The Washington Post

OnLove: Debra Kilpatrick and William W. Byrd

Debra Kilpatrick, 43, is an event planner who lives in Washington. William W. Byrd, 37, is a security professional based in New York.

Wedding date: Jan. 8

Location: The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

Guests: 30

How they met: In April 2007, Debra hired William to work security detail for a New York concert she was organizing. After the event, they struck up a close relationship over the phone. Debra invited William to accompany her to the Capital Jazz Fest that June for their first date.

The proposal: They maintained a long-distance relationship, vowing to see each other in person at least twice a month; after six months, they had discussed marriage. In March 2010, during one of Debra’s events — a gospel performance at the Sharon Baptist Church in Philadelphia — William arranged to stop the show. He got down on one knee, read a love letter to Debra and gave her a ring. He even managed to sneak several of Debra’s friends into the audience without her noticing. William knew that Debra took her job so seriously she would never expect a proposal while she was working.

The wedding: Debra visited the Ritz-Carlton on a business trip to the Cayman Islands and knew at once that the tropical resort hotel was her dream venue. Since her day job is all about planning events, she wanted to leave the organizing to others this time. The hotel staff stepped up to the task, arranging everything from the Caribbean-flavored menu to a performance by R&B singer Deborah Cox (a friend of the couple’s).

The honeymoon: Debra has a new job and William is in the process of moving to Washington, so they’ve postponed their honeymoon until late August, when they will travel to the island of Anguilla for a week.

Janet Bennett Kelly



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