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When Best Friends Become More

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“She was my best friend but I didn’t think about it as being ‘in love,’” Mr. Mahmud said. Though, he said, he “started developing feelings.”

“Kirin, since the start of college, was always like, ‘I’m going to marry you one day,” he said. “She was always very affectionate, very ostentatious, and I thought, maybe she’s kind of serious about this.”

Their relationship smoldered for two years. In October 2014, the two went on an actual date.

When it happened, Ms. Gupta found herself not quite sure how to act, and so the two spent 40 minutes talking about … gerrymandering, a practice used to establish an unfair political advantage for a particular party or group.

“I remember thinking, How do I talk to Irfan?” Ms. Gupta said. “How do I talk with someone whom I had already shared all of my things with?”

After that kiss, though, she didn’t hesitate. “It was just, like, OK. That’s it. I’m in love,” she said.

The couple were married July 24 at the Ledges of St. George, a golf club in St. George, Utah, in a ceremony that contained Hindu and Muslim elements. Leon P. Hammond, who was designated by the Salt Lake County clerk to solemnize the marriage, led the ceremony, which the couple had postponed in 2020 because of the coronavirus. They had 400 guests at the event, which was held both indoors and outdoors. (Most of the guests were fully vaccinated, the couple said, though masks and sanitizing stations were available.)

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