, and though she loved the city, she found dating there difficult. So after Weipert finished rolling her eyes, she listened to her mom describe the nephew of a colleague.
Luke Diorio was independent, hardworking and, like Weipert, part of a large Catholic family. The 30-year-old intellectual property consultant went out with a lot of women in his 20s but rarely saw those encounters grow into serious relationships. "I'm apparently not very good at dating," he says with a laugh.
Weipert's mom arranged for the exchange of Facebook pictures. Weipert would be in the District in March for work and gave her mother permission to pass her e-mail address to Diorio.
"So I hear I'm supposed to take you out," Diorio teasingly wrote in his first message.
In the week that followed, they e-mailed frequently, talking about their NCAA basketball pools and arranging to go out on the Friday night when Weipert arrived in Washington. "It was relaxed," Weipert says of the exchange. "You could tell there was humor on both sides."
By the time she boarded the train to Washington, she was anxious - not just because it was a blind date, but because the easy e-mail banter had raised her hopes that it might be a good one. Diorio, on the other hand, was playing it cool. In the past he's tended to come on too strong - "My friends wouldn't have been surprised if I'd shown up with a dozen roses and Barry White blasting out of the car," he says - but this time he was at ease and casually greeted Weipert with a hug.
Slipping into his car, she found her jitters subsiding. It felt, she says, like sitting next to "someone I already knew."
They talked for hours over dinner at Zola and never found themselves in the midst of the awkward silences both had come to expect of first dates. Diorio volunteered to drive Weipert to Herndon at the end of the night and asked if they could hang out again.
At home, Weipert, a 29-year-old legal recruiter, crawled into her childhood bed and called her best friend. She excitedly talked about the date for so long that her friend fell asleep on the phone. But when her mom came in the next morning, Weipert feared Diorio hadn't enjoyed their evening as much as she did. "I didn't want my mom to break up with me or tell me that there wasn't going to be a second date," she says. But the only information her mother had was the abbreviated recap Diorio gave his aunt: "She's even more beautiful than her picture," he said.
Their second date, five days later, went as well as their first, and a week and a half later she returned to Washington for Easter - spending as much time with Diorio as with her family.