That fall, they attended the Burning Man arts festival in the Nevada desert. When Mr. Pearson, 43, had a challenging moment on an especially frigid night, he saw they could talk through it in a way that had eluded him in previous relationships.
“I can be completely myself with Annette,” Mr. Pearson said. “She’s been doing food deliveries to people who are shut in during the pandemic; my best self wants to do that, but she actually does it.”
“This is a person who I had a crush on when I was 18,” Ms. Blum said. “I had no idea that he would turn into this person who loves me back. He boosts me and makes me a braver version of who I had been.”
Mr. Pearson proposed at a surf camp in Costa Rica in 2019.
They are the rare couple who planned a 2020 wedding and saw it through. A mutual college friend, Kim Harvey, led a ceremony in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico, on Jan. 19 with 160 people present, where they jumped over a broom landing on a glass, combining the African-American and Jewish wedding rituals.
“We feel beyond lucky and fortunate,” said Ms. Blum, who is taking Mr. Pearson’s name. “All I wanted was my people there, and lots of dancing, and we got that.”
Their legal ceremony had eluded them however, first because of the holidays, and then the pandemic. When the clerk’s office in San Francisco reopened after a 2.5-month shutdown and they reapplied for a new marriage license, they were given the date of Nov. 4. They were legally married the day after the election in their San Francisco apartment, by Michelle Castro Díaz, a legal process clerk in the city and county office of San Francisco, who officiated remotely, with only Perla, their puppy, present.
With the election results still unknown that day, Mr. Pearson later said, “In uncertain times, it’s nice to have someone stable to hold onto.”