Paul Mederos & Brittany Rouin

Paul Mederos, 23, is a software engineer. Brittany Rouin, 24, is a Web designer for a marketing firm. They live in Alexandria.

Wedding date: April 21

Paul Mederos and Brittany Rouin before their wedding reception at the Castle at Maryvale on April 21,2012. (Alyson Doria/David’s Bridal Photography)

Location: The Castle at Maryvale, Brooklandville, Md.

Guests: 100

How they met: Rouin and Mederos met as sixth-grade classmates at St. Bernadette School in Springfield, Va. Rouin’s family moved abroad a few years later, but she returned in 2005 for her senior year at Bishop Ireton in Alexandria. When Mederos recognized her, he offered to drive her home after school. They shared a milkshake at Baskin-Robbins and watched the sunset. They officially became boyfriend and girlfriend a few weeks later.

The proposal: In October 2011, they took a weekend trip to Chincoteague Island to see the wild ponies and kayak. Just before dusk, Mederos asked Rouin to go for a walk. They strolled along the beach until he knelt down, a little black box in hand. Rouin was caught off guard and said, “Oh my goodness, this is really happening.” Mederos had planned ahead and a photographer was there to capture the moment.

The wedding: The two Virginia Tech grads are fans of Hokie stone, a type of limestone used on the university’s campus, as well as Gothic architecture. Maryvale, a manor modeled after Warwick Castle in England, matched those interests. In keeping with a fairy tale theme, each table was named after a famous knight. For favors, guests received Brazilian chocolate bonbons, made by Mederos’s Brazilian-born mother, along with frosted glass coasters with a photo of the couple inside and inscribed “love,” “hope” and “faith.” They chose to salsa for their first dance.

The honeymoon: The couple will travel to Rome, Florence and Venice in the fall to sightsee and visit vineyards, especially in the Chianti region, during harvest season.

Janet Bennett Kelly

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