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From the weddings section of Sunday's Times

I mean, I'm used to the weddings section and everything, but still this announcement raised an eyebrow or two...

Izabella Walker
John Walker

For most couples, finding each other in the great wide world is the hardest thing.  For Izabella and John Walker, it was the easiest – they are brother and sister.

Izabella Walker, the daughter of Angelica Walker and the late Winston Walker, was married to John “Jack” Walker, the son of the same Angelica Walker and the late Winston Walker.  Louise “Lulu” Sharpe, a childhood neighbor and friend of the bride and groom, became a universal life minister for the day and officiated the ceremony.

The bride, 32, will be known as Izabella Walker-Walker.  She works in development at Lincoln Center.  Her husband, and brother, 34, is Associate Council for the City of New York’s Office if Environmental Policy.

“Did our romance raise some eyebrows?” asks Mr Walker.  “Of course.  But not in our own circle of friends, and not to anyone who sees us together or knows us.”  “Yeah” adds Mrs Walker, finishing her husband/brother’s thought as she has done since they were children. “Most people wondered what took so long!”

Tell that to their mother.  Growing up in Greenwich CT just two years apart led to some fierce rivalries, she recalls.  “They were competitive over everything - sports, school, even memorizing the ten commandments!” It was Izabella who learned the commandments first, the family agrees, and eventually studied comparative religion at Reed College in Oregon.   Mr Walker’s path took him to the University of Pennsylvania, and then New York Law School.

Though they had grown up together and thought of each other as their best friends, it wasn’t until Mr Walker was in New York in law school that the thought of something more than simply being siblings occurred to him.  “It was shortly after the death of our father.  I was single in New York, and navigating the treacherous terrain that is dating in the city.  For someone like me, a bit of a homebody, pretty traditional in many ways, but passionate about my work, it was hard to find a relationship that would last.”

“He was pretty discouraged,” his friend Bradford Irving tells.  “And we were having a conversation one night and Jack was just talking about how he’s never connected with anyone the way he has with Izabella, never felt as comfortable, never seen so eye to eye on so many issues.  And I said, well, what are you waiting for?”
Still, there were obstacles.   Izabella, for one, wasn’t sure.  “We were having drinks one night at the Back Room when I was visiting a college roommate.  We were both having problems meeting people, and Jack finally took my hand and basically asked me out.”  Though touched by the gesture, Izabella wasn’t sure how she felt.  “I mean, not only had I not thought about it, but society has such a bias against it.  Honestly, that began to motivate me more and more and finally I thought, why not!”

After the ceremony at the Cloisters, the 300 guests had a reception at the Bartow-Pell mansion and grounds in the Bronx.  Their mother surveyed the couple dancing, surrounded by friends and family. “It’s fairy tale, really.  It’s just sad their father didn’t get to see this.  He just would have been so pleased to see his children happy in love.”