Jena Belinkie and Chris Riley

Married September 1, 2013, in Cambridge, MD

THE COUPLE: Jena Belinkie, 31, and Chris Riley, 30, attended Bethesda’s Pyle Middle School and Walt Whitman High School together. They graduated from high school in 2003, and the bride went on to the University of Wisconsin, Madison. The groom attended the University of Maryland, College Park. Jena works as a commercial broker for CBRE Group, in Washington, D.C., and Chris is a financial analyst at Cushman & Wakefield in Washington, D.C. They live in Bethesda.

THE WEDDING: The ceremony was held at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Golf Resort, Spa and Marina in Cambridge, Maryland, on September 1, 2013. The reception was held outside of the hotel on the same date.

HOW THEY MET: Jena and Chris met in sixth grade at Pyle Middle School and dated briefly before becoming best friends. “He definitely was shorter than me back then,” the bride recalls. “And he definitely had blonde hair down to his shoulders.” They remained close friends throughout their time at Whitman High School. The couple attended separate colleges, but when Jena moved back to the Bethesda area after graduation, she and Chris “hung out all the time,” she says. He eventually asked her to a movie and the two started dating again. They were both 22.

THE PROPOSAL: The groom was an auditor at the time and would frequently go out of town for work. One of the weeks Chris was away, Jena went to dinner with a friend. When she returned, there was a knock on the door. She thought it was her friend, but it was Chris. He proposed at the door. “I had absolutely no idea what happened,” she says.

WEDDING COLORS: Turquoise and white chevron


WHAT MADE THE EVENT SO SPECIAL: The wedding was held on Jena’s late grandmother’s 80th birthday, and the bride made sure her mementos were there for everyone to enjoy. The chuppah, a canopy beneath which Jewish weddings are performed, was made out of her late grandmother’s scarves.

FAVORITE MOMENT: Jena’s first dance with Chris. They were dancing to “Here, There and Everywhere,” by The Beatles, to commemorate her late grandmother, who was a Beatles fan.

SOMETHING TO REMEMBER: “They dance floor was wild,” Jena says. There was an after-party on two boats that pulled up on the dock. “No one wanted to stop dancing.”

CAKE: Multiple-layer marble and chocolate

THE DETAILS: Catering was provided by Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay; flowers, Capital Décor & Events; music, Free Spirit; photography, Michael Bennett Kress Photography; cake, Julie Bakes; wedding planner, Michele Hodges; hair and makeup, Becky Watson, Oxygen Salon and Day Spa.

Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Related Articles

Weddings of the Year

A peek inside the celebrations of four local couples

Finding Mr. Wright

Kayla Collins married Stuart Wright at the country club in Bethesda where they had their first date

Vineyard Vows

A Bethesda chef helped turn his own wedding into a fancy barbecue

A Local Couple Planned Their Perfect Wedding on the Water

The big day included a crab feast, a sand ceremony and flip-flops for everyone
Edit Module Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

More »

Elegant French Colonial

Potomac, $1,425,000

Breathtaking Views

Chevy Chase, $2,500,000

Historic Gem

Washington, DC, $2,436,336

New Construction

Bethesda, $1,599,000

Luxury Condo

Bethesda, $1,390,000
Edit Module


Your Guides to Leading
Local Professionals

Edit Module

Talk With Us

On Social Media


Edit Module
Edit ModuleEdit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags