Katie Adams and Emily Fletcher, both neuroscience majors at Dartmouth College, were in the last term of their final year, in 2013, before they met.
Ms. Adams noticed Ms. Fletcher (left), both now 29, because the latter was perpetually late to a class they had together, and so had to sit in the back with the teaching assistants.
“I really liked her hair,” Ms. Adams said. “Really nice curly hair, good ringlets.”
Ms. Adams was a four-year varsity athlete and was a catcher on the school’s softball team. Ms. Fletcher worked on the school newspaper and served as editor in chief in 2012. Their friendship groups did not intersect.
One of Ms. Fletcher’s columns, not quite published, figured prominently in their first romantic encounter.
A few weeks before they were to graduate, Ms. Fletcher and a group of friends attended a formal in White River Junction, Vt., that was put on by Ms. Adams’ sorority. While there, she got a call saying that something she had written for the college newspaper wasn’t going to run.
“It was probably some navel-gazing thing about my time in college,” Ms. Fletcher said. “I remember knowing at the time it was not very good, but still being upset.”
Ms. Adams, who said she had recently had a romantic dream about her neuroscience classmate, offered some consolation. The two women left the party for a while to allow Ms. Fletcher time to gather herself.
“We walked along the train tracks and kind of got to know each other,” Ms. Fletcher said.
The two shared their first kiss that night, and then spent at least some portion of all the following days together.
“She’s very generous and kind, a very, very sweet and loving person,” Ms. Fletcher said. “She also has a playful streak, so is always looking to make a game of things and liven things up.”
Ms. Adams said that it was quickly clear to her that this wasn’t just a last-chance college romance. “It felt so different from anything I had ever felt before,” she said.
After graduation, both returned home to Washington State, where their families lived about 20 miles apart in the Seattle metropolitan area. Ms. Fletcher is now a campaign manager for the majority leader of Washington’s House of Representatives and is to become a consultant in the Seattle office of the Boston Consulting Group in January. Ms. Adams is a data scientist for the research institute of MedStar Health, a health care system based in Columbia, Md.
Ms. Fletcher said that getting to know Ms. Adams in the context of her family, which includes six nephews, was inspiring. “Seeing how she was with the people who are important to her made me want to be one of those important people,” she said.
In the years that followed, they returned to Hanover, N.H., where Dartmouth is based. They then moved to Washington D.C., and to Ann Arbor, Mich., where Ms. Fletcher obtained a master’s degree in public policy and an M.B.A. in May from the University of Michigan. Ms. Adams is now studying for a master’s degree in computer science through an online program at the Georgia Institute of Technology.
They have driven across the country together four times and now are back in Washington State.
On June 20, the couple were married at the vacation home in Quilcene, Wash., of Ms. Adams’s family, with 19 guests attending. (Both will use Adams as a middle name and Fletcher as their surname.) Ryan S. Adams, one of Ms. Adams’s brothers, presided at the couple’s marriage, having become a Universal Life minister for the occasion. They had planned a big wedding at an events space on Whidbey Island, outside Seattle, but postponed that until 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“We’ll begin a new chapter, starting a family, shortly thereafter,” Ms. Adams said. “It just felt like the right time to take that next step.”