Proving that the wingman doesn’t always get the short end of the stick, Kandace and Mario met at a barbecue that Mario was throwing. Mario had been tasked with checking out Kandace’s sister as a prospect for his cousin. He introduced himself to the sisters and hit it off with Kandace. Two weeks later, Kandace threw a birthday party and was pleasantly surprised to see Mario and his cousin among the guests. “That’s when I realized I had a crush on him,” says Kandace. The two spent much of the night talking and eventually began emailing and making date plans. The Bride Kandace Murray, 29, a business operations manager The Groom Mario Burney, 34, an executive associate The Date October 23 A year later, Mario planted a week’s worth of love letters and gifts for Kandace. On the last day of the week, Mario proposed on the steps of the Jefferson Memorial in D.C. The engagement lasted 13 months as Kandace worked with a planner to throw her dream beach wedding. The result: A sunset affair decorated with sunny orange tiger lilies and deep ocean blues.