Wedding date: Jan. 19, 2013
Her story: Palma Botterell, 31, grew up in Fairfax, Va. She is a graduate student at the University of Maryland's geochemistry program and a scientist with the U.S. Geological Survey. Her father, John, is a computer engineer and her mother, Stephanie, is a science teacher.
His story: Kevin Jarboe, 32, grew up in Washington. He is a scientist for Lockheed Martin. His father, A.J., is a retired computer engineer and his mother, Karyn, is a cosmetics representative.
Their story: Palma and Kevin met in 2006 as student employees in the chemistry department at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. They quickly became friends and began dating a year later.
The proposal: In August 2011, Kevin proposed to Palma on the beach in Saint Martin with his great-grandmother's antique diamond ring.
The venue: About 125 guests attended the ceremony and reception at the Peabody Library in Mount Vernon.
"We met in academia, so we figured it kind of fit," says Palma.
David Kort, an adjunct chemistry professor at George Mason University, officiated at the ceremony.
"He was the reason we met, and he became ordained to marry us," says Palma. "He was more nervous than we were."
Although the ceremony was nondenominational, the couple signed a ketubah to honor Kevin's Jewish heritage and involve his grandparents. Christine Godsey of Engaging Affairs in Washington was the day-of wedding coordinator.
Her dress: Palma wore an ivory silk charmeuse Elizabeth Fillmore gown from Hannelore's in Alexandria, Va.
"It had an old-glamour feel, and I wore a vintage brooch to go along with it," says Palma.
Bridesmaids' dresses: The bridesmaids wore different styles of black cocktail dresses by Alfred Sung.
Men's apparel: The men wore traditional black tuxedos with black ties and off-white shirts from Men's Wearhouse.
Flowers: Christine Rubin of Fleur de Lis Florist in Baltimore created Palma's bouquet with various shades of red roses, orchids and calla lilies, and used a burgundy calla lily for Kevin's boutonniere. Rubin also helped with the cake design of vintage-inspired brooches.
"In my bouquet, I had 'something borrowed,' which was my grandmother's vintage brooch," says Palma. "It had her initials on it, and it was my way of bringing her into the wedding."
Dessert: Chef's Expressions catered the reception and created the wedding cake, which alternated between white chocolate with fresh raspberry and buttercream and cinnamon carrot cake.
"Since I had a vintage brooch on my dress, I wanted to put vintage brooches all along the cake," says Palma.
Music: Kristina Granados of Washington serenaded the guests during the ceremony processionals, while Jessica Peyton and Jason Stewart of Philadelphia played music during the ceremony and cocktail hour. DJ Jeff Furnas of Annandale, Va., played during the reception.
Palma and Kevin performed a choreographed dance to "More" by Bobby Darin for their first dance because of its "classic-inspired" feel.
Perfect chemistry: To keep with the chemistry theme of the event, Palma and Kevin decorated the main reception table with classic chemistry and romance novels, as well as vintage apothecary sets. For favors, the couple filled test tubes with chocolate-covered sunflower seeds.
"It was really nice to see all the personal touches come together," says Palma. "I never thought about doing so much on my own, but it made it very memorable."
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