For someone more used to being on the road than being cooped up at home, it was bittersweet for Zach Griff when he proposed to Jill Golub near the house she grew up in. Bitter because Mr. Griff, a writer for the travel website the Points Guy, had hopes of planning a distant adventure where he would propose to Mrs. Golub; sweet, because that’s where they would eventually get married.
Mr. Griff, 27, and Ms. Golub, 26, met in 2013 as undergraduates at the University of Pennsylvania. It didn’t take long for Mr. Griff, a resident of Boca Raton, Florida, to realize that he had found a best friend in Mrs. Golub of Mamaroneck, NY. He asked about her several days after meeting her at a Hillel orientation meeting, where students from Jewish backgrounds build a community.
“We would hang out all the time, but we were both just friends and dating other people,” Ms. Golub said.
“We ate together in Hillel’s dining room almost every night,” Mr. Griff said.
Before his love for Mrs. Golub took hold, another labor of love for Mr. Griff grew: travel. When not with Ms. Golub, he would spend weekends abroad after finding cheap last-minute plane tickets.
The two wouldn’t become a couple until their freshman year of college, when both attended a friend’s retreat in South Florida.
“We had a spark on that trip,” Mr. Griff said.
“We started dating that weekend and have never gone back,” Ms. Golub said.
After graduation, both moved to Manhattan. Ms. Golub is now completing a law and MBA program at NYU. Right after college, Mr. Griff took the medical school entrance exam.
“I was ready to be a doctor,” he said. “It runs in the family, so I thought I had no choice but to become a doctor.”
After thinking about getting a medical degree and spending a year with an investment consulting firm, Mr. Griff an Instagram post to about the Points Guy website. They were looking for a travel writer – Mrs. Golub convinced him to apply. Soon after, he was hired to write about his adventures, review airlines and planes, and provide travel advice. The couple didn’t see each other much for a while, but they were going to make it. mr. Griff cites the improvement in in-flight Wi-Fi as a boon to their relationship.
In early 2020, the pandemic grounded international travel. The couple retired to Ms. Golub’s childhood home in Mamaroneck, NY, where they quarantined for nearly six months with her siblings and parents.
Time at home accelerated Mr. Griff’s plan to propose to Mrs. Golub. Over the weekend of July 4, 2020, they went kayaking in a pond behind the house and reached an abandoned gazebo on the other side. Flowers were everywhere – there were also drones to document the occasion. When they came home as an engaged couple, the whole family was waiting.
“Zach and I had been talking about getting engaged, but he said it would probably be in the fall because it takes so long to plan,” Ms. Golub said. “I just believed it. How would I know?”
A stone’s throw from where they became engaged, Mr. Griff and Mrs. Golub were married on August 1, 2021, in front of some 290 guests in the backyard of Mrs. Golub’s childhood home. They used her grandfather’s Kiddush cup for the blessing of the wine ceremony.
Mrs. Golub’s grandfather, Aharon Golub, was supposed to be the guest of honor at their wedding, but he died on the weekend of July 4, 2021. He was the only Holocaust survivor in his immediate family, fleeing the Nazis into the woods. from Poland, where he went into hiding for years.
“He had the most incredibly positive outlook on life, which is amazing considering what he’s endured,” Ms Golub said. “He was a huge supporter of Zach and me, and he was really looking forward to this day.”
For their honeymoon, the couple visited the Amalfi Coast in Italy, Tanzania and the Seychelles.