Story by Liesel Schmidt | Photography by Sam Stroud Photography
Everyone knows that timing is everything when it comes to finding “The One.” And while Kristen Hoagland and Robert DeSano might have both been dating other people when they met each other at a college party he was hosting at his house, they both felt an undeniable connection that they just couldn’t shake. Over their next few years at West Virginia University, they kept in touch, forming a friendship and often running into one another. And fortunately for this couple, graduation didn’t mean the end for them—it was just the beginning.
“We started hanging out more and more a few years after we graduated and eventually starting dating,” says Kristen, who is originally from Columbia, Maryland, while Rob grew up in Alexandria, making D.C. a very natural place to “run into” one another.
Over the next four and a half years, casual dating grew into something more serious, Rob and Kristen moved in together; and when Rob realized that the time was right to make their relationship one that would last forever, the Aerotek Practice Lead created the perfect moment to pop the question. “I had a hair appointment that morning; and when I got home, I noticed that the house was sparkling clean and that Rob was acting more hyper than usual,” recalls Kristen, who works as a Communications Specialist for OneDigital Health and Benefits. “He asked me to fix one of our messenger boards in the living room, and when I walked over to it, he had a message on it saying ‘Will you marry me?’ I turned around, and he was on one knee with the ring and asked me to marry him! I’m a pretty private person and don’t love having a lot of attention, so he knew that proposing in our home would be the most comfortable situation for me…He also knew I would be in a great mood because my hair had just been cut and highlighted!” she laughs. “He did a great job.”
Just over ten months later on September 20, 2019, Kristen walked down the aisle at Pippin Hill Farm wearing a classic yet modern ivory Savannah Miller gown with lace straps, silk accents, and an alluring vee-neckline and low back. After saying “I do,” while a live painter captured the ceremony as it unfolded, the newly-married DeSanos joined their guests for a seated dinner and reception on the grounds, ready to celebrate their union and definitely down to party. “We had a TON of fun,” Kristen says. “We wanted our wedding to be a party—for people to dance, drink, eat, and have a great time. We really focused on the entertainment of the wedding, which definitely paid off because people were up dancing the entire night and didn’t want it to end.”
But end it did, though not before the couple cut into a three-tier “naked” autumn apple butter spice cake with maple cream cheese frosting. As the festivities came to a close, the happy newlyweds were sent off to start their brand new lives together, their timing clearly perfect for creating their very own happily ever after.
Photographer: Sam Stroud Photography
Wedding Planner: Donovan-Groves Events
Venue: Pippin Hill Farm
Band: The Free
Ceremony Music: Terra Voce
Videographer: Ryan Serio
Florist: Blue Ridge Floral Design
Dessert: Paradox Pastry
Ceremony Live Painter: Chloe Strickland
Wedding Dress: Savannah Miller, Nordstrom Tysons Bridal Suite
Bridesmaid Dress: Show Me Your Mumu
Makeup: Izzy B Makeup, Brittany Cretella
Hair: Brianna Adams