Dive after a sauna on the farm


In February 2018, Anne Catherine Bredin thought she had had an excellent first date with John Francis Greey Brandon. After matching the 98th percentile on OkCupid, the couple met at de Mole, a Mexican restaurant near Ms Bredin’s apartment in Sunnyside, Queens (Mr Brandon lived in Greenpoint, Brooklyn). Later, as they walked over to the nearby Maggie Mae bar, they shared a kiss.

At 6ft 6in, Mr. Brandon “was very attractive, personable and talkative,” recalls Ms. Bredin, now 34.

They exchanged texts afterwards. But when Mrs. Bredin asked to meet again, she never got an answer. As it turned out, Mr. Brandon’s enthusiastic response was unsuccessful. The two were surprised by the radio silence, but attributed it to a meeting in New York.

In the months that followed, Ms Bredin, who grew up in Belfast, Northern Ireland, embarked on her first semester at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, where she recently obtained her law degree. Previously, she was logistics manager for the Perrotin contemporary art gallery in Manhattan.

“Maybe I should try going out again,” she recalls thinking after finishing her first semester in September.

When she returned to OkCupid, Mr. Brandon was the first match to appear. Ms. Bredin decided to reach out. After realizing the previous technical problem, they had their second date long delayed.

“” She brings out the best in me. “

Mr. Brandon, 35, named JF, is the vice president of marketing and business development at BotFactory, a manufacturer of 3D circuit printers. He obtained a degree in economics from Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada, in 2012; the same year, he was curator of the Rygo, the largest 3D printed concrete sculptural work of art at the time in North America (now in his parents’ yard in Ottawa, Canada, where he grew up).

In March 2020, Mr. Brandon began moving his belongings to Ms. Bredin’s apartment. Then the coronavirus hit, and they decided to wait a few weeks at her family’s farm in New Ipswich, NH, which originally housed her maternal great-grandparents from Finland. They ended up staying for 10 months.

“I spent my summers growing up there and it was nice to introduce JF to things that are familiar to me,” Ms. Bredin said.

After recovering from a case of Covid a week upon arrival, they immersed themselves in the country. They planted corn and squash; he built a fence for their two cats and a large catapult for fun. At Mr Brandon’s insistence, they also took care of wild kittens living under their neighbor’s barn.

Still, they were ready to put 2020 behind them by New Years Eve. Around 10pm that night, they had a wood-fired sauna.

“Why did you get dressed? Ms. Bredin asked when Mr. Brandon later appeared in his shirt and jeans. She was in her pajamas on the sofa, ready to play a board game.

She walked over to him in the reading corner and got his answer. He fell to one knee. In his hand was a 3D printed white acrylate plastic ring, a prototype he designed and had printed at Shapeways, a company in Long Island City, Queens.

“It was sculptural like a lazy stream with stones,” Mr. Brandon said. In the end, they decided to turn the prototype, with a few redesigns, into their gold wedding rings, and traded in a more traditional engagement ring that they found online.

They chose to get married at the Temple Congregational Church in Temple, NH. Since the pandemic imposed travel restrictions from Canada and Northern Ireland, they have moved their date from May 2021 to August 7.

Pastor Ken Whitson, a minister of the Congregation, officiated in front of 30 vaccinated guests; a toast and dinner followed at the nearby Birchwood Inn. For the after party, they celebrated outside the farm with fireworks and a red velvet cake made by their neighbor with an alpaca farm.

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