When Kara Weiss Maser got Barry Marc Funt’s text in March 2019 out of the blue, she figured it had to do with some community-related activity. Two decades earlier he had lived across the street from her in Livingston, N.J., when they were both married with small children.
“He once did a political thing,” she said, thinking that was probably the reason he was contacting her. “I thought he wanted me to sign a petition or join a committee.”
Mr. Funt, who was divorced in 2012, instead had seen her photo while scrolling through the Bumble dating app, but Ms. Maser, divorced since 2003, had no clue her profile was even still up.
Rather than take his chances on the site with a swipe, he realized he still had her phone number in his contacts probably from a time he bumped into her on New Jersey Transit. In an unromantic text he asked if he had reached Kara Maser.
“I forgot to write back,” said Ms. Maser, and when she noticed his message again a couple of weeks later sent a brief reply: “What’s up?”
Mr. Funt then mentioned he had seen her photo on the dating site and asked if she would like to catch up during dinner sometime. So the following month, Mr. Funt, picked her up in Morristown, N.J., only 12 minutes from his place in Livingston. They went to a local Italian restaurant, but neither was sure it was actually a date.
“I really didn’t know much about him,” said Ms. Maser, 57, who is the donor relations coordinator in the development office at the Columbia School of Social Work in New York.
Mr. Funt, 55, who works in Morristown, is a managing member of AIA Terra Partners, which does ground lease transactions nationwide.
As they caught up during dinner and Mr. Funt was in midsentence, she placed her hand on top of his and said: “Just so you know this is a date.”
After he drove her home they had a good night kiss, and Mr. Funt, an avid theatergoer, asked her to join him for dinner and the Broadway play “Hadestown” that week.
They soon got to know each over a shot of bourbon or whiskey and games of Boggle (her hard-and-fast rule is no words under six letters) and they typically saw a couple of Broadway shows each month, until recently.
On March 7, he proposed with the help of her sister Melissa Weiss Simon, who had designed an elaborate birthday cake for a collective family birthday party as a ruse.
“Generally I’m the one who does the cake cutting,” Ms. Maser said.
She was laser-focused on cutting the foot-tall piñata cake, which was decorated with colorful sprinkles and filled with novelty diamond rings, a large plastic one and pearl white sprinkles. As the rings and sprinkles came tumbling out of the cake, Mr. Funt was on one knee holding the real ring.
The couple had planned to get married Aug. 2 with about 150 guests. They moved the date back to July 31, with 24 members of their immediate family, at an outdoor ceremony at the home of the bride’s sister and brother-in-law, Mark Simon, in Harding Township, N.J.
Rabbi Simeon L. Cohen officiated and her parents and the couple’s grown children attended. The bride’s son Jeff Maser walked her down the aisle, while her daughter Aly Maser was the maid of honor. The groom’s son Jack Funt was the best man and his two daughters, Jenni and Shelbi Funt, escorted him down the aisle. Attending via livestream were his parents in Florida, along with friends and family.