Daniela Llorente Blum and Dr. Robert Costigan Flowers, the first couple to marry at Manhattan Marriage Bureau in 2024, hustled downtown on the morning of Jan. 2 not to be first in line, but because they were finally ready to quit stalling: They had already called off their wedding six times.
Ms. Blum and Dr. Flowers, both 34, live in the Murray Hill neighborhood of Manhattan. When they met on the dating app Hinge in December 2018, both of their locations were set to South Florida. Ms. Blum, who moved to Key Biscayne from her native Bogotá, Colombia, in 2016, was working as a project manager at d music marketing, an agency that promotes American artists in Latin America. Dr. Flowers, then a resident in internal medicine at the University of Miami Hospital, had moved to Miami months earlier after receiving his M.D. at Tulane University.
Neither had a lot of energy for dating at the time. Ms. Blum often traveled to Latin America for work. When Dr. Flowers wasn’t in scrubs, he was usually exhausted. Dating apps were testing the fortitude of both: “I was kind of giving up hope,” Dr. Flowers said. (Multiple women he had struck up promising conversations with online seemed different in person.) Ms. Blum didn’t have much hope to begin with. “I always had this hate against apps, like they were so fake,” she said.
A friend convinced her to dip a toe in the dating pool a year after she and a long-term boyfriend had broken up. Her first time swiping through profiles left her cold. “It was a major letdown,” she said. Then, in December 2018, she came across Dr. Flowers’s profile, which seemed different.
For one thing, he wasn’t hoisting a dead fish. “I don’t know why that’s a thing for men” on dating apps, she said. His love of “Harry Potter,” her favorite book series, was also a positive sign.