Elizabeth Ibanez, 26, is an assistant to the property manager at Leisure World in Silver Spring. John Armato, 36, is a music teacher and plays baroque guitar with Peabody Consort and Charm City Baroque. They live in Germantown.
Wedding date: Feb. 17
Location: Belvedere Hotel, Baltimore
How they met: Elizabeth Ibanez had always wanted to learn to play the guitar, so on a Friday evening in February 2009, she went to Music& Arts in Germantown to buy a guitar and music book, thinking she would teach herself. When she arrived at the store, a sales clerk told her there was a music teacher available if she wanted to take a trial lesson. The music teacher was John Armato, and their mutual attraction created a nervous session. Elizabeth said her palms were sweaty; John said he blushed when he met her. She started weekly lessons, and after a month or so, they began meeting for drinks. They “spent hours talking and getting to know one another.” Their first kiss came in May.
The proposal: In February 2012, John arranged a long weekend at Elk Forge Bed &Breakfast in Elkton, Md. He had gone to New York in December to buy a ring, putting Elizabeth off the trail by telling her he was going to buy a guitar. Because the trip was Elizabeth’s idea, he knew she would never suspect what he had planned. The couple took a walk along a wooded path to a creek and talked about their future. Then John took the ring out of his pocket and proposed. “It was perfect,” Elizabeth said.
The wedding: The ceremony, officiated by one of John’s friends, took place in the hotel’s Palm Room, followed by a sit-down dinner. They chose a color scheme of coral, ivory and deep pink and danced to Mat Kearney’s “City of Black and White.” Red velvet cake pops, which they made themselves, were favors.
The honeymoon: They returned to Elk Forge for a four-day vacation.
— Janet Bennett Kelly