The couple: Michelle McNabb (maiden name Herrera), 31, works in public health communications for the business management consultancy IQ Solutions in Rockville. Keegan McNabb, 32, is a field superintendent for the audio-visual contracting company National Technology Integrators in Gaithersburg. They both grew up in Silver Spring and graduated from James Hubert Blake High School there. They live in Rockville.
How they met: Though they ran in the same social circles in high school, it wasn’t until Michelle went off to Salisbury University in 2010 that they “friended” each other on Facebook and got to know each other. When Michelle came home for winter break, Keegan, who was attending Montgomery College at the time, asked her on a date to the (now closed) Sakura Japanese hibachi restaurant in Olney. “He was super easy to talk to,” Michelle says. “He was definitely a gentleman from the beginning.” Soon, they started officially dating. “Realistically, I wasn’t looking for anything long-term at the time,” Keegan says. “It just kept going…and then I couldn’t stop seeing her.” The two moved in together after Michelle graduated and they bought a house in Rockville in 2018.
The proposal: “We weren’t really in a rush because we’d been together for so long,” Michelle says about getting married, but Keegan popped the question in November 2019. He told her that he was going on a work trip to New York and he could bring her along, but then jetted her off to snowy Vail, Colorado, instead. “She wasn’t prepared for the cold,” he recalls with a laugh. While there, Keegan took her on a walk by a little river, where no one else was around. “It was just intimate and close,” he says. “This whole weekend, I was trying to find the right time, and eventually it just came out.”
The ceremony: Michelle and Keegan were thinking of getting married in 2020 but hadn’t booked any vendors and decided to delay the wedding as the pandemic continued. The pair said “I do” at the Howard County district court in Ellicott City on June 11, 2021, with a small group of family members waiting outside and watching via Zoom.
The reception: The day after the ceremony, the newlyweds and 50 guests gathered at the lush Inn at Tusculum Farm in Gaithersburg for their reception. The pair knew they wanted an outdoor venue and instantly fell in love with the farm’s sprawling greenery. “It’s this little hidden gem,” Michelle says. “Any corner that you turned was a perfect picture area.” After the first look by a large circular statue, there was cocktail hour by the pool, dinner in a courtyard behind the main house, and dancing to a mix of merengue, reggaeton, electronic dance music and oldies in a tented area on the edge of the property. “We made use of all the space,” Michelle says.
The food and Drinks: Michelle has been vegan for several years, so the couple called on DC Vegan for their buffet-style dinner. “Everyone else, especially my side of the family, is very much meat and potatoes,” Michelle says. “I wanted to make sure that our food was good, hearty, but also recognizable.” Michelle is Salvadoran and Keegan is half Polish, so the caterers whipped up hearts of palm ceviche and potato pierogies to honor their respective cultures. As a nod to the pair’s shared Maryland roots, there were also “crab” cakes made with jackfruit. The cake, also vegan, had double chocolate for the bottom tier and vanilla with raspberry filling for the top tier. Doughnut holes from D.C.’s Donut Run served as party favors at the end of the night. In lieu of bringing their two cats to the festivities, Michelle and Keegan named the signature drinks after them—“The Molly” was a blackberry paloma, while “The Olive” was a whiskey sour.
The flowers: “Ever since we’ve moved into [our] house, gardening is one of our hobbies,” says Michelle, so florals became the de facto theme of the wedding.
The invitations featured watercolor flower designs, and the cake was topped off with edible dried petals.
The local Butterbee Farm dropped off the blooms for the bouquet and the centerpieces, which Michelle and her mom arranged themselves. “I just told [Butterbee], whatever is growing in season, we’ll take it and we’ll make it work,” Michelle says.
The dress: “I really wanted a two-piece wedding dress—I just didn’t want anything too traditional,” says Michelle, who picked out a simple skirt-and-top set from the BHLDN wedding shop by Anthropologie. To add color, she wore sparkly emerald heels, “again, going with the garden theme, and instantly I was just drawn to the bright green,” she says. Later in the evening, she swapped them out for white sneakers with “good vibes” written on the back.
The honeymoon: The newlyweds, who had never been to California, took a scenic route in the northern part of the state. They visited Yosemite National Park, San Francisco and Big Sur, which is now “one of our favorite places,” Michelle says.
The vendors: Cake, Sticky Fingers Sweets & Eats; caterer, DC Vegan; day-of coordinator, Denean’s Events and Designs; DJ, Pulse Entertainment; dress, BHLDN by Anthropologie; flowers, Butterbee Farm; hair, Seven Yu; makeup, Arfa Beauty; party favors, Donut Run; photographer, Morgan-Raquel & Co.; rentals, Party Rental Ltd.; rings, Brilliant Earth; tent rentals, Elite Tents and Events; venue and lodging, Inn at Tusculum Farm.