Must be a softball player thing.
Two years ago here, I wrote about the wedding of one of my favorite couples of all time, Stacey Rose and Dan Harris. Stacey is an accomplished softball player (she once struck out 15 players in a game while pitching for Furman University in the mid-Nineties) and now is an equally accomplished attorney. She and Dan met on an online dating service, Jdate.com, and were married during the peak of the cherry blossoms two years ago this month.
Laura Rubinchuk played softball for the University of Rochester. Two Saturdays ago, just as the cherry blossoms were blooming, she married Mitch Schwartz in a beautiful ceremony at the W Hotel in Washington. The couple met on...wait for it...match.com, a fact they joyfully shared with guests at their wedding via a copy of those first emails. (Mitch admirably mentions straight away that, "I am loyal.")
Whether it's the literal fast pitch or the dating slow pitch, I know that I really like these guys, just as I really liked Stacey and Dan before them. They are very much in love, very fun to be around, and always smiling. And Laura's got a great sense of humor. (Back in November, after I had vented that, after 27 years, I sometimes still get emails addressed to "Dear Photographer," Laura promptly sent me an email that read, "Dear Photographer: Please send contract.")
The other thing you need to know about Laura is that her family hails from Belarus. She speaks fluent Russian. Her dad is warm and funny, just as you would expect, and was very proud to wear his Father of the Bride baseball cap all day. My assistant Cliff and I chatted with Laura's mom in the hotel room about all things Belarusian. (Just as I chatted with Mitch's dad about growing up in the Bronx. Everyone comes from the Bronx, including my parents.)
Laura and Mitch were married at the W, which has become the happening hot spot in Washington. Whenever you're in a hotel that has bouncers just for the elevators, you know you're in a sought-after place. The reception was up on the roof, overlooking the White House and Treasury. It's one of the best views in D.C.
In fact, when Laura and Mitch saw each other for the very first time, the hotel arranged for them to do it on the rooftop, with the Washington Monument in the background. Beats the heck out of a hotel corridor!
After that, we stepped outside for a few family pictures. As usual, despite being surrounded by thousands of happy, photo-snapping tourists, the Park Police came right up to us and asked for a permit. At Freedom Plaza! We weren't anywhere close to a monument or a memorial. Just minding our own business on Pennsylvania Avenue. I pretended I had no clue about permits or weddings or photography and the officer let us go. Oh well, some things never change. (The joke, for me at least, was that two years ago, Stacey and Dan sat amidst thousands of cherry blossom revelers on the steps of the Jefferson and no one bothered us!)
I'm hoping someday Stacey and Laura can somehow hook up and swap softball and dating stories. It's a small world and you never know.
I promised I would have some pictures of Laura and Mitch up on the blog before their honeymoon ended. But I just noticed that Laura posted on Facebook that she was back to work today, so I'm a day late! Enjoy, guys!