284 NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017 | BETHESDAMAGAZINE.COM
Our Lady of Good Counsel High School.
He’s a financial adviser for Merrill Lynch
in Reston, Virginia. The couple had a
daughter, Collins Wright, in April, and
moved from Bethesda to Urbana in May.
HOW THEY MET: The couple met once
in high school but didn’t connect until
January 2009, when Kayla was a college
senior and Stuart had already graduated.
They were out at Tommy Joe’s in Bethesda
with friends; one of Stuart’s friends also
knew Kayla. “I went up and tried to talk
to her because I was attracted to her, and
it was very difficult to get anything out
of her,” Stuart says. Kayla remembers
wanting to spend time with her girlfriends,
but as the night went on she and Stuart
got to talking. “We went back to her
friend’s apartment and then she kissed
me,” he says.
THE FIRST DATE: Kayla and Stuart
had dinner at Bethesda’s Congressional
Country Club, where Stuart’s parents are
members. Kayla was so nervous she
could barely eat. “I had the cheeseburger
and it was really messy and I was scarfing
it down, and she just had like three bites
of her salad,” Stuart says with a laugh.
After dinner, they saw the Jim Carrey
movie Yes Man.
THE PROPOSAL: In December 2014,
Stuart surprised Kayla with a weekend
trip to New York City. He’d considered
proposing by the Christmas tree at
Rockefeller Center, but one of his sisters
warned him that it would be too crowded.
Then he decided he’d propose over
room-service breakfast, but when his
alarm went off at 5: 30 a.m., he realized
that Kayla was already in the shower.
That morning they went to Rockefeller
Center, which was empty except for two
security guards. Stuart decided he didn’t
want to propose in front of strangers, so
the couple headed to see a Today show
taping, went to the Top of the Rock and
had brunch at the Waldorf Astoria. “I
was scared because I had the ring in my
pocket in my jacket the whole day, so all
I was thinking about was not losing it,”
Stuart says. That afternoon, back at their
hotel room, he got down on one knee.
“He said a bunch of beautiful things that
neither of us could remember even later
that evening,” Kayla says.
THE WEDDING: Kayla and Stuart
were married on June 18, 2016, at St.
Bartholomew Catholic Church in Bethesda.
A reception followed at Congressional
Country Club. Stuart is a triplet—both of
his sisters’ weddings were featured on
BethesdaMagazine.com in 2014—and
one of his sisters had been married at
Congressional. He and Kayla had always
talked about having their wedding there.
“We would go to the pool on Saturdays,
and the dining room has a big patio area
that looks over the pool so we would
always go up and peek in on weddings
going on,” Stuart says.
NUMBER OF GUESTS: 215
THE PLANNING: Kayla’s mom, who
plans events for the company she works
for, took on the role of wedding planner.
“She was so excited that I was her only
girl and she got to do this with me,” Kayla
says. “Our routine was, I would call on my
way into work and we would talk wedding
for a half-hour, and then whatever we
found during the day—if I was on Pinterest
or something—I’d send her pictures or
we’d talk about it.” The only thing the two
disagreed on was the color of the ribbon to
tie around the hotel welcome boxes. Kayla
wanted pink; her mom wanted white. “I
won,” Kayla says, laughing.
SOMETHING BLUE: Before the first
of Kayla’s college girlfriend’s got married
in 2010, friends gave the bride a robe to
wear while getting ready for the wedding.
The robe, which had the bride’s name and
wedding date on it, has been passed to
the next friend getting married, who wears
it before her own wedding and adds her
name and date (which are embroidered in
blue lettering). Kayla was the seventh of
the nine friends to wear the robe.
FAMILY PHOTOS: The couple wanted
Kayla’s walk down the aisle to be the
first time they saw each other, but Kayla
planned a “first look” with her father and
four brothers before the ceremony. “They
closed their eyes and then they opened
them and I was in front of them,” she
says. “They gave me a hard time about
[the idea] at first, but the pictures are
great and I know it meant a lot to them.”
Kayla Collins married Stuart Wright at the country club
in Bethesda where they had their first date
Finding Mr. Wright