Credit the Grateful Dead for the union of Samantha Fishbein and Avi Sage.
Ms. Fishbein, 31, grew up in Roslyn, N.Y., listening to the Grateful Dead and seeing shows with her parents, Ilene and Dr. Benjamin Fishbein. Mr. Sage had a similar experience with his parents, Alison and Michael Sage.
“I find I can always look deeper into the lyrics when I hear the songs,” said Ms. Fishbein, a founder and the chief creative officer of Betches Media in New York.
In late 2015, Ms. Fishbein’s friend, Ali Kor, invited her to a Friday night Shabbat dinner at the Sages’ home in Passaic, N.J. Ms. Fishbein was religious at the time, as was the Sage family. As it happens, the Sages had a son named Avi, now 26. Ms. Fishbein, who was single, thought he was cute, but she wasn’t looking for romance.
“Ali and I joked about how he had a crush on me, and I said he’s way too young and probably too religious for me,” she said.
In fact, Mr. Sage was just out of a relationship and not looking for anything. But he thought she was cool.
“She was energetic, really interesting and had a different business — this online media business,” said Mr. Sage, an investment director at Old City Capital, an investment firm in New York.
In addition to shared values, they discovered they both had affinity for the Grateful Dead. “I thought it was unique to find a Deadhead in the religious community,” she said. “It’s not super common.”
Ms. Fishbein returned for a Passover Seder a few months later, and then Michael Sage invited her and Ms. Kor to use their swimming pool the next day. Although Ms. Fishbein isn’t the sort of person to accept an invitation to a relative stranger’s pool, something told her go to. (Actually, it was Ms. Kor.) So she did.
Mr. Sage was pleased. “That’s when I realized she was different and I kind of liked it,” he said.
She was becoming less religious, and she learned that although he had grown up in an observant Jewish home, he was no longer as devout. That’s when they connected on a deeper level.
“It’s really important because of how we understand each other and align on how we feel about being religious,” Ms. Fishbein said. “I really get his background and how he grew up.”
They stayed in touch through the summer and fall, and in October 2016, at Mr. Sage’s urging, his father invited her to see a Dead cover band in Brooklyn. After, the couple went out to Salvation Tacos in Manhattan, and spent hours talking on the roof.
“She’s energetic, witty, and really damn smart,” Mr. Sage said. “She’s not haughty and arrogant. People who have seen success early in their life tend to become very aggressive on where they think their value is. She has a lot of humility.”
They slowly went from being texting buddies to more. By March 2017, they were dating. “It was just a natural evolution,” she said. “Avi has a seemingly limitless capacity for love and is so patient, understanding and positive.”
He proposed on March 4, 2019 — the second anniversary of their first date — on the ski slopes of Mountain Creek, in Vernon, N.J.
They were married Aug. 23 in Mr. Sage’s parents’ backyard, before 45 friends and family members. Rabbi Reuven Ibragimov officiated. (As with so many couples, this was a Plan B wedding; originally, they were supposed to marry on April 19 in Florida, but the coronavirus pandemic scrapped that plan.)
The couples walked down the aisle to the “Circle of Life” from “The Lion King,” accompanied by their 4-year-old Boston terrier, Bruce Bader Ginsburg. After the ceremony, classic rock played overhead: Springsteen, Petty, Zeppelin, the Stones and, of course, the Grateful Dead. When “U.S. Blues,” Mr. Sage’s favorite Dead tune, came on, they jumped into the pool.