Language of Love
The couple: Florent Abaziou, 31, was born in Lannion, France. His family moved to Raleigh, North Carolina, and lived there for seven years before moving to Potomac when Florent was in elementary school. He graduated from Winston Churchill High School and works in search engine optimization for Marriott International in Bethesda. Lindsay Abaziou (maiden name Lithgow), 29, grew up in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, and moved to the D.C. area after college. She worked for Bethesda Magazine for two years in marketing and web production, and is now a digital analytics specialist for TD Ameritrade in Columbia. They live in Silver Spring.
How they met: Florent and Lindsay first spied each other in the summer of 2013 at Blackfinn in Bethesda (now closed) where they were each at happy hour with friends. Connected by a mutual friend, the groups merged tables. Although Lindsay and Florent were immediately interested in each other, she ended up talking to Florent’s friend about football the whole time. Both were disappointed by the missed connection. “In my defense, football really wasn’t my thing. Still isn’t,” Florent says.
The first date: After running into each other at more happy hours and networking events, Lindsay was determined to spend some time alone with Florent. She was transitioning to a new role at Bethesda Magazine and asked him out to dinner under the pretext that she wanted professional advice. “I tried to pass it off like it was an informational business dinner,” she says. “But he knew it was a date.” They had dinner at Circa in Clarendon. Each wished the date would never end. “It always sounds cheesy because I’ve never been the girl that would say that, but it didn’t feel like any other date that I’ve been on,” she says. “I called my mom and was like, ‘Oh my gosh. I’m in trouble!’ ”
A defining moment: Just two months after the couple started dating, Lindsay’s brother, Jackie Lithgow, was assaulted at a college party, resulting in a severe brain injury. Lindsay and Florent had a serious conversation about their relationship and whether they were ready to face such a grave matter together. “It was a very awkward, a very weird conversation to have that early,” Lindsay says. “But I think it really defined how much we were connected right away.” Florent was a great source of strength for Lindsay during her brother’s recovery, which is ongoing. Since the incident in 2014, Jackie has re-enrolled at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania and lives on his own. He attended the couple’s wedding.
The proposal: In the summer of 2016, about three years after they first met, the couple visited Florent’s family in Concarneau, France. It was Lindsay’s first time abroad and her first time meeting his extended family. Florent suggested they have a picnic on the beach despite the breezy weather. He had packed a basket of charcuterie and Champagne and slipped the engagement ring into his pocket. Since their vacation was almost over, Lindsay, who had been hoping for a proposal, no longer expected one. The couple found a quiet spot between large rocks on the sand. “When he took out the bottle of Champagne, I was like, ‘What’s that for?’ ” she says. “And then [he] turned around and asked me, and I’m pretty sure I blacked out.”
The wedding: Lindsay and Florent were married at Herrington on the Bay in North Beach, Maryland, on Sept. 30, 2017. The evening ceremony in the waterfront garden was followed by a cocktail hour and reception at the yacht club. There were 140 guests.
The gown: Lindsay bought her two-piece gown from the Georgetown location of BHLDN, Anthropologie’s wedding brand. She chose matching separates—a lace corset top and a full tulle skirt—hoping to repurpose them after the wedding.
The suit: Florent wore a navy blue suit from Enzo Custom in D.C. During the couple’s first look, Florent showed Lindsay that he’d had their wedding date and her initials sewn into his waistband and shirt collar. He also wore cat-patterned socks, in honor of their cat, Rosie.
Rockin’ out: Lindsay and her father walked down the aisle to an instrumental version of “Back in Black” by AC/DC. “I grew up listening to AC/DC with my dad all the time,” she says. She also picked the song in hopes it would calm her wedding jitters. “I knew I would be a nervous wreck walking down,” she says. “I wanted to relax with something familiar.”
Watching from afar: Although 20 members of Florent’s family flew in from France, some of his friends and family were unable to make the trip. The couple Facebook Live-streamed the ceremony for them. “They were able to watch live and sort of be there in the moment,” Florent says. “They really enjoyed that.”
Bilingual bash: The couple wanted their French and American guests to feel included on their special day. They sent out invitations in both languages, and at the reception they had bilingual table signs and menus and asked their DJ to play a mix of French and English songs. “I’m just glad my parents like to dance because the French love to dance as well,” Lindsay says. Even though they don’t speak the same language, Lindsay’s grandfather and Florent’s grandfather bonded over World War II. “It was amazing to be there and help translate,” Florent says.
The dessert: To accommodate relatives with celiac disease, the couple served a gluten-free wedding cake with three tiers: vanilla with buttercream frosting; chocolate raspberry with vanilla frosting; and almond chocolate with buttercream frosting. “It was delicious,” Florent says. “No one could tell it was gluten-free.” There was also a savory option—Old Bay-seasoned fries—since Lindsay doesn’t have much of a sweet tooth.
Honeymoon: Lindsay and Florent spent time with his out-of-town family the week after their wedding. Then the couple took a two-week trip to Morocco, where Lindsay got to practice her French.
Vendors: Cake, Sweet Sue’s; catering and wedding coordination, Herrington on the Bay; DJ, Crow Entertainment; flowers, Beth Kemp Designs; flowers for centerpieces, Potomac Floral Wholesale; photography, George Street Photo & Video.