Ada Polla & Edwin Neill III

Ada Polla, 33, owns skin care company Alchimie Forever. Edwin Neill III, 48, runs Neill Corp., an Aveda distributor. The couple commutes between homes in Washington and New Orleans.

Wedding date: Jan. 1

Location: French Quarter Wedding Chapel, New Orleans

Guests: Just two witnesses: Ada’s best friend and Edwin’s son

How they met: Ada and Edwin sat next to each other at a spa industry conference in 2005, and met up at the annual event for the next few years. They’d talked about seeing each other more than once a year, but it was Hurricane Gustave in 2008 that made it happen. New Orleans was being evacuated and Ada, who knew no one else in the area, called Edwin to ask if she could stay at his house. The bad weather kept them together for days.

The proposal: Edwin suggested they share cheese and champagne in the courtyard of the French Quarter home they share when Ada is not in Washington. On the pretext that it was getting cool, Edwin offered her his coat; in the pocket was an engagement ring that he had commissioned from Ada’s godmother, a jeweler.

The wedding: Edwin and Ada had each been married before and decided to go small. The ceremony took place in the quirky French Quarter Wedding Chapel. Ada wore the dress her mother had been married in. Post-ceremony, they returned home to a signature Southern dinner of cabbage, pork roast and black-eyed peas with about two dozen New Orleans friends. They planned to continue the celebration a few weeks later at a cocktail party with D.C. friends.

The honeymoon: Ada and Edwin travel often for work and didn’t want just another trip. But since they married just a month after the proposal, they haven’t yet had time to schedule something special.

—Janet Bennett Kelly