For the Win: Wedding of Steven Birnbaum and Jeanne Shewmaker

by Dara Klatt

A D.C. United soccer stand-out marries the one who gets him ‘out of his shell.’

Dec. 15, 2018 | Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards, North Garden, Va.

It was raining the night that D.C. United defender Steven Birnbaum met Jeanne Shewmaker on a blind date at a dive bar in Washington, D.C. in May 2015. It must have been good luck. Three years later, with light showers outside again, the two said, “I do,” at a Virginia winery with sweeping views along the Monticello Wine Trail.

Nevermind that Birnbaum also just celebrated a victory last month over reining MLS Cup champs Atlanta United … in the rain. His true joy, beyond the soccer spotlight, is having an “independent, strong-willed and driven” wife. “Jeanne is the most beautiful woman I have ever laid my eyes on. She is hilarious and her laugh always makes me smile. She is my complete opposite and brings me out of my shell. She is my best friend,” he says.

Chris Pontius, midfielder with LA Galaxy, (pictured at top) served as one of Birnbaum’s eight groomsmen; Davy Arnaud, a former D.C. United player and Houston coach, was their officiate. Fellow D.C. United team member Jared Jeffrey also attended. Soccer ball holiday ornaments were gifted to guests prior to the holidays and the couple enthusiastically booked the party band ForTheWin.

The most “insanely” special part of the wedding for Birnbuam was in writing letters to each other as their vows. And for Shewmaker, it was “capping off a perfect day by marrying my best friend.”


Bride’s Dress and Veil: Monique Lhuillier from Carine’s Bridal Atelier | Bride’s Shoes: Alexandre Birman | Cake: Victoria’s Cakery | Flowers: Blue Ridge Floral Design | Photography: Jen Fariello | Invitations: Emily Mayne design, printed at Just Paper & Tea Rehearsal Dinner: C&O.

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