This originally ran as a Local Love in the 2020 issue.
Wedding Date May 4, 2019
Brianne Spinello remembers it like it was yesterday. It was a Tuesday afternoon, the first semester of her senior year at Syracuse University. About 10 minutes into her Sociology 406 class, “a tall guy wearing a backpack with a number 11 very slowly walked in” and sat down right in front of her, she recalls. She spent the rest of class staring dreamily at the back of his head. As soon as class ended, she “conveniently” found herself in line at the pizza place behind him. She was chatting on the phone with her mom when he walked by her with his slice of pizza and said something to her. “After she followed me to the pizza place after class, knowing full well this girl was not getting pizza at 3:30 in the afternoon, I had realized maybe we were on the same page and she was interested, too,” says Lavar Lobdell with a laugh. Mid-sentence, she hung up on her mom to hear what he was saying. “I dropped that class [last year] and I need it to graduate,” he told her. “But if you stay in the class, I will too.”
That December, she and Lavar, who was a wide receiver for the Syracuse football team, had their first date. Lavar, now a product analyst for Under Armour and a high-school football coach, was just as smooth in Italy during his proposal to Brianne as he was on the field. He had the whole thing planned: St. Mark’s Square in Venice, where a photographer would be waiting in front of the basilica to capture the moment. However, Brianne wanted to do something else that day, and he knew if he pushed it, she’d get suspicious. So instead, he calmly carried the ring in his pocket for 12 hours through a tour of Venice and a train ride to Lake Como. Finally, that night, he proposed at dinner. Twice. (The first time she thought he was kidding, the second time he produced the ring, so she knew he wasn’t.)
The wedding day was just as magical—a jungle under the stars at the Baltimore Museum of Art. The stars, of course, being Spencer Finch’s light installation Moon Dust in Fox Court, with its coffered ceiling and Ionic columns. As Brianne walked down the aisle at the outdoor ceremony, Destiny Road Choir sang “Stand By Me”—with hardly a dry eye among the 175 guests. Lavar had surprised Brianne and her dad with a 1955 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud to bring them to the ceremony, and, unbeknownst to Lavar, Brianne had his late grandmother’s name stitched on the inside collar of his custom tuxedo. Once guests made their way inside, they were greeted with oversized floral arrangements, personalized velum menus, and shimmery linens. They took it all in, collectively. “Your wedding day will fly by,” says Brianne. “From the moment you say, ‘I do,’ don’t leave your spouse’s side—that way you can enjoy every moment together.”
Beauty UpDos For I Dos (makeup); Anne Marie DeJesus (hair) Bridesmaids Kleinfeld Bridal Party Catering Classic Catering Floral Design Steelcut Flower Co. Flower Girls Joan Calabrese Groom & Groomsmen Christopher Schafer Clothier custom tuxedo (groom); Calvin Klein (groomsmen) Lighting Event Dynamics LinenS BBJ Linen Location Baltimore Museum of Art Music Lucky Black Entertainment & Destiny Road Choir (ceremony); Sound Connection (reception) Officiant Verone Kennedy Photographer Michael + Carina Photography Rentals Select Event Group Stationery Ali Schroeder with Stephanie Bradshaw Transportation Vintage Limos Valet Jay’s Valet Wedding Dress Anne Barge at Kleinfeld Bridal Wedding Planner Stephanie Bradshaw