Falling in Love, One Letter at a Time

William Quinn Briganti was already on the plane home to New York when he and Dr. Thomas Strother Edwards started messaging each other. They had matched on Tinder in April 2016, while Mr. Briganti was in New Orleans to take part in a remote bell ceremony for Nasdaq. Dr. Edwards was finishing up medical school at Tulane, and getting ready to move to Atlanta for his medical residency at the Emory University School of Medicine.

“I could just tell that Will was a super upstanding guy,” said Dr. Edwards (left). “I immediately trusted him and just found him incredibly interesting, and just knew that it was somebody that I had a potential connection with.”

Mr. Briganti, 37, and Dr. Edwards, 32, spent the next few months getting to know each other over FaceTime, and in June 2016, right before his residency began, Dr. Edwards took a “leap of faith” and flew to New York to meet in person. They went to dinner and a Broadway show, and soon were flying between New York and Atlanta every few weeks to see each other.

Their visits usually lasted only a few days, and in the lulls in between visiting each other, Mr. Briganti and Dr. Edwards started to write each other letters.

“We were able to express more about our feelings for one another, more than just in a text or an emoji,” Mr. Briganti said. “When you’re remote, you’re constantly thinking about the other person, or at least I was. To see a letter come in the mail from Thomas was just awesome.”

A few months into their relationship, Dr. Edwards had a whole weekend free, a rarity while doing a medical residency. Mr. Briganti was planning to leave from Nantucket, Mass., where he was on vacation with family, to visit Dr. Edwards in Atlanta for what would be their third in-person date. The weather forecast had other plans, and Mr. Briganti’s flight was delayed, cutting into the couple’s valuable time together. Determined to see Dr. Edwards, Mr. Briganti took a ferry from Nantucket to Hyannis, Mass., and a rental car from Hyannis to New York, only to find that the flight out of New York wouldn’t get him to Atlanta in time. Undeterred, he took a greyhound bus to Washington and flew to Atlanta from there, making it to Dr. Edward’s on Saturday morning, in time to spend the valuable weekend together.

“That was the first point I really kind of realized, oh, he is definitely invested in this and interested in me and is willing to sacrifice to make a relationship work and is going to be a great potential partner one day,” Dr. Edwards said.

In July 2018, Mr. Briganti moved to Atlanta to live with Dr. Edwards. Mr. Briganti is an associate vice president in corporate communications at Nasdaq in Atlanta, and Dr. Edwards is the chief resident in the department of otolaryngology at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta.

The couple had been talking about getting married for a while, and Mr. Briganti just had one request — he wanted to be the one to be proposed to.

“A lot of my job in communications is organizing and planning,” Mr. Briganti said. “I said, for this one thing, if I were lucky enough for it to happen, I would want to be surprised.”

“I was happy to make that happen,” Dr. Edwards said.

On a trip to Nantucket in August 2019, Dr. Edwards proposed at sunset, on the beach next to Brant Point Lighthouse, which looks over Nantucket Harbor.

The couple had planned to be married Oct. 10 at the New York Yacht Club in Manhattan, but changed their plans because of the coronavirus. They decided to keep their planned wedding date, and married on Oct. 10 at Scout, a restaurant in Decatur, Ga. Libby Fischer, a friend of the couple and a Universal Life minister, officiated.

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