When the two wanted an excuse to see each other again, they enlisted their roommates for help.
“On our date-not-date it became clear she loved playing games with her roommates and I with mine, so we talked about how it would be fun to do a roommate game night,” Mr. Pager said. “A natural follow-up text was, ‘We should definitely get that game night going.’”
At the end of August, the Harlem crew brought Azul, a strategy board game, with them to the Upper West Side. Mr. Pager and his roommates provided Codenames and Anomia, both card games. The hangout went well enough that by October, the duo deleted their dating apps.
The following year, at the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, they were too in love to quarantine apart. First, they stayed with Mr. Pager’s parents in Westchester County, N.Y., and then at Ms. Hoit’s parents’ house in Chatham, Mass.
On Aug. 21, 2022, Mr. Pager proposed after they had been living together on the Upper West Side for a little over a year. As he got down on one knee in Riverside Park, their four parents hid and watched from behind the trees. “It’s right behind our apartment, and it had become very special to us,” Mr. Pager said of the spot.
Ms. Hoit called her instant yes a “no-brainer,” one with “crying, lots of crying,” she said. “There’s no part of me that stayed up all night thinking about how crazy it is we’re getting married. There was no fear or anxiety about taking that step. We were ready.”
On Sept. 2, they proved it in front of 250 guests at 99 Scott Studio, an events space in Brooklyn. Garrett Baer, Mr. Pager’s best friend, who was previously ordained by the Universal Life Church, officiated a nonreligious ceremony, featuring a huppah and the breaking of glass to honor Mr. Pager’s Jewish background. Ms. Hoit’s game night roommates were in her bridal party of six; Mr. Pager’s were among his seven groomsmen.
At a post reception after-party, they all had a chance to play games, where — in addition to Monopoly Deal — the couple surprised their guests with playing cards featuring their photo on each deck.