Bruktaweit Addis and Tif Slama were feeling pretty good about their second date, after having met on the dating app Bumble in March 2016.
They had spent their first date chatting about Ms. Addis’s fear of earthquakes and Mr. Slama’s love of Dwayne Johnson, a.k.a. the Rock, and were planning to spend their second date watching a movie at the New Parkway Theater in Oakland, Calif., after eating dinner.
At Ms. Addis’s suggestion, they bought tickets to “The Witch,” though neither of them was prepared for how scary the movie would be.
“It’s terrifying,” said Mr. Slama, 37, who works as a freelance creative director and writer in San Francisco. “There are still parts of that movie, or even like individual frames of that movie, that are smeared into my brain.”
Ms. Addis, 31, who works as the group leader of consulting services at the Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Medical Center, had warned Mr. Slama that she might run out of the theater in fear at some point. Right at the climax of the movie she did, making it back in time for the credits. Afterward, Mr. Slama walked Ms. Addis, whose friends call her Bruk, to her apartment. When it came time to say good night, he was still too stuck on the movie to think of romance.
“We go in for a little hug, and then Bruk surprised me with a kiss and I was not thinking of that,” Mr. Slama said. “So we had like the worst first kiss.”
Mr. Slama soon made up for it a few dates later when he invited Ms. Addis to his apartment to watch Beyoncé’s visual album, “Lemonade.”
“I just was like, Oh, I can really vibe with him and talk with him,” Ms. Addis said. “It was such a special, memorable date.”
Less than a year later the couple moved in together in San Francisco, and about two years after that they started shopping for engagement rings.
“I basically had the ring in my bedside table for like a month or two before I proposed,” Mr. Slama said. “I was just waiting for San Francisco to give us a sunny day on the weekend.”
Finally Mr. Slama couldn’t wait any longer, and after a brunch with friends in February 2019, he took Ms. Addis on a walk to a lookout point across from Ina Coolbrith Park. With a view overlooking the North Beach neighborhood in San Francisco, Mr. Slama proposed. A woman from the neighborhood happened to be walking her dog nearby, and when she saw that the couple had just gotten engaged, she ran inside to bring them a bottle of champagne.
“I can describe all of the things that I love about her sometimes,” Mr. Slama said about Ms. Addis, “but then I’m also just like, I just love her. She’s my person and I just love her.”
Ms. Addis and Mr. Slama had planned to get married at the Awbury Arboretum in Philadelphia on June 20; they canceled those plans because of the coronavirus pandemic.
They kept the original wedding date, but married at the same lookout point where they got engaged. Their close friend Daniel Roskowski, who is a Universal Life minister, officiated. He also set out framed photos of the couple’s family members and wedding party on the grass, as a makeshift aisle.
“Even in the ugliest or darkest of times, people do still fall in love, people still do get married,” Mr. Slama said. “The sweeter moments in life still need to happen.”