A snowstorm had blanketed much of the East Coast in December 2016, including Baltimore, where Mackenzie Brown, studying for a master’s degree in severe and profound disabilities at Johns Hopkins University, took a Facebook break.
“There was nowhere to go, and not much to do,” said Ms. Brown, now 27 and a special-education teacher at the Highline Public Schools district in Seattle.
Ms. Brown recalled cruising through a series of posts and stopping at several photos taken by Weston Kulvete showing several snow-covered streets that she recognized as being a part of her neighborhood.
Ms. Brown also recognized Mr. Kulvete as a former classmate at Goucher College in Baltimore, where she first saw him two years earlier.
In 2015, they had crossed paths briefly at a teachers’ conference in Baltimore. “I remember thinking, ‘Man, there she goes again, she’s pretty hot,’” Mr. Kulvete said. Later that same day they ran into each other at an ice-cream parlor there, but neither stopped long enough to catch up with the other.
Ms. Brown, then a special-education teacher at Baltimore’s Kennedy Krieger Institute, was not about to let the latest opportunity to meet Mr. Kulvete melt away and so she sent him a clever message and followed up with a phone call.
“I always thought Weston was a nice-looking guy, and from the photos, I could tell that he lived close by, so I told him I was going to Safeway for ‘snow-day snacks,’ and he went to Safeway at the same time,” she said. “We ended up hanging out that entire week as school was closed the entire time.”
Mr. Kulvete, 29, and now a special-education teacher for seventh graders at Hamlin Robinson School in Seattle, began laughing when he recalled “being pleasantly surprised by that phone call and then meeting Mackenzie at the store and just checking her out.”
“She was with a friend, and we just started chatting and joking around,” said Mr. Kulvete, who was then a special-education teacher at Baltimore Lab School. “She had really beautiful blue eyes that turned green on occasion, and a great smile. And she was so easy to talk to.”
A few days later, they went on a first date to a Korean restaurant in Baltimore. Mr. Kulvete, in a blazer and slacks, was a bit surprised to see that Ms. Brown had arrived in a T-shirt and bluejeans.
“She was a little embarrassed because she felt she was underdressed, but I thought she looked real good.”
They hit it off and began dating.
“The more we talked, it became clear that we had similar values and so much in common,” Mr. Kulvete said. “For me, the biggest thing about her was just how compassionate and caring she was. That came through right away.”
Four months later, it was Mr. Kulvete’s turn to provide compassion and caring, as Ms. Brown learned that she needed a kidney transplant.
“I knew she was frightened,” Mr. Kulvete said. “From the start of our relationship, there was always a super-comfortable feeling between us, but now I could clearly see how uncomfortable and stressed she was, and I wanted to be there as often as I could to support her.”
Ms. Brown eventually received a kidney donation from her mother in October 2017, and two months later, she was back at Mr. Kulvete’s side.
They were married Aug. 15 at their apartment in Seattle, where they had moved to in January 2019. There were five guests in attendance, including their friend Jason Plourde who became a Universal Life minister to officiate.
They were originally going to marry Sept. 5 in an apple orchard on family property in Heath, Mass., with 100 guests, but the coronavirus changed those plans.