THE COUPLE: Marisa Landau, 34, grew up in Potomac and graduated from Winston Churchill High School. She works for the Humane Society of the United States in Gaithersburg, in grassroots outreach. Doug Schatz, 33, grew up in Bethesda and graduated from Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School. He runs sales and operations for Market Hardware, a digital advertising firm in Bethesda. They live in Kensington.
HOW THEY MET: In 2009, shortly after each moved back to the Bethesda area from college, the couple was introduced through mutual friends looking to move in together. Marisa and Doug and three others became housemates in Bethesda.
THE FIRST DATE: While living together, the two bonded and learned each other’s habits. “One thing that stands out to me is that I am pretty picky about who I let take care of my dog, Kaya, and I went out of town with family and I didn’t have anyone else to take care of her, so I entrusted Doug with her care,” Marisa says. “That was a big step for me.” She still has the first picture they took together, from her birthday party at Rio Grande (now Uncle Julio’s) in Bethesda. She invited Doug so her girlfriends could meet the guy she had a crush on. Nine months after they met, they started going on dates here and there. “We didn’t really have a first date just because we were living together,” Marisa says.
THE PROPOSAL: Doug had planned to propose in New York City’s Central Park while on a December 2015 trip to visit his extended family. After he saw the weather forecast—cold with rain and snow—he changed his mind. “Being the not-so-patient individual that I am, I bailed and proposed at her parents’ house—not so romantic but very functional—a couple of days before we went up to the city,” Doug says. Marisa had arrived home from the gym, showered, put pajamas on and as she was unwrapping her hair from a towel, Doug was in front of her on one knee. Marisa was surprised since she was sure he would propose during their trip. “The fact that it was in a normal setting and in our normal everyday life was great. I didn’t want a big grand gesture,” she says. Doug’s parents were already on their way over with champagne.
THE RING: Doug’s great-grandmother’s engagement ring has become a family heirloom, passed down through the generations and eventually handed down to him. “It’s a 100-year-old ring, very important to my family and very unique—a one of a kind,” Doug says of the art deco-style antique piece.
THE WEDDING: Marisa and Doug were married on April 22, 2017, at the Salamander Resort & Spa in Middleburg, Virginia. The couple wanted to have their wedding within driving distance of D.C., but at a place their family or friends hadn’t been. “It felt a little bit like a destination wedding without being a destination wedding,” Doug says.
THE LOOK: Marisa wore a two-piece set by Wtoo by Watters purchased at Love Couture Bridal in Potomac. The set included a white tiered skirt and a pink hand-embroidered corset with beads and pearls. She had a heart-shaped piece of her mother’s wedding gown sewn into the bodice of her corset. For the reception, Marisa changed into a shorter skirt and a pair of Converse sneakers that she “blinged out.”