On Nov. 20, 2021, Mr. Cronin proposed to Mr. Barlowski by inviting him to the venue of their first date under the guise of a Friendsgiving. En route, Mr. Barlowski — oblivious to the proposal — was greeted by friends, who gifted him with one white rose at a time (in the apartment building elevator, in the parking lot), and finally by the couples’ parents upon entering the brewery where 55 friends and family members congregated. Realizing a proposal was underway, Mr. Barlowski clutched his chest and began sobbing. He then said yes.
On Aug. 24, Mr. Barlowski proposed to Mr. Cronin in the backyard of the West Hartford home. (“I owed that man a ring, and I was right down to the wire with it,” Mr. Barlowski said, given that their wedding was set to take place three weeks later.) Mr. Cronin walked up a moss encased staircase book ended by fairy lights to find a luxurious picnic where Mr. Barlowski played “Everytime” by Britney Spears on the piano alongside a string quartet. The quartet performed for two hours, including the songs “What Dreams Are Made Of” by Hilary Duff and “WAP” by Cardi B and Meghan Thee Stallion. Mr. Cronin said yes.
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On Sept. 15, the couple were married at the Pilgrim Monument, a 252-foot granite structure commemorating the Mayflower pilgrims, in Provincetown, Mass., before 100 guests. Kiera Doyle, a college friend of Mr. Cronin’s who was ordained by the Universal Life Church for the occasion, officiated. Mr. Barlowski’s grandmother, Janet “G-Ma” Bilodeau, 91, of Avon, Conn., served as the flower girl.
Within three weeks of meeting Mr. Barlowski, Mr. Cronin had written his wedding vows. “There’s a lot of the original list, but lots of stuff has happened since then, so I had to edit it a little,” Mr. Cronin said. “In the vows, I say, ‘It seemed crazy at the time, and might still seem crazy, but my romantic poems have made it all the way to the altar.’”