When Byron Jennings matched with Brigid Berger on the online dating app, Bumble in the early spring of 2019, he had to wait for her to strike up a conversation.
And when she didn’t reach out in the first 24 hours, he had one chance to extend the window of opportunity for conversation another day. He took that chance.
“It’s a good thing you did,” Brigid said.
About two and a half years later, the couple is planning their wedding.
It only took about a week for that first virtual conversation to turn into a first in-person date. The couple met at Oshima Sushi where Byron admitted to eating sushi with his hands, and Brigid admitted to not liking fish.
“She ate her peanut avocado rolls, and I ate my fish rolls with my fingers,” Byron said.
And the conversation flowed.
“It was just easy,” Brigid said. “And it was nice how well we got along right away.”
The two got along so well that they were able to roll with the punches when Brigid’s entire family showed up at the Carpenter Bar where the couple went for after-dinner drinks.
It might’ve been an awkward moment, but they weren’t ready for the date to end. Brigid and Byron even stayed for a second drink after Brigid’s family left.
“That made me feel really good,” Byron said.
The couple’s comfort with one another only grew as they continued dating. Whatever they were doing, they had fun.
“We just got along,” Brigid said. “It just felt like he was one of my friends.”
It didn’t take long for her to realize this was a relationship with some staying power. When Brigid’s brother got married in August 2019, there were no questions as to whether Byron should come along and be part of the family pictures.
For Byron, falling in love was a “pleasant surprise” and one he hadn’t been sure was in the cards for him.
“I thought I might never find the one or get married, and I had kind of made peace with myself on that.”
But then Brigid came along.
By October, they decided to move in together, a decision that in hindsight was the right call at the right time because only a few months later, the coronavirus pandemic hit. Brigid said it was much easier to weather that uncertainty having Byron close by.
By the fall of 2020, Byron had bought an engagement ring.
The plan was to take a trip to Wisconsin in early October, bringing along Hattie, the couple’s dog. But in the week leading up to the trip, the couple got sick and decided to stay home, instead.
Byron kept the ring close, and on Nov. 7, he found his perfect opening. The couple’s cat, Vincent, was curled up on the porch, and Byron tucked the ring box into his arms. Then, he called Brigid over to see the cat.
As soon as she spotted the box, she realized what was happening, and the tears began to flow.
“I was on one knee bumbling crying, and I don’t think I even asked her, ‘Will you marry me,’” Byron said.
Still, the answer was yes.
Byron and Brigid plan to wed on June 4, 2022 at Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Sioux Falls with a reception to follow at the Holiday Inn downtown.
As they think about their lives, they’re both excited for the big things in life – having kids, traveling the world. But they’re also just as excited for the everyday things, like Byron making coffee in the morning or curling up on the couch together.
“We always have a good time,” Byron said. “Some of those things, you just can’t describe.”
He turned to Brigid, adding, “Everything seems so easy with you.”
She nodded, agreeing.
“It’s almost like everything’s too good to be true.”