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On Their First Date, Plunging Into a Relationship


For their first date, Stephanie Schulter and Halle Anne Bauer jumped into the Atlantic collectively in 17-degree climate.

It was Jan. 1, 2018, and so they have been taking part within the New Year’s Day plunge hosted by the Coney Island Polar Bear Club. Ms. Schulter, a local of Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, had been attending the occasion for years and invited Ms. Bauer to come back alongside.

“I needed to impress her,” Ms. Bauer, who grew up in Shaker Heights, Ohio, mentioned. “I needed to seem like I used to be down for this.”

The date, it turned out, got here simply hours after their first kiss, which occurred the evening earlier than at a New Year’s Eve party they’d attended collectively as buddies. “I knew once we made these New Year’s plans that I actually needed to kiss her that evening” Ms. Bauer, 34, mentioned. Ms. Schulter, 36, shared that need.

By then, the 2 had recognized one another for six months. They first met at a bocce sport in July 2017, shortly after Ms. Bauer moved from her hometown to New York City. Looking to satisfy folks, she reached out to buddies of buddies residing domestically. One of them, who was additionally a pal of Ms. Schulter, invited her to the sport.

Taken by Ms. Bauer at first sight, Ms. Schulter steered they play on the identical crew. But “what I didn’t understand, or I didn’t bear in mind on the time, was that in bocce you’re throughout the court docket out of your teammates,” Ms. Schulter mentioned. After a sport spent capturing glances at one another from reverse sides of the court docket, they chatted extra and hit it off.

Within their first month of relationship, the 2 went to Austin, Texas, the place they realized how properly they work collectively after their canoe flipped over in Lady Bird Lake.

Ms. Schulter “instantly came visiting to me,” Ms. Bauer mentioned, “picked me up by my shirt to verify I used to be above water and paddled us each to shore.” Any panic they felt melted away when folks in one other canoe requested in the event that they have been OK. “We burst into laughter,” Ms. Bauer mentioned. “It was simply this wonderful second the place that would have been an actual catastrophe, however we had enjoyable with it.”

Said Ms. Schulter, “I bear in mind getting back from that journey to Austin and being like, I believe I’m in love with this individual.”

About a 12 months after they began relationship, in December 2018, the couple moved into their present residence in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Ms. Bauer introduced her cat, Wally, and so they later adopted one other cat, Karen.

A graduate of Hofstra University, Ms. Schulter works as a multimedia producer at Barclays Bank. Ms. Bauer, who graduated from Northwestern University and has a grasp’s diploma in historical past from Case Western Reserve University, teaches historical past on the Dwight School on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.

Though they’d lived with one another for greater than a 12 months by the point the pandemic arrived in March 2020, spending the subsequent a number of months principally holed up of their residence solely made them extra sure a few future collectively. That 12 months, they started to plan a mutual proposal that might contain exchanging rings on the 2021 Polar Bear plunge in Coney Island.

“We needed it to be equal,” Ms. Bauer mentioned of the proposal. “We didn’t need anybody to get down on one knee. We didn’t just like the symbolism of that.”

When the official plunge was canceled due to Covid, Ms. Bauer and Ms. Schulter determined to do it on their very own. After every proposed to the opposite, the 2 jumped into the water collectively as fiancées.

On June 17, they married on the Ladies Pavilion in Central Park. Their pal Amelia Irwin, who was ordained by American Marriage Ministries for the event, officiated on the ceremony earlier than 20 company. Later, the newlyweds celebrated their union at a dinner at Uva, an Italian wine bar on the Upper East Side, with 25 company.

The couple, who’re taking the surname Amore Bauer, which contains Ms. Schulter’s great-grandmother’s maiden title, organized their wedding ceremony in six months. They had initially deliberate to marry in Sicily this July, however needed to cancel that occasion after Ms. Schulter’s mom underwent surgical procedure in February.

Their unique location, although, was not fully absent from their wedding ceremony in New York: For their dinner, the brides discovered the right mille-feuille cake in Little Italy.

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