The First Spark Flew in the Fifth Grade

When Daniel Khaytman and Angela Ratmansky were both 8-years-old, their parents moved into houses on the same Miami street. A friendship almost immediately followed when the two, who also both come from Russian families, began attending the same elementary school and riding the same bus.

“Daniel was always the constant friend to me,” Ms. Ratmansky said.

Not long after they met, when the two were fifth-graders, Ms. Ratmansky said she needled Mr. Khaytman about which girls he liked in their grade.

“He said that her name starts with an ‘a’ and ends with an ‘a,’” Ms. Ratmansky recalled. “I was sitting there thinking of all these names — Amanda, Anna — not realizing that my name was Angela.”

Though Mr. Khaytman told Ms. Ratmansky, both now 26, that he had a crush on her later that same day, they never spoke about it again. Ms. Ratmansky said she went on to develop a crush on Mr. Khaytman while the two were still in elementary school, but by then, he only saw her as a friend.

Their relationship remained platonic throughout middle and high school, after which, Ms. Ratmansky and Mr. Khaytman, along with some of their friends, enrolled in the University of Central Florida and decided to share an off-campus house.

Moving in together, Ms. Ratmansky said, led the pair to grow even closer.

“I knew that I wanted to marry Daniel my freshman year of college,” Ms. Ratmansky said, “even though we weren’t together.” She added, “It’s a connection that I couldn’t explain and, no matter what I did, I always wanted to involve him.”

Mr. Khaytman said he experienced a similar realization a few years later, while the two were studying together at a campus library in their senior year of college, and asked Ms. Ratmansky to be his girlfriend that very moment.

“Something hit me over the head and said, ‘Listen, what are you doing? You have feelings for her, it looks like it’s pretty obvious that she has feelings for you, why are you playing this game and going back and forth?’” Mr. Khaytman recalled thinking.

Before he could even finish the question, Ms. Ratmansky said “yes.” But not long after their life as a couple began, distance would force them to part.

After graduating college in 2017, Mr. Khaytman, who received a bachelor’s degree in health sciences, moved to Orlando, Fla., to attend the University of Florida College of Pharmacy, where he is completing a doctor of pharmacy degree. Ms. Ratmansky, who also received a bachelor’s degree in health sciences, moved back to Miami.

[Click here to binge read this week’s featured couples.]

To cope with the distance, they decided to start a blog about beauty and skin care so that they had something to bring them together while living apart. In July 2019, after a few months of working on the blog, Ms. Ratmansky moved in with Mr. Khaytman in Orlando and they started a YouTube channel, where the couple posts videos of themselves doing social media challenges and short skits.

Later that year, the couple took their act to TikTok, launching an account that Mr. Khaytman would later use to share videos in which he asked viewers about how he should propose to Ms. Ratmansky.

“There were people invested in the story,” Ms. Ratmansky said. “It was the cutest thing ever, he was like ‘OK guys, I got the ring, I need ideas, what do I do?’”

A proposal came on Dec. 31, 2020, at a pirate-themed escape room in Miami. When Mr. Khaytman asked Ms. Ratmansky to marry him, she answered: “Obviously.” The following May, Ms. Ratmansky enrolled at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, where she is pursuing a nursing degree.

The couple were married on Dec. 17 at the Crystal Ballroom, an events venue in Lake Mary, Fla. Joshua Goodridge, a friend of theirs who was ordained for the occasion by American Marriage Ministries, officiated at the ceremony before roughly five dozen guests, all of whom were vaccinated and asked to show a negative Covid test before attending.

“I just knew it was meant to be,” the bride said. “All the things we’ve been through in our lives led us to that moment.”

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