May 31, 2023

Natalie Nicole Warther and Ryan Paul Dols worked at the same creative agency for years before collaborating on projects. Little did they know that a professional connection would lead to a romantic one.

Both worked at 72andSunny, a global advertising agency that brings together writers and designers on client projects. She was a senior writer and he was a senior designer. And in 2019, they both needed new partners at the agency, where they still work. In 2021, Mr. Dols was promoted to creative director.

One night in July, the two chatted at a work party. “I swear on my life he said, ‘We should be partners,'” Ms Warther said. “He swears on his life that I said, ‘We should be partners.'” Anyway, they decided to try.

The work synergy was there from the start. And when the Covid-19 lockdown kicked in in March 2020 and everyone was suddenly working from home, Ms Warther said the two eventually “turned the corner from close friends and work partners to spending hours every night on the phone chatting and messaging flirty texts back and forth.” weather.”

In April, they started sushi date nights. “Every Saturday, we both ordered takeout from the same sushi joint in LA, lined up a movie at our respective apartments, and texted while we ate and watched ‘together’,” said Ms. Warther.

And on May 2, 2020, they finally decided to bring their virtual bond to the real world.

Still, Mr. Dols said, “we didn’t know if either of us wanted to go there and cross the line into something more romantic.”

On their first personal sushi Saturday, the two sat six feet apart in his house all evening. Mrs. Warther texted her good friend afterwards that she was sure she screwed up, as Mr. Dols had never “made a move.”

“We did it again the following Saturday,” said Mr. Dols.

This time was different.

“He was grilling a good steak,” Mrs. Warther said. “The table was set. I have some eating restrictions and he made sure everything was ready for me to eat.

That night, Mr. Dols said, “we broke the six-foot rule.”

After that, they wasted no time. “As soon as the door was open, we both ran through it,” said Mrs. Warther. “We were ‘official’ three weeks after our first kiss.”

The couple got an apartment together in Westchester, California six months later, in November 2020, and bought a house in Los Angeles in December 2021, where they now live.

Ms. Warther, who turns 30 on Sunday, has a bachelor’s degree in communications from Northeastern and an MFA in writing from Bennington College. Mr. Dols, 36, has a bachelor’s degree in political science and advertising from the University of Oregon.

On September 18, 2021, Mr. Dols proposed marriage in a cottage he rented for the occasion. “I surprised her with a weekend at Idyllwild,” he said, referring to a small mountain town a few hours outside of Los Angeles.

Mrs Warther said: “At 6am he snuck downstairs, built a fire, put on a plate, made mimosas and then had our dog, Banksy, wake me up with a ring on her collar.”

“We both cried right away, and we’re laughing as I yelled, ‘You have to ask me!'” she continued. He did and she said yes.

[Click here to binge read this week’s featured couples.]

The couple married on May 13 in front of 98 guests at Bodega Los Alamos, a wine bar in Los Alamos, California, by Anne Carmack, who was ordained by American Marriage Ministries.

After setting their wedding date, which fell close to the anniversary of their first kiss, they realized it was also on Mother’s Day weekend – which made it especially meaningful to Ms. Warther, who was only 19 days old when her mother passed away.

“All my life I’ve hoped there would be some sign from my mother that she was with me in some way on my wedding day,” Ms Warther said. “This seemed like a pretty good sign.”

Partnership has been at the heart of the couple’s relationship from the beginning, she said. To reflect that, the couple wrote and read their vows together, taking turns line by line. “We wanted our vows to feel like a representation of how we’ve always worked as creative partners,” Ms Warther said. “We’re both on the same team in service of the best creative outcome.”