Mary Noelle Guido and Nicholas Raymond McMurray realized they were Buckeyes through and through when they met in 2014 at a rooftop party in Washington.
They grew up 30 minutes from each other in Ohio — she in Brecksville and he in Euclid — and both graduated from Ohio State cum laude. He also went to the St. Ignatius School in Cleveland, just like her father and where her brother is a rising sophomore.
“Mary just moved to D.C.,” said Mr. McMurray, 31, who had already been there a year when she arrived just after graduation as an intern in Michelle Obama’s office.
Mr. McMurray, who goes by Niko, is now the nuclear program director at ClearPath, a clean energy nonprofit organization based in Washington.
Ms. Guido, 28, is the director of global events for the International Women’s Forum, a membership group in Washington of 7,000 professional women from 33 countries.
They saw each other, as friends while dating other people, in group settings — Ohio State football game watch parties, trying out a different pizza place each month with a group of friends and apple picking in Virginia.
She said he was “ a friendly, affable guy. He’s the friend who always wants to help you move.” In May 2015, he invited her to another rooftop party and about a month later, when Ms. Guido was moving to an apartment on the top floor of a four-floor walk-up, he brought his car around to help her.
It wasn’t until the following year, in December, that they each noted a slight romantic blip when just the two of them went to the Washington Zoo to see the Christmas lights (they each used to see those sort of lights at the Cleveland Zoo growing up) and had stopped at a bar before for drinks.
”It definitely felt like a date, but wasn’t a date,” he said, and both agreed it was merely the romance of twinkling lights and gin.
Later that month it dawned on Mr. McMurray that he really did enjoy hanging out with her and bounced the idea of asking her out off a couple of friends.
“‘Just call her,’” he recalled one of them saying. He did and asked her to a concert.
“He’s my friend,” Ms. Guido recalled thinking. “I was so thrown off,’’ she said. “I was just going to give it a shot. I really did enjoy his company.”
A couple of days before the concert (the Arkells, a Canadian indie rock band), Ms. Guido asked him to join her at the fitness studio for a high intensity workout class, and after he walked her home they had their first kiss.
He proposed April 7, 2018 on the Ohio State campus during a Sphinx honor society weekend (they both are members), and in June helped his fiancée move into their new apartment.
They were married May 30 in a self-uniting ceremony at Tregaron Conservancy in Washington. They had originally planned to wed at St. Francis of Assisi Church in Columbus, Ohio, on that date, before the coronavirus outbreak.