Wedding date: Feb. 16, 2013
Her story: Abby von Kelsch, 37, grew up in Stafford, Va. She works for Booz Allen Hamilton as a disaster consultant. Her mother, Linda, is a retired librarian and her father, Hank, is a retired U.S. Marine Corps officer who owns a construction company.
His story: Chad Omweg, 35, grew up in Charlottesville, Va. He is a welder. His parents, Beth and John, are retired.
Their story: Abby and Chad met in October 2007 in Park City, Utah, after Abby left Baltimore to become a member of the U.S.A. Skeleton Olympic Development Team. (The skeleton is a sled in which participants race headfirst.) Chad was the coach of the team at that time. The two quickly became friends, but Chad was in the process of rekindling a relationship with an ex-girlfriend in Virginia. That relationship didn't work out, and Abby and Chad began dating in August 2008.
"We consider the opening ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics our first date," says Abby. "We're all fairly obsessed with the Olympics, so we were watching it at a bar."
The proposal: In June 2011, Chad informed Abby he had asked her father for permission to marry her and that he had bought a ring — a blue sapphire (Abby's favorite stone) from eBay. But he didn't propose until four months later.
"We'd ordered a new chandelier for the kitchen, and she was very excited," says Chad. "I installed it while she was at work and made dinner. About two-thirds of the way through dinner, she started wondering if something was up."
Abby laughs at the memory.
"The tip-off was the house was actually clean," she says. "He got down on one knee and very sweetly and sincerely asked me to marry him. It was absolutely perfect."
The venue: About 90 guests attended the ceremony and reception at the Peabody Library in Baltimore. Abby's younger sister, Beth von Keschel, officiated at the ceremony and Chad built the chuppah, the canopy the couple stands under during a Jewish wedding.
Her dress: Abby wore a beaded halter dress with a sweetheart neckline by Essence of Australia from Bridal Boutique in Columbia.
"It kind of had a 1940s Hollywood glam kind of feel to it," she says.
Abby also wore ivory Badgley Mischka peep-toe pumps and vintage jewelry.
Bridesmaids' dresses: The bridesmaids wore black knee-length dresses from Stop Staring!, an online retro clothing retailer based in Los Angeles.
Men's apparel: Chad and the groomsmen wore black suits and white shirts with white ties from Jos. A. Bank.
Flowers: Abby's aunt, Deborah Baker, designed the flower arrangements and Tim Burton-inspired centerpieces featuring candelabras. The flowers included dark burgundy calla lilies, hydrangeas and gardenias.
Chad designed a tree to hang the place cards, which guests would replace with a wish for the couple. At the end of the night, the favors — chocolate bark in a box — were hung from the tree. The couple also made a donation to dog rescue organizations.
Music: The Bachelor Boys Band entertained the guests during the ceremony and reception.
"They were unbelievable," says Abby. "The last song of the night was 'Sweet Caroline.' I have a lot of family from Boston and that song is played during the [middle of the eighth inning] at Fenway. It's the most fun song in the entire world, with everyone jumping up and down with their hands in the air."
Dessert: The couple selected a traditional tiered cake from SugarBakers Cakes in Catonsville featuring lemon, raspberry preserve and chocolate. Chef's Expressions, which catered the event, hosted an ice cream station with a variety of toppings and vanilla and chocolate ice cream made using liquid nitrogen.
"Everyone likes an ice cream sundae," says Chad. "We wanted to make it a party where a wedding happened to take place."
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