This Pi Day, two alumni will tie the knot at a local pizza shop.
Jennifer Bester and Jon Julio, who have been together for a year and a half years, will get married at &pizza on March 14 as part of the pizza chain’s Pi Day wedding promotion. Couples can get married or renew their vows at the shop’s Columbia Heights location, complete with an officiant, a photographer and free pizza.
The couple, who met on Match.com, was one of the first to sign up for the unusual ceremony.
“We’re able to have a little bit of tradition but in a totally non-traditional setting,” Bester said.
Bester and Julio attended GW as graduate students. Bester graduated in 2007 with a degree in forensic science and Julio graduated the same year with a degree in engineering management. They ended up working for the same company, Booz Allen Hamilton, a management consulting firm in Virginia where Julio works as a consultant and Bester as an engineer.
When they first met over drinks at a tavern and a spontaneous polo match afterward in 2014, the two had no idea that they traveled in such similar circles.
“It’s such a big world and it’s made so small when you realize how much you have in common,” Blester said.
The two also shared a love of sports, and their runs through D.C. often ended at the &pizza on Dupont Circle. Bester signed up for &pizza’s email list so they would be in the loop for the “little parties” that &pizza occasionally throws.
When Bester heard about &pizza’s Pi Day matrimonial services through the listserv, she responded immediately.
“I saw the pictures and it looked like any venue – very classy – and we were like ‘deal sealed,'” Bester said.
The couple said they first dreamed of a wedding on Pi Day since this time last year, when they ran the Baltimore Shamrock 5K in special-ordered green Pi Day shirts.
“Pi goes on for infinity, like love. It has so much in common with it,” Bester said.
After Julio popped the question at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland, the two planned to “save the date” for Pi Day. The mathematically inclined couple searched high and low for simple venues that spoke to their love of Pi, eventually settling between an Albert Einstein celebration at Princeton University or staying close to home in Virginia.
Though it may be unconventional, Bester said the low-key profile of a pizza shop wedding was exactly what they were looking for.
“After a certain age you don’t want pomp and circumstance,” Bester said.
&pizza and Pop! Wedding Co. also handle the logistics of each pizzaholics’ wedding, providing a professional photographer, food for the reception (hint: it’s cheesy) and co-founder of Pop! Wedding Co. Steven Gaudaen as the officiant.
The service is completely free for the couples. The only thing the couples have to contribute are their marriage licenses.
Although the basic venue is the same, each couple is encouraged to throw in their unique touches to the wedding to jazz up the ceremony.
“They really allowed us to make it our own, in a lot of really cool ways,” Bester said.
Julio and Bester added a meaningful Bible verses and quotes to their wedding and requested that Bester’s father give her away at the ceremony, which will start at 9:30 a.m. so friends and family can beat the traffic.
Other couples will filter in later for their own impromptu weddings, with the whole event ending at 8 p.m.
Don’t have a wedding invite? That’s okay – &pizza will still be open to regular customers on that day, so anyone can celebrate on the special day.
“One of our favorite Pi Day quotes is: ‘Love is like pi – natural, irrational and very important,’” Bester said.