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Elizabeth Ibanez weds John Armato

Elizabeth Ibanez & John Armato

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

Guests: 89

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.

Elizabeth Ibanez and John Armato at their wedding reception at the Belvedere Hotel in Baltimore on Feb. 17. (Meet The Burks Photographers/Meet The Burks Photographers)

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

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