She: Jessica Tredeau, 28, psychologist at the Manhattan
Children’s Program, a school for students with cerebral palsy and multiple
handicaps. He: Adam Clay, 29, eastern region director for Keynote
Systems, a Silicon Valley–based technology consulting firm.
How They Met
In their freshman year at Skidmore. Mr. Clay was the young star
of the basketball team-6-foot-7, broad-shouldered and muscular, with wavy
light-brown hair flopping over big brown eyes. Ms. Tredeau was a cub reporter
on the college newspaper, a 5-foot 9-inch, green-eyed brunette and snappy
dresser. She was interviewing students about the campus dining halls.
“The door opened up, and she was beautiful beyond what I’d
experienced,” said Mr. Clay.
He was “mature, genuine and approachable,” said Ms. Tredeau, who
swiftly handed over her phone number. “I was feeling somewhat bold,” she said.
“He was different from the rest of the Skidmore boys.”
Like most college couples,
they broke up and got back together five times.
How it almost didn’t
happen: After graduation, Mr. Clay got a job teaching literature at a
university in Qufo, China, and the relationship went into deep freeze. Letters
took six weeks to travel back and forth. Then Mr. Clay took a yearlong job as a
technology consultant in Korea. Ms. Tredeau was in Boston, teaching autistic
Phew ! After about three years, Mr. Clay’s “Asian phase” ended.
By the summer of 2000, the pair were sharing a Park Slope duplex.
How it almost didn’t
happen, Part II: Mr. Clay, a lifelong sailing buff, blew the ring money on
a 33-foot ketch. “I took the selfish path,” he said. “I was spending more and
more time on the boat and not on her. So I said to myself, ‘It’s a good time to
start thinking about engagement.’”
Phew! Part II: On the afternoon of New Year’s Eve 2001, they
took a stroll in Prospect Park. In his pocket: a 1.6-carat, boomerang-shaped
diamond on a neoclassical platinum band.
“We were walking, and he kept pointing things out,” said Ms.
Tredeau. “A beautiful tree, the sun reflecting off buildings-and that was odd,
because he is romantic, but not outwardly.”
“I was meandering,” Mr. Clay said, “trying to figure out the
right place to do this. Trying to muster up the courage.”
Mr. Clay was so nervous he began to hyperventilate.
“He started taking these really deep breaths,” Ms. Tredeau said,
“and then it hit me: ‘My God, he’s going to propose!’”
On a grassy knoll with a large tree, Mr. Clay knelt and presented
Ms. Tredeau with the ring. Hugs and tears. Then they went to Starbucks.
They’re thinking 100 guests at a mountain lodge near Mr. Clay’s
hometown of Hurley, N.Y., planned for August 2003.
– Blair Golson
Jimmy Hausman, 31, lawyer at Meister, Seelig & Fein. She: Liz Cohen, 31, willowy publicist at Lizzie
Grubman Public Relations.
How They Met
Ms. Cohen grew up with her parents in Apartment No. 1201 in the
Newport East building on the Upper East Side. Mr. Hausman lived next-door in
No. 1202. They hardly ever said hello, and didn’t formally meet until the 1992
Palm Beach wedding of a mutual friend, Samantha Kluge.
He said: “I just want
you to know, you and your dogs are the most hated people in the building.”
She thought: “He’s my
Jewish, menschy, weird, dorky neighbor. He looks like a dork.”
Years went by: No
further contact, and Ms. Cohen moved out of her parents’ place. After her
father died in May 2000, she moved back into 1201 to take care of her mother.
Mr. Hausman was still in 1202. He wrote her a condolence letter, in which he
spoke about riding in the elevator with her father almost every morning and
about the admirable way her father always carried himself. “And that was it. I
was so touched,” she said. “I knew we were going to be friends or something.”
One day, Ms. Cohen was having lunch with a female friend who was
also a friend of Mr. Hausman’s family. The two women went over to 1202 to ask
Mr. Hausman to join them. Over lunch, Ms. Cohen mentioned that she was throwing
a party for fashion designer Pamela Dennis later that week at Indochine. Would
Mr. Hausman like to come?
Lightningstrikes: Halfway through the party, Ms. Cohen
grabbed his wrist. “Don’t leave without me,” she said. Talking about it later,
Ms. Cohen would say she was assuring herself a ride home. “But right then I
knew,” said Mr. Hausman. “I knew she liked me.”
After riding uptown together, the two walked Ms. Cohen’s dogs.
Then they stayed up talking in her room and managed to wake up her mother, so
Ms. Cohen took her pajamas, pillow case and blanket next door to Mr. Hausman’s
place. She never left. “Him and my mother had an ongoing joke that if we didn’t
get engaged by December, he’d have to give me back,” Ms. Cohen said.
The proposal: Mr.
Hausman, whom Ms. Cohen credits for turning her family’s life around
after the death of her father and her sister’s
severe illness, bought a five-carat princess-cut diamond ring from jeweler Andrew Fabrikant on Fifth Avenue. Then, on Thanksgiving
2001, he took Ms. Cohen to Central Park and went to the highest spot he could
find. “I took the box out and she got up, screamed, ran around, hid under a
tree and screamed, ‘Oh my God! Oh my God! Oh my God!’” Mr. Hausman said. “The
box wasn’t even open; everyone was watching. I said, ‘Does this mean yes?’ She
said yes and then she ran home. I was pretty much left walking the dog, which I
hope wasn’t an omen.”
The diamond ring was eventually exchanged for a smaller one, more
to her taste.
Back to Palm Beach, baby! Some 300 guests are invited to Donald
Trump’s resort, Mar-a-Lago, for a Nov. 16 ceremony flanked by four days of
“We expect a high attrition rate because people don’t want to fly
right now,” Mr. Hausman said. Beth Blake, a friend of the bride, will design
the bridesmaids’ dresses. Another friend, handbag designer Fernanda Niven, was
the one to suggest the venue.
The Trump card: Said
Ms. Cohen: “I called Donald to make arrangements and he said, ‘Congratulations,
you’re marrying into one of the most solid families in New York.’ So that was
like the ultimate seal of approval.”
– Elisabeth Franck
She: Margot Weiss, 33,
formerly a producer at About.com, currently a freelance editor. He: Bill Brink, 46, deputy editor in
the sports department of The New York
How They Met
Who fixed them up: Mutual
friend Bob Thomas, the late obituaries writer at The Times , where he worked with Mr. Brink. “It was around 1997,”
said Mr. Brink. “I think it must have been at a bar,” said Ms. Weiss. Mr.
Thomas had been trying to set them up for a long time. “Bob kept saying,
‘You’ll love my friend Bill, you’ll love my friend Bill,’ and I kept saying,
‘Yeah, whatever ,’” said Ms. Weiss.
But … They met, and
would casually bump into each other when Ms. Weiss was out for drinks with Mr.
Thomas. But then they didn’t see each other for about seven months, until Mr.
Brink threw himself a 43rd birthday party in his Upper West Side apartment and
asked Mr. Thomas to bring Ms. Weiss along. “I hadn’t seen her for a while,”
said Mr. Brink, “and when I saw her again after all that time I thought to
myself, ‘Oh, I forgot how nice and pretty she is.’” A few weeks later, he
invited her to a Rolling Stones concert at the Meadowlands.
Popping the question: In
the middle of December, Mr. Brink secretly bought a gold diamond ring with a
platinum setting for Ms. Weiss at David Webb. But before he could ask her to
marry him, he had to ask someone else: his 13-year-old son Billy, who lives
with his ex-wife in Michigan. “I asked him how he felt about it, and he was
fine,” said Mr. Brink. “Then I asked him if he would like to be involved when I
gave her the ring, and he said, ‘No, I’m no good at stuff like that.’”
Mr. Brink hoped to pop the question on New Year’s Eve, but Ms.
Weiss had a headache. She was giving up a one-bedroom in Brooklyn to move in
with Mr. Brink, and she’d spent all of Dec. 31 packing. Dirty and sweaty, she
went to bed at 7:30 p.m. and slept through the night. In the morning, Mr. Brink
suggested brunch at Balthazar. When breakfast was over, they happened to walk
by a jewelry store in the neighborhood. “I said it was too bad they were
closed, because I had seen pretty rings in there before,” said Ms. Weiss. Mr.
Brink saw his opening. As they turned the corner, he took the ring out of his
pocket. “Maybe you’ll like this one better,” he said.
“I was like, “You got me a ring? Oh, my God!’” said Ms. Weiss. “I
didn’t think it would happen. If I want something done, I usually have to
remind him. He’s the kind of person who tends to put things off.”
Mr. Brink wants Las Vegas-”as schlocky as possible.” Ms. Weiss
wants 20 people on the beach in her hometown of Whitefield, Me. She plans to
wear a bikini. “I want to go right from the ceremony and go boogie-boarding,”
she said. “I was thinking of getting a white bikini with white pearls on it so
it looked like a wedding dress, but I don’t think I would have the balls to
wear a bikini that looks like a wedding dress. Maybe just a bikini with a
- Deborah Netburn
András Rösner, 28, Ph.D. candidate in economics at Columbia University. She: Cora Neumann, 26, master’s
candidate in international public health at Columbia.
How They Met
At a student café in the School of Architecture building on
Columbia’s Morningside Heights campus. Ms. Neumann saw Mr. Rösner (who is
Hungarian but was raised in Germany) and a friend and began “trying to flirt
with them” by striking up a conversation in German. Their first date was a
non-event, when Mr. Rösner showed up at the appointed art gallery, took in the
show and left before Ms. Neumann even had a chance to walk through the door. “I
thought I’d never see him again after that,” said Ms. Neumann. Four weeks
later, he e-mailed.
The proposal: After
seven months of dating, Ms. Neumann and Mr. Rösner were walking her Siberian
Huskie mutt, Juanita, in Williamsburg. Mr. Rösner was leaving the next day for
three weeks in Hungary.
“The dog was peeing against the wall, we’d just been out to
dinner and drinks at Cafe Gitane in Soho, it was 3 in the morning and he just
asked me to marry him,” she said. “Just like that. He didn’t do anything or get
on his knee or have a ring or anything. I didn’t expect it, and I thought it
was so sweet that he asked me before he left for three weeks and I was like,
‘Yay!’ We were both so happy.”
“I just realized that we were making nice plans together, and it
felt so natural to push it one step up,” said Mr. Rösner.
The couple agreed not to tell people about their engagement until
they’d met each other’s parents, but Ms. Neumann said that her fiancé was no
sooner on the plane to Hungary than she began to let the news slip.
Ms. Neumann has already
designed her dress-strapless, beaded and empire-waisted, with a wide sash and
buttons down the back-which her best friend will make. She’s also picking out a
cake, which she’s decided will be baked by another friend. Her mother intends
to cater the wedding of 120 guests, which will take place in July, in the
Montana barn where The Horse Whisperer
– Rebecca Traister
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