Washington Blade staffer Stephen Rutgers married D.C. Realtor Mark Rutstein on Oct. 6.
About 150 friends and family members attended the couple’s nuptials that took place in Fort Washington near the D.C./Maryland border. Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee executive director Guy Cecil officiated the wedding.
Rutgers, who is the Blade’s director of marketing and events, met Rutstein at JR.’s in Dupont Circle on a Friday night in early 2010. The couple’s first date was the following day, but Rutstein had to leave early because he learned that his mother was dying from cancer. She passed away on that Sunday.
The couple kept in touch via text messages and phone calls until they saw each other again a week later.
“It obviously went well,” said Rutgers.
Rutstein led Rutgers on a scavenger hunt that brought him to Nellie’s and their other favorite places in D.C. on the day he proposed to him. He arrived at Cobalt — which is managed by Rutstein — and found Rutstein and Chloe, the Harlequin Great Dane he had bought for him as a Christmas present in 2011, with a ring around her neck.
“I had figured it out by then because all my friends knew,” joked Rutgers. “I had it figured out by the time I got there.”
The couple will celebrate their honeymoon on a Mediterranean cruise.