On their first real
“date,” Howard Wolfson and
Terri McCullough went to In the Company
of Men -the Neil LaBute movie with the sickeningly misogynistic protagonist
played by Aaron Eckhart.
“It’s like the anti-date movie,” said Mr. Wolfson, 35, former
communications director for both Hillary Clinton’s and Chuck Schumer’s Senate
campaigns, and now the executive director of the Democratic Congressional
Campaign Committee. “But it stimulated a lot of discussion about the
relationship between men and women.”
The couple first met in Washington, D.C., in 1997 while working
for Congresswomen with neighboring offices. Mr. Wolfson’s dedication to his
work impressed Ms. McCullough, 32, who is now the communications director for
PENCIL, a non-profit educational organization that administers the celebrity
“Principal for a Day” program.
“He might have been the only man on the Congressional Caucus on
Women’s Issues,” she said.
Mr. Wolfson’s current post at the DCCC is apparently tantamount
to a permanent campaign. “This job is so stressful; there’s such a combative
edge to it,” he said. “But being at home with Terri is the best possible refuge
from the insanity that is the rest of my life. Every time I walk in the door, I
feel that’s where I belong.”
In August of 2001, the couple went on vacation on a small private
island off the coast of Georgia. They rode bicycles out to the beach and took a
walk on the deserted shoreline. In the middle of their stroll, Mr. Wolfson
began singing Bruce Springsteen’s “If I Should Fall Behind.” Spontaneous
singing wasn’t out of character for him, but when he sang the whole song-about
a couple who falls in love-from start to finish, Ms. McCullough felt a lump
rise in her throat. Sure enough, Mr. Wolfson pulled out the ring-a platinum
“I would like you to be my wife,” Mr. Wolfson said.
Ms. McCullough hesitated. “You have to ask me,” she said. “I want
it in the form of a question.”
He agreed. So did she.
They’ll be wed on June 22 at Wave Hill, a garden in the Bronx.
– Blair Golson
wanted to be married since I was two ,”
said Samantha Kleier, 28, a perky brunette who went to Horace Mann and is now a
publicist for Susan Blond Inc., a firm that represents a lot of pop stars.
She first spotted J.P. Forbes, a 6-foot-2, wavy-haired graphic
designer four years her senior, at a 1996 bash thrown by party promoter Noel
Ashman at the downtown nightclub Metronome. The two hit it off instantly, but
Ms. Kleier is a member of The Rules
generation. “The two girls I was out with said, ‘That guy was so cute who you
were talking to; why did you leave?’” she remembered. “And I said, ‘You know
what? If he wants to find me, he can get my phone number.’”
That’s right, sister!
After a few weeks of dilly-dallying, Mr. Forbes dug up Ms.
Kleier’s phone number in a friend’s old Horace Mann yearbook and asked her to
accompany him to a comp performance of Show
Boat (he’d designed the poster for the show). He was no fan of musicals-”I
thought he was going to ask me to a dinner party or something,” said Ms.
Kleier-but their date was a success, and things steamed along nicely until the
fall of 1999, when Ms. Kleier decided she was ready to get married.
“It wasn’t that I didn’t love Samantha-I love her so much,” said
Mr. Forbes. “It’s just that I wasn’t 100 percent sure.” They split for two
years, then renewed their romance last year.
In October, Mr. Forbes showed up at his patient lady love’s Upper
East Side apartment with a large wrapped box. Ms. Kleier was on the phone with
her mother when she began opening the box, which contained another wrapped box. The young lady screamed and hung up the phone.
Two boxes later, she came face to face with a round diamond ring with tapered
baguettes on the side.
Initially, Ms. Kleier envisioned an “easy-breezy wedding on the
beach … very small, with Magnolia cup cakes.” But soon her inner party-planner
took over, and now the couple expects some 200 guests at the Metropolitan Club
on May 23. Seven bridesmaids will be clad in pale pink Vera Wang gowns. Ms.
Kleier has chosen Peking duck, sushi, steak frites and pasta, a Sylvia
Weinstock cake, and hired the same D.J. that actress Jennifer Lopez used at her wedding. The dress will be designed
by Vicky Tiel, but Ms. Kleier won’t reveal any details. “I’m an old-fashioned
girl,” she said. “I want him to be surprised when he sees me walking down the
– Deborah Netburn
When 28-year-old Benjamin Pergament
was in high school in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., Jennifer Mayers was just another one
of his kid sister Erica’s giggly girlfriends from Camp Taconic. “She didn’t
really stand out,” he said. But Jennifer always thought Ben was “kind of cute.”
As Jennifer blossomed into young womanhood, Ben began to think
that maybe the willowy, hip Manhattanite was more than just another kid from
camp. Years passed, and although they only ran into each other on rare
occasions, they kept tabs on one another through Erica. When they did see each
other, Jen would kid around, saying, “You’d make a great husband.”
Summer 2000: He was a year out of law school at Georgetown; she
was a year out of an undergraduate program in early childhood education at the
University of Rhode Island. For Ms. Mayer’s birthday, a group of friends went
to the Jersey Shore. Erica brought along her brown-eyed big brother.
That evening, they had lobster en groupe , then everyone went for drinks at a local bar, the Catch.
Several rounds of martinis later, Jennifer found her childhood crush ushering
her away from the pack for a romantic stroll on the beach.
Later that week, Erica and
Jennifer became roommates in a two-bedroom apartment in Murray Hill, but
Jennifer soon found that she was spending most of her time at Ben’s place in
Hell’s Kitchen. A year later, Ms. Mayer, a master’s candidate in special
education at Hunter College, moved in with Mr. Pergament, by now a litigation
lawyer at Chadbourne & Parke, and they began to talk about marriage. On her
birthday, she proposed to him, but he said he wanted to wait until January or
February before “going down that road.”
On Feb. 13, Jen was tucking into a quick bowl of Life cereal
before starting on her homework. Ben put on Lenny Kravitz’s “Stand By Your
Woman,” knelt and placed a platinum ring with a radiant-cut diamond on her
finger. She washed her cereal down with champagne.
The two are planning an autumn or winter wedding officiated by
Rabbi Daniel Alder of Brotherhood Synagogue on Gramercy Park, who did the
bride’s bat mitzvah, followed by a honeymoon in Hawaii.
– Anna Jane Grossman
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