Soon after what seemed like light a long time, Stephen Daniel Sullivan grabbed Alexandra Lauran Ullman Wagner’s hand in March 2018 below the stars projected onto the dome of the Grainger Sky Theater at Chicago’s Adler Planetarium.
“I was insane anxious,” Mr. Sullivan claimed.
The two experienced satisfied about a 12 months and a 50 % previously, in August 2016, when they began functioning at a math-tutoring middle in the city. For months, Mr. Sullivan had scarcely uttered a word to Ms. Wagner, other than for a perfunctory “hello” or “how was your weekend.”
In March 2017, their manager threw them into a project: Each week, they had to develop a distinctive sport integrating math problems for pupils. Their creative online games, like large Monopoly and Bingo boards established up in the gymnasium, turned out so perfectly that their tutoring centre gained top rated prize in a companywide regional competition.
By then, they felt relaxed enough to confide in every other about life outdoors of function. Mr. Sullivan was married at the time, but acquiring marriage issues, which finally led to his relationship ending in divorce in October 2019. Each were being also pursuing better training.
Mr. Sullivan, 36, who experienced graduated from Concordia College Chicago in River Forest, Unwell., was completing a graduate plan at the college, where he later on acquired a master’s diploma in scientific mental health counseling.
Ms. Wagner, 28, who graduated from Northwestern, was applying to graduate programs in education and learning. In June 2017, she still left for the College of Michigan, the place she later received a master’s degree in academic research and an E.S.L. certificate.
“I assumed we would in no way see each individual other all over again,” she said.
The pursuing February, Ms. Wagner understood that she skipped chatting to Mr. Sullivan. She texted him one particular night, and he replied as shortly as he saw her information.
“I skipped not acquiring her to vent to,” he reported. “I did not have an Alex.”
A month later on, for the duration of her spring split in March 2018, Ms. Wagner visited her sister in Chicago. Although there, she took Mr. Sullivan, who considers himself a cosmic geek, to the Adler Planetarium for his birthday, exactly where the two achieved the romantic relationship milestone of holding palms.
Afterwards, they went out for bubble tea and then he cooked tilapia tacos for evening meal at his apartment. There, they hit another milestone: their 1st kiss.
Just after earning her master’s degree, Ms. Wagner moved back again to Chicago in July 2018. Mr. Sullivan usually went to her area, wherever he cooked his specialties like sausage and rooster gumbo and shrimp with grits. She baked coffee cake and brownies.
In July 2020, she achieved Mr. Sullivan’s son, Logan, now 6, and daughter, Sydney, now 4, from his preceding relationship. The two took to her suitable absent. “My son was smitten,” Mr. Sullivan stated.
That October, Mr. Sullivan moved in with her. He is now a certified skilled therapist at Inspire Counseling middle, a mental health clinic in Northbrook, Sick. Ms. Wagner is a third-grade instructor at Peirce Elementary on the North Facet of Chicago.
They became engaged in March 2021, following he proposed while they took a bubble bathtub. Earlier that working day, right before heading to do the job, Mr. Sullivan still left sparkly plastic engagement rings and notes about the condominium, which includes one particular in the kitchen area that go through, “Do you assure to cook dinner dinner with me?”
The pair were being married April 9 at Cheney Mansion in Oak Park, Unwell., prior to 125 visitors, most of whom had been vaccinated. Loren Jones, a cousin of the groom who was ordained an American Marriage Ministries minister for the celebration, officiated.
As a playful acknowledgment of their interracial relationship — Mr. Sullivan is Black and Ms. Wagner is white — they chose a black-and-white theme for the marriage. It provided the décor and black-and-white cookies for attendees to just take home. There was also a nod to outer place.
Their 7 groomsmen and a person groomswoman each individual wore cuff inbound links of a distinctive earth. Mr. Sullivan wore sun cuff inbound links his son, the ring bearer, the moon. His daughter, the flower lady, sparkled as the bride’s “mini-me,” Ms. Wagner said, in a fluffy white gown.
As for the bride, Mr. Sullivan reported: “Alex is my stardust.”