When Miranda Patricia Robertson got together with Nicolas Robert Michel Bayle on dating app Bumble in 2018, Ms Robertson was also recently reconnected with what she called “the love of my life” – the city of Paris.
A native of Princeton, NJ, Ms. Robertson, 36, first fell in love with the French capital at the age of 12 while visiting with her parents. Their affection deepened in 2007 when she studied abroad at Université de Paris IV (aka Paris-Sorbonne University) before graduating from Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, NY
Mr. Bayle, 35, is from Les Molières, France, a town about an hour from Paris, and spent his student days at ESC Bordeaux in Bordeaux, France. There he set his sights on the United States and enrolled at Dartmouth College after graduating in 2012.
After earning an MBA from Dartmouth in 2014, Mr Bayle took a job in London. In November 2017, he returned to France and started working as Senior Manager of Strategic Insights at LesFurets in Paris, a company that helps consumers compare financial products and insurance policies.
By then, Ms. Robertson had lived and worked in Manhattan for almost a decade, where she had moved after college. But over the years she had never ruled out the possibility of swapping her life in the US for one in France.
“I wanted to go back one day to get a feel for what it’s really like to live and work here,” she said. “Ever since my first trip, it has been my lifelong dream to move to Paris.”
That day came in 2018 when Ms. Robertson, an events director at AAB Productions, a New York-based company that plans events and fundraisers worldwide, agreed to let her work remotely in Paris.
She moved to the city in April and two months later began exchanging messages on Bumble with Mr. Bayle, who said he was fascinated by Ms. Robertson’s smile in her profile photos.
“Here was this beautiful vivacious American girl,” he said of meeting her on the app.
They met in person in June at the Jardin du Luxembourg, also known as the Jardin du Luxembourg, in Paris. But it wasn’t exactly a first date.
“It felt like an interview,” Ms. Robertson said.
While sparks may not have flown, each felt something special in the other. “Her enthusiasm for life was very refreshing,” said Mr. Bayle, whom Ms. Robertson described as “very handsome, very considerate and very polite.”
“Right from the start I felt like I could trust him completely and be myself with him,” added Ms. Robertson.
Shortly after their afternoon in the garden, they agreed on what both described as their first official date: a picnic at Parc Montsouris in the city’s 14th arrondissement, where Ms. Robertson had never been.
There the two talked over rose wine, bread and olives. Mr Bayle told Ms Robertson that he was raised Roman Catholic. She told him that she was a Quaker and an only child close to her parents, Mary Pat Robertson and Michael Robertson. (So close that after moving to Paris, they eventually moved from Princeton to London to be closer to her.)
She learned Mr Bayle also has close ties to his parents Dominique Lerebour and Patrick Bayle, who divorced when he was 8 years old. His father is now married to Emmanuelle Bayle and his mother’s partner is Pierre Seiler.
Spending time with Ms. Robertson, Mr. Bayle said he worried that her “rose-colored view of Paris,” as he put it, might eventually fade and that she might start damming the Seine like any other river , or the Arc de Triomphe as just another monument, and decide to return to New York or Princeton, or maybe even go to London.
But those fears didn’t stop her from continuing to this day, and over the months that followed she became as much a part of his life in Paris as any of its centuries-old attractions.
“She has balanced my life in such a way that I can’t imagine being without her,” said Mr Bayle, who introduced Ms Robertson to his family in early 2019. “My mother and sister, who really loved Miranda, would not want her to leave either.”
“Losing her would have been just awful,” he added. “So I did everything I could to keep her with me.”
Ms. Robertson, while unsure of her long-term plan, was equally smitten with Mr. Bayle. “What I appreciated most was how patient he was, especially in the beginning when we were talking, and my French was a little rusty,” she said.
The moment that sealed their relationship, Ms Robertson said, happened on their first holiday together: a trip to Burgundy, France, in January 2019.
“We traveled and explored Burgundy all day and night and just had a blast,” said Ms Robertson. “When we got back to our hotel room he just started dancing and then we both started dancing, we were having so much fun.”
When Ms Robertson and Mr Bayle traveled to Scotland together nine months later, in October 2019, they both felt they never wanted to be apart. The following year, on January 1, 2020, they moved into an apartment in Paris together.
They would be spending more time together than they ever dreamed of with the advent of the coronavirus.
“When Paris went into extreme lockdown, we both started working remotely and sat back-to-back in a really tiny space,” Ms Robertson said.
“It was a very challenging time,” she adds, “but the challenge made it clear to us that we worked very well together even under the circumstances.”
Although Mr Bayle agreed that “the virus has brought us closer as a couple”, he waited until France’s third lockdown ended to propose to Ms Robertson.
“I wanted the moment to be special and not linked to our Covid memories,” Mr Bayle said. Knowing that he “wanted to propose in the midst of beautiful nature,” he planned to do so in May 2021 on a trip to Alsace, a historic region in north-eastern France.
On May 28, 2021, while they were on a morning hike through silent woods to the Cascade du Hohwald, a waterfall in Le Hohwald, France, he fell on one knee and asked Mrs Robertson to marry him.
She said yes, and they celebrated over lunch in Colmar, a city known for its magnificent architecture, where they shared a good helping of the region’s sparkling wine, Crémant d’Alsace.
“I felt like I was on cloud nine for the rest of the weekend,” said Ms. Robertson.
The couple married on March 5 in a civil ceremony at Les Molières town hall, whose mayor Yvan Lubraneski officiated in front of 40 vaccinated guests, including both sets of parents.
Later that day they held a religious ceremony with 100 guests vaccinated. It was presided over by Rev. Christian Remond, a Roman Catholic priest, at the nearby Église Saint-Clair de Gometz-le-Chatel, a church in Gometz-le-Chatel, France.
Following the ceremonies, the couple and their guests enjoyed a reception at the Domaine de Quincampoix, a centuries-old private estate-turned-venue in Les Molières.
Reflecting on the wedding, the bride said her love for Paris “made me want to find the love of my life.”
“For me, meeting and falling in love with Nico was a sure sign that I really belong here,” she added.
On that day
When March 5, 2022
Where from Les Molières town hall, France
Compliments, the Quaker way In honor of the bride’s faith, the couple’s 60-person rehearsal dinner on March 4 began with Quaker wedding tradition, with individual guests taking a moment to say nice things about the soon-to-be married couple.
gone hiking The newlyweds, both avid hikers, say pastime will once again play a prominent role in their relationship as they plan to eventually spend their honeymoon hiking in Norway, a place they have yet to visit together.
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/04/01/style/miranda-robertson-nicolas-bayle-wedding.html They found a home in Paris and each other