Ask René Maria Avalos and Maxwell P Bochman why they chose to get married on March 18, and their answer is simple: “Taylor chose for us.”
In November 2022, when tickets (rather infamously) went on sale for Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour, the bride, a self-described “die-hard Swiftie” who goes by René Hurtado, got lucky, snagging four front row seats (for about $1,000 each) for the second show on March 18 in Glendale, Ariz. — about 20 miles from Tempe, Ariz., where the couple lives. Moments later, the Ticketmaster site crashed. (A Senate hearing and lawsuits followed.)
Tickets in-hand, the couple thought they might elope during the day and then attend the concert as a kind of reception. A friend upped the ante: “She said, ‘Why don’t you just get married at the show?’” said Ms. Hurtado, 30. “I thought it was crazy at first, but then I thought, why not?”
The couple first met in the summer of 2014. Ms. Hurtado was selling Ghirardelli chocolate chip cookies in the stands at the Stockton Ports baseball stadium (now known as Banner Island Ballpark) in Stockton, Calif., while earning her bachelor’s degree in geology at the University of the Pacific. Mr. Bochman, who goes by Max, was working in stadium operations, his first job after graduating from the University of Massachusetts Amherst earlier that year.
“I remember when I first saw her working there — I talked to one of my co-workers and I was like, ‘I need to meet her,’” Mr. Bochman, 32, said.
Inside the World of Taylor Swift
They hit it off over drinks with co-workers, and two days later, had their first official date at an Italian restaurant. “We knew immediately that we were very important to each other,” she said. Within three weeks, he was meeting her mother. Four months later, she flew to Taunton, Mass., to spend Christmas with his family.
Both love sports and rap music, and share a similar sense of humor. They also agreed that Northern California didn’t feel right to them, so in 2018, they moved together to Arizona. On the drive down, Mr. Bochman received a job offer as an account manager at Barton Associates, a medical staffing and recruiting company based in Massachusetts, where he still works today.
On Sept. 6, 2021, after seven years together, Mr. Bochman proposed at sunset to Ms. Hurtado, who is a workplace operations manager at Flare, a client-attorney software start-up based in San Diego, on South Mountain in Phoenix.
On March 17, the opening night of the Eras Tour and the eve of their wedding, Ms. Hurtado wrote down all the songs Ms. Swift played in preparation for the next night. “Right after ‘All Too Well,’ she goes to costume change,” Ms. Hurtado said. “So we knew that was the best moment.”
When the next evening arrived, the couple was joined by two friends, Alicia Witmer and her fiancé, Josh Wineriter. Ms. Witmer, who was ordained for the occasion by the American Marriage Ministries, served as officiant and maid of honor.
The groom wore a black tuxedo, and the bride wore a midi-length white satin dress and a mid-length veil. They both topped their outfits with a crucial accessory: an Eras Tour V.I.P. pass on a lanyard, which was included in the steep ticket price. (The V.I.P. package includes early entrance and separate merchandise stands.)
When Ms. Swift disappeared from view mid-show for the costume change, as well as a set change from the “Red” era to the “Folklore” era. Ms. Witmer started reading the vows from her phone, and the couple exchanged rings and a kiss. The whole ceremony took about three minutes.
“At first, none of the fans around us really knew what was going on, but after our first kiss, everyone burst into cheers,” Ms. Hurtado said. “They really did create that moment for us by their support.”
Ms. Swift didn’t seem to know what had happened, but a couple of songs later, someone from the stage team came up and handed them one of the singer’s guitar picks. The next day, Ms. Swift liked an audience member’s TikTok video of the wedding. A “Good Morning America” appearance followed, and the bride’s own TikTok post has gone viral.
The couple is planning a larger wedding for 2024, one you don’t need an impossible-to-get ticket to attend, with a soundtrack full of their favorite Taylor Swift tunes.
Mr. Bochman said he has never considered himself a Swiftie, even though “it’s the music that is always playing in my house.” Is he a fan now? “Yes, I think I have to be after she sang at my wedding.”