The couple: Brian Lizzi, 34, grew up in Burtonsville, Maryland, and graduated from Paint Branch High School. He works as a 401(k) plan consultant for TriBridge Partners in Bethesda. Jill Minchoff, 30, was raised in Middletown, Maryland, roughly 15 minutes outside of Frederick, and now works in Rockville as a wealth adviser for Bronfman E.L. Rothschild. The couple moved from Bethesda to a town house in Olney in July 2015.
The wedding: Jill and Brian were married at Zion Lutheran Church in Middletown, the same church where her grandparents and parents were married, on May 30, 2015. The reception followed nearby on the working family farm where Jill’s maternal grandfather lives.
How they met: Jill and Brian were each out with friends at Caddies on Cordell in Bethesda in 2010. Jill recognized a company name printed on Brian’s shirt and asked him about it. “I’m a pretty friendly person,” says Jill, who wasn’t intending to pick him up. It turned out they both knew the owner of the company, so later that night Brian asked Jill if he could get her number from the mutual friend.
First date: Brian meant to ask Jill to meet him at Black’s Bar & Kitchen in Bethesda but accidentally invited her to the now-shuttered BlackFinn. When they got there, he apologized for choosing a place that was more bar than restaurant. The pair celebrated their third anniversary at Black’s.
The proposal: “He had done this whole façade about how he wasn’t ready to get married,” Jill says. Brian was actually setting up to make the proposal a surprise. When Jill suggested they hike the Billy Goat Trail one weekend, he saw his chance. At a scenic spot, he said they should take a picture. He handed his phone to some hikers with a note saying that he was about to propose and asking them to photograph the moment. Then, he gave Jill a sweet letter, and when she finished it and looked up, he was holding a box with a ring.
Wedding theme: A homegrown, rustic and colorful farm wedding
Number of guests: 120
What made the event special: Jill says having the reception at her family’s 180-acre dairy-and-crop farm was “amazing.” The couple and other family members spent several weekends power-washing, gardening and painting—including applying 100 gallons of red paint to the tin-roof barn that served as the main reception area. “It’s a working farm,” Jill says. “There are chickens running around. It’s not normally a wedding venue.”
Favorite moment: “Standing on the dock looking up at the fireworks,” Jill says of the seven-minute show that exploded over the farm’s pond.
The food: Pulled pork, pulled chicken, brisket and family-style sides. “We wanted guests to feel like they were having a meal at our home,” Jill says. Brian really wanted ice cream cake but they were worried it would be difficult to serve, so they had ice cream cupcakes from Cold Stone Creamery instead.
From the farm: The couple used items from around the family’s property as décor, including some of her grandmother’s old perfume bottles. They also created a map of the farm and placed signs with more information at key spots. During the cocktail hour, guests were encouraged to tour the farm. “We had a milk-and-cookie table at the milking parlor,” Jill says.
Cost-cutting tips: Instead of catered hors d’oeuvres, Brian and Jill put together trail mix and popcorn bars themselves. They also made lawn games—cornhole, giant Jenga and ladder golf—with materials from Home Depot.
Something to laugh about: “We have swans on the pond, and when the fireworks went off, the swans freaked out,” Jill says.
Gown: A strapless gown by Wtoo purchased from Love Couture Bridal in Potomac; Jill bought a lace jacket online to wear during the ceremony.
The honeymoon: A trip to South Africa
The details: Catering was provided by P.I.G.S. (Pork Is Good Stuff); cake, Cakes for Mom; event planner, Alex Meyer Events; fireworks, Innovative Pyrotechnic Concepts; flowers, Candlelight Floral Designs; hair and makeup, Hello Gorgeous Salon; music, Luke James Shaffer; photography, Rob Korb Photography; videography, One and Done Events.