Countdown to Bliss

Kolleen Meeker and A.J. Tesoriero

Met: September 1991 Engaged: Aug. 11, 2002 Projected Wedding Date: Oct. 31, 2004

This hard-rockin’ couple unwittingly prepped for wedlock when they co-hosted their own weekly college-radio show, which began at 6 a.m.

“It was horrible,” remembered Kolleen Meeker, 25. “Neither of us are morning people. We had no chemistry together on-air whatsoever. We would argue on the air. You would hear me throwing things across the room at him. Listeners would call in and be like, ‘Oh, we love when you pretend to fight …. ‘”

“And we’d be like, ‘Nah, we were really fighting!'” said A.J. Tesoriero, 26. “Nine times out of 10, I would end up passing out during the show.”

They’d known each other since they were young mall rats at Passaic Valley High School in Little Falls, N.J. He was on the track team and worked at a sneaker store. Young Ms. Meeker, a flag twirler with the school’s marching band, would sneak away from her shift at the Great American Cookie Company to bring him snacks and milk, but alas, he was dating a senior with a ’91 gold Hyundai Sonata. “I wasn’t that into her,” Mr. Tesoriero said. “It was a dick thing to do.”

But on the first day of classes at Seton Hall University, he ran into Ms. Meeker, who at this point had acquired her own ’87 Chrysler LeBaron, and a heavy-metal romance was born.

He’s into bands that have names like Life of Agony and Rush. She prefers what she calls “aggressive” rock, like System of a Down.

They aren’t one of those nauseating couples that are constantly in one another’s laps. “When we’re out with people, we’re not even on the same side of the room half the time,” Ms. Meeker said. She also confided that her goateed beau “does a ‘demon’ voice that makes me laugh.” Bet that’s fun in bed!

Their wedding will be a Halloween-themed event to honor the pale, dark-haired bride’s favorite holiday. Ms. Meeker wants a chocolate cake topped with a model of Jack Skellington, the hero from Nightmare Before Christmas (