By Liesel Schmidt
There’s a saying that, when you know, you know. For Alisha Figueroa and Daniel Rosales-Berstein, “knowing” wasn’t an instantaneous thing, but more of a slow realization, something that happened without either of them even noticing.
“We met in college and found each other online,” says Alisha. “We chatted for a bit, but nothing really happened until he invited me to a friend’s party. At the time, Daniel was a senior and I was a freshman, so I didn't know anyone and was very nervous to go. Still, I decided to put my nerves aside and go to the party. He found me in the crowd of people and we chatted a lot and danced the night away. We ended up going to a few more places after that and then called it a night. As much as we enjoyed each other’s company, both of us had recently gotten out of relationships, so we were more interested in being friends at first. I think we both were a little guarded. However, as the months went by and his graduation approached, I realized that I had feelings for him but didn't know how he felt about me. I had pretty much accepted the fact that after he graduated, I probably wouldn't see him again, but my wish came true when he finally told me he had feelings for me and that he didn't want his graduation to be the end of what we had. We officially became a couple and then did long-distance for the next three years. After I graduated college, we moved in together. The rest is history.”
History indeed, as Daniel took their relationship to the next level and popped the question during a very memorable trip to Aruba with his family in September of 2019.
“He totally surprised me!” Alisha says. “We went on a walk together on the beach during sunset and he proposed to me with the gorgeous sunset and ocean in the background. His sister hid behind trees and captured the moment on camera.”
Just short of three years later, on April 22, 2022, their moment was again captured on camera when the couple stood before 90 of their closest friends and family to exchange vows in a beautiful pavilion on the grounds of Westfields Golf Club. Wearing an elegantly simple sheath gown with spaghetti straps and a sweetheart neckline finished off with a cathedral-length veil, Alisha held hands with Daniel as they were pronounced married.
Having made it official, the couple joined their guests for a reception in the clubhouse at Westfields. “We chose Westfields Golf Club because of the beauty of the grounds and scenery,” says Alisha of their decision for the venue. “They have a gorgeous lake on the grounds that makes for great photos. I also loved that we could have the ceremony under the pavilion, which was pretty and gave me peace of mind in case it rained.”
As the party got underway, the newlyweds and their guests enjoyed a seated dinner of New York strip steaks and Boursin stuffed chicken before the dancing went into full swing, courtesy of JJ Entertainment. And dance, they did. “My family loves to have a dance-off to 'Smooth Criminal' by Michael Jackson,” says Alisha with a laugh. “It's a Figueroa family wedding tradition, so we had to do it!”
As wedding tradition also demands, Daniel and Alisha cut into their cake, a two-tiered lavender and lemon curd-flavored cake adorned with pink and purple flowers. “Everyone loved it,” Alisha recalls. Everyone also loved the wedding favors that they were given by the couple to thank them for coming and for everything they did to help make the wedding a reality. “We linked them to a personalized video for each guest,” says Alisha. “It was really special and completely unique.”
With the cake-cutting complete, the party continued until it was time to bid farewell to the happy couple and send them on their way to honeymoon in Annapolis. “We love going there together and we absolutely love the seafood,” Alisha notes. “We had an incredible honeymoon and it was a great way to start off our life as a married couple.”
Now back home in Alexandria, Alisha and Daniel have settled into their new normal, excited to share their future together.
“We love married life!” says Alisha.
“I'm still getting used to saying ‘husband,’ though. It sounds so adult and official! But it's really nice to have a life partner to plan your future with.”