Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

Couple hosts impromptu wedding ceremony in Kogan Plaza

Courtesy of Nicole Smith
The newly-weds celebrated the self-officiated ceremony with tater tots from Tonic.

While most students head to Kogan Plaza to study outdoors or hang out with friends, two GW alumni used it as a wedding venue.

Law school graduate Ian Bryant-Smith and 2018 undergraduate alumna Sarah Breault gathered with a few friends at a high-top table in Kogan Plaza Thursday to sign their marriage papers and officially tie the knot. The couple, who had been dating since high school, said they decided to wed on campus because it was convenient, and their friends could easily access WiFi to project the ceremony to friends and family over Zoom.

“The ceremony was much more about a convenient outdoor place with WiFi than it was about school spirit or anything,” Bryant-Smith said.

Bryant-Smith and Breault said they applied through the D.C. Superior Court to self-officiate their wedding. The couple currently lives in Arlington, Virginia, but needed to be physically in D.C. to legally marry, so they headed to Kogan Plaza for an outdoor ceremony.

The couple said they are planning a larger, more traditional wedding celebration for next fall, but they wanted to make their marriage official sooner. After submitting the formal marriage application, all they needed to do was print out the marriage certificate forms, sign and date them – all of which took about five minutes.

“I read all the forms out loud for funsies in a dramatic voice,” Breault said.

The couple said they didn’t want to make the small ceremony a “thing.” But after Bryant-Smith posted on Facebook saying, “Hey, we’re getting married tonight,” a handful showed up to make the moment special.

“We literally had the unsigned forms on the printer for a week or so,” he said. “We figured we should go do it.”

Bryant-Smith said more than 50 people also hopped onto the Zoom link he posted on Facebook, which was originally just intended for the couple’s parents to be able to watch. He said some friends even insisted on saying a few congratulatory remarks after they tied the knot.

“I might watch it through to pull out some of the highlights,” Breault said. “I just want to see my friends cry.”

One of their friends insisted on making a flower bouquet from the flowers in her garden, which just so happened to match Breault’s vest perfectly. That friend also brought her golden retriever dressed in a festive suit for the occasion, the couple said.

As a celebratory meal, the couple brought “Totchos” – a combination of nachos and tater tots from Tonic – to enjoy together after the ceremony. Breault said while pursuing her undergraduate degree, she worked at Tonic and missed the restaurant’s signature tater tots.

“We hadn’t planned for it to be much,” she said. “And then our friends stepped in, took the reins and made it an incredibly special night.”

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