Ms. Barkley provided a hint. “She had mentioned to me that she saw someone on TV propose with a Ring Pop,” Mr. Hoffman said. “She was subtly saying that if I want to propose and I don’t have a ring, she would accept a Ring Pop.” By spring, though, Mr. Hoffman had a better plan in place. Through a family friend, he had found a jeweler in Manhattan to design a diamond engagement ring. On May 14, 2020, the day before Ms. Barkley’s birthday, he drove to New York to pick it up; along the way, he bought a Butterfinger and a Ring Pop.
Butterfinger is Ms. Barkley’s favorite candy bar. So she wasn’t surprised when, after a morning walk on May 15, he presented one to her as part of an at-home birthday celebration. “I was excited,” she said. While she tore into it with the usual gusto, Mr. Hoffman got down on one knee and presented the Ring Pop. That she found annoying.
“I thought he was making fun of me for even suggesting the Ring Pop, and that he was going to say something along the lines of, ‘It’s not going to happen today, but it will be soon,’” she said. Instead, he pulled the diamond ring box from its hiding place under the couch. “I said, ‘I love you, I want to marry you, I don’t feel right about proposing with a Ring Pop,’” he said. “She had chocolate all over her face.” She said yes, with enthusiasm.
On March 6, 120 friends and family members gathered for their wedding at the Andaz Scottsdale Resort and Bungalows. All had been coronavirus-tested just before, either on their own or through the help of Mr. Hoffman’s friend Marcus Howard, who had procured tests and set up a testing site at the resort, where out-of-town guests were staying.
Ms. Barkley, in a floor-length, sleeveless Reem Acra wedding gown, held a bouquet of white and pale peach ranunculus as she was escorted down an outdoor aisle by her father, who skipped his commentating stint during the N.B.A.’s All Star Weekend to be with his daughter instead.
Mr. Hoffman wore a dark suit and white shirt with an open neck and no tie. Beyond the huppah, woven with more ranunculus and greens, was a sweeping desert vista.