The Washington Post

On Love: The wedding of Lauren Lesch and Blake Marshall

Lauren Lesch and Blake Marshall during their wedding reception at the Ithaca Farmer's Market pavilion in Itaca, N.Y. on July 9, 2011. (Anna Simonak)
Lauren Lesch & Blake Marshall

Lauren Lesch, 28, is a landscape architect. Blake Marshall, also 28, is an energy-efficiency analyst. The couple live in Washington’s Brightwood neighborhood.

Wedding date: July 9

Location: Ithaca Farmers Market pavilion, Ithaca, N.Y.

Guests: 130

How they met: Lesch and Marshall were Cornell University seniors when they met during a student trip to Washington, where they planned to lobby against the Central American Free Trade Agreement. They discovered a shared passion for sustainable agriculture and Fiona Apple’s music. Although he knew Lesch was in a relationship, Marshall invited her “just as a friend” to visit his brother and sister-in-law’s sustainable pig farm. Lesch broke up with her boyfriend the next day, realizing she and Marshall had something special.

The proposal: In December 2009, the two were in graduate school at the University of Michigan. Lesch had pulled an all-nighter putting the finishing touches on a design project. To celebrate its completion, Marshall took her to one of her favorite restaurants, but she was too tired to enjoy it. When they got home, he offered to give her a back rub — during which he slipped a ring on her finger and proposed.

The wedding: Lesch’s brother-in-law performed the ceremony in a pavilion decorated with paper lanterns. Instead of a unity candle, they planted a tree (in a pot, so it could move with them). The meal included the meat of a pig from Marshall’s brother and sister-in-law’s farm. Guests received gifts of preserves that had been made and canned from fruit the couple had picked. Marshall serenaded Lesch with Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On,” a song Lesch had heard Marshall sing at a concert during the beginning of their courtship.

The honeymoon: They went to Caye Caulker in Belize for a week-long ad­ven­ture. Highlights included a guided sailboat tour, which made stops for passengers to swim with giant manatees, stingrays and sea turtles.

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