Before They Wed, They Dated in Bahia, Dublin, Bangkok, Cape Town and Tulum


Marriage wasn’t in their immediate future, since Ms. Michels was only going to move to Amsterdam after her son, Levi, 15, finished high school.

Their last pre-pandemic visit in Amsterdam was in February 2020, for Ms. Hartman’s 50th birthday, and then the world shut down. While they hadn’t gone more than two months without a visit, they suddenly couldn’t see each other for five months, as now both were not allowed in each other’s country.

After extensive research, Ms. Michels found that Turkey would allow them both in, so in July 2020, they stayed in a villa in Turunc, on the southern coast. Ms. Hartman overcame her desire to wait for a wedding with friends and family, and proposed to Ms. Michels there by memorizing a poem by Audre Lorde, a favorite poet of Ms. Michels.

In July 2020, the Netherlands created a special visa for partners of Dutch nationals from other countries to enter during the coronavirus pandemic. In October, Ms. Michels went to Amsterdam, where she has been since, working remotely. In a document Ms. Michels compiled to prove their relationship, she counted 28 individual visits and trips they’ve made together, to destinations such as Tulum, Mexico, Cape Town and Oslo.

They were married Dec. 11, by Maria Geus, a civil registrar at Stadsloket West, a municipal branch of city government in Amsterdam, with both their sons present. (It was possible for Levi to attend since he attends an international school in Geneva.)

“Covid has made having a legal family relationship important to us,” Ms. Michels said. “We don’t want to ever be in the position again where we can be prevented from seeing each other.”



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