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
In what is a first for the annual event, Artomatic will combine performance art with a wedding ceremony tomorrow in Crystal City.
The ceremony is for Teddy Grant and Che Monique Young, who met at the arts showcase in 2015 when it was hosted in Hyattsville, Md., where Young was exhibiting burlesque art.
The pair have planned a ceremony that will include the traditional exchange of vows, cake cutting and bouquet tossing and a wide variety of music and dance, with a string quartet, jazz singer, African drummer and a belly dancer.
The 10 bridesmaids will also be wearing dresses made by local designers.
“There is something magical about Artomatic and all of the community around it,” said Young, the bride-to-be. “I met Teddy in 2015 at Artomatic. Many of our first dates involved him helping me with my exhibit so it feels like going back to the first time we met. To me it’s all about celebrating with the community, and we welcome everyone to join our families and partake in the celebration — I can’t wait to have the first Artomatic wedding, MY WEDDING!”
The ceremony begins at 6 p.m. on the sixth-floor stage at 1800 S. Bell Street and is open to the public.
Hundreds of people will march through Clarendon to the tune of a live band this weekend as part of a massive wedding parade.
Alexandria couple Sarah Matheson and her fiance, Mike Mihalecz, are planning to hold a New Orleans-style parade after their wedding at the St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church on Saturday, Feb. 25 at 3:15 p.m. A procession of about 125 people, some wearing masks and carrying handkerchiefs, will travel from the church at 3304 North Washington Blvd to the nearby Clarendon Ballroom, where the couple’s reception is being held.
The parade is modeled after the “second line,” a jubilant and musical New Orleans tradition usually held after weddings or funerals. Matheson describes the idea as “a walking party that goes on forever.”
“We have a four-piece band that will be playing,” she added. “We’ll have a pedicab for some of the older folks who can’t walk so well.”
The parade also will have a motorcycle police escort to safely guide revelers through the streets.
Though Matheson said she’s a fan of New Orleans culture, the idea to plan such a big parade actually came from a desire to keep people from driving to the wedding.
“We were joking around, like, how can we get people not to drive to the wedding?” Matheson said. “This just kind of blossomed from something practical.”
The parade won’t be limited to wedding guests, either. In true second line tradition, people from off the street can join in if they’d like. They’ll have to part ways when they get to the Clarendon Ballroom, however, as the reception is only open to guests of the bride and groom.
Above all else, Matheson hopes the parade will inspire lots of warm memories that last for years to come.
“They’ll all enjoy the process,” Matheson said. “I think it will be definitely unique.”
Photos courtesy of Sarah Matheson
CEB Being Acquired — Arlington-based CEB Inc., one of the county’s biggest private employers, is being acquired by Connecticut-based Gartner in a $2.6 billion cash-and-stock deal. CEB is set to anchor one of the under-construction Central Place towers in Rosslyn once it is completed. [Reuters, Gartner]
Fisette Still Mulling Reelection Run — Jay Fisette, who is serving as Arlington County Board Chair for 2017, has not yet decided whether he’ll run for another four-year term. Fisette says he’ll make a decision in February, the Washington Post’s Patricia Sullivan reports. [Twitter]
What County Board Members Did for New Year’s — With the County Board’s traditional New Year’s Day organizational meeting moved to Jan. 3, what did County Board members do on Jan. 1 instead? Nothing too interesting, it turns out. [Falls Church News-Press]
Obama’s Military Farewell Ceremony — It tied up some traffic in Arlington, but yesterday afternoon the country’s armed forces bid farewell to President Obama and Vice President Biden on Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall. The event went well, minus one Army honor guard member fainting during the ceremony. [NBC News, Daily Mail]
Couple Married After 20 Years Together — An Arlington couple that first met 20 years ago in a D.C. nightclub finally tied the knot over the summer. Bob Kenney, a real estate agent, and Mark Treadaway, an airport executive, were wed in the backyard of their Woodmont home in front of 75 guests. [Arlington Magazine]
Nearby: Alexandria Flips Out Over Taco Bell — Residents in the West End of Alexandria are really worried about a proposed Taco Bell. In letters to the city’s planning commission, residents decried the potential for “late night riff raff,” “the devastating effects of an accident,” and “lowered home values.” One resident also relayed her personal experience of going to a Taco Bell that had run out of forks. There are four Taco Bells in Arlington County, including one on the Alexandria border and another in the Pentagon. [Washington Business Journal, City of Alexandria]
Va. Legislator Proposes N.C. Style Bathroom Bill — Del. Bob Marshall (R-Prince William) has proposed a “bathroom bill” similar to the controversial bill that because law in North Carolina. The bill would restrict transgender individuals from using certain bathrooms and would require school principals to “notify all parents if a student at their children’s school asks to be treated as a member of the opposite sex.” [Washington Post]
The theft took place early on the morning of this past Saturday, May 23. Police say the kegs had been purchased on Friday for a wedding celebration on Saturday, and were being stored in the front yard of a house on the 600 block of N. Kenmore Street.
