Christine Runton, 24, works for a government contractor. Ryan Croft, 27, is a field representative for the College Republican National Committee. They live in Arlington.

Wedding date: Sept. 22

Location: Christ Church, Old Town Alexandria

Christine Runton and Ryan Croft in Old Town Alexandria. (Sam Stroud Photography)

Guests: 110

How they met: The University of Virginia students were introduced by mutual friends in spring 2007. But it wasn’t until that October, when they saw each other at an outdoor movie screening on campus, that they felt drawn together. “We didn’t talk that evening, we didn’t even wave at each other from across South Lawn, but we both felt something click into place,” Runton says. At a party the next night, Croft got Runton’s phone number and they started studying, grabbing coffee and going to Taco Bell together. In January 2008, after being apart during break, they realized how much they missed each other. “We knew this was it,” Runton said.

The proposal: Runton was giving Croft’s sister a tour of campus in January. Croft was waiting on the South Lawn, where the couple had seen each other in October 2007; he said he wanted to re-create that scene. He proposed with Runton’s great-grandmother’s ring.

The wedding: A “North meets South” buffet testified to the blending of the families — Runton’s is from outside Boston, and Croft’s is from near Lynchburg. The Croft side overflowed with barbecue sandwiches, mac and cheese, coleslaw and chips; Runton’s featured tea sandwiches, spinach salad and melon skewers. Runton surprised Croft with a groom’s cake made to look like his favorite books, “Rainbow Six” by Tom Clancy and “The Civil War” by Geoffrey Ward, Ric Burns and Ken Burns. A few days after the wedding, Croft flew back to Iowa to continue his work on the campaign trail.

The honeymoon: After the election, the couple will vacation in St. Lucia.


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Janet Bennett Kelly