In October 2021, while they were in his apartment in Williamsburg, he asked her: “So are you my girlfriend or what?” (She said yes.)
“I texted my mom later. I was like, ‘A boy asked me to be his girlfriend,’” Ms. O’Connor said. “I was 37.”
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She moved into his apartment in April 2022. A few months later, on Sept. 3, he proposed on a “normal Saturday morning,” Mr. Elsayed said. He was doing a crossword puzzle, and she was drinking coffee while listening to NPR. “I was so excited, I could not wait any longer,” he said.
On April 8, 2023, the couple were married at the XX Venue in Williamsburg on top of a rug that Mr. Elsayed’s parents had brought from Egypt. Amalia Culpe, one of his best friends from college who was ordained by the Universal Life Church for the occasion, officiated in front of 130 guests.
Mr. Elsayed called it a “townie wedding.” Their rehearsal dinner was at the bar Silver Light Tavern, across from their apartment on the night before the wedding. They had brunch the day after their wedding at Casa Publica, which is a block over. They also worked with local businesses, many of which are owned by their friends.
During the reception that followed the wedding, they had pizza and champagne — which is also Ms. O’Connor’s yearly birthday tradition. They had an elaborate balloon setup organized by two friends, inspired by Mr. Elsayed’s affinity for balloons. And the reception included a power point presentation of the antics from the night the couple met, presented by a friend who had been there.
At 11 p.m., guests changed into sequined outfits for an “epic dance party” at XX Venue, Ms. O’Connor said. “It was literally everything I could have ever imagined, and so much more.”