This summer, I had the pleasure of photographing David and Becky. Becky was referred to be by a mutual friend who works in her office, Greg Millwater. As it turned out, I actually already knew her fiance! David and I were the same year as Teach for America Corps members! Out of the entire DC region, David and I were buddies because we both had a love of sarcasm. It was fate that years later, I would get to hang out with this magnificent couple by capturing their wedding day! We snapped these portraits at the National Portrait Gallery and Yards Park near their home!
When grabbing lunch with Becky, she told me the story of her and David. I have asked her to share it in her own words because I felt I wouldn’t do it justice. Her eloquent words are followed by my favorite snaps of the day!:
“It all began in 2012, about a year and a half after I graduated from college in D.C. I was being dragged out to Sam’s Halloween party. I went to college with Sam, who was originally from Chicago and good friends with one of my roommates. Sam was known for throwing good parties, he had a Capitol Hill row home he shared with some friends, complete with an illegal, makeshift roof deck and a “kegerator”. I was Tinkerbell, but I hadn’t even managed to find wings. At the party, Sam insisted that we had to meet this guy, David, because David lived in the apartment building my roommates and I were about to move into.
Sam introduced me to a cute guy, David Chodak, dressed in normal clothes. I asked him who he was supposed to be dressed up as, and he insisted he was Turtle from Entourage. I rolled my eyes, but as I had also missed the memo on dressing up for the party, I didn’t push him on it. David and I chatted for a while about how he knew Sam (they went to camp in Chicago together when they were kids), his job as a teacher (his second year with TFA), and about his unusual last name (Chodak, like Kodak) but then David left the party to go out to nearby bars. I also left shortly thereafter, to go home, and a few weeks later my roommates and I moved into a fancy new apartment building near the convention center.
Fast forward to a few weeks before Christmas, and one of my roommates was insisting that we had to go to the building Christmas party on the roof. I was not overly excited, but she promised free food and drinks so I thought I’d go for 15 minutes, snag some food and head home. We walk in, and there’s a boy who looks familiar.
“I know you,” he said. “We met at Sam’s party. David Chodak, like Kodak, I’m a teacher.” We chatted for a while and then exchanged phone numbers. A few days later he texted me asking if I knew how to play chess. I told him I did, and the next night I went to his apartment to play. David beat me in about 3 moves, but then he patiently explained where I went wrong (my first move basically) and we chatted and had some wine. He offered to take me to dinner the next week.
The next week, he said he had a reservation at 7 at a restaurant in Chinatown so we could meet in the building lobby at 6:30 and walk over together. We arrived at the restaurant on time but they did not have a reservation for Chodak! The surprisingly crowded restaurant found us a seat, and a nice dinner began. We began seeing each other regularly and realized we had more in common than our shared apartment lobby
Fast forward to a year later, when one of David’s friends spilled the beans that David never called to make the reservation on our first date! He assumed the restaurant would be empty enough for us to walk in, it was just a Tuesday after all. But when we arrived and David didn’t want to be caught lying to me on our first date, not to mention that we were both hungry and didn’t want to wait to be seated, so he insisted it was the restaurant’s mistake. I found it hilarious but now I’m in charge of making our reservations.
Almost four years after we started dating, David and I went for a walk on the mall before a big Friendsgiving feast that afternoon. I insisted on showing David the view from the back of the Lincoln memorial, but while back there David hands me a card. Inside he asks me to marry him, and I look up from the card to see him down on one knee with a gorgeous ring in his hand. I immediately burst into tears, although I did manage to say yes. And now we’re busy wedding planning!
He had 2 chances to mess it all up (not getting my number when we met, and not having a reservation on our first date) but third time was the charm and we’ve been dating ever since.”