Sophia Bachmann almost broke up with Iain Coston even before their first date in 2018.
He was a college student at the King’s College, a Christian school in New York, and Miss Bachmann was on the college staff when the two met in 2017.
“At first, I thought she was 30 because she is so mature,” said Mr. Coston, now 24 and the operations and youth coordinator at the Lincoln Square campus of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York. (In September, he is to begin studying for a master’s degree in biblical studies at the New York campus of Reformed Theological Seminary.)
In fact, Miss Bachmann, now 26, was a recent graduate of King’s College and counted many friends still in the student body. She is now the human resources coordinator for Vor Biopharma, a biotechnology company in Cambridge, Mass., and a candidate for a master’s degree in history at Harvard.
But the college was not their only connection. The two also attended Redeemer Presbyterian in New York. A friendship between them developed organically, and they began having lunch regularly.
“We had great discussions about solid issues, really intense issues — gender roles and racial discrimination and racial reconciliation — and disagree with or agree with, we would come out understanding a different side that much better,” Miss Bachmann said.
So when Mr. Coston learned of her plan to leave New York for graduate school, he decided to act on his rapidly developing romantic feelings.
“I thought, ‘Oh well, better ask her out soon,’” he said. But, before the two went out for dinner, she composed a note to him explaining that she didn’t want a relationship.
Fortunately, she never gave it to him. “After that dinner, I threw the note away,” she said. “I wanted to see him again, and I wanted to date him.”
On their second date, a picnic under the iconic Pepsi sign in Long Island City, Queens, Mr. Coston realized he was in love.
“She was wearing her white jean jacket, and I remember thinking, ‘Wow! I love her! I want to be with her!’” he said.
The couple shared their first kiss that night, and, Mr. Coston said, “That took up most of the night — it was a long one.” They didn’t end up leaving the park until 1 a.m., he said.
Shortly thereafter, Miss Bachmann realized she was upset about leaving New York for grad school for one reason: “It’s him,” she remembered thinking. “You don’t want to leave him for the rest of your life.”
Nonetheless, she did, but the two were by then committed to making a long-distance relationship work. She spent the first year of her program in Minnesota, where she grew up, and where her mother, Michele Bachmann, a Republican, represented the state’s sixth congressional district from 2007 to 2015. Miss Bachman was also in Pennsylvania for a while before heading to Cambridge for coursework on her degree.
“Iain came to visit me in every single state,” said Miss Bachmann, who will take her husband’s name. “We got very good at having a conversation in the morning for half an hour, a text check-in at lunch, maybe a check-in at night.”
On July 26, with both now back in New York, they were married at the Upper West Side campus of Redeemer Presbyterian. The Rev. Chuck Armstrong led the ceremony.
The date of their wedding was unaffected by the coronavirus pandemic, but they did trim 200 people off their guest list to meet the state guidelines limiting gatherings to 50 people, and moved their reception outdoors. For favors, they gave out face masks.
“It’s definitely a cobbled-together thing,” Mr. Coston said of their wedding day. “But in a way, what looked to be destructive actually feels like there’s been a plan all along to make this a wedding that really shows the power of community and love.”