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LifestyleWeddings

Wedded: Chrissy Bielot and Jeff Marshall

MarriageWeddingsVera WangMen's Wearhouse Inc.

Date: April 6

Her story: Chrissy Bielot, 35, grew up in Pikesville. She works as a payroll analyst for an information technology staffing firm in Hanover.

His story: Jeff Marshall, 36, calls Blackfoot, Idaho, his hometown, but says his family moved frequently while he was growing up because his father was an aircraft mechanic. Jeff moved to Maryland in July 2005 for his job as a conductor for CSX and is now a train dispatcher for the company. His parents, Chuck and Connie Marshall, are retired and live in Arimo, Idaho.

Their story: In early 2013, Jeff and a co-worker joined Meetup.com, a website to meet people who share the same interests. They created a board game club and hosted meetups for several months before Chrissy joined the club.

That July, the group organized a board game barbecue, which was Chrissy's first time attending a get-together.

Throughout the evening, Jeff and Chrissy say they unintentionally kept finding themselves next to each other in a group of about 20 people.

"At the end of the activity, you get a little email listing everybody at the event, and you can click on the link and it just sends everyone a quick 'nice to see you' email," Jeff says.

Being new to the site, Chrissy got Jeff's message and didn't know he had also sent it to the rest of the group.

When Jeff followed up with a personal message to Chrissy saying the group would be glad to have her again, she thought he was flirting. But when he didn't ask her out, she decided to make the first move. They met one day in Glen Burnie for dinner, followed by a walk on the Baltimore & Annapolis Trail.

The proposal: In December 2013, Jeff and the board game club members arranged a holiday game night with prizes.

With the other group members aware of his plan, Jeff rigged the prize selection process so that when Chrissy won, she would draw from a bag holding paper slips for only "big" prizes, one of them being a proposal and engagement ring.

"The problem was, I won the first game," Chrissy says. Jeff hadn't had time to switch the normal prize bag for the special, "big prize" bag. Chrissy was determined to claim a board game called King of Tokyo as her prize and ignored Jeff when he tried to sway her decision to choose another.

He left the room and came back with a box, saying that she forgot to consider one prize. He then got down on one knee and proposed.

Chrissy and her son, Cole, live in Parkville but will move to Jeff's house in Severn this summer when Cole finishes school.

Venue: About 75 guests attended the ceremony and reception at the Elkridge Furnace Inn. Officiant Joel Lessard presided. Jeff and Chrissy included Cole during a sand ceremony in which the three of them poured colored sand into a glass frame to signify the joining of their families.

Flowers and decor: The colors of the wedding were red, white and navy. Because Chrissy is highly allergic to live flowers, she ordered wooden flowers online to use instead. Her bouquet consisted of wooden red roses, and the centerpieces used wooden white and blue flowers.

Tables were named after board games, such as Power Grid, the first game Chrissy and Jeff played together.

Her dress: The bride wore a strapless ivory ballgown with floral beading by Oleg Cassini from David's Bridal. She wore a matching beaded veil and red peep-toe high heels.

Bridesmaids' dresses: The women wore strapless, knee-length navy satin dresses from David's Bridal with red peep-toe high heels.

Men's attire: The men wore gray tuxedos from the Vera Wang collection at Men's Wearhouse. Jeff wore an ivory vest and tie, and the groomsmen wore navy vests and ties. Cole, the ring bearer and Jeff's junior groomsman, wore a gray tuxedo and ivory vest and tie to match Jeff.

Music: DJ Bill Marsh of Carlysle Entertainment in Savage played music. Jeff and Chrissy's first dance was to "Love of a Lifetime" by Firehouse.

Food and dessert: Chef Daniel Wecker at the Elkridge Furnace Inn made roasted New York strip steak, turkey breast, salmon, rockfish, artichoke cheese dip and mini quiches.

A three-tier cake with caramel pecan, vanilla and chocolate raspberry layers was served for dessert. Tye's Mud Hut in Severn made a cake topper featuring two meeples — board game pieces in the shape of miniature people.

Favors: Guests received a pair of red-white-and-blue dice engraved with Chrissy and Jeff's names and wedding date.

Special touches: Jeff's brother, Rob Marshall, made a woodwork box decorated with Chrissy and Jeff's names and wedding date to hold the rings for the ceremony. Guests signed Jenga tiles instead of a traditional guest book.

The couple hosted a second reception in Idaho for Jeff's family members who couldn't make it to the wedding.

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More wedding info

For more coverage of bridal trends and wedding-planning adventures, go to baltimoresun.com/weddings.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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