Bride and groom

Rachael Barney, 24, a recruiter for DriveTime, originally from Joplin, Mo.; and Tanner Dierman, 26, a case manager at Southwest Network, originally from Potomac. The couple now lives in Chandler, Ariz.


May 29. The ceremony was at Concord-St. Andrews United Methodist Church in Bethesda; the reception, at the Potomac home of the groom’s parents.

How they met

Through a mutual friend at the University of Arizona

First date

They went out for sushi with some other couples, and started dating exclusively shortly after. Within the first month, they were talking marriage.

The proposal

It was Halloween weekend, and Tanner was planning to propose at the restaurant where they’d celebrated their first Valentine’s Day together. But he got so nervous he proposed before they got out of the house.

What she loves most about him

“Tanner is the most forgiving person I have ever met. His heart is huge and he truly loves and lets go. I make so many mistakes, all of which he is so quick to forgive.”


What he loves most about her

“Rachael makes me feel like a superhero by applauding my accomplishments and supporting all my endeavors. She is a constant support system, cheerleader and No. 1 fan.”

Wedding theme

Spring garden, with pink and green

Number of guests



What made it special

Rachael’s family had just gone through a devastating tornado in Joplin, Mo. Rachael’s sister had been severely injured, but even so they managed to come “celebrate life and love,” Rachael says. The couple set off fireworks as a surprise and everyone from Joplin started singing God Bless America.
The couple also shared the wedding with their then-16-month-old, Addison Kate, committing not only to one another but to their family.


Ivory silk with a ruched bodice, sweetheart neckline, mermaid skirt and cathedral train designed by Kathy Ireland, from Uptown Bridal in Chandler, Ariz.


Michael Kress Photography in Bethesda



The three-layer cake featured three flavors—red velvet with a dark chocolate ganache filling and cream cheese frosting; candy bar crunch with caramel and milk chocolate ganache filling, vanilla frosting and Valrhona candy crunch; and banana cake with Nutella frosting—from Fluffy Thoughts Cakes in McLean, Va.


The Ritz-Carlton on Grand Cayman in the Caribbean

The Details

Wedding planner was Marylin Cave Bradley of Events & Lifetime Celebrations, working with Tami Dierman; flowers were from Gathered Stems; invitations were by Just Because Card Co. by Ali Britton; caterer was Occasions Caterers; hair, by Marcela Urioste of Styles Salon; makeup, by Martha Pina of Resin Esthetic Institute; music was from Andy Kushner Entertainment, with DJ and MC Andrew “Sir Andrew” Lewis; rentals were from Sugar Plum Tents.