Wednesday, 27, June 2018

Filed under:
Washington DC

Leah & Emily

In August 2016, Leah Neaderthal and Emily Monaghan had to abruptly put their wedding plans on hold when their lives changed forever due to shocking, back-to-back health crises.

Leah & Emily


At the age of 36, Leah suffered several strokes in a matter of 10 minutes, and then in December, following several months of strange neurological symptoms and many doctor's visits, Emily was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Happily, Leah recovered with no permanent damage from her strokes and Emily’s tumor was removed after successful brain surgery.


Leah & Emily

After nearly a year of health issues and setbacks, they were ready to plan their wedding.

“We came upon The Dupont Circle by a stroke of luck … It was everything we wanted and more.”

That included a venue that was centrally located and in the middle of everything.

Because they love spending time on the rooftop of their building at home, they were drawn to the balcony off the ballroom at Dupont Circle. And, when it came time for dessert, they knew exactly what they wanted: s’mores.

Leah & Emily

“It's my favorite dessert for nostalgic reasons,” Leah reveals. “Emily made s'mores on our second date. We shared this with David that and to our great surprise, the team at The Dupont Circle came up with a s'mores snack with a chocolate ganache for us.”

The Dupont Circle team’s mission of going the extra mile meant the most to the happy couple.

"All of us were so impressed at how incredible the event staff were. … They were so thoughtful and genuine, and truly seemed like they wanted us to have a fantastic event. The gentleman who was assigned to our table was so amazing in making sure we were taken care of. But not only that, we had an elderly aunt who needed extra attention, and when we told him, he said 'I'm on it,’ and made sure she was taken care of, too. At the end of the night, we went around and personally thanked each staff member, and I will always remember how warm and kind they were.”

Leah & Emily

And like their “absolutely perfect” celebration at the Dupont Circle, their love story has a happy ending.

“The hurdles we overcame taught us what only experience can teach -- what it means to really love someone. It taught us to be grateful, to cherish the little things and even the monotonous moments of a relationship, and perhaps more than anything, that nothing in life is a guarantee,” Emily muses.




Leah & Emily

Get to know the happy couple


Hometown: Leah is from Nashville and Emily hails from Garden City, NY. They live in northwest D.C. now.

Occupation: Leah is the founder of Smart Gets Paid, which teaches women entrepreneurs how to sign clients. Emily is a UX designer for healthcare technology, improving data quality and making healthcare tech more accessible.

Fun fact: Leah and Emily met at trivia night at Nellie’s, U Street’s most famous sports bar.


Leah + Emily’s wedding dream team:


Day-of coordinator: Laura Held, Ida Rose Events -
Photographer: Mary Sandoval -

< Back to Wedding Stories