Amanda Jane Cooper was new to New York when she first attended the Church of the City New York, to which a friend had referred her. She is an actor and was in the starring role of Glinda in “Wicked” at the time.
Andrew Bell was at the door in his volunteer role as a greeter, introducing himself courteously to those he didn’t recognize. The two exchanged salutations.
She came to services the next two weeks — “I remembered his name and he remembered mine,” she said — and then her “Wicked” performance schedule shifted and she was unable to attend church services.
In March 2018, five months later, she reappeared.
“She, again, remembered my name, which really struck me,” said Mr. Bell, 30, the chief of staff for the urban investment group at Goldman Sachs. “She came right over and said something to the effect of, It’s good to see you again.”
“At that point, he wasn’t the reason I kept going back, but he doesn’t happen to be too bad looking either,” said Ms. Cooper, 31. “I was definitely getting more excited each week to see him.”
The two became friendly, and five or six weeks later, Mr. Bell found himself wrestling with a gentlemanly problem. “I realized, Wow, I don’t know this woman a ton, but I am really drawn to her, and I didn’t know how to make the transition from ‘the nice friendly guy greeting you at the church’ to, ‘Oh, I want to take you on a date now,’” he said. “I was at a loss.”
Shortly thereafter, returning home late from work, he found that his route unexpectedly took him right past the stage door of the Gershwin Theater, where “Wicked” was playing. He asked the taxi driver to stop.
“It sounds like I’m exaggerating the perfect timing, but, literally, as I closed the cab door, the stage door opened and Amanda walked out,” he said.
She saw him amid the fans, and they chatted briefly, but she had to head home to rest before an early call the next morning. Nonetheless, she was touched by a text he sent after the encounter.
A coffee date a week and a half afterward lasted more than five hours. A month or so later, they shared their first kiss.
“She just exudes joy,” he said. “She finds amazement and wonder in the everyday things of life.”
In August, she said she wrote in her journal, “Dear God, please let Andrew be my husband.”
“He is not someone who plays games,” she said. “He is who he says he is.”
The two had planned to marry on April 25 in Pennsylvania, but in mid-March, as news about Covid-19 became increasingly grave, they worried that they might not be able to leave New York.
So on March 18, they rode Citi Bikes six miles south to the Manhattan Marriage Bureau. They obtained a waiver of the 24-hour waiting period from a local court, and Joey Tai, on the city clerk’s staff, officiated.
They had agreed, however, not to consider themselves wed until their families and pastor had participated, so when it became clear that the Pennsylvania wedding would not be possible, they planned a rooftop videoconference wedding.
On April 4, Jon Tyson, the pastor of the church where they’d met, led a ceremony through an online connection. But the ceremony was not without loving touches. Ms. Cooper’s mother had delivered her wedding dress to New York in a nonstop drive to avoid exposure to the coronavirus, and Ms. Cooper’s sister, Holly, who lives in Brooklyn, sent a bouquet and a boutonniere.
“It really made the day feel more official,” Ms. Cooper said. “The date that we will celebrate from here on out is April 4th.”