Anne Huntington met Sam Sharma through a mutual friend in Manhattan in December 2019 and married him on Sept. 7, a mere nine-month blip on the whirlwind radar screen.
“Ours was a Covid-inspired romance,” said Ms. Huntington, 36, who graduated from Colgate and is the president of the Huntington Learning Center, a nationwide tutoring and test preparation provider with headquarters in Oradell, N.J.
Both she and Dr. Sharma had been traveling a lot for work earlier in the year, but because of the coronavirus lockdown, she said, they “had to be in one place at one time, and that really enabled us to grow as a couple.”
Dr. Sharma, 41, a former colon and rectal surgeon who is now a founder and chief executive of QMark Medical, a New York-based medical technology start-up, was in full agreement. He was 1,400 miles away from Ms. Huntington and working in his Midwest factory in Minneapolis, Minn., he said, when he got word of an impending lockdown in the New York-New Jersey area.
“I had a choice to stay there, or to be with Anne, and I chose to be with Anne,” said Dr. Sharma, who received a doctorate from Oxford in clinical sciences, did his postgraduate surgical training at Cambridge University and received a medical degree from Birmingham University. (He came to the U.S. as a Fulbright scholar in Dec 2012.)
Ms. Huntington was relieved. “The coronavirus forced us, and many other couples, to prioritize what we all wanted from life, and Sam and I chose each other,” she said.
In addition to keeping them together, Dr. Sharma said, the coronavirus lockdown allowed him to watch Ms. Huntington work from home.
“I got to see what Anne did in her job and how she did it, and it was astounding,” he said. “It made me respect her even more.”
They were married at St. Gabriel’s the Archangel church in Saddle River, N.J., where the bride was born and raised. The Rev. Frank G. Del Prete, a Roman Catholic priest, performed the ceremony, which included elements of Hindu wedding traditions.
There were four guests, including the bride’s parents, Eileen Huntington and Dr. Ray Huntington of Juno Beach, Fla.
The groom’s parents, Rajnee and Mahavir Sharma of Birmingham, Ala., were unable to attend in person, though the ceremony was livestreamed to ensure that they and many other friends and family members could virtually attend.
“Sam and I have been around, we are of an age where each of us by now can go on a date and recognize genuineness and sincerity or other good qualities in people,” said Ms. Huntington whose wedding dress was made by Marina Moscone, who created it in less than a week, adding special touches such as the words ‘made with love’ that Ms. Moscone stitched inside the bride’s wedding dress.
She is also a member of the Art Advisory Board for New York City’s Coalition for the Homeless and a co-chair of the Young Collector the Learning Disabilities Association of America.
“I think that right away,” she added, “we saw some of those good things in each other.”