Lisa Freedman & Rick Beller

Lisa Freedman, 46, works for the National Telecommunications Cooperative Association in Arlington and lives in Annandale. Rick Beller, 49, is chief operating officer at History Factory. He lives in Ashburn.

Wedding date: Dec. 29

Location: The Hebrew Congregation of St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands

Rick Beller and Lisa Freedman at their wedding ceremony in the oldest synagogue in the Western Hemisphere in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands on Jan. 11. (Norman Allen)

Guests: 20

How they met: In 2001, Beller’s friend, a divorce attorney, told him about a client who might be a good match for him: Freedman. The friend wouldn’t give him her number until her divorce was finalized; once Freedman was officially single, Beller called to make a date. They went to McCormick & Schmick’s in Tysons Corner for drinks and conversation, ending the evening by kissing on the dance floor at ECiti Cafe.

The proposal: On the fourth anniversary of their blind date, they were walking through the gem collection in the American Museum of Natural History; Beller got down on one knee in front of the Hope Diamond and proposed as other museum visitors snapped photos. One tourist leaned over and told Freedman that her ring was much nicer than the Hope Diamond — and more special.

The wedding: Beller and Freedman have five children between them from previous relationships; in order to avoid disrupting the kids’ lives, the couple decided to wait until the 10th anniversary of their first date to wed. Their families accompanied them on a nine-day Caribbean cruise to the Virgin Islands and disembarked at St. Thomas for a ceremony in the oldest synagogue in the Western Hemisphere.

The honeymoon: On the evening of the wedding, they hosted a reception for their guests in the ship’s Brazilian steakhouse. They spent the remainder of the trip engaged in the cruise ship’s activities, including sunning, bar-hopping and dancing.

Janet Bennett Kelly

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