When Courtney Elizabeth Thurston and Matthew Paul Del Buono first met in particular person, they didn’t know one another as Courtney Thurston and Matthew Del Buono; they knew one another as IShadowed and Shirik. Those had been the aliases that Ms. Thurston and Mr. Del Buono used as contributors to Wikipedia.
The two obtained concerned with Wikipedia round 2009 and 2010, when Ms. Thurston was a center faculty scholar in Mechanicsburg, Pa., and Mr. Del Buono was beginning a job as a software program engineer for an aviation firm in Hood River, Ore. They every present in Wikipedia a group of passionate moderators, writers and editors who bonded by way of chat rooms, the place they mentioned editorial choices and different issues associated to the upkeep of the positioning.
“As you get more into Wikipedia, what you find is there’s actually a fairly extensive, tight-knit community,” Mr. Del Buono mentioned.
One of Mr. Del Buono’s contributions to the positioning was his creation of a bot that blocks malicious customers. Ms. Thurston wrote Wikipedia encyclopedia entries — amongst them the unique web page for Simone Biles, which Ms. Thurston, a gymnastics fan, began early in Ms. Biles’s profession.
Ms. Thurston and Mr. Del Buono first met in actual life in 2013, once they attended the marriage of two different Wikipedia contributors in New Jersey. At that time, Ms. Thurston and Mr. Del Buono had been simply acquaintances. But Ms. Thurston remembers being struck by Mr. Del Buono. “It felt really easy to talk to him,” she mentioned.
They saved in contact. Their paths crossed once more in 2014, on the annual Wikimania Conference, which was in London that yr. They began speaking an increasing number of after that.
By the start of 2016, Ms. Thurston felt that the friendship had shifted.
“We were talking every day,” she mentioned. “It had become clear to me that either we are best friends and I need to know that, or there’s potential for something more.” So Ms. Thurston determined to “rip the Band-Aid off” and talk how she felt.
“I remember out of the blue receiving a message,” Mr. Del Buono mentioned, “saying, ‘look I like you, do you like me? We need a real answer to what’s happening between us.’”
For Mr. Del Buono, that was a welcome message.
“We’re both outgoing, but we also tend to keep our feelings inside a bit,” he defined. “So we weren’t necessarily making it obvious that we should get together.”
They’ve been in a relationship since. But there have been just a few years of lengthy distance. In 2016, Mr. Del Buono lived in Washington; Ms. Thurston had moved from Pennsylvania to Florida, the place she was finding out laptop and software program engineering on the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
Ms. Thurston and Mr. Del Buono overcame the gap, partly, by enjoying video video games collectively on-line. Not solely had been video games a bonding exercise, they mentioned, however gaming additionally gave them perception into how they perform as a pair — and the way their personalities can differ.
“Matthew is definitely more of a rule follower,” Ms. Thurston mentioned. “He’s a fan of structure, to an extent that I’m very not.”
A key lesson: “We don’t necessarily enjoy the same things,” Mr. Del Buono mentioned, “and that’s OK.”
Ms. Thurston moved in with Mr. Del Buono in Washington in 2019. Ms. Thurston, 23, is now a software program engineer and Mr. Del Buono, 34, is a senior software program engineering supervisor, each at Microsoft Azure. (The bride and groom work in several divisions.)
There was no formal proposal — “we’re both kind of allergic to theatrics,” Ms. Thurston mentioned — however they began speaking critically about marriage someday in 2020. On March 14 of this yr, Ms. Thurston and Mr. Del Buono had been married by Judge Joseph Campagna on the Shoreline Courthouse in Shoreline, Wash. Ms. Thurston is now Ms. Thurston-Del Buono.
There was no cake on their marriage ceremony day. Ms. Thurston-Del Buono and Mr. Del Buono opted for 2 pies (apple and lemon meringue) since they’d scheduled the marriage to land on Pi Day.