Jeanie West & John Jacobus

Jeanie West, 67, and John Jacobus, 66, are retired federal employees. They live in Silver Spring.

Wedding date: July 14

Location: Brookside Gardens, Wheaton

West and Jacobus at their wedding reception at Brookside Gardens in Wheaton, Md. (Eternal Impressions by Amber Woolsey)

Guests: 100

How they met: Although she had cooked for days, snowstorms forced West to cancel her December 2009 holiday party. Knowing that lots of food would go to waste, her neighbor asked whether she could visit and bring another neighbor, Jacobus, whom West was surprised to see was “a tall, good-looking man.” Neither Jacobus, who had been divorced for more than 30 years, nor West, widowed four years ago, was looking for a relationship, but the attraction was mutual. They gradually fell in love over the next few months; he jokes that she reeled him in with cookies left on his doorstep and offers of cherry pie.

The proposal: Marriage fell into what they call their “long-term plan of looking after one another.” On May 17, 2011, they went to Jared’s and picked out a ring. After dinner at home, he got down on one knee and proposed in the same room in which they had met, telling her he was very much in love with her.

The wedding: Guests stood for a brief ceremony in a garden gazebo; the couple wrote their own vows and a friend officiated. A cocktail hour was followed by a sit-down dinner that included beef tenderloin with morel sauce and Cajun baked salmon in banana leaves with chutney. Favors included mirrors for the women and small canning jars filled with jelly beans for the men and children.

The honeymoon: They took a week-long vacation at Woodstone at Massanutten, a resort in the Shenandoah Mountains, where they went horseback riding, played golf, swam, hiked and relaxed.


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Janet Bennett Kelly