Erin Carter and Alan Golding at their wedding reception in the oldest vineyard in Cape Town, South Africa on Dec. 30, 2011. (Du Wayne Denton)
Erin Carter & Alan Golding

Erin Carter, 29, is a lawyer in the District. Alan Golding, 34, works in corporate budget planning at the World Bank. They live in Woodley Park.

Wedding date: Dec. 30

Location: Groot Constantia, Cape Town, South Africa

Guests: 160

How they met: Carter and Golding were both invited to a happy hour at Eighteenth Street Lounge in July 2007. They became friends and started spending time together, but though Golding was falling for Carter, she wasn’t reciprocating. When he began seeing another woman, Carter acknowledged her feelings for him. To show her intentions, she kissed him in Feb. 2008 at the bar where they first met. Three weeks later they moved in together.

The proposal: Carter speaks French and has lived in France, so Golding took a few lessons at the Alliance Francaise to prepare for the proposal. In December 2008, Carter arrived home from law school exams in a testy mood and picked a fight with Golding. Nonetheless, he got down on his knee in their living room and told her in French that she was his best friend and “the stars in his night’s sky,” and asked her to marry him. “I was very touched that he said the lines he’d prepared perfectly and that he’d gone through the trouble of learning them,” Carter recalled.

The wedding: They traveled to Cape Town, Golding’s hometown, to get married at the country’s oldest vineyard, which dates to 1685. The ceremony was held outdoors in a large garden, and the reception in one of the restaurants on the property. To recognize both Washington and South Africa, they served gin rickeys and kudu carpaccio (antelope) as an appetizer.

The honeymoon: In South African tradition, Golding planned the honeymoon and kept it a secret from Carter until their wedding night. Their destination was a luxe beach villa two hours from Cape Town, where they spent four days beachcombing, dining out and watching a game of South African cricket.