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OnLove: Wayne Shields weds Andrew Velthaus

Wayne Shields & Andrew Velthaus

Wayne Shields, 53, is president and chief executive of the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals. Andrew Velthaus, 44, is a senior policy officer at the World Bank’s Global Environment Facility. They live in Washington.

Wedding date: April 2

Location: Josephine Butler Parks Center in Washington

Guests: 150

How they met: The two met in January 1997 at an inaugural ball for President Bill Clinton’s second term. In fashionable tuxedos, each caught the other’s eye from across the room, and five days later they met for coffee. It wasn’t long before adventurous Andrew and domestic Wayne realized how well they complemented each other.

The proposal: Wayne accompanied Andrew on a business trip to Paris in October 2009. In front of the Arc de Triomphe, Andrew went down on one knee to propose, but he stopped halfway through when it occurred to both men that a war monument was not the most propitious place to begin a marriage. Instead, they walked a little farther down the Champs-Elysees and started again.

The wedding: As a nod to the years Andrew, below right, had spent living in Japan, and the ceremony’s timing during Washington’s annual Cherry Blossom Festival, the couple included a Japanese marriage ritual of sipping sake from three special cups. Performances by their musically inclined friends were a highlight of the reception: An opera singer began the party with an aria from “Carmen,” and Wayne’s sister and brother-in-law performed a blues medley near the end of the evening.

The honeymoon: They’re planning a trip to Spain for sightseeing and ad­ven­ture travel later this year.

— Janet Bennett Kelly

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