Ad Blocker Detected
Our website is made possible by displaying online advertisements to our visitors. Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker.
“You weren’t kidding when you said you were running a bit slow,” Katelyn Ann Yeary recalled saying to Kevin Ashok Rustagi when he showed up for their first date on crutches.
It was December 2019, a few days after they had connected on the dating app Coffee Meets Bagel. Though his profile made no mention of it, Mr. Rustagi had crushed his foot in a motorcycle accident not long before they agreed to meet at the Cartel Coffee Lab in Austin, Texas.
Ms. Yeary, 31, held the door for Mr. Rustagi, 33, as he hobbled into the coffee shop. As someone who prided himself on arranging “James Bond-esque dates” that have included planes, motorcycles and his silver BMW convertible, Mr. Rustagi said the accident forced him “to be normal” when it came to choosing an activity.
“I didn’t have my super powers,” added Mr. Rustagi, who graduated from M.I.T., and received an M.B.A. and a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Stanford.
As they talked over tea for two hours, he told Ms. Yeary about how he loved to sing and play guitar and keyboard in his 350-square-foot apartment. At one point, he pulled out a black Moleskin notebook and sketched a design of the music room that he envisioned for his dream house.
When he finished, she sketched in some plants.
“I had all the butterfly vibes,” said Ms. Yeary, who graduated summa cum laude from Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Okla., and is the academy program manager at Ballet Austin, where she teaches ballet technique to 6-to-12-year-olds.
“I love the arts,” said Mr. Rustagi, the director of business development at Lift Aircraft, a company in Austin that specializes in electric flying vehicles. “Katelyn spoke to that in me both intellectually and creatively.”
[Click here to binge read this week’s featured couples.]
Later that day, they grabbed tacos across the street at Lazarus Brewing Company, where he playfully tried to hold her hand during thumb wrestling and a hand-flip game. When he asked if he could kiss her, Ms. Yeary said, “I want to wait.”
That Christmas, they spoke and texted while Ms. Yeary went to see her family in Beaumont, Texas, where she grew up, and Mr. Rustagi spent time with his sisters and mother, who were visiting from his native Houston.
Just before the New Year, the two squeezed in a second date, during which they rode through Texas Hill Country in his convertible with the top down. Before the drive came their first kiss. They also, as Mr. Rustagi put it, “went through the list,” discussing “kids, religion and spirituality.” On everything, they were aligned.
Soon after, they became exclusive. She introduced him to her small church group, and on Valentine’s Day in 2020, they went to a performance of Balanchine’s “Rubies” by Ballet Austin.
As Covid set in, the couple created what they both referred to as a “pandemic bubble” and spent time at each other’s homes. Mr. Rustagi, who is Indian on his paternal side, often cooked his specialty, chicken with Indian spices, on his two-by-four-foot balcony.
For her birthday that May, he made her a chocolate cake, and played her “Katelyn’s Song,” which he wrote for the occasion. The next day, each told the other “I love you.”
A proposal came in August 2021, while the two were on a nature walk in Austin’s Mayfield Park. When Mr. Rustagi got down on one knee near a 150-year old cypress tree that overlooked the Colorado River, Ms. Yearly knelt to hug him, said “yes” and handed him a card.
In it, she had written, “I think you might propose today,” along with a quote from the Bible’s Song of Solomon: “I have found the one whom my soul loves.”
On March 6, they were married at Wish Well House, an event space in Georgetown, Texas. The Rev. Larry Coulter, the pastor of Lakeway Church in Lakeway, Texas, officiated before 180 guests, all of whom were asked to take rapid Covid tests before the event.
At the ceremony, the flower girl, one of the bride’s ballet students, danced up and down the aisle to Mendelssohn’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Later, at the reception, the groom performed a song he wrote for the occasion.
“We will share together the words of our soul,’’ he sang.