Washington, D.C. A Gilded Age-Inspired Wedding

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By RichardLederman

Indhira Benitez shares her story with Jason Ruiz, “So, it is important that you know there are two versions of this story.” She says that they met at the Bronx District Attorney’s Office, New York City in November 2015. Although Jason was in a different class and working in a different bureau, we were both prosecutors at that time.

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She recalls that she went into Dunkin’ Donuts after getting off the train and grabbed a cup of coffee. “A large man tapped me on the shoulder and asked me, ‘Who’?” It caught her off guard. She laughs and says, “Who does this?” Jason was her first contact when she saw her. After a while, we chatted and discovered that we both worked at the same company and were both New Yorkers.

What set the stage for this meeting?

Jason believes that the story starts much earlier. He says that they met officially in November 2015. The month that led up to our meeting is what set the stage for this meeting. I saw her every time I went outside of the office. I would see her on the same train with me, either walking alongside me to work or passing me as she crossed the street. I could not help but notice her beauty and I found myself constantly noticing her wherever I went. She began to stalk me and I started to suspect it was because it became too overwhelming.” He continues: “I finally approached her at a local cafe after seeing her again–ordering coffee. I reached out to touch her shoulder and asked, perhaps too loudly, “Who are you?” I wanted to find out who this woman was that I kept wondering about. I learned her name and that she worked at the District Attorney’s Office. We walked together that day and I realized that we had many similarities. She was beautiful and intelligent and we both grew up in the Bronx.

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They agreed on the next part. They continued to see each other only occasionally until April 2016, when they were both scheduled to work full-time night shifts. They really started to get to know one another. “That week, I discovered how ridiculous Jason was. Indhira said that Jason made her laugh at every turn. “We connected like we had known each others for a lifetime,” Indhira says. Jason adds, Jason charmed her with his dashing wit and she graciously shared the snacks she brought to work.

They had already planned a first date for the weekend after a very long week. The date was also very long. Jason recalls that their first date was April 30, and it took them all over New York City up until the early hours of May 1. “Since that day, I have never stayed awake so late again!” The rest is history, they say.

Indhira shared that she and her husband got engaged in a quiet cabin in Shenandoah in Virginia on November 11, 2019. The whole trip was our idea, and we made it happen at the last minute. It was great to disconnect, unplug, and watch Jason try to light a fire. Jason asked me to marry him on the second day, at 11:11 am. We went on a hike that turned out to be one the warmest and most beautiful November days.

Jason allowed Indhira complete creative control over the wedding planning process. She says, “I love hosting family members and friends and I am very particular about what vibes I want people to experience.” The vision was old-world elegance with modern femininity. It should feel like we’d host a party if we were the duke or duchess of Bronx in a post-Nas gilded age. I loved the idea to contrast modern and vintage elements.” She described it as a Hip-Hop Bridgerton.

Simply Breathe Events’ wedding planner

Indhira says that Tiffany Rivera, Simply Breathe Events’ wedding planner, helped bring the vision to reality. “Jason, like me, don’t take themselves too seriously. We love to have a good time and laugh at everything. Tiffany was able to understand our humor and connected with us instantly. She also understood our vision. It was difficult for me to describe what I saw in my head during those planning stages. But Tiffany understood it. She knew it all. She voted when I voted, and would sometimes make suggestions when I changed my mind. It was as if she knew exactly what I was thinking.

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It started with the perfect venue: Larz Anderson House in Washington D.C., which served as a backdrop. Idhira shares that they toured many venues. We wanted a New York City Wedding. After touring venues in New York City and D.C. we knew it was the right place. They were greeted by 90 people when they said “I do” at Larz Anderson’s house on October 9, 2021.

Planned and photographed

Continue reading to discover how the bride’s vision was realized, as planned and photographed by Tiffany Rivera of Simply Breathe Events.

Jason, Indhira and two of her closest friends spent the days before the wedding making welcome bags. It was “the only DIY project that we attempted,” Idhira said. I wanted my guests to know how grateful we were for their attendance, and to also be practical. We purchased custom-made reusable bags from Zazzle. They were filled with water, snacks and Tylenol. We also added a thank you note and a schedule for weekend events.

The couple also had to take care of their skincare needs during the wedding preparation. Indhira says that she treated Jason and herself to facials at Bespoke Aesthetics + Wellness in Georgetown one month prior to the wedding. “I kept my regular skin care routine of washing, moisturizing and using Elta MD SPF lotion. Although I believe in wearing sunscreen all year, I try to drink as much water as possible.

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While getting ready, Indhira wore a chic robe by What Ella Sews. My look was timeless, glamorous, and glowing. Indhira says that I wanted a look that could be used for decades, and would still be in style when we show our children the photos. Jeff, my makeup artist, is an amazing artist. He was able to give me the bridal glow I wanted without making the makeup the main focus of the room.