For Devin Kasota Glaser and Alizeh Sadruddin Bhojani, the plan was to have a short fling.
When they met in October 2016 at a mutual friend’s birthday party in Seattle, Ms. Bhojani was in her third year of law school at the University of Washington, and had a job lined up in New York. Though they hit it off, neither she nor Mr. Glaser were keen on long-distance relationships.
“We were both chasing after professional goals, and dating was just a fun side hustle,” he said.
With no intention of getting serious, they had a first date soon after. Mr. Glaser talked about his favorite topic, taxes, while Ms. Bhojani revealed her love of potatoes. They started the night at a now-closed dive bar in Seattle, and ended it at Pony, one of Mr. Glaser’s favorite gay bars in the city.
The child of lesbian parents, Mr. Glaser not only had an aversion to dating long-distance, but also never imagined himself getting married. His mothers, Nancy Glaser and Jean Kasota, raised him decades before same-sex marriage was legal. “I grew up in a loving family that never considered marriage an option,” he said, adding that his “radical” household didn’t consider marriage relevant to love, parenting or family.
Born in Pakistan, Ms. Bhojani moved to the Seattle suburbs with her mother, Shirin Bhojani, in 1999, when Ms. Bhojani was 10; her father, Sadruddin Bhojani, joined them a year later. The immigration process, Ms. Bhojani said, felt “dehumanizing.”
“The immigration officers did not hear my mother’s name, so they changed her first name to ‘First Name Unknown,’” Ms. Bhojani said. “On every official documentation until we got our green cards, she was known as FNU.”
After that, “I wanted to make systematic changes,” added Ms. Bhojani, 33, who now leads federal immigration policies at OneAmerica, an immigrant and refugee advocacy organization, in Seattle.
Her drive to change the way things were done made her even more attractive to Mr. Glaser, who holds a master’s degree in public policy from Seattle University and a law degree from the University of Washington.
“We were both trying to save the world,” said Mr. Glaser, 39, who is now a staff attorney at the Tenant Law Center, which specializes in tenant defense for low-income residents, in Seattle.
By the time of Ms. Bhojani’s graduation from law school in 2017, the couple “had a plan,” she said, for ending their monthslong relationship. She had researched online how to do it, telling Mr. Glaser that, according to Google, the best way would be to stop speaking for two weeks. But he countered with a suggested 24 hours.
They spent those 24 hours apart, each crying, before deciding that perhaps they were better together. By the time she settled in New York, the two were again a couple.
After two years of dating long-distance, Ms. Bhojani introduced Mr. Glaser to her father in November 2019. (Her mother had died in 2015.) Ms. Bhojani had never before asked her father to meet a suitor. Afterward, she told Mr. Glaser, “Either we’re getting married, or I’m going to tell my dad that you died.”
Deciding against even a fictional death, he asked Ms. Bhojani how she envisioned an engagement. Ultimately, they decided on “a dual proposal where it was shared and consensual,” Mr. Glaser said.
In February 2020, while he was visiting her in New York, the couple proposed to one another outside the Red Hook Winery in Brooklyn, each crying happy tears that froze in the frigid temperature. Three months later, Ms. Bhojani moved back to Seattle, where the two currently live.
On June 25, they were married at the Seattle home of Ms. Glaser, the groom’s mother, in the back yard. Rainier Powers, Mr. Glaser’s best friend since high school who was ordained by American Marriage Ministries for the occasion, officiated at the ceremony, which was followed by a party with 20 guests.
Because travel constraints prevented some of the bride’s family from attending, they had a second wedding celebration on July 3 at Westwinds Ismaili Jamatkhana, an Ismaili Muslim prayer center, in Calgary, Alberta. In front of 40 masked guests, Anwar Lakhani and Shaffique Kurji of the Ismaili Muslim community led the couple in an Islamic nikkah ceremony, which included signing a marriage contract.
They plan to host a third celebration at the Amor Boutique Hotel in Sayulita, Mexico, on Oct. 28.
Even after two ceremonies and with a third to come, Mr. Glaser still has reservations about marriage, calling it “a deeply troubled institution with a lot of baggage.”
And yet: “It was a lot of fun to celebrate in front of our friends and family, and I still cried,” he said, “because love is sweet.”