Local CAVA co-founder gets married in Washington, D.C.

A Smash Hit

The wedding of a CAVA co-founder included a choreographed dance, Shake Shack and the Greek custom of breaking plates

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Photo by Alexandria Friendly for Fillmanfoto

THE COUPLE: Dimitri Moshovitis, 40, grew up in Darnestown and attended Quince Orchard High School in Gaithersburg. He is the executive chef and co-founder of CAVA, the restaurant group behind the Mediterranean fast-casual restaurant chain and several full-service restaurants. Donna Rismiller, 45, grew up in Silver Spring and graduated from Paint Branch High School in Burtonsville. Donna is an attorney and the founder of Rismiller Law Group in Rockville. They live in North Potomac.

HOW THEY MET: Dimitri and Donna have mutual friends and knew of each other before meeting formally in 2014 at CAVA Mezze in Rockville. Donna was dining with friends when Dimitri came over to chat, as he often does with diners. The pair realized they had a lot in common, including kids from previous marriages. “We actually lived literally 1 mile away from each other,” Donna says. “That was pretty surprising to find out.” The two kept in touch and gradually grew closer. When Dimitri found out Donna loves bubble gum machines, he delivered one to her door. “It was a pretty massive gesture,” Donna says. “He said to me, unabashedly, something like, ‘Go big or go home.’ ” Looking back, Dimitri admits he was starting to be interested in Donna romantically. “I had more feelings at that point than I had let on.”

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Photo by Sarah Fillman for Fillmanfoto

THEIR FIRST DATE: For their first official date in the fall of 2016, Dimitri surprised Donna with chocolates and two dozen white roses and hired a private driver to take them to dinner at Bourbon Steak in D.C. “Everything was—the word that comes to mind is—magical,” Donna says. “I probably won’t forget a moment of that, ever.” She says she appreciates all the time and effort Dimitri put into the date. “None of those frills were necessary,” she says. “I would have had the same feelings.” After a year of dating, the couple moved in together.

THE PROPOSAL: “With my whole thing of going big or going home,” Dimitri says, “I decided this would not be one of those times.” He wanted to keep things simple. “I had the ring for a while and just didn’t know how to ask. Then one night I said, ‘Tonight’s the night.’ ” In September 2017, the couple was having drinks on their patio. “He tells me he loves me and wants to spend the rest of his life with me and shows me the ring,” Donna says. “I think my response was, ‘Is that thing real?’ The ring took my breath away.” Donna remembers saying yes over and over again.

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Photo by Sarah Fillman for Fillmanfoto

THE WEDDING: The couple wed on July 21, 2018, at the Watergate Hotel in Washington, D.C. They had 160 guests.

GETTING IT RIGHT: Dimitri and Donna had previous weddings and knew exactly what they wanted this time around. “Both of us actively participated in the planning of this,” Donna says. “We were both the only people making the decisions.” They both say they still got wedding day jitters.

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