Winston, a 13-pound Maltipoo rescue dog, has meant a lot to Michelle Lisa Krozy and Samuel Espy Bart, especially during the pandemic.
When it reopened in early July, they would take him to a dog run at Carl Schurz Park. “Everything felt normal at the run,” Ms. Krozy said. “Everyone enjoyed the experience outdoors, the fresh air, and it felt safe.”
So it seemed like the logical place for them to have a small wedding ceremony with just immediate family on Sept. 21.
In early March, as the pandemic set in they decided to postpone their original plans at the Metropolitan Club of New York for April 25 with about 150 guests. Until June they stayed in Needham, Mass., at the home of Ms. Krozy’s mother and stepfather, and then for a couple of weeks at his mother and stepfather’s beach house in Westhampton, N.Y. When they got back to the city in July, they moved from Chelsea to a bigger apartment in Yorkville, a few blocks from Carl Schurz Park.
“I leaned on Winston as a pillar of sweetness and pureness in all the chaos,” Mr. Bart said.
Once they got a marriage license through the Manhattan Marriage Bureau’s Project Cupid at the end of August (Ms. Krozy spent an entire day refreshing the page to get a Zoom appointment), they scoped out the small dog run at the park.
“My mother is a wackadoo like me, and thought it was a great idea to do it there,” said Mr. Bart, 31, who grew up in Yorkville, not far from the park. He is the finance director and the digital coordinator for Senator Chuck Schumer’s campaign office, Friends of Schumer, in Manhattan. Mr. Bart graduated from the George Washington University.
Ms. Krozy, 29, who is taking her husband’s name, is an associate in Manhattan at Alston & Bird, an Atlanta-based law firm. She graduated cum laude from Franklin and Marshall College and received a law degree cum laude from the Benjamin N. Cardozo Law School.
Mr. Bart reached out to her on JSwipe in February 2015, and a couple of weeks later they met at the Pierre Loti wine bar in Gramercy Park, near the Cardozo law school library, where she spent most of her time.
“She giggled at all my jokes,” Mr. Bart said. “ I couldn’t believe how tiny she was, about 5 feet. She has a tall presence.”
They began dating very slowly since he was going through a hard time. His mother, now in good health, had just undergone surgery for cancer, and his father had died a couple of years earlier. “I wanted to give him his space,” Ms. Krozy said.
In May 2015 she helped his best friend, who had gone to college with her, plan Mr. Bart’s surprise birthday party at a Lower East Side bar in Manhattan.
“I was moved to tears,” Mr. Krozy said, and they began to go out more, even to Yankees baseball games, although she is from the Boston area. They got an apartment together in April 2017 in Chelsea, and after they dog sat for his mother’s toy poodle, Poppy, they were inspired to get a dog. They adopted Winston in December. A year later, in December 2018, Mr. Bart proposed, with Winston by his side, in Madison Square Park.
A week before their wedding on Sept. 21 they took Winston to the small dog run at Carl Schurz Park three or four times to check out how busy it was around 4 p.m. Fifteen minutes before the ceremony, they went to the run for one last look.
“The dog run was just so busy,” Ms. Krozy said. “There were so many dogs. It was louder than ever.” They quickly found another, more secluded spot, you might say, with their heart.
Cantor Nancy Dubin officiated on the steps leading to a bronze sculpture of Peter Pan. Winston watched quietly, resting in Mr. Bart’s mother’s arms during the 15-minute ceremony.