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The Student News Site of Washington International School

International Dateline

The Student News Site of Washington International School

International Dateline

‘Audopher’: A WIS Wedding

Audette (left) and Sopher (right) kiss in the Tregaron Conservancy on their wedding day, April 2, 2022. (Courtesy of Paperbird Photography)

The WIS community fell in love with “‘Audopher’: A WIS Love Story.” On April 2, 2022, Middle and Upper School Mathematics Teacher Andrew Sopher and Middle School Learning Specialist Michaela Audette tied the knot at WIS’s Tregaron Campus, where they met.

“Obviously we both have a connection here, and this is where we met, so it didn’t feel weird to get married at WIS,” Audette said.

Audette and Sopher’s wedding invitation with their rose gold rings. (Courtesy of Paperbird Photography) 

Yet, the main reason the couple chose the location was because it fit their criteria: a historic venue with outdoor space for their young guests. “It really was a much safer space than somewhere downtown, where if they walked out the door, they’d be on a busy street,” Sopher said. “None of [our younger guests] are city children, so it would not have been as safe as having them on a nice open campus.”

The couple’s caterers transformed the Mansion with dressed tables and chairs, flowers, and rose gold, purple, and navy decorations. “While we knew it was a school, I would argue that most of the guests would not have thought of it as a school,” Sopher said. “It very much turned into a nice wedding venue.”

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However,  Sopher was very concerned that WIS students would somehow find out about the wedding and show up. “The worst part is it’s the 21st century, so if one person showed up, thanks to Snapchat, everybody would have been on campus within like a half-hour,” Sopher said. “I would have cried.”

Since the wedding was during spring break, Sopher had to lie to his students when they asked about his plans. “I just gave them a variety of reasons or things I would be doing and this, that and the other and made no mention of it,” he said.

Furthermore, Sopher thought that some of the preparations for the wedding that took place before the break would tip off people, like asking the seniors to take down their hammocks outside of their lounge. “I was afraid maybe they would say like, ‘Oh, what’s this for?’, and then somebody would be like, ‘Oh, it’s for a wedding’, and then that would have given it away,” he said.

Luckily, no students showed up at the wedding. Due to the pandemic, the couple invited 25 immediate family members. 

Audette’s father walked her down the aisle and her godfather officiated the wedding. There was not a wedding party because of the size of the guest list. “If [Audette’s] sister and my sisters were bridesmaids, and my brothers-in-law and her brother were groomsmen, there would be just our parents and eight small children [in the audience],” Sopher said.

Before the guests arrived, Audette got her hair and makeup done and then got dressed in Mansion room 204. “205 is the ‘Borat’ classroom, 204 is the wedding classroom,” Sopher said, while Audette laughed.

Meanwhile, Sopher anxiously made sure that all of the preparations were ready for the wedding. “I was by far the more stressed one on the day,” he said.

Next, the couple had their pictures taken around campus and the conservancy, and then the ceremony took place near the Senior Lounge. “It was about six minutes,” Audette said. “We just stuck to the basics [and] got married.”

Audette (left) and Sopher (right) on the road exiting the WIS Tregaron Campus on their wedding day, April 2, 2022. (Courtesy of Paperbird Photography)

During the ceremony, Sopher was sweating profusely and Audette quietly asked him if he was okay. Still, everybody heard her and laughed. Looking back at the wedding, that was one of Audette’s favorite moments. 

Then, there was a cocktail hour in the Goodman Room and its terrace with passed hors d’oeuvres: steak bruschetta, crab cakes, cilantro-lime shrimp, and stuffed mushrooms. This was followed by dinner in Davies Hall in which the guests got the option of a glazed salmon or a chimichurri skirt steak, accompanied by rosemary roasted red potatoes, grilled seasonal vegetables, bread baskets, and a salad.

Sopher (left) and Audette (right) eat dinner in Davies Hall on their wedding day, April 2, 2022. (Courtesy of Micheala Audette)

For dessert, the guests ate cupcakes from the D.C. bakery, Baked and Wired, and the couple shared a small vanilla and raspberry cake. “We cut it together, really romantic, you know,” Sopher said sarcastically.

Then, the couple and their guest played trivia about the years that the couple was born, who out of the couple is more likely to blank and guess how many Hershey Kisses were in a jar. “I think I won,” Sopher said.

After that, the evening shifted to ‘children’s time’ because they needed to get some energy out. The kids played on the field, and Sopher joined them for basketball. The couple also set up fire pit s’mores and two piñatas.

When most of the guests were gone, the photographer took pictures of the couple holding sparklers. This was Sopher’s favorite part of the wedding. “I feel like that was the first time that Michaela and I could actually relax and just kind of be ourselves and be goofy,” Sopher said.

Similarly, Audette enjoyed taking pictures before the guest arrived, as they were more intimate. “I liked the quieter moments,” she said.

The couple made it home at 9:30 p.m. Sopher jokingly said that it made him feel old but Audette argues that it was an exceedingly tiring day. “It was a lot of being on and thinking about a million details,” she said.

The couple plans to have their honeymoon in July in Mexico. “We’re looking forward to it,” Sopher said.

Please don’t crash their honeymoon because it will make Sopher cry.

By Zoe Hällström

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Zoe Hällström
Zoe Hällström, Managing Editor

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