The homeowner’s daughter was the one getting married. Upon finding the kegs missing, the homeowner inquired with the future son-in-law and father-in-law, but found out that neither man had moved the kegs, according to Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.
Neighbors reported that they had heard a car pull up to the house around 3:00 a.m.
The kegs contained beer from Alexandria’s Port City brewery and had a total value of about $170, Sternbeck said.
File photo via Facebook
Arlington Family Returns to Boston Marathon — The Walls family of Arlington will be returning to Boston this week to finish the marathon they didn’t get to complete last year because of the April 15 bombings. John Walls was in the grandstands on Boylston Street, waiting for wife Cindy and daughter Katie to cross the finish line, when the first bomb exploded across the street. John captured video of the ensuing chaos on his smartphone. Cindy and Katie were among the thousands of runners who did not get a chance to finish the race. They’re running again this year. [WTOP]
Dozens of Arlingtonians to Compete in Marathon — A record 112 runners from Arlington are signed up to run the 2014 Boston Marathon on Monday, April 21. The race is the world’s oldest annual marathon and widely considered the world’s most prestigious. [InsideNoVa]
HOT Lanes Proposed for 14th Street Bridge — The District of Columbia is considering a proposal to install High Occupancy Toll lanes on the 14th Street Bridge, the Southeast/Southwest Freeway, and I-295. Arlington County successfully blocked a HOT lanes proposal on the Alexandria and Arlington portion of I-395. [NBC Washington]
Kenmore Teacher Named ‘Teacher of the Year’ — Kenmore Middle School technology teacher Cassidy Nolen has been named Arlington’s 2014 teacher of the year. Glebe Elementary School principal Jamie Borg, meanwhile, was named principal of the year. [InsideNoVa]
‘Business of Weddings’ Forum at GMU — Weddings are big business, and a free forum tomorrow at George Mason University’s Arlington campus (3351 Fairfax Drive) will explore the economic impact of getting hitched. Attendees are asked to RSVP for the event, which is scheduled from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. Wednesday. [Eventbrite]
Flickr pool photo by Wolfkann
Power Issues at Rosslyn Metro — All elevators and escalators were out of service at the Rosslyn Metro station from around 5:30 to 7:00 this morning. The outage was due to a “power problem.” Metro temporarily provided bus service from the station for those who needed it. [Twitter]
County Board to Buy Douglas Park House — The Arlington County Board on Saturday is expected to approve the purchase of a house on S. Quincy Street. The house abuts Douglas Park and would be torn down to expand the park. The expansion plan is predicated on the Board also purchasing neighboring houses when they come on the market. [Sun Gazette]
Crowded Congressional Primary — Election officials are expecting a turnout of about 64,000 votes for the upcoming Virginia Eighth District congressional primary. With 11 candidates in the race, it could take as few as 12,000 votes to win. “What we are talking about here is a Democratic nominee, who is almost certainly assured of election given this district, could be elected with about the size of a decent size high-school basketball game fan base,” a political science professor told reporter Michael Lee Pope. [Connection Newspapers]
Arlington Couple’s Wedding Profiled — Washingtonian profiles the wedding of Arlington residents Lynn Chheang and Ryan Hill, whose first date took place in the former Ray’s Hell-Burger. [Washingtonian]
Flickr pool photo by Ddimick
Fisette Weds Long-Time Partner — Arlington County Board member Jay Fisette married long-time partner Bob Rosen last week. After 30 years together, the couple tied the knot in a low-key ceremony at All Souls Unitarian Church in the District. Fisette and Rosen’s union will not be recognized in Virginia, but Fisette said he thinks that same-sex marriage will be legalized in the Commonwealth within five years. [Sun Gazette]
Smash-and-Grab Lookout Sentenced — The man who served as a lookout in a series of smash-and-grab robberies in the D.C. area, including this robbery at the Tourneau store in Pentagon City, has been sentenced. Floyd Davis, 43, was sentenced to 7 years in prison for his role in the crimes. [Washington Post]
Reevesland Group Refines Proposal — A group that wants to convert the historic Reeves farmhouse into an agricultural learning center for school children has submitted a proposal to Arlington County. The group says its volunteers will lower the cost of necessary renovations to the building by 30 percent. It has offered to operate the center and make it available to Arlington Public Schools. In exchange, the group wants the county to pay for renovations (about $700,000), ongoing maintenance costs and utilities. [Sun Gazette]
