Mike & Whitney Gravel's Wedding Story
He went out on a date with her friend first!
How did they meet?When Mike Gravel was set up on a blind date one evening, he never expected that he would end up marrying his blind date's friend, Whitney Stewart. "My friend called me and said, 'I've met a man you're going to like,'" Whitney says. Her friend was right, and soon after the couple was dating.
The Bride Whitney Stewart, 38
The Groom Mike Gravel, 55
Wedding Date May 6, 1984
The Location Oxon Hill, Maryland
Number of Guests 150
The proposal?A proposal came on New Year's Eve 1984, when Mike gave Whitney a matted and framed return address label that had been printed with his home address and "Mrs. Whitney Stewart Gravel". "Prior to the gift, I had teased him about whether I should use his address or mine when I was ordering new checks," Whitney says.
The scene?The couple married the following May in Maryland at Oxon Hill Manor -- "We wanted an outdoor party amid the tulips, with a view of the Potomac River," Whitney says. Although it rained the day of and the wedding had to be moved indoors, the couple and their closest family and friends enjoyed the night all the same.
The wedding day?The ceremony was a nontraditional one -- guests enjoyed appetizers until about halfway through the celebration when the couple gathered everyone together in the main entryway of the manor to recite their personalized vows. Mike donned a dark suit for the day, and Whitney borrowed a circa 1900 white cotton and lace lawn party dress. In lieu of a wedding party, Whitney asked her parents to stand up for her -- "My parents had waited a long time for me to choose a partner," she says -- and Mike's two grown children, Martin and Lynne, stood up for him. After the couple exchanged vows, everyone enjoyed dinner and a night of dancing at the manor. In lieu of a wedding cake, Mike and Whitney had a large dessert buffet for all their guests to enjoy.
The only calamity Whitney recalls?The couple hosted an informal dinner the night before the wedding, and "People kept showing up, so friends had to keep going out to get more and more salmon to throw on the grill!"