Tara Blackman admits that she used to roll her eyes whenever she heard friends and colleagues say things like “I just knew!” or “He’s the One,” but when she and her husband Jake Musiker finally went on their first date, she knew that they were meant to be.
“He made me laugh immediately and I just felt so comfortable and I called my dad that night,” she tells The Knot. “And I was like, ‘I’m pretty sure I went out with my husband tonight.’”
Blackman, 29, and Musiker, also 29, took a long, roundabout road to get to their first date, so the pay-off for the patience was well-earned. Blackman says they first met the summer after college, when she and a group of friends descended upon another friend’s beach house for the weekend. She remembered spotting Musiker and telling their mutual friend to let her know when he was single. But nothing came of their initial meeting—at least, not at first.
“Contrary to other types of situations where I’ve thought about a little more about people, I basically forgot about him,” she says. “We didn’t become friends on Facebook, we never saw each other again, and I went on to date other people until a year and a half later that same friend and I were hanging out, and he made mentioned that Jake was available. It blew my mind that my friend remembered to tell me.”
Blackman then took matters into her own hands and sent Musiker a Facebook message (“In retrospect, it was horribly written, but at the time I remember reading the message and being like, ‘Oh, this is perfect!’”), to no response. Instead of reading too much into it, however, Blackman says she moved on. After another year and a half, she found herself hanging out with their mutual friend once more.
“After hanging out all day, at the end, he was like, ‘Oh yeah, my friend Jake found a message from you that he never saw and he wanted me to give you his number,’” Blackman says. “And my first thought was, ‘I can’t believe I’m going to have to make a third move here.’”
When the pair did finally meet up, however, the connection was real. As Blackman told The New York Times, she noticed at one point during their date that a water bottle “had accidentally exploded” in her bag, and in a moment of panic, she poured out her bag’s entire contents onto the table. Musiker, not missing a beat, told Blackman deadpanned, “I noticed a hit list fell out of your bag. I didn’t think you were that kind of girl.”
It’s exactly that sense of humor that caught Blackman’s attention when they first met back at the beach house all those years ago, and that kept her drawn to him throughout the course of their relationship. “He doesn’t even realize sometimes how funny he is,” Blackman says. “He’s a little goofy, and I can be a little overly serious, so we complement each other very well. He rounds me out and lightens me up a little bit and I definitely bring him back down and keep him a bit more serious and focused. He’s also so mushy. We’ll be cooking and he’ll always make me put down the fork or the spoon I’m mixing with and dance with him.”
The couple got married on December 2, at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, and their wedding was a fun-filled, personal fete. Blackman, whose mother passed away several years ago, wanted to make sure that her mom was as much a part of the ceremony as possible.
At one point during the reception, she and her father performed a surprise dance for their guests to her late mother’s favorite song: “Moves Like Jagger” by Maroon 5. “My mother loved any cute singer so … Paul McCartney when she was 16, Prince, Michael Bolton, Adam Levine, John Mayer. With Adam Levine, the Jewish part is what really sold her. It wasn’t a sappy song, and it was a great way to celebrate her. It allowed us to think about my mother being gone in a positive light.”
Blackman also included her maternal grandmother as a big part of her wedding day, posing with her 91-year-old grandmother, Olga Rosenstein, who wore the same gorgeous blue dress she wore for Blackman’s mother’s wedding more than 40 years earlier. The side-by-side photo itself went viral after it was posted to Reddit.
“She’s amazing. She’s a Russian immigrant who survived the war and knows the value of things and how she treats things,” Blackman says. “It shows the beauty of that dress. It shows what her values are… There’s a picture of us crying because I burst into tears when I saw her.”
“I’ve gathered my learnings of what makes a healthy and well-rounded relationship from a couple different sources, and from her I’ve gathered this extreme and relentless and beautiful loyalty to the person you’re with,” she adds. “And from my dad, I’ve learned that things happen and things change, and it’s important to move your life forward regardless of any unfortunate events that happen.”
“How lucky am I to have my grandmother there, one, and how lucky am I to wear my wedding dress standing next to my grandmother whose same dress touched the side of my mother’s wedding dress?” Blackman says. As cliche as it sounds, she says, “I felt my mother’s spirit there with me that day.”