Gigi and Rich lived only a half a mile away from each other when they met in Washington, D.C, and now they are getting married! Their ceremony and reception will be taking place in May at the Deerpark, located on the Biltmore Estate. I love spring weddings, and they have chosen the perfect place. Please read more about this beautiful couple….(I really love Rich’s answer about what he loves about her…made my heart melt).
How long have you two been together?
We had our first date on January 26, 2008 – so almost two and a half years. I had just moved to D.C. from Tennessee only three weeks before for a job. Rich came to pick me up on our first date and as soon as I our first course was served, I knew he was the one for me.
When did you get engaged, and how did he ask?
Over the year and a half that we had dated, I had mentioned several times what a special place my grandparents’ cabin in the Smokies was. As a child, I spent every summer at the cabin with my grandparents swimming at the river and playing in the mountains. For Memorial Day weekend last year, we planned on spending some time at the cabin and grill some steaks. While grocery shopping on the way, I tried to pay for some of the wine and groceries, but Rich insisted on paying for everything, which I did not think much of. I did get curious when he bought a more expensive bottle of champagne, but quickly forgot about it. As my brother and sister were leaving after dinner (we had some unexpected company, which I learned later on stressed Rich out a lot,) the sun started to set and I began to clean up the dishes in the kitchen. Rich pulled me outside and walked me down beside the river. I then noticed a bottle of expensive champagne that I did not remember buying at the store and two glasses. As I turned back to Rich, I saw that he was down on one knee and realized what was happening. After I said yes and put on the beautiful ring he had picked out all by himself, we sat down on the beach next to the water. Rich told me how he had pulled an airline employee aside to make sure the expensive bottle of champagne made it to Tennessee in one piece without me even knowing. He told me how he had been holding on to the ring for over a month waiting for that night. Then we called our parents and closest friends and told them the news. It was truly an unforgettable night.
What do you two do for a living?
Rich works for Booz Allen Hamilton, a government consulting agency in Washington, D.C. and I work for a Congressman from Tennessee as a Legislative Assistant for Telecommunications, Labor, and Agriculture.
What are some of the activities that you like to do together as a couple?
We both really love to go to hockey games and the Verizon Center – where the Washington Capitals play – is walking distance from our condo. We have also started hiking recently and have found some great trails in Virginia and Maryland that are close by. All that said, probably our favorite thing to do is to rent a great movie, order takeout from our favorite Thai restaurant in Chinatown, open a bottle of wine, and enjoy some time together alone.
Why did you choose The Biltmore Estate as your wedding location?
Besides Biltmore being in one of my favorite areas in the whole country – Western North Carolina – Asheville was a great mid-point for both of our families. Rich grew up in Southern Virginia and I grew up in East Tennessee. We scheduled a visit with both of our parents last June and fell in love with Deerpark. We knew it would be the perfect mix of elegance with that mountain charm that I love so much.
When you think about your wedding, what are you most excited about?
I think the most exciting thing about the wedding is getting both of our families together for this great big party. We will be having three nights of dinners together and it will be the first time our siblings have met each other, so it should be a great opportunity for everyone to get to know their new family members.
What do love about each other?
Gigi: What I love about Rich is… the way he will say things out loud that were just going through my head. Rich has so much passion – when he sets his mind to do something, he always completes the task. I admire how confident he is. He has this great way of speaking to people with strength and that same passion that I love so much. The best thing about having Rich in my life is that I know when we are old and wrinkled, we will still be able to share a laugh together and genuinely enjoy just being in each other’s company.
Rich: What I love about Gigi is… Gigi’s kindness, patience, and honesty are genuine. And her and ability to make decisions quickly and confidently with no remorse is truly remarkable. But my favorite thing about her is how she squints her eyes and smiles when she’s on a roll telling a funny story, which happens just about as often as I need it. So maybe I’ll change my answer… my favorite thing about Gigi is that she is here right next to me.