Within five minutes, Andrew Stewart Heyman knew that he wanted to date Meredith Stacey Ganzman, and within 20 minutes he knew that he wanted to marry her.
”We knew the other was the one,” said Ms. Ganzman, who met him in New York in early November 2015 at Bar 6 in Greenwich Village. That date lasted six hours and ended with a kiss.
Mr. Heyman reached out to her a week earlier on the JDate dating app after noticing she was a big theater fan.
“She’s very smart and bright in every sense of the word,” said Mr. Heyman, who graduated from Princeton, and received a master of fine arts in songwriting and musical theater writing from N.Y.U. Mr. Heyman, 35, is now the director of production at BrainXchange, a technology conference company in Mount Vernon, N.Y.
He was also impressed by her initiative at the Jewish Channel, a small cable station, where she came up with Row J, a monthly show about Broadway and Off Broadway theater.
Ms. Ganzman, 33, who is taking the groom’s name, is now based in New York as an entertainment reporter for the online United States edition of The Sun, the British-owned publication. She graduated from N.Y.U., and received a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia.
She then met him a couple of days later for a late dessert and drinks in the Theater District after she had seen a “particularly bad Broadway musical.”
“Our relationship was always easy,” she added. “We saw each other several times a week, and went to a lot of theater, until now.”
Within six weeks, they were seriously dating and in 2016, she made the leap crosstown to move into his Upper East Side apartment.
Mr. Heyman proposed in August 2019, with the help of the Sweet Shop NYC, which serves ice cream in Chinese food containers. This time the owner’s son threw in an extra container sealed with a heart-shaped sticker.
“My first thought was that there was a cookie inside,’’ she said. “It turned out to be far better, it was his mother’s engagement ring.”
The couple planned to get married March 21 at Three West Club in New York, with 60 guests, and as they canceled one plan after another because of the coronavirus she realized why her maternal great-grandmother may have wound up with two marriage certificates from 1918 — one in April and one in June. (Last fall, Ms. Ganzman had looked into those marriage records in New York while doing some research on the date inscribed inside her great-grandmother’s wedding band.)
“Spanish flu was coming up,’’ she said. “I just bet what happened to them was happening to us. My grandmother always said they had a wonderful marriage. My mother said this, too. I could lean on that.”
Michael McSweeney, the New York City Clerk and head of the Manhattan Marriage Bureau, had a thought when asked why her great-grandparents might have had two marriage licenses: “The natural human reaction to times of great distress is to make the life-affirming decision to get married. During the Spanish flu in 1918, just as today during the Covid-19 epidemic, couples went to any length to get married as shown by her great-grandparents’ determination to get that second marriage license.”
Ms. Ganzman and Mr. Heyman, with only one marriage license in hand, were legally married by Rabbi Josh Stanton on July 18 at the Three West Club, before immediate family, as well as the maid and matron of honor and two groomsmen. About 60 people tuned in via Zoom.
“If this is how history repeats itself,” she said, “We’ll have a wonderful marriage, too.”