Library Seeks Info on Mystery Football Photo — Arlington Public Library’s Center for Local History is seeking more information about a photograph found at a local home. The photo shows a group of men wearing early 20th century football equipment, posing in front of a school. [Arlington Public Library]
Flickr pool photo by BrianMKA
Pro-Change Group Forms in Bluemont — Fed up with neighbors who shot down a potential redevelopment of the Safeway site in Bluemont, a group of residents has formed a new organization called “Bluemont Forward.” The organization says it wants to see Wilson Boulevard become a more vibrant and walkable main street, with “an improved grocery store and other amenities for neighborhood residents.” The group might be too late to save the Safeway development, however; Greater Greater Washington reports that developer Silverwood may have “quietly backed out of the project.” [Bluemont Forward, Greater Greater Washington]
Layoffs at PBS NewsHour — PBS NewsHour, which is produced in Shirlington, has laid off a number of staff members in a reorganization. The production will also save money by streamlining and digitizing its technical processes. [TV Newser]
Ballston LaunchPad Finalists Revealed — Kylee Majkowski, the 8-year-old CEO of Tomorrow’s Lemonade Stand, is among the 10 semi-finalists in the Ballston LaunchPad Challenge. The entrepreneurial competition will pair the semi-finalists and their startup businesses with mentors. In November, three finalists will be chosen and will have a chance to pitch their business idea to venture capitalist and Washington Capitals owner Ted Leonsis. Competition organizer Ballston BID is an ARLnow.com advertiser. [Patch]
Wedding Planning Recommendations at the Library — With wedding season in full-swing, Arlington Public Library has published a list of books and movies that may be of interest to those planning a wedding. [Arlington Public Library]
Northam, Herring Prevail in Dem Primary –– Turnout was very light for Tuesday’s statewide Democratic primary. Ralph Northam, a state Senator, is the new Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor, having defeated Arlington resident Aneesh Chopra. State Sen. Mark Herring captured the nomination for attorney general. [WJLA]
Arlington Newlyweds Climb Mountain in Tux and Gown — Bob Ewing and Antonie Hodge Ewing, a newlywed couple from Arlington who happen to be avid rock climbers, have attracted national media attention by climbing a summit in Seneca Rocks, W. Va. while wearing a tux and a wedding dress. A small wedding party, including the bride’s mother, also completed the climb with them. [ABC News]
McDonnell Gives Speech at GOP Convention — Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell delivered a speech at the Republican National Convention last night. McDonnell said the election “is about restoring the American Dream” and implementing the kind of fiscally conservative policies that have benefited Virginia. [NBC Washington, Transcript]
Boathouse Comment Period Extended — Updated at 12:30 p.m. — The National Park Service is now accepting public comments about preliminary alternatives for a Potomac River boathouse in Arlington County through Sept. 30. Of the four possible locations identified for the boathouse, two are just south of the Key Bridge, one is near Gravelly Point, and one is on Daingerfield Island. “The boathouse facility and its amenities would enhance public waterfront access in the vicinity of Arlington County for non-motorized recreational activities,” NPS says. [National Park Service]
Photo courtesy Andrew Clegg
Election Day in Virginia — Voters are going to the polls in Virginia today to vote in a rare mid-August primary. In addition to the date, which was pushed back thanks to this year’s redistricting process, this year’s election is unique because it features “more Latino candidates on the ballot than ever before in General Assembly races… running for both Democratic and Republican nominations.” Arlington’s 51 polling places will be open from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. today. [NBC Washington, Arlington County]
O’Leary Predicts High Turnout — Arlington County Treasurer and amateur election prognosticator Frank O’Leary believes that about 11,850 votes will be cast today, seven times the turnout of the 2007 primary. O’Leary based his projection on the number of absentee votes cast this year, which is higher than usual. [Sun Gazette]
Wedding Interrupted by Tow Truck — An Indian wedding procession in Ballston was interrupted over the weekend when the truck and trailer that transported the groom’s white horse to the area was towed from a parking lot. According to a witness, wedding organizers eventually talked the tow truck driver into dropping the truck. [ARLnow Forums]
Flickr pool photo by Philliefan99
If you haven’t seen it already, Nathan took out an ad on our homepage today to say “Happy Anniversary” and “I love you, always and forever” to his lovely wife. The ad links to a YouTube video of the Etta James classic “At Last” — the first song they danced to at their wedding.
