Kate Brandt and Sean Grant at their wedding reception at the Oaks Waterfont Inn in Royal Oak, Md., on Aug. 5, 2012. (Daniel Bostwick Photography)
Kate Brandt & Sean Grant

Kate Brandt, 27, is special adviser for energy to the secretary of the Navy. Sean Grant, 28, is a lobbyist and business consultant. They live in Mount Vernon Triangle.

Wedding date: Aug. 5

Location: The Oaks Waterfront Inn, Royal Oak, Md.

Guests: 110

Brandt and Grant kiss while celebrating their nautical-themed wedding. (Daniel Bostwick Photography)

How they met: On Nov. 11, 2008, the day after Brandt arrived in Washington to work on the Obama transition team, a colleague she’d met at the Democratic convention invited her to go sailing at James Creek Marina. She was introduced to Grant, and the two hit it off immediately. She was working on a presidential briefing book at work and ended up 45 minutes late for their first date. Grant waited, which impressed her. In the following months they became close, attending inauguration events together.

The proposal: Grant took Brandt for a picnic at the marina where they met. There, he gave her her passport with a ticket inside — for a flight to Paris leaving that evening. He got down on one knee and popped the question, and the two spent the weekend celebrating in France.

The wedding: Because they had grown up by the water and met while sailing, they chose a nautical theme. Each held two pieces of rope and literally tied a knot during the ceremony, explaining that the line is stronger when it’s knotted. John Legend’s “Slow Dance” introduced the couple at the reception; they say they love the song because it reminds them to forget their work stress and enjoy themselves.

The honeymoon: They traveled to St. Lucia for a BlackBerry-free vacation and enjoyed hiking, snorkeling and sharing tropical drinks on the beach for two weeks.


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— Janet Bennett Kelly