Words by Liesel Schmidt
Photography by Amy and Kyle Catholic Photographers While swiping right doesn’t always yield anything more than a short-term fling, when Ann Conant and Alex Rulon swiped right after seeing each other’s profiles on Bumble in July 2017, they were starting something that would last forever.
An executive assistant in the government, Ann was equally matched to Alex, a Coast Guard officer working in a similar role at the Coast Guard headquarters. The two hit it off. After dating for three years, Alex knew he never wanted to swipe right on anyone else. He popped the question at Sky Meadows State Park in Delaplane, Virginia on November 29, 2020. “We were supposed to go to Ann's parents for Thanksgiving, but canceled last-minute due to a possible COVID exposure,” Alex recalls. “So Ann cooked a turkey for the first time and we had a quiet Thanksgiving alone. We'd been to Sky Meadows before, and after feeding the chickens at the farmstead, I suggested we take a walk up a large hill with a beautiful view. At the top, we sat down on a bench to enjoy the vista, where I asked Ann to marry me. We found out after the fact that my maternal grandparents got engaged the same weekend 60 years before.”
Eight months later, on July 31, 2021, Ann walked down the aisle at the Basilica of St. Mary in Alexandria wearing an off-the-shoulder ivory lace gown with blush undertones and an illusion neckline. After exchanging vows and being pronounced married, Alex and Ann joined their family and friends for a reception at Gunston Hall in Lorton for a reception catered by Rocklands BBQ with on-site grilling and signature drinks of mint juleps and Aperol spritzes. After dining and dancing, the couple cut into their stunning cake: a two-tier lemon pound cake with raspberry filling and buttercream icing. Making the day even sweeter, guests were also treated to a selection of pies and pastries provided by the Heidelberg Pastry Shoppe. From start to finish, the entire day was memorable—and made even more so by the guests who attended. “We had people travel from all over the world to be at our wedding, including Hong Kong, Japan, Spain, California and Hawaii,” says Ann. “We also had four branches of the military represented at the wedding. Alex was previously active duty in the Coast Guard and is currently serving in the Reserves—as are many of his friends who attended—and I have brothers who either currently serve or have served in the Marine Corps, Army and Navy.”
Naturally, there were details of the wedding that were very reflective of Ann and Alex. “We are both history nerds, so not only did we have our reception at a historical site, but we also named our tables after founding fathers and historical figures of the time,” Ann says with a smile.
After being sent off with well-wishes, the newly married Rulons honeymooned in the Finger Lakes in New York, with hopes to take their originally planned trip to the UK sometime in the future.
The details: Church/Ceremony: The Basilica of St. Mary - Alexandria, VA
Reception Venue: George Mason’s Gunston Hall – Lorton, VA
Photographer: Amy and Kyle Catholic Photographers – Emmitsburg, MD
Wedding Planner/Coordinator: Larissa Wedding Designs – Arlington, VA
Florist: Blue Ribbon Floral – Washington, DC
Catering: Rocklands BBQ
Cake/Desserts: The Heidelberg Pastry Shoppe – Arlington, VA
DJ/Entertainment Services: Event Entertainment, LLC - Reisterstown, MD
Dress: Bridals by Cyndi - Turnersville, NJ
Rentals: Sammy’s Rental Inc. - Manassas, VA
Transportation: Fleet Transportation
Rings: Kings Jewelry – Alexandria, VA
Hair: Cheryl Goldsmith - Arlington, VA
Makeup: Erika K Beauty - Stafford, VA