For Chapel Hill-bred Ali Halperin, meeting Bryan O’Leary in Atlantic City in 2010 was a stroke of luck. Having been convinced by mutual friends to visit the casinos, the two spent the evening attempting to impress one another – Bryan with his “so-called gambling skills” and Ali with the “Cupid Shuffle.” Two weeks later, when Bryan finally asked Ali to go steady at a picnic at Riverside Park in New York, Ali responded with an overwhelming, “OK, I guess.”
After spending three years apart while Ali attended UNC for graduate school, the pair reunited in Riverside Park for their anniversary. There, Bryan gifted Ali with a bracelet marking the coordinates where he had asked Ali to be his girlfriend, the same place where he then got down on one knee and gave her another gift: a ring.
After the Wizard of Oz-costumed flower girl and ring bearers trick or treated down the aisle, the couple was married under a flower-adorned chuppah in the Hill Courtyard at The Carolina Inn. When it came time for the reception, guests were provided with fun costumes appropriate for Halloween nuptials. “[Once the first dance was over] and the band began to play, everyone danced and the party really got started,” Bryan says. “At that moment all lingering stress … fell away, and it was time to truly enjoy and celebrate.”
The couple resides in Atlanta where Bryan works as a software engineer at Salesforce, and Ali is an adjunct professor of art at several Atlanta-area schools.