Laurie Moise made an impression on Horton Sears the first time he saw her, in the fall of 2009, at an orientation for new students at Providence College, in Providence, R.I.
“I remember she was wearing yellow shoes and yellow earrings and had this yellow bow,” he said. “I knew I needed to get to know this person.”
Ms. Moise, now 30, was a year ahead of Mr. Sears, now 28, at the school. Both studied psychology, so he soon was visiting her room to borrow notes from courses she’d completed. They quickly became friends.
During the winter holiday, Ms. Moise said, they talked every day, and his mother still teases them about it. “We were on Skype every night,” she said. “He would fall asleep and she would come in and close the computer, and I would be asleep on the other side.”
The following February, he said to her, “Why don’t we just be together?”
In 2012, she graduated and left for St. George’s University in Grenada, where she completed a master’s degree in public health. She is now the director of community health integration at One Neighborhood Builders, a community development organization in Providence.
After his graduation the following year, he went to Boston as a corps member of Teach for America, and is now studying for a master’s degree in school counseling at Providence College, where he is also a residence hall director and graduate assistant.
“We were bouncing around in different places, never in the same state at the same time,” he said.
In 2015, he took a job in Newark, where he grew up, at his old prep school. And the couple broke up. “We didn’t know when the distance would end,” Ms. Moise said.
Two years later, Ms. Moise called Mr. Sears and their relationship rekindled.
“You would never think we were apart for two years,” she said.
Engaged and both now back in Providence, they began planning a wedding for more than 250 people in Newport, R.I., on April 19, 2020. The marriage was to be preceded by a kwe kwe, a prewedding celebration that is a tradition in the Guyanese culture of the groom’s family.
But in March, they realized the celebrations wouldn’t happen because of coronavirus restrictions. A few days before they had planned to marry, they found a town clerk who was still open in Bridgewater, Mass., and drove 40 minutes to obtain a marriage license.
“We just had made a decision that we weren’t going to stop living our lives because of this pandemic,” Ms. Moise said.
They chose the driveway of Ms. Moise’s childhood home, in Malden, Mass., as their new venue, and began wedding planning again.
With her wedding dress in lockdown at the tailor’s, Ms. Moise wore her bridal shower dress instead. She made a veil with a hot-glue gun. A friend fashioned a bouquet from flowers bought at Trader Joe’s.
On April 19, the couple married. Mr. Sears’s family dressed for a wedding but watched on Zoom (with more than 40 other people) from their living room in Newark, and Ms. Moise’s relatives parked in their cars at the end of the driveway. Femi O. Adeduji, a minister of the Jubilee Christian Church in Boston, officiated.
“Despite the craziness, we were still able to zero in on what’s really important to us, and that’s being together,” Ms. Moise said.