Simone Hardeman & Chris Jones

Simone Hardeman, 32, is education policy adviser for Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.). Chris Jones, 34, is a college student and a bartender at Tabaq Bistro. They live in Arlington.

Wedding date: April 28

Location: Round Hill Resort, Montego Bay, Jamaica

Guests: 85

Chris Jones and Simone Hardeman at their wedding reception in Montego Bay, Jamaica. (Sandy May Photography)

How they met: During the summer of 2005, they were bartenders at Foodbar DC in Dupont Circle. Jones frequently asked her to hang out, but Hardeman, a graduate student in public policy at American University at the time, always turned him down. But when her friends visited her at the bar and commented on how nice and cute Jones seemed, Hardeman decided she should give him a chance. Near the end of the summer, Jones invited her for drinks at Eyebar (now Eden). “He was more interesting than I thought,” Hardeman says.

The proposal: In August 2010, they took a vacation to Jamaica, where Jones grew up and where his mother and sister live. The couple went out for an evening walk on the beach; when it got dark, Hardeman suggested heading back. “First, I have a question for you,” Jones said. He dropped to one knee and asked, “Will you spend the rest of your life with me?” They ran back to share the news (and so Hardeman could see the ring in the light).

The wedding: Hardeman’s uncle officiated and asked the assembled group to gather closely around the couple during the ceremony to create a sense of community. Upon arrival in the reception area, guests found a table covered with flip-flops for each invitee. On an elevated patio with a view of the ocean, they dined on Jamaican red snapper and coconut-crusted chicken and drank rum punch and Red Stripe beer.

The honeymoon: The two plan to travel to Thailand later this year, where Jones is most excited about tasting new foods.

Janet Bennett Kelly

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