Ste­fanie Mach & Sean Gre­gory

The Washington Post Sunday - - ONLOVE - — Janet Ben­nett Kelly

Ste­fanie Mach, 27, is a law stu­dent. Sean Gre­gory, 29, is a grad­u­ate stu­dent. They live in Chapel Hill, where both at­tend the Uni­ver­sity of North Carolina.

Wed­ding date: Dec. 31

Lo­ca­tion: Ad­mi­ral Fell Inn, Fells Point, Bal­ti­more

Guests: 72

How they met: The Bal­ti­more na­tives met while do­ing can­cer re­search at the same Johns Hopkins lab in 2005. When Ste­fanie in­vited Sean to watch Fourth of July fire­works with her in 2006, they re­al­ized that they just might have a spark of their own.

The pro­posal: The two spent Valen­tine’s Day 2008 eat­ing a spe­cial din­ner and play­ing Texas hold ’em, a fa­vorite pas­time. Then Sean, who’d asked her par­ents’ per­mis­sion be­fore­hand, got down on one knee to pro­pose — much to Ste­fanie’s sur­prise.

The wed­ding: The blue-and-white color scheme at the inn, which over­looks Bal­ti­more’s In­ner Har­bor, evoked a win­ter won­der­land. Dur­ing the in­ti­mate cer­e­mony, the cou­ple stood in a cir­cle of can­dles, sur­rounded by fam­ily and friends who expressed lov­ing sen­ti­ments about them. Af­ter din­ner and the count­down to 2011, they danced the night away.

The hon­ey­moon: Be­fore classes re­sumed, they squeezed in a cruise through the Caribbean, where they zi­plined through the St. Lu­cian rain for­est and snorkeled with a school of bar­racu­das in St. Croix.

PHOTO BY JONATHAN HAN­SON

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