It was a pretty sweet wedding, if you ask Cristian Velasco.
An Arlington couple exchanged vows last week at Velasco’s Boccato Gelato shop in Clarendon.
“We had our first date there,” explained Catherine Bingham, née Morse, who married Terry Bingham last night at the impromptu ceremony.
“We’ve known each other since we were toddlers,” she added. “His grandparents were like my grandparents.”
The couple married Thursday night (March 1) after the quiet hours were over at the gelato shop’s coworking space. The only guests were the couple’s combined six young children — two girls and four boys — and Catherine’s boss at an Arlington-based consulting agency.
The children weren’t aware that their parents would be getting married that evening, but the couple says that the children have always rooted for the relationship.
Catherine called Velasco Thursday morning to ask if the couple could get married at the store that evening. The store owner wasn’t sure what to expect, but was excited as the couple exchanged vows by a fireplace and their children read some of the vows.
The children also had baskets with candy that they passed out to the applauding customers.
“It’s all surreal, she pretty much comes in dressed up in her veil, all radiant and so happy,” said Velasco. “People just see this and are like, what is happening?”
Catherine spent her childhood living in Alexandria, Va., across the street from her husband’s grandmother. They played together in the neighborhood and went swimming together, and later reconnected at Bingham’s grandmother’s 95th birthday about two years ago.
The couple had a civil ceremony on January 26 in the kitchen of their friend, Bob McDonald, the Washington Capitals’ anthem soloist who is in the U.S. Army Band with Terry. No one other than the McDonalds knew that the couple had the civil ceremony, and the Binghams wanted to surprise their combined six children.
“We didn’t really have a plan until the last minute because we kept wanting to make it special and surprise the kids,” said Catherine. “But everything else that we came up with just didn’t feel right.”
The couple planned to go to At Melissa’s Bed & Breakfast in Rehoboth Beach, Del., this past weekend, despite the wind storm sweeping across the region. At some point, Catherine added, the couple will probably go somewhere that involves an airplane without the children, but a beach trip with cake and sparkling cider sounded like a great way to cap off an already exciting week.
Photos courtesy Catherine Bingham and via Boccato Gelato/Twitter