Finding the Spark
How two college friends became something more
THE COUPLE: Becca Zweig, 32, grew up in Bethesda and graduated from Walt Whitman High School. She is a field marketing manager for software company Yext. Matt Katz, 32, grew up in West Caldwell, New Jersey, and is a general manager for Greystar. They live in Brooklyn.
HOW THEY MET: Becca and Matt went to the University of Delaware and both majored in hotel, restaurant and institutional management. They got to know each other through classes, and at barbecues and tailgates thrown by mutual friends. “Matt was my go-to buddy,” Becca says. But Matt always wanted something more. “I’ve pretty much always had a crush on Becca,” he says. “It was common knowledge to everyone but Becca.” Although they shared a kiss or two in college, they were just friends.
WHEN IT ALL CHANGED: Becca and Matt moved back to their respective hometowns after college, but kept in touch through calls and texts, and saw each other at university homecoming and alumni weekends. In 2012, Becca moved to New York City for a job; Matt had already been living there for a couple of years. The two picked up where they left off, going to happy hours and trading stories about dating in the city. “We were such good friends,” Becca says. “It was super comfortable.” In the spring of 2013, Matt asked Becca to come with him to a work function. “I wasn’t sure if it was a date or not,” she says. But when Matt paid for their post-event drinks, she knew. “We’d always split the bill.” A few days later, Matt asked Becca to dinner. “It took a few dates to get out of the friend zone, but once we did, I was very happy,” she says.
THE PROPOSAL: The couple lived together in Brooklyn for two years before getting engaged. Even though they’d talked about marriage, the proposal took Becca by surprise. In January 2017, Matt proposed at a Citizen Cope concert on the Lower East Side. The soulful blues-rock singer holds special significance in their relationship; they’ve seen Citizen Cope perform several times. “It was kind of the perfect place to have done that,” Becca says. In the middle of a song, Matt handed her a card. (The concert was an early 30th birthday present.) When Becca finished reading the card, she looked up and Matt was holding a lighted ring box with an engagement ring inside. “It was sparkling and amazing,” she says. “I was shocked in the moment. I actually waited a couple seconds before saying, ‘Oh my God, yes.’ ” She shouted out into the crowd that they’d just gotten engaged, and Citizen Cope played his bluesy slow-song “Sideways” to commemorate the moment. The couple would later have their first dance to the love song.
THE WEDDING: Becca and Matt were married on May 5, 2018, at Union Market’s Dock 5 in Washington, D.C., in front of 267 guests. “We just wanted to have a massive celebration,” Becca says. Rabbi Susan Shankman of Washington Hebrew Congregation (WHC) married them. (Becca grew up going to WHC.)
THE DAY-OF GIFTS: The couple opened gifts from each other the afternoon of the wedding. He gave her a bracelet with a heart in the middle—rose gold to match her engagement ring and their wedding bands. She gave him monogrammed cuff links, also in rose gold. Becca had Matt’s wedding band engraved with the Citizen Cope lyric “you’ve got my tomorrow” from the song “If There’s Love.” Matt had quoted the same lyric in the card he gave Becca during the proposal.
THE VENUE: It was important to Becca and Matt that they marry in or near Becca’s hometown, especially since they plan to move to the D.C. area someday. But they also wanted to represent their life in New York City. “We really wanted that Brooklyn warehouse vibe so that part of our life was part of the wedding,” Becca says. “Dock 5 was the perfect medium for that because we could transform it into whatever we wanted.” They used drapery to partition the 8,000-square-foot Union Market space into separate areas for the ceremony and reception.
THE DRESS: Becca wore a ruched satin Jenny Lee dress from Say Yes for Less in Potomac. A swatch of her mother’s lace wedding dress was sewn between the layers of fabric and visible when the back of the dress was bustled. “It made me so happy knowing it was part of the dress,” she says. “My mom loved it. She cried every time she saw it.” During the reception, Becca wore gold sequin sneakers with pink ribbon laces.
THE RECEPTION: A calligrapher wrote guests’ table numbers on the venue’s garage doors. “It was my mom’s idea,” Becca says. “It was pretty brilliant.” Dinner included gazpacho soup with a choice of beef with poblano margarita sauce, cornmeal-crusted chicken or paella-stuffed peppers. The tables were accented with copper vases and candles, and flower arrangements that held white and pink roses.
THE DESSERT: The couple had a doughnut “cake,” a three-tiered stand with Duck Donuts on each level. “We still had the moment of feeding each other with cake, but it was with doughnuts,” Becca says. They also had a wall of doughnuts. Guests were encouraged to bring some home in small paper bags with “Donut leave without a treat!” written on them.
A MEMORABLE MOMENT: Because the couple met in Delaware, Becca’s dad made sure to incorporate the state into his speech. He pulled out a Delaware flag as a prop, but ended up holding it upside down as he talked. “It was just hilarious—everyone was laughing,” Becca recalls. Her father passed away eight months after the wedding.
THE MUSIC: EastCoast Entertainment’s Modern Luxe performed at the reception. “The band killed it,” Becca says. “They were so good.” For their final song, they played “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen. “Everyone was singing along and jumping up and down.”
THE HONEYMOON: The couple honeymooned in the Society Islands of French Polynesia a few days after the wedding. They flew into Tahiti and spent five nights in Bora Bora in an overwater bungalow, then went to Moorea. “It was just perfect to have 10 days to relax and spend that time together,” Becca says.
VENDORS: Alcohol, Ace Beverage; bridesmaids’ dresses, Show Me Your Mumu; calligraphy, Calligraphette and Co.; catering, Windows Catering Company; décor, Social Supply; engagement ring, M.A. Jewelers; flowers, Philippa Tarrant Custom Floral; hair, StyleMeBar; makeup, Ebby Makeup; photographer, Michelle Lindsay Photography; photo booth, RUMOR Photo Media; rentals, Perfect Settings and Table Manners; signage, Field & Gown; suit, Alan David Custom; wedding band, Mervis Diamond; wedding planner, Cherry Blossom Events.