40 Guests, Plus a Covid-Safety Officer

40 Guests, Plus a Covid-Safety Officer

“We had really deep conversations about the purpose of life, and family,” he added. “It was nice to have that with someone.”

By the following summer, both said, they knew they were going to build a life together. They were by then working on a joint master’s thesis, and together planning the Kennedy School’s 15th annual Black Policy Conference. When his summer medical rotations took him to hospitals in Oakland, Calif., and Atlanta, she flew out each month to visit him.

“She felt like family, so I wanted her to be my family even more,” he said.

Ms. Hutchinson, who will add his surname to her own, said the decision to marry came naturally. “We both take our professions very seriously and family very seriously, and we’re both very committed people,” she said.

On Sept. 19, the two were married in St. Louis at the Missouri Botanical Garden. The Rev. Charles H.N. Bobo, a Baptist minister, officiated.

As health care professionals, the couple wanted to make sure that their wedding would be as pandemic-proof as possible. So in addition to instituting common coronavirus precautions, such as asking their 40 guests to be tested before the wedding and providing masks, gloves and hand sanitizer as party favors, the couple also hired help.

A covid-safety officer, to be precise. It was Ms. Hutchinson’s father’s suggestion, and while she initially balked at the notion that someone would be taking temperatures, shooing people apart who were violating social-distancing guidelines, and reminding guests to don a mask, she soon conceded the merit in the idea.

“I’ve had a ton of peace of mind ever since hiring this person,” she said. “At the end of the day, we are about safety more than anything else.”

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