Happy anniversary to both of you.
Yes, it seems that the much-ballyhooed royal wedding is local news. After all, that and a weather item regarding today’s slight risk of showers makes up the entirety of the “above the fold” portion of the Washington Post’s local news page.
So we might as well give a nod to pop culture and ask: did you watch the wedding? Bonus question for the comments: were you late to work as a result?
Board Approves Higher Towing Fees — It’s going to cost you an additional $10 if your car gets towed in Arlington. The County Board last night voted 3-2 to increase the maximum towing fee from $115 to $125, five dollars higher than the maximum rate in the District. The board rejected a recommendation that would have added $25 to tows performed on nights, weekends and holidays. [Sun Gazette]
‘British Goodies’ For Royal Wedding — Want to go all-out for the royal wedding Friday morning? Pick up some Yorkshire Gold tea and some Branston Pickle from the Classic Cigars & British Goodies store (2907 Wilson Blvd) in Arlington. [Patch]
Fairfax Won’t Sue Over BRAC Plan — The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors is critical of the decision to relocate thousands of Defense Department workers to the Mark Center in Alexandria, but it will not be filing a federal lawsuit in the wake of a damning report from the DoD’s inspector general. Rep. Jim Moran is urging localities to seek an injunction against the moves, scheduled for later this year. [Washington Post]
We are in the midst of the “peak” season for weddings. Something about spring — the warmer temperatures, the flowers and plants blooming, the absence of pro and college football games — seems to make it a perfect time for nuptials.
It also seems that there are quite a few engagements this time of year. All those happy couples need some place to get married, so we started to wonder if there were any wedding-worthy locations in Arlington. For the answer, we turned to Arlington-based professional photographer Jan Graves, of Jan Michele Photography.
Location-wise, it’s natural that most couples would immediately think D.C., with the monuments and the history and whatnot. But Graves says there are some worthy wedding venues to consider in Arlington. Here are her top six.
Ft. Myer Old Post Chapel (article)
Pro: “Light, bright and beautiful chapel, seats 200. And you can’t beat a Saber Arch upon leaving the church.”
Con: “Must be military to use. Can’t decorate the chapel.”
Top of the Town (website)
Pro: “Best views of DC you’ll find. Outdoor patio space — if the weather is nice.”
Con: “It’s at the top of a condo building so there are restrictions on music/noise. The ceiling is a bit low and it’s a long elevator ride plus a long hallway to get to the space, so it can feel a bit claustrophobic.”
Clarendon Ballroom (website)
Pro: “In the heart of Arlington, a unique venue with a rooftop patio for the cocktail hour — if the weather is nice.”
Con: “If the weather isn’t nice everything is in one room with curtain dividing the cocktail hour from the reception. It’s a very dark space and a blank space that requires lots of decorating to make it special.”
Crystal Gateway Marriott (website)
Pro: “Nice atrium type area for cocktail hour. Very close to airport.”
Con: “It’s a hotel”
Key Bridge Marriott (website)
Pro: “Amazing views of Georgetown and DC. Recently renovated in 2007. The food is great. Nice space for a hotel.”
Con: “It still has a bit of a hotel feel.”
Hilton Arlington (website)
Pro: “Metro accessible. Modern décor in hotel.”
Con: “As with a hotel, it requires extra decorating to personalize the ballroom.”
Graves says that Arlington is a fine place for a wedding, but it has its shortcomings.
“All of these Arlington locations are close enough to go into D.C. for pictures in between the ceremony and reception,” Graves noted. However, “none of these locations have a historical or personal feel, like the character of an old historic home or building would. None of them have nice places for pictures so traveling to another location for pictures should be built into the timeline.”
Graves says that couples considering a hotel should be prepared for some unique challenges.
“A hotel is convenient for out-of-town guests, particularly if there is lag time between the ceremony and reception,” she said. It “reduces the amount of transportation that needs to be provided for guests.”
On the down side, it “requires decorating to make the space unique.”
“With hotels there tends to be a lot of staff turnover so your contact person may change before the wedding. It’s often assumed that the event manager at the hotel will serve as a wedding coordinator, but they are only responsible for the elements the hotel provides (primarily food) and often will not help with the other details like decorating and coordinating other vendors and the schedule.”
All photos are courtesy Jan Graves / Jan Michele Photography.