In May 2018, James Tanner Tate and his two business partners at the time decided to buy a 98-year-old cafe just north of San Francisco, in Tiburon, Calif. Mr. Tate was at odds with his partners about the design group they would hire to revamp the local waterfront hot spot, called Sam’s Anchor Cafe. They wanted to hire ROY, an interior design studio, but he wanted to hire another group.
It turned out to be a blessing that he had been outnumbered — the founder of ROY, Hannah Elise Collins, would become his wife five years later.
When Mr. Tate and Ms. Collins first started working together, they had some friction on the design direction for the cafe.
“I thought I knew best, and after about a week, I knew I didn’t know best,” Mr. Tate said. “She put me in my place ever so gently.”
While working together, they developed a tight relationship professionally and personally. They continued to work together on new projects.
By late 2019, they were talking for four hours a day, whether it was about business or not. At the time, Ms. Collins, 36, who is from Grass Valley, Calif., was going through a divorce. Mr. Tate, 39, who is from New York, had just gotten out of a divorce when the two first met, and he helped Ms. Collins through her journey.
“He was just such an amazing friend to me during that process,” she said.
They eventually developed feelings for each other, but she was waiting for him to make a move, and he was too scared to mess up. To make him jealous, she would tell him about her other dates. And he would purposefully call her during those dates.
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“I always pick up my clients’ phone calls, and I think he used that to his advantage,” Ms. Collins said. “To sabotage,” he said, finishing her sentence. And when she didn’t pick up, he felt sad.
He reached the point where he realized he needed to make a move. “It was very clear to me that the window was closing,” Mr. Tate said.
So he planned a first date for her on Feb. 14, 2020. She had flown into Salt Lake City to visit the site of a new project the two were working on: a glamping hotel called Yonder Escalante. After the site visit, he invited her to dinner, on a day that happened to be Valentine’s Day. But Ms. Collins did not register the date. She thought it was a regular meal out.
They went to a Japanese hot pot restaurant, a comedy show and finally a bar, where they had their first kiss. While they were kissing in public, a bar employee pulled the two apart and said, “That’s not allowed in here.”
The couple were surprised to find out that P.D.A. was discouraged in that establishment, and they were kicked out of the bar. But the kiss was a decisive moment for the two: “We never looked back after that,” she said.
Ms. Collins has a bachelor’s degree in interior architecture and design from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. She is the founder and principal designer of ROY as well as ROYG.BIV, a branding agency. Mr. Tate has a bachelor’s degree in urban planning and sustainable development from N.Y.U. and an M.B.A. from Columbia Business School. He is the founder of Hi-Lo Development, a hospitality real estate development company.
In January 2021, Mr. Tate bought a home in San Francisco, and in April 2021, Ms. Collins purchased a home in Montauk, N.Y.
“It’s my absolute favorite place on planet Earth,” she said.
In October 2021, Ms. Collins became pregnant. In July 2022, on one of their last nights in Montauk before flying back to San Francisco to prepare for the birth of their baby, the couple were heading out to dinner with some friends.
She walked out onto their sandy front yard, where their three dogs and 1-year-old son James now play, and where they watch the sunset almost every night when they’re in Montauk. As she turned around, thinking they would get into their car, he got down on one knee.
“It was exactly what I wanted,” she said.
On Aug. 26, the couple married at the Crow’s Nest in Montauk, one of their go-to restaurants, before 125 guests. Michael Barnes, a close friend who was ordained by the Universal Life Church for the occasion, officiated.
The wedding festivities included a weekend full of activities where the couple showed their guests the “greatest hits of Montauk,” Mr. Tate said. This included a Thursday dinner of oysters and clams at their home while watching the sunset at the very spot they got engaged. The following day, they rented out SoulCycle Montauk for a large group session.
On the Monday after the wedding, they were back to work. But that Thursday, they headed to Athens for their honeymoon. Mr. Tate had learned how to sail over the summer for the trip, and he rented a catamaran in Greece. He hired a skipper, so “we’ll have support,” he said.