Slowing Down Sped Up Their Relationship

Kabir Melwani and Leah Madeline Freedland are never at a loss for adjectives when each is asked to describe the other.

“She is optimistic, smart, outgoing and warm,” said Mr. Melwani, 29, a vice president of H.I.G. Capital, a private equity firm in New York.

A graduate of Duke University, Mr. Melwani received an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School, where he met Ms. Freedland, 32, through a mutual friend in September 2018.

“I liked the fact that he was very big-hearted, very driven, very assured and very confident,” said Ms. Freedland, who graduated from Emory University and also received an M.B.A. from Harvard. She now works in the marketing division of the Estée Lauder Companies in New York.

“He was also a very smart guy who was always eager to make new friends,” added Ms. Freedland, who quickly became one of them. “We started playing tennis together shortly after we met. A few months later, things turned romantic.”

By 2019 the two had become a couple, and after attending a Boston Red Sox home game that spring, Mr. Melwani told Ms. Freedland that he loved her for the first time. She returned the sentiment immediately.

Though they have been to many sporting events and concerts together, both agree that the greatest time spent in each other’s company was during the pandemic. They stayed for five months, from March to August 2020, at the Southampton home of Mr. Melwani’s parents, and passed the time preparing meals, working on puzzles and taking many long walks.

“We went through this turbulent, bumpy and uncertain time in the world, together,” Ms. Freedland said. “We were able to be there for each other through a lot of that uncertainty, and we had a lot of conversation about what is important in life.”

Mr. Melwani agreed. “Before the pandemic, there was a lot of fun and excitement and travel, and then all of that was suddenly stripped away,” he said. “That’s when we learned that the only thing that was important to us, the only thing that really mattered, was each other.”

They became engaged in May 2021, and on April 12, the couple were married at the Manhattan Marriage Bureau. Madeline Plasencia, on the city clerk’s staff, officiated.

Weeks before, they held a wedding celebration in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. It included a Hindu ceremony on March 25 at the Andaz Mayakoba Resort Riviera Maya led by Pandit Prakash Ganapati Bhat, a Hindu priest, and another ceremony incorporating Jewish wedding traditions on March 26 at the Banyan Tree Mayakoba resort, which was led by Rabbi Stephen Spiegel.

Among their 275 fully vaccinated guests in Mexico were the bride’s parents, Maureen Feran Freedland and Dr. Robert Freedland of La Crosse, Wis., and the groom’s parents, Prakash Melwani and Anjali Melwani of New York. Friends of his traveled across the world to be there, too, the bride said, “from as far away as London, Hong Kong and Lagos in Nigeria.”

Though they have used many words to describe each other, looking back on their relationship, both needed just one word to describe it since Day 1: “effortless.”

“We both have similar values, and we often push ourselves outside of our comfort zones,” Ms. Freedland said. “That’s what makes us work.”