Tarina Szemzo & Andrew Fremming
Married August 22, 2015
The couple: Tarina Szemzo, 32, and Andrew Fremming, 33, both grew up in Takoma Park. Tarina graduated from Montgomery Blair High School and works in marketing for Michael Bennett Kress Photography. Andrew graduated from the Barrie School and owns The Suite Barbershop in Silver Spring. They live in Takoma Park.
The wedding: Aug. 22, 2015, in Budajeno, Hungary
How they met: Tarina and Andrew attended the same elementary school, but Andrew was a grade ahead. Though they went to separate high schools, they knew of each other and had many friends in common. But it wasn’t until 2010, during a mutual friend’s wedding weekend, that the pair got to talking and felt a strong connection.
First date: Andrew picked Tarina up on his motorcycle and they ate at Lauriol Plaza in D.C. “I had never ridden on a motorcycle before and it was the best feeling,” Tarina says.
The proposal: Tarina’s relatives all live in Hungary, except for her parents, who split their time between the U.S. and Hungary. She travels there frequently, and Andrew had come along on three trips. He knew proposing to her there would be meaningful. In September 2014, while they were walking across the Chain Bridge over the Danube River in Budapest, Andrew pulled out a ring and proposed. He later told her he was terrified the ring would fall in the water.
Wedding theme: A Hungarian wedding mixed with modern American traditions
Number of guests: 85
What made the event special: The location. Their wedding was in a tiny Hungarian village. The ceremony was on a mountaintop, outside of a 1,000-year-old church. Horses are revered in Hungary, so Andrew rode in on a white horse. Following the ceremony, a three-piece Hungarian folk band led everyone through the village to Tarina’s parents’ property for a cocktail hour in their wine cellar. “All these strangers came out of their houses as we walked by to see us,” Tarina says. The reception was held around the corner, in a restaurant’s outdoor garden.
Showing her Hungarian roots: At the reception, guests drank a Hungarian fruit brandy called pálinka from handmade shot glasses they could take home as favors. Food at the reception included goose leg, cabbage and potatoes, all flavored with paprika.
Favorite moment: “Standing under a flower arch at our ceremony, looking at Andrew’s face as we were taking this new step together,” Tarina says.
Combining cultures: Though Andrew is German and Norwegian, he speaks Spanish and decided to include a mojito bar at the cocktail hour and a salsa band at the reception. A DJ and the Hungarian folk band also played at the reception.
Love songs: Tarina and Andrew are both singers and wanted to incorporate singing into the day. They decided on a duet of “You+Me” by Alecia Moore and Dallas Green. “We pulled my grandma and my parents up and thanked them, then sang the song,” Tarina says. She also surprised Andrew by singing a song she wrote herself called “I Do.”
Cost-cutting tips: “Get married in another country—everything’s cheaper,” Tarina says. The couple also found that using native wildflowers rather than importing out-of-season rarities saved money.
Something to laugh about: They learned the day of their flight to Hungary that because Andrew’s passport had less than three months until it expired, he wouldn’t be able to enter the country. He got an emergency passport, and they flew out the following day. “Can you imagine being told you can’t go to your own wedding?” Tarina says, laughing about it now.
Gown: An ivory A-line dress with a deep sweetheart neckline and an embroidered rose-gold underlay made by Watters and purchased at Betsy Robinson’s Bridal Collection in Baltimore
The honeymoon: A trip to the Riviera Maya in Mexico
The details: Groom’s apparel, Enzo Custom Suits; photography, Michael Bennett Kress.