Biggs & Kakes
Aaron & Danielle
Danielle hails from Florham Park (Flo Po), New Jersey, which is not so much a town as a few intersections and a roller rink.
When she was born, her grandfather Evan retired from being a renowned physicist to watch her full time and started a home daycare center so that she would always have friends around. This is where Danielle discovered her love of being the center of attention.
Danielle’s hobbies as a child included, but were not limited to, piano, flute, swimming, ballet, gymnastics, rock and roll drumming, softball, sailing, field hockey, sewing and cheerleading. Some of these hobbies lasted as long as three or four weeks.
She did find that she had an interest in drawing plans of houses that she visited. Her grandmother Anne nurtured this interest, teaching her about architecture, taking her to museums and reading books with her about Frank Lloyd Wright.
This led to her lifelong passion for architecture and design. It’s just one example of the influence that the strong women in her life have had on her. She’s eternally grateful to them, especially her grandmother Marie (Googey), who taught her the importance of self reliance, and her mother Janine who taught her everything else.
Aaron was adopted from a nunnery by his parents John and Jackie Smith. He had a very happy childhood in the rolling hills of Carroll County Maryland spent mostly alone with his thesaurus, his various computers and sometimes his friend Ryan.
In grade school, Aaron would raise his hand, and then clap with the one raised hand to get the teacher’s attention, a thoroughly non-endearing trait that thoroughly non-endeared him to many of the other students.
Later in life, Aaron learned to mostly moderate his ability to annoy people, only very occassionally making a water drop sound effect with his mouth, or clapping the theme from “Bonanza” on his cheeks, and made some other great friends, many of whom are represented in this wedding. Some of these dear friends coined the nickname “Biggs” for him, because he is so large.
Like Danielle, Aaron has always been a dabbler who likes to juggle multiple interests. He double majored in computer science and theatre arts at Drew (in Madison, NJ—one town over from Danielle’s home in Florham Park!) After that he worked in corporate communications and ran a theatre company on the side.
He eventually decided architecture was a field that would synthesize many of his interests, while honoring his Dad’s family history of working in the building industry. He went back to school, and that’s where he met Danielle.
Troy, New York
"The Collar City" & Birthplace of Uncle Sam
Danielle's 21st Birthday! (With Phillip & Rinara)
We met as architecture students at Rensselaer Polytechnic in Troy. Danielle was an undergrad and Aaron was a grad student. When we were working in the same studio, Aaron would ask Danielle to watch his laptop while he got coffee. Danielle would say yes, and then immediately forget and go to dinner. Fortunately, Aaron’s laptop was never stolen and we became friends.
At RPI Aaron started calling Danielle “D.B.Kakes.”
RPI. With an honest-to-goodness slide rule right there in the logo. Bless their hearts.
Dancing With Haibao!
Fueled by the power of a rapidly urbanizing China, fed by strange meats and surrounded by the smell of “stinky tofu,” we started dating.
We spent a semester studying architecture and urbanism at Tongji University in Shanghai.
Haibao was the mascot for the (then) upcoming Shanghai 2010 Expo
Just outside the forbidden city
After our classes ended, we took a trip through China to see the sights, including Bejing, Xian and the totally-ineffective-at-keeping-out-Mongols-but-really-beautiful Great Wall of China.
In the Big City
New York City
"The City That Never Sleeps"*
Dancing at Four Freedoms Park on Roosevelt Island
In NYC, the city that never sleeps,* where we’ve lived and loved for several years now, surrounded by friends (that’s you!) and family (that’s the rest of you!), we’ll marry in July 2015.
*Except that you can’t get a decent slice in our neighborhood after 10pm