An exclusive glimpse at the nuptials of three Young & the Guest List couples.
TULSI GABBARD AND ABRAHAM WILLIAMS
MARRIED APRIL 9, 2015
She represents Hawaii’s 2nd Congressional District. He’s a freelance cinematographer. The couple divides their time between Washington and Kailua, Hawaii.
THE STORY: They first became friends when Williams volunteered to work on Gabbard’s campaign ad shoots in 2012. He asked her out a year later at a birthday party for Gabbard thrown by a mutual friend, and soon discovered a shared love of surfing. “Our second date was a surfing date,” she says. “We had so much fun. We started surfing together whenever I was back in Hawaii. Our friendship and relationship developed over our mutual love for the ocean and surfing and grew from there!”
THE WEDDING: The scenic affair took place at Kahalu’u Fishpond on the windward side of Oahu, as the sun set behind the majestic Ko’olau mountains. The honeymoon has been on hold since work’s been keeping them busy but every time they are home in beautiful Hawaii, Gabbard says, “We feel like we are on a honeymoon.”
DRESS SUCCESS: The bride wore traditional Indian-style Lacha attire, a royal blue raw silk long jacket with a gold skirt. “I wasn’t happy with the original dress I found, so was scrambling for the ‘right dress’ just days before the wedding,” Gabbard says. “I found it online five days before the wedding, rushed my measurements to the vendor, and received it two days before the wedding. It fit perfectly!”
DETAILS: Her sister Vrindavan, a deputy U.S. marshal in Washington, served as the wedding planner and worked with their mother and a few friends in Hawaii to pull the whole thing off. The vegetarian Indian dinner was created and provided by her brother-in-law (who happens to be a chef), and included shahi paneer, samosas, fresh mango chutney and saffron rice. The rose cardamom and fresh mango cheesecakes featured henna-style design. Flowers included fresh Hawaiian Pikake, gardenias, maile lei, birds of paradise and plumeria. A yoga kirtan band played music composed by the groom and his friends, who sang ancient yoga mantras throughout the ceremony and the evening reception.
SPECIAL TOUCHES: Guests signed their names with well wishes on a blue custom-made surfboard designed by a close friend.
FAVORITE PART: The traditional vedic Hindu ceremony where we exchanged vows that each of us wrote, and the wonderful yoga kirtan that followed the ceremony, where our friends and family joined us dancing, clapping, and singing special yoga chants as we celebrated together,” Gabbard says.
NOTABLE GUESTS: House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and his wife Judy; House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer; Rep. Joe Kennedy and wife Lauren; Rep. Markwayne Mullin and wife Christie; former Sen. Daniel Akaka; former Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie and his wife, Dr. Nancie Caraway; and actor Daniel Dae Kim and his wife Mia.
KATARINA ALHARMOOSH AND LUCAS BAIANO
MARRIED MAY 30, 2015
Baiano is president of WeRPolitics, a media agency that produces political and corporate ad campaigns. Alharmoosh holds a Master’s degree in Ethics, Peace and Global Affairs from American University. Baiano first saw his future bride walking down the stairs at Buzzfeed’s 2013 White House Correspondents’ Dinner event. “It was love at first sight,” he says. The couple resides in Chevy Chase, Md. and is thrilled to share the news that they are expecting a baby boy this month.
THE WEDDING: An enchanted garden-inspired ceremony at Washington’s Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center on a picture perfect spring day. For the honeymoon, two weeks on the Mediterranean Sea including Barcelona, Nice, Monaco, Florence, Naples and Amalfi.
DETAILS: The bride wore Pnina Tornai and the groom chose Giorgio Armani. The bridesmaids’ gowns were by Jovani. In the final month before the wedding, they hired Blue Canary to help with planning. DaVinci provided the flowers, including spectacular floral arrangements; Sylvia Weinstock catered and Erwin Gomez handled hair and makeup. Radio King Orchestra supplied the music. The couple’s first dance was to “Stand by Me” by Ben E. King.
SPECIAL TOUCHES: With the bride and groom’s background in media (she previously worked at NBC and Sky News), it was only fitting that their reception opened with a film that introduced the newlyweds for the first time as husband and wife.
NOTABLE GUESTS: Rep. Tom Rice and his wife Wrenzie along with media friends Arlette Saenz, Zeke Miller, Andrew Rafferty, Alex Skatell and Phil Musser.
RACHNA CHOUDHRY AND AARON PULTZ
MARRIED SEPTEMBER 5, 2015
Choudhry co-founded POPVOX, a platform that connects people with their lawmakers. Pultz is a management consultant and former Air Force pilot. This truly modern-day couple was matched on the dating app Hinge. Both from the West Coast originally, they now call Dupont Circle home.
THE WEDDING: The couple planned the entire wedding themselves in three weeks. The intimate ceremony of 15 people was held at Heritage House Resort on California’s Mendocino Coast, overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The honeymoon was a monthlong European adventure to Rome, Florence, Siena and Luca by train.
ATTIRE: The bride wore a fuchsia dress with black beading and a sweeping satin skirt from Saks Fifth Avenue in Chevy Chase. The groom wore a dark navy suit from Isaia Napoli and a Charvet tie that matched Rachna’s dress.
SPECIAL TOUCHES: The couple wanted rings that were modern and unique. Pultz worked with Georgetown-based jewelry designer Poppyor to create Choudhry’s variation of an infinity ring — a continuous, asymmetrical gold band. Pultz’s ring is from David Yurman and features a meteorite inlay.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS: All guests were able to give a speech or offer a toast. At the reception, Pultz’s brother Scott (the best man) gave a touching multimedia speech about his love for the couple, all while impressively invoking stories of his brother’s Nintendo accomplishments (he was the first person to beat the game “Mike Tyson’s Punch Out”) and even featuring the “Top Gun” theme song.
FAVORITE PART: “Hands down, the best part was when we read our vows to each other,” Choudhry says. “We both wrote our own, and neither of us knew what the other would say. As if by magic the vows complemented each other so well, and added a very personal touch to our ceremony — so personal that Aaron was tearing up almost the entire time.”
This feature story first appeared in the March 2016 issue of Washington Life.