Love on the water:

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Love on the water:
Jim and Trevor had their wedding ceremony on the rooftop of the Port Royal. (Photo/Nichola Diantonio)
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By Kaitlin Murphy | kmurphy@alextimes.com

Civic-minded couple Jim Lewis and Trevor Riley met in July of 2013. Trevor, who works in theater, lived in Washington, D.C. near the National Cathedral. Jim worked on the Hill but lived in Alexandria.

Once they started dating, the distance caught up with them and so in 2017, Jim convinced Trevor to move across the river from D.C. to Alexandria.

Hailing from Richmond and Pittsburgh respectively, the transplants felt at home in Alexandria.

 

“Everyone looks out for each other, creating a true neighborhood vibe,” Trevor said. “Alexandria still feels like a small town but in a city. And it is easy to get to D.C. for work.”

 

The couple set down roots in Old Town North at the Port Royal and immediately became involved in the North Old Town Independent Citizens Association, where both have served on the board. With all the redevelopment in Old Town North, they found the timing of their move to be a dynamic opportunity to be part of shaping the neighborhood.

While the couple enjoy the proximity to D.C. for the theater and cultural sites, closer to home they can regularly be found on Wednesdays at “martini nights” at Chadwick’s. No strangers to the food scene in Alexandria, they often have dinner out with friends. And if time allows, they rush over to Pops or the Creamery on King Street to get ice cream for dessert. When asked about their favorite flavor, they both said, “mint chocolate chip.” Jim and Trevor also enjoy the local breweries and wineries.

In 2019, “Jim had an idea to go back and redo our first date and what we would do differently. The day arrives and we go to the Navy Yard to the pier and get on a boat, a scenic boat cruise,” Trevor shared.

“Living Classroom’s ‘Mildred Belle,’” Jim interjected.

“Jim proposed on board and hands me a ring pop as the engagement ring. The ring flavor was sour apple,” Trevor said.

Following instructions provided by Jim, the captain opened the hatch on the boat and about 20 friends and family came out. They had a one- and-a-half-hour boat cruise on the Potomac River celebrating with champagne.

Thus began their two-year engagement.

While they worked together planning their wedding, they also worked together campaigning. In the midst of planning their nuptials, Jim also felt called to run for City Council.

Jim had been involved with Alexandria politics for many years. Having previously served as a precinct captain in southwest Old Town for the Alexandria Democratic Committee, in 2017 Jim became president of the Virginia Young Democrats.

This time as he campaigned door to door, Trevor was by his side. Between houses and neighborhoods, they would take breaks and discuss their wedding plans.

Asked how it was campaigning together, Jim admitted that even though he had worked on many campaigns in the past, “It is very different when it is for you.”

The campaign was a whole new experience for Trevor.

“I am not super political, so this was a transition to hosting fundraisers and meet and greets,” Trevor said. “It was an experience walking between houses and multitasking to plan for our wedding.”

The couple had finalized a wedding venue and guest list when the pandemic hit. Like so many other social events and celebrations, they had to pivot their plans.

Planning became extended and they decided to pick a date and stick with it.

On Oct. 1, 2021, Jim and Trevor had their wedding ceremony on the rooftop of the Port Royal, where they first lived together. It was only fitting to commit their lives to one another at the same spot where they began to lay their foundation as a couple.

They had a small and intimate ceremony on a gorgeous and bright day. They celebrated with champagne. And then dinner followed at Magnolia’s on King Street.

The next day, they held their reception at the Highline in Crystal City for around 150 guests.

Their friends and family were greeted on the first level where they met the grooms and took pictures with them.

A reception on the second floor followed. The couple chose the venue because the large windows were able to remain open. There was also an outdoor space to accommodate Covid-conscious attendees.

After the welcome, the grooms changed into their custom-designed tuxedos, which were both midnight blue.

They turned to a local flower shop, Enchanted Florist, for their boutonnieres. The bright orange lilies added a pop of color on their special day.

Signature drinks captured their couple’s personalities. There was a Broad Street Bourbon for Richmond and a Pittsburgh Incline of vodka and cranberry.

They had their first dance, numerous speeches and partied until midnight.

To top it all off and send the guests away fully satiated, there was the Pittsburgh tradition of the cookie table.

Jim asked his mom and aunts to make cookies. Friends were also invited to contribute. More than two SUV’s full of assorted cookies of all kinds, from chocolate chip to maple were created.

In lieu of a traditional wedding cake, the cookies were served as a symbol of shared love. The grooms provided boxes for their guests to take cookies home.

In an overabundance of outpouring of love and support for the newly married couple, there were more cookies than the guests could handle. The newlyweds stored cookies for weeks at the Highline. They are now unofficially known as “the cookie guys.”

Though their honeymoon was delayed due to travel restrictions stemming from the pandemic, the couple celebrated in style. A first anniversary trip to Greece followed and the couple was able to is- land hop via cruise to Athens and Delphi.

A love celebrated and reflected in a proposal and honeymoon both occurring on the water was certainly fitting for a couple who loves living in the Port City.

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