The Washington Post

Ashley Ackerley, Neal Rozendaal

Ashley, 27, is a student-athlete counselor at American University. Neal, 32, is an economist. They live in Rockville.

The Main Event: A “country, crafty and elegant” wedding July 7 in Derwood, Md.

How They Met: Online. The first time he messaged her, he was at a Billy Joel-Elton John concert at Nationals Park; she messaged him back a few hours later to say she was at the same concert.

First Date: Nationals Park, but this time for a baseball game.

First Impressions: “That girl looks like she could beat me up, so I’d better be on my best behavior.”

First Kiss: On the Metro platform after their first date. “Neal grabbed my shoulders, pulled me in, and scared me half to death. I had no idea he was going in for the kill.”

How he Proposed: On Columbus Day along the Tidal Basin.

Pet Names: “I call him ‘Bubby.’ Neal calls me ‘Yes, Dear.’”

Making It Unique: “I pretty much bought all of!”

Wedding Jitters: Ashley: “I will run out of time to get my hair done. That has been a recurring dream I’ve had these past few months.” Neal: “That my brother gives a toast so bad it winds up on YouTube.”



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