Start a life together where others are buried

When Hannah Margaret Allen and Grant Joseph Schumacher met for drinks on June 7, 2019, it was the first time he had dated someone he had met online. Mrs. Allen, by her approximation, had done it 50 times by then.

But it was Ms Allen who initiated their initial conversation on Tinder, just two days after their correspondence on the dating app. “I had been through a lot of screw-ups without success,” she said, adding that she had “never reached out to anyone, but I had a sad 4th of July and I felt a little crazy”.

Mr. Schumacher was charmed. “I had matched with a few people on Tinder, but I wasn’t sure about anyone,” he said.

“I had just gotten out of a long-term relationship and wasn’t sure if I was ready to meet someone,” he added. “But I knew it was someone I wanted to have a drink with.”

From Murfreesboro, Tennessee, Ms. Allen, 31, is the managing editor of Mindbodygreen, a health and wellness platform with offices in Dumbo, Brooklyn. She has a thing for Southern boys, she said, and gave Mr. Schumacher, a 32-year-old actor from Indianapolis, bonus points for fashioning a bolo tie in one of her photos profile on Tinder.

The day they met for drinks at Covenhoven, an outdoor cafe in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, she gave him more points for wearing cowboy boots on their date.

When they hugged good morning, Ms Allen said the hug was ‘like coming home’.

“It was warm and meaningful,” she added. “I knew he was different.”

Mr Schumacher felt a similar connection when he held her hand hours after their date. “There was an excitement and an intensity with her,” he said. “It was like I had known her for years.” When he got home, he told his roommate and brother, who was from Washington, D.C., “I’m going to marry that girl.”

More dates, then a relationship, were immediate. In October 2019, the couple flew to Indianapolis for the movie premiere of “Whelm,” in which Mr. Schumacher appeared. There, Ms Allen met her extended family. On Halloween, he met his in Tennessee.

A few months after the pandemic hit in March 2020, Mr. Schumacher’s roommates moved out of town. In July, Ms Allen moved into her two-bedroom apartment in a townhouse in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn.

On February 13, 2021, Mr Schumacher, unable to wait for Valentine’s Day, walked into their kitchen, played Otis Redding’s “I Love You Too Long” on his cell phone and asked him to dance. Then he knelt down and took out a diamond ring.

“I had been thinking about marrying her ever since I met her,” Mr Schumacher said. “I love waking up next to her and feeling that playfulness, that discovery, and that security. I didn’t want that feeling to end.

Ms. Allen said yes immediately.

On May 7, the couple were married at Woodfin Funeral Chapel in Murfreesboro, which is owned by the bride’s mother and has been in her family for five generations. Max Fagan, a judge of the Tennessee General Sessions Court, officiated at the ceremony in front of 250 guests.

“This is a tribute to my family and my grandfather who passed away in July 2020,” said the bride, who added that she was leaning on “til death do us part.”

“I know it’s weird and unconventional,” she said of their wedding location. “I don’t need everyone to understand.”

Mr. Schumacher was also unfazed by the location. “There is a lot of life and energy in funeral homes,” he said, adding that the location is “a good reminder to do the best we can with the time we have together.”

Next, the newlyweds and their guests headed to Belle Meadows Farm in Lascassas, Tennessee, for a reception. It included a sit-down dinner where each of the 25 tables was named after a famous country singer, including Willie Nelson, Patsy Cline, Hank Williams and Dolly Parton.

“I can be a lot and emotional; I didn’t know I could find someone who wasn’t afraid of that,” the bride said. “Grant made those characteristics in me a strength, not a weakness. I love him for it.”

The groom felt the same. “She allows me to be vulnerable in a way that I’m still learning to show her,” he said. “I’m coming home and I have someone I need to care about and protect because she’s doing the same to me.”