One of the first things Dr. Lindsey Madison Ward noticed about Dr. Michael Taylor Richardson was his System of a Down band T-shirt.
It was 2003, and both were at a pool party before their first year of middle school at Harvard-Westlake School in Los Angeles. A fan of the metal band, Dr. Ward went over and introduced herself. The two quickly became friends, and in eighth grade they started to date.
“A pretty classic middle-school crush,” Dr. Ward, 30, said about their early relationship.
Though they stopped dating early in their freshman year at Harvard-Westlake, they remained close friends. By the time they entered their sophomore year, in 2006, Dr. Ward noticed her feelings for Dr. Richardson had again grown more than platonic.
That October, she told him she liked him. A week later, he took her to a local carnival on a date, and from then they remained a couple throughout high school. The summer following their graduation, in August 2009, the two decided to break up because they were going to college in different states: Dr. Ward had enrolled at Columbia, and Dr. Richardson at Washington University in St. Louis.
“It was horrible,” Dr. Ward said about that break up, “but I think for the time that we were apart, it was really actually necessary because it gave us time to exist by ourselves.”
“For most of our adolescent and teenage years we always were with each other,” she added.
That December, when both returned from college for winter break, they started hanging out, and Dr. Richardson knew that his feelings for Dr. Ward had never really gone away. “I really wanted to get back together,” said Dr. Richardson, 31.
While waiting in the drive-through line at In-N-Out Burger, he asked Dr. Ward if she would consider becoming a couple again. She immediately agreed.
As they dated long-distance college, each would visit the other a few times a year. When both graduated in May 2013, they moved back to Los Angeles. Dr. Ward then moved to Boston for a few months for an internship in art conservation; after it ended, she and Dr. Richardson took a four-month trip through Europe and Asia.
In the months leading up to the trip, each had applied to medical school. While traveling, the two learned that they had been accepted into programs. Dr. Ward later enrolled at the U.C.S.F, and Dr. Richardson at Stanford.
Between their third and fourth years of medical school, both decided to take a year off from their studies to do research. Dr. Ward was chosen as a Fulbright scholar in 2018, and studied neuroaesthetics at Université Paris-Descartes in Paris. Dr. Richardson, who joined her for the year, was doing research at the Institut Gustave Roussy.
They began to talk about marriage while they were living in Paris. After the couple returned to the United States, Dr. Richardson proposed to Dr. Ward in September 2019 at a scenic viewpoint overlooking the San Francisco Bay.
“She’s always so enthusiastic and excited,” Dr. Richardson said about Dr. Ward. “She has amazing life values and morals and is someone I just want to continue growing with.”
The following March, they moved back to Los Angeles and each graduated from medical school months later. Dr. Ward is currently a resident in internal medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles, and a doctoral candidate at Université de Paris-Descartes. Dr. Richardson is a resident in obstetrics and gynecology at U.C.L.A
They were married at the Beverly Hills Courthouse in Beverly Hills, Calif., on April 1, about two years after they had originally planned to wed before postponing because of the pandemic. Nancy Claiborne, a marriage ceremony volunteer with the Los Angeles County Clerk’s office, officiated.
Though only a photographer was present at their civil ceremony, the couple plans to have a second wedding celebration with about 100 vaccinated guests in May 2022 at the Borgo Scopeto Wine & Country Relais, a hotel in Castelnuovo Berardenga, Italy.
“He’s just very generous with his love,” the bride said about the groom. “I can’t imagine my life without him.”