During dinner with friends in the summer of 2013, Andy Harkavy discussed his desire to find a nice Jewish girl.
He shared his criteria — down to earth, family oriented, social and interested in sports. Though Andy might not have realized it, by night’s end, all three of his friends knew: Megan Goldsmith was the one.
Megan and Andy first met at the University of Georgia Hillel in 2005, where Megan served a fellowship during Andy’s senior year. The pair became fast friends, enjoying football games and other activities. Megan helped Andy apply for a fellowship the following year at Ohio State University.
Their paths crossed again in 2008 at Baltimore Hebrew University in the Jewish Communal Service master’s program. After graduation, Megan worked for the Jewish Volunteer Connection, and two years later, Andy graduated and moved to North Carolina to work for a synagogue. They remained in touch, seeing each other at different events across the country.
So after his August 2013 return, Andy invited Megan to see her Ravens play his Atlanta Falcons in a preseason game. They shared a pregame meal at Mother’s in Federal Hill.
“It was a little awkward,” admitted Megan, 31, now director of Jewish Student Life for Hillel at Miami University of Ohio. “We were friends for so long, the pressure of it being a first date made it awkward.”
During the game, both were glued to their cellphones, posting on social media and chatting with friends. The next night, Andy joined Megan for Shabbat dinner with Lynne and Richard Goldsmith, just as he had many times in the past.
The next week, they tried again at an Orioles game. It went much better, as both rooted for the same team. After Andy walked Megan back to her apartment, they shared their first kiss.
In early November, Andy echoed a sentiment that Megan had already shared with their friends.
“I love us; I love you,” Andy said to her.
By January, they were ring shopping. But while Megan attended an out-of-town conference, Andy, 31 and regional director for NFTY Ohio Valley, secured her grandmother’s diamond and designed a ring.
Susan and Bob Harkavy visited the couple in Baltimore in February 2014. Bob told Andy they were interested seeing the view from atop Federal Hill. On the way, Andy encouraged Megan to take selfies, one of her favorite activities.
When she looked up after a quick selfie shot, he was down on one knee, singing “Grow Old with You.” Later, they joined his and her parents as well as friends and celebrated throughout the evening.
Andy updated his Facebook status to reflect the big news and generated about 1,000 “likes.”
“People said they knew it all along,” acknowledged Megan. “It just took us eight years.”
In true social media fashion, the couple created a hashtag for their wedding, aptly named #megandy531, in honor of their May 31, 2015 nuptials at Beth Tfiloh Congregation. Rabbi Andrew Busch of Baltimore Hebrew Congregation officiated before about 180 friends and family members from all over the country.
And just as Megan is the perfect match for Andy’s “list of criteria,” Andy fits the bill for her.
“He’s the type of person I always wanted to be with,” she said. “Andy had it all.”