Story by Liesel Schmidt
They say that there are a lot of fish in the sea, but sometimes we find that we’re fishing in the wrong sea. So was the case for Eleanor Prendergast and Mark Stein when the two connected online in 2016. At the time, both had exhausted their searches for love locally and neared the end of their respective subscriptions to a dating app. After finding that, despite their geographical distance, they knew a lot of the same people, they decided to take things off-line and meet in person.
Over the next five years, they nurtured their relationship across the miles between New Jersey and Virginia. In the summer of 2021, they bought a home together in Fairfax. After a year of living together, Mark made their dream home even more of a dream when he asked Eleanor to marry him on the back deck, overlooking Lake Royal at sunset.
A year and a half later, Eleanor wore a long-sleeved ivory crepe Tadashi Shoji Dawson wedding gown with a twist detail in the front as she walked down the aisle at Above ALX on October 22, 2022. With their kids standing beside them as their attendants, Mark and Eleanor exchanged vows and were pronounced married—though their real vows to each other came later in the evening, in a moment they shared privately at sunset. “We were the only ones that could hear, and it ended up being one of the most special, most intimate parts of the whole evening,” says Mark.
Celebrating with a reception catered by Well Dunn Catering, the newlyweds spent the evening with their guests at Above ALX, enjoying their first hours of married life. “We had such amazing views and the most gorgeous sunset we were lucky enough to have that day,” Mark notes. “All of our guests commented on how beautiful and unique the location was.”
After being sent off by their guests to a mini-moon to Shenandoah, the couple came back to Fairfax with plans to take their official honeymoon to the Amalfi Coast of Italy this fall.
COUPLE: Eleanor Prendergast + Mark Stein | VENUE: Above ALX