By Kate Oczypok - 03/16/11 11:21 PM EDT
She and Dan met eight years ago at the University of Colorado. Both attended college there, and one evening, Abbey was picking up a friend at a college nearby and stopped in a dorm room to ask how to get off campus.
“I noticed he was cute, so later that week I slipped a note under the door and said for him to give me a call,” Abbey said. “He did, and now here we are.”
After school, the two worked at the Democratic National Convention in Denver. On Christmas of 2008, Dan Watson proposed to Abbey in Montana and subsequently mentioned that he was thinking of moving to D.C. to work on the Obama campaign.
“Needless to say, most of our experience being engaged was in D.C.,” Abbey said.
The two moved across the country together, testing their relationship in a new city as Dan worked long hours and Abbey searched for a job, eventually winding up at public relations and event planning firm Scott Circle Communications. After the campaign, Dan got a position with Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.), working to cover his online communications.
“Our first thought planning our wedding was, ‘Let’s do it during August recess,’ ” Dan said.
“That was a no-brainer,” Abbey echoed as the two smiled at one another.
After the initial decision, the two began planning their wedding entirely on their own — not an easy feat for two busy Washingtonians. As Dan traveled with the senator, Abbey visited sites for their wedding and sent Dan photos of venues.
“Google docs were also our friend,” Abbey said.
Wedding planning, of course, doesn’t go off without a hitch. The two didn’t anticipate their large amount of “yes” RSVPs, which in turn brought on a little “Father of the Bride”-type panic. “That was definitely a little scary,” Dan joked.
The two enlisted family and friends to help with wedding planning for the 175 invitees. Dan’s brother is a Web designer and devised the couple’s wedding site; Abbey’s parents still live in Colorado, so that helped immensely. The two also designed and mailed their own wedding invitations, which Dan said Udall and his wife loved.
The couple ended up choosing a converted steel factory and a small church for their venues, both agreeing they were perfect choices. They also made sure they made their day their own. Dan, who was born in England and moved to the U.S. as a child, got everyone to wear hats for a British touch.
“All of our D.C. friends who were in Colorado for the wedding even wore hats,” Abbey said. “Really, at the end of the day, you have to make it about the two of you; you have to make it special for you both.”
After a week away in Colorado, the two jetted off to Nice and Paris for their honeymoon, which Dan planned entirely on his own and with which he surprised Abbey. “It was absolutely perfect,” she said.
“Planning weddings on your own is totally doable,” Dan said. “Give it a try and do it yourself.”
The two married on Aug. 14 and currently live in a condo on Capitol Hill.