Michael Braun, 37, is a national advance lead for the presidential campaign of Joseph R. Biden Jr., the former vice president and presumptive Democratic nominee. In political parlance, he is known as an “advance man,” working with other members of Mr. Biden’s staff as well as Secret Service agents to scout locations and prepare campaign events around the country.
Mr. Braun’s longtime partner, Corey Gingue, 39, has seen him in action on many occasions, including one magical day in July 2017, in a faraway castle in Aix-en-Provence in southern France, where Mr. Braun proposed to Mr. Gingue before 11 of their best friends.
Mr. Braun (left), who is also the head of global communications for Il Makiage, a cosmetics brand in New York, decorated their terrace with more than 400 red roses purchased from florists in three surrounding towns, leaving each without a rose for sale.
“Months before I stepped foot in that beautiful castle, Michael not only managed to find it and rent it, he also managed to turn it into the most wonderful engagement party without me knowing anything about it,” said Mr. Gingue, who works as a sommelier for Momofuku in New York.
“It was simply spectacular,” he said.
Mr. Braun, who graduated from Boston University and grew up in West Orange, N.J., and Mr. Gingue, who was born and raised in Burlington, Vt., met online in May 2012, when both were living in Brooklyn — Mr. Braun in Park Slope and Mr. Gingue in Crown Heights. Six months later, Mr. Gingue moved in with Mr. Braun.
“I remember looking in his eyes and saying, ‘Yup, this’ll work,’ six months later I took him to meet my mother, who just loved him,” said Mr. Gingue.
The couple has traveled together to many places, sampling the wines in various cities around the world — their favorite pastime — several times in France, and in Italy and Spain.
In December 2016, they vacationed in China. Long before masks became a ubiquitous part of today’s wardrobe, the couple wore them on the streets of Beijing. “That particular week in Beijing, pollution was at a historic high,” Mr. Gingue said. “So we wore masks the whole time we were there.”
After months of additional advance work by Mr. Braun, they were to be married on July 18 at Domaine Veuve Clicquot in Reims, France, but changed plans because of the coronavirus.
They were able to keep the date. But in an effort to adhere to social distancing and other rules, they decided on a legal wedding ceremony at the Red Hook Winery in their adopted hometown, Brooklyn, their 70-person guest list whittled down to 10. Rabbi Matthew Green officiated. (The couple plan to host a larger celebration ceremony next year at the same venue in Reims.)
“Despite the fact that I’m a control freak and had every aspect of our France wedding planned to the second, I was not disappointed when we had to postpone it,” Mr. Braun said.
“There are obviously much more important things going on in the world than the two of us changing our wedding venue,” Mr. Braun said. “Looking back, that experience in Beijing really helped us prepare for what we’re going through today.”