A Tennis Ball to the Head Was Just the Start of Their Love Story

When Eric Tyler Rothman threw a tennis ball at Courtney Arielle DiGia’s head with the word “prom?” on it at Timber Lake Camp in Shandaken, N.Y., during the summer of 2012, neither of them expected that 12 years later, they would marry.

It seemed especially unlikely because after taking a single photo together at the camp’s prom, they went their separate ways and didn’t speak again — until both ended up at Duke University in the fall of 2014.

“Our camp always did camp T-shirt day, which was like a random day in November, so we met up that freshman year to take a picture” and then post it on social media, Ms. DiGia said.

It wasn’t until a party hosted by his fraternity, Alpha Epsilon Pi, a year later that their relationship began. A mutual friend, Meredith Cash, approached Mr. Rothman outside the bathroom and told him to go dance with Ms. DiGia.

“That’s normally something I would really never do,” Mr. Rothman said, but “something made me feel like I had to.” They spent the rest of the night dancing to pop and electronic dance music and talking.

From there, the two started casually dating until the fall of their junior year, when they both left to study abroad — Ms. DiGia in Australia; Mr. Rothman in Scotland. They decided to not define the relationship before leaving, but they ended up finding ways to communicate constantly despite the time difference.

After they returned to the United States, Ms. DiGia brought up the idea of formally dating — “which is very not like me, but I think I just didn’t like the uncertainty,” she said. Mr. Rothman responded that he already considered them to be exclusive.

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The two moved to New York City after graduation, renting separate apartments in Murray Hill, in Manhattan, and eventually moving in together in 2022.

The couple at their camp’s prom in 2012.Credit…Logan Cohen

When it came to thinking about marriage, Mr. Rothman took the lead. “I definitely was ready to talk about that stuff a little bit before Courtney was,” he said. It wasn’t until the couple attended a wedding in June 2022 that Ms. DiGia realized she could be ready for marriage.

Ms. DiGia, 27, grew up in Manhasset, N.Y., and received a bachelor’s degree in economics from Duke. She works as a senior director for deal strategy, forecasting and content partnerships at the National Basketball Association. Mr. Rothman, 28, of Jericho, N.Y., received a bachelor’s in economics at Duke and a law degree at Cardozo School of Law in Manhattan. He is now an associate at the law firm Latham & Watkins.

In January 2023, Mr. Rothman proposed. Getting Ms. DiGia to the location — the communal lounge in her parents’ apartment building — without raising suspicions was the hard part.

“I first had her dad call her in a fake panic about like a computer issue, which is not really out of the ordinary,” Mr. Rothman said. Then, once she was in the building, Ms. DiGia’s mother called with another fib: She said there was a giant party happening on the common floor and she wanted the couple to see the decorations.

When the two arrived, Ms. DiGia found herself in a room filled with flowers, pictures of the couple and a piano cover of Taylor Swift’s “Love Story” playing.

On June 15, Ms. DiGia and Mr. Rothman were married in front of 200 people at the Lighthouse at Pier 61 in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan. Cantor Mo Glazman, a member of the clergy at Temple Emanu-El, officiated.

Ms. DiGia walked down the aisle to the same piano cover of “Love Story.” The couple also danced to the original version of the song toward the end of the night.

One of their goals for the ceremony, after hearing advice from other couples, was to spend most of the celebration together — and they did. “We ended up physically holding hands for probably 95 percent of the night,” Ms. DiGia said, adding that halfway through the evening, “Eric even sat with me, kindly, as I got my hair changed.”

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