Her story: Gwyneth Susil, 34, grew up in Bethesda. She is a pediatrician in pursuit of a position in North Carolina, where she moved to live with her husband-to-be last fall. Her mother, Joan Weigel, a homemaker, and father, George Weigel, a Catholic theologian, live in Bethesda. In 2010, Gwyneth's first husband, Robert Susil, died of cancer. Their son William is 7.
His story: Jeffrey "Jeff" Spaeder, 46, grew up in Pittsburgh. He is the chief medical and scientific officer for Quintiles, a biopharmaceutical company headquartered in Durham, N.C. His parents, Leo and Frances Spaeder, both retired, live in Pittsburgh.
Their story: Gwyneth and Jeff met on Match.com in fall 2012. At the time, Gwyneth was living in Baltimore and Jeff was living in Chapel Hill, N.C. They talked for several weeks before meeting in person that October, when Jeff flew to Baltimore for a weekend visit.
"You can't really ask someone to fly from North Carolina and just meet them for coffee," says Gwyneth.
So on Oct. 7, 2012, they spent the day together, eating brunch at the Waterfront Kitchen in Fells Point, visiting the Baltimore Museum of Art and attending the Orioles-Yankees playoff game that night.
They discovered that they had several friends and colleagues in common because both had attended the Johns Hopkins University medical school and had lived in Baltimore for over 10 years.
"What we found that was most surprising wasn't necessarily that we met online but that we'd never met before," says Jeff.
The proposal: Gwyneth visited Jeff in North Carolina during Memorial Day weekend of 2013. That Saturday, they were about to go out to dinner when Gwyneth walked into the living room to find Jeff fussing with a police Lego set that William put together on a previous visit. Jeff asked Gwyneth to see if she could determine the problem, telling her to look behind the makeshift police station. Tucked behind it, she found a box holding an engagement ring.
"I think he wanted to include William in some way [in the proposal] and I certainly appreciated that," Gwyneth says, "because it was not just proposing to me, but a whole family that was being formed."
Gwyneth, William and Jeff now live in Raleigh, N.C.
The venue: The ceremony at the Basilica of the Assumption in Mount Vernon was attended by 160 guests. Gwyneth's longtime friend, Bishop James Conley of Lincoln, Neb., presided. A reception followed in the Grand Ballroom at the Belvedere.
Decor: Wicked Willow in Baltimore designed the bouquets, boutonnieres and centerpieces using dahlias, roses and chrysanthemums in deep red, burnt orange, gold and ivory. Framed wedding pictures of Jeff and Gwyneth's parents and grandparents were displayed in the ballroom entryway.
Her dress: The bride wore a sleeveless fit-and-flare Augusta Jones gown with a cathedral train and lace overlay from Betsy Robinson's Bridal Collection in Reisterstown.
Bridesmaids' dresses: The women wore sleeveless, floor-length chiffon Bill Levkoff gowns in persimmon from Betsy Robinson's Bridal.
Men's attire: Jeff wore his own black Hugo Boss tuxedo, while the groomsmen wore black tuxedos and bow ties from Tuxedo House in Timonium. Jeff and William wore ivory bow ties.
Music: Night and Day, a jazz and swing band based in Silver Spring, entertained. Gwyneth and Jeff's first dance was to "L-O-V-E," originally by Nat King Cole.
Food and dessert: Truffles Catering, the Belvedere's on-site vendor, provided a balsamic vinaigrette salad and pan-seared chicken breast for dinner. The four-tier cake featured alternating layers of pear cake with caramel-infusing icing and chocolate cake with cookies and cream icing.
Favors: Guests received a bronze wine stopper adorned with a maple leaf and glass coaster sets etched with maple leaves.
Special touches: Jeff's sister-in-law, Ivana Spaeder, is from Slovakia, where a popular wedding gift is a set of dolls crafted to look like the bride and groom. Ivana arranged for women in her hometown to make a family of three dolls resembling Gwyneth, Jeff and William.
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