By L'Oreal Thompson, Baltimore Sun Media Group
2:57 PM EST, January 11, 2013
Wedding date: Dec. 8, 2012
Her story: Eileen Cox, 30, grew up in Sea Girt, N.J. She is a middle school English teacher for the Loudoun County public schools system in Virginia. Her parents, Sharon and Leo Cox, are retired.
His story: Ricardo Silva, 30, was born in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and moved to Virginia with his family when he was 7. He is the director of development for Solutions by Design II, which is owned by his parents, Maria and Clyde Goldbach.
Their story: Eileen and Ricardo met as freshmen at Mount St. Mary's University in Emmitsburg, but they didn't start dating until their junior year. In December 2011, Ricardo proposed in front of the Christmas tree at Reston Town Center after the couple went to dinner with one of Eileen's friends.
"I took a picture of Eileen and her friend in front of the tree and then her friend took a picture of us," says Ricardo. "I asked [the friend] to take another picture and I spun Eileen around, got down on one knee and proposed."
The ring: Ricardo selected a radiant-cut diamond engagement ring with princess-cut side stones from Mervis Diamonds in Tysons Corner, Va.
The place: Nearly 200 guests attended the ceremony at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen in Baltimore.
"We wanted to get married in the city because Baltimore is close to my heart, even though I grew up in New Jersey," says Eileen.
Her dress: Eileen wore an off-white trumpet-shaped silk taffeta Casablanca Bridal gown with a cathedral-length train from Barefoot Bride in Red Bank, N.J.
"It was simple with a little bit of bling," says Eileen. "And I wore my mother's veil from her wedding, but we redesigned it a bit."
Bridesmaids' dresses: The eight bridesmaids wore strapless floor-length Saison Blanche gowns in stone. The bouquets were arranged from an assortment of white flowers, including white roses for the bride, from Rutland Beard Florist of Ruxton.
Men's apparel: Ricardo and the 10 groomsmen wore black Vera Wang tuxedos. The groom wore a bow tie, while the groomsmen wore regular ties and suspenders.
The reception: The couple hosted their reception at the Tremont Plaza Hotel in downtown Baltimore.
"I fell in love with the architecture at the Tremont," says Eileen. "I just love the old city charm of Baltimore. Most of my friends and family had never been to Baltimore, and I wanted to show them the beautiful side of the city."
Ricardo, who is an avid soccer fan, was taken by the ballroom's name — Corinthian, which is also the name of a famous Brazilian soccer club.
The music: Burnt Sienna, a rock cover band from Philadelphia, and DJ PJ Windle, owner of Essential Sounds Entertainment in Asbury Park, N.J., played for the couple and their guests.
Ricardo and Eileen walked into the reception hall to Bruce Springsteen's "American Land."
"We chose it because it kind of spoke to both of our stories," says Eileen. "Even though it has a very Irish feel as far as sound, the lyrics are about coming to this country and making a life for yourself."
The cake: The couple selected a traditional tiered cake from Yia Yia's Bakery in Middle River.
"It tasted like a Boston cream doughnut," says Ricardo. "It was yellow cake with the same filling in the middle as the doughnut. It was awesome."
Favors with a purpose: In lieu of typical favors, Eileen and Ricardo made donations to the Wounded Warrior Project because Eileen's brother is a Marine and also to the men's soccer team at Mount St. Mary's University.
"The reason is because the program is on the chopping block to be cut," says Ricardo. "I went there to play and that's where I met Eileen, so the program is pretty important to who I am and who we are."
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