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A Funny Thing Happened While Researching Algorithms

While he opened the safe, she did. “I’m reading the entire Wiki on mayflies on the couch,” she said. On their walk back to the beach, Ms. Shelby was still talking about them. The swarm finally cleared when Mr. Moore suggested they play five things, a game they concocted to show their appreciation for each other.

“It was different this time,” she said. “He had put more effort into it. He was saying these beautiful things about why he loved me.” Finally, Mr. Moore grabbed her hand. “Then he got down on one knee with the ring. I screamed ‘Oh my God!’ about 50 billion times. And then I said, ‘Yes! No takebacks!’”

On April 24, Ms. Shelby and Mr. Moore were married at Olio, an events space in Peabody, Mass., by the Rev. Ray Hammond, a pastor at Bethel AME Church, with the Rev. Gloria White-Hammond, also a pastor, taking part. The in-person guest list had been whittled from a pre-Covid count of 210 to 35.

Ms. Shelby, in a white mermaid wedding gown made by Ms. Goodridge, was escorted down an aisle strewn with rose petals by her mother, father and stepfather. Mr. Moore wore a sage tuxedo with a black bow tie.

Dr. White-Hammond, a pediatrician in addition to a pastor, praised Ms. Shelby’s values. “You’re dedicated to excellence,” she said. “That will serve you well in this marriage.” Mr. Hammond urged Mr. Moore to keep the faith. “Continue to be the man who prays on his knees but fights the good fight for justice on his feet,” he said.

In a reading of handwritten vows, Mr. Moore’s skills as an orator shined. “I love you, Schnelle,” he said. “I promise to always see your heart, and to see the beauty in you.” Ms. Shelby told Mr. Moore he was everything she didn’t know she needed.