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Wedded: Ellen Blasi and Eric Boxler

Ellen Blasi and Eric Boxler officially became a couple on New Year's Eve, then got engaged on New Year's Eve four years later.
Ellen Blasi and Eric Boxler officially became a couple on New Year's Eve, then got engaged on New Year's Eve four years later. (Courtesy of Kelly Mitchell, Handout photo)

Date: Aug. 24

Her story: Ellen Blasi, 27, grew up in Columbia. She is pursuing a sign language interpretation degree through the Interpreter Preparation program at the Community College of Baltimore County, Catonsville. Her father, Michael Blasi, lives in Columbia. Her mother, Gigi Blasi, died in 2006.

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His story: Eric Boxler, 30, moved to Fulton from Princeton, N.J., just before entering high school. He is an information technology consultant for Hilltop Consultants in Washington. His parents, Patricia and David Boxler, live in Fernandina Beach, Fla.

Their story: In September 2009, Ellen was at Nottingham's in Columbia with a group of friends. Eric walked into the bar, recognized one of Ellen's friends and approached the group. He introduced himself to Ellen and they made small talk before exchanging numbers when she left the bar for the evening.

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Three days later, Eric hadn't contacted Ellen, so she texted him asking if he was ever going to use her number. He called her moments later and they talked on the phone for three hours, making plans to hang out that weekend.

They officially became a couple that New Year's Eve.

The proposal: Eric proposed on New Year's Eve in 2013, bringing their relationship full circle, the couple says. A few weeks earlier, Ellen had begun organizing a New Year's get-together at Nottingham's, unaware that Eric was already one step ahead of her.

With the help of Ellen's twin sister, Laura Blasi, Eric planned to propose at the tavern sometime before midnight and reserved two tables for friends and family, who were all in on the secret.

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About 10 p.m. on New Year's Eve, Eric brought Ellen to the center of the bar and proposed.

"I wasn't even aware of everybody surrounding us and taking out their cameras," Ellen says. "I forgot where we were until I said yes and Eric lifted me up in a hug. Everyone around us just erupted in applause."

They live in Silver Spring.

Venue: About 130 guests attended the ceremony at St. Paul Catholic Church in Ellicott City. The Rev. Matthew Buening presided.

A reception followed at The Villa in Beltsville.

Flowers and decor: The color scheme was blue (Ellen's favorite color) and white, with minimal accents of purple.

Janet Flowers of Janet Flowers Wedding and Design in Gaithersburg created bouquets and centerpiece arrangements, using white and purple roses, white and blue hydrangeas, lisianthuses and bells of Ireland.

Her dress: The bride wore a chiffon gown with a sweetheart neckline, spaghetti straps, ruched bodice and cutout strap back by Venus Bridals from The Bridal Boutique in Columbia.

Ellen added blue beads to the silver beading already on the bodice. She wore a blue topaz horseshoe charm necklace with a matching tennis bracelet and earrings, which were gifts from Eric over the years. She wore the veil that her mother wore when she married Ellen's father in 1981.

Ellen sewed a dolphin charm necklace, which was a gift from her aunt and featured a picture of her mother, to the inside of her bodice. She also stitched a blue ring from Eric's family, which was her "something old" and "something borrowed," to the underside of her hem.

Bridesmaids' dresses: The women wore knee-length, royal blue dresses in styles of their choosing. They also wore silver heels. Ellen's twin sister was the maid of honor.

Men's attire: Eric and the groomsmen wore black tuxedos from King's Contrivance Formal Wear in Columbia. Eric wore a silver vest and tie, while the groomsmen wore royal blue vests and ties.

Music: Bobby Dawson of Dawson Entertainment Services in Marriottsville played music. Ellen and Eric's first dance was to "When You Say Nothing At All" by Alison Krauss.

Food and dessert: Catering by Uptown made chicken with asparagus and salmon with a lemon dill sauce for dinner.

The company also made a three-tier confetti cake decorated with white icing and blue scrollwork.

The cake topper of miniature bride and groom figurines was used at Ellen's parents' wedding and her older brothers' weddings.

Special touches: In lieu of a traditional guest book, the couple labeled empty wine bottles for seven future anniversaries, including one year, 10 years and 25 years. They asked guests to write advice or sentiments on slips of paper and place them into the bottles for the couple to read on the respective dates.

Eric designed the save-the-dates, invitations and programs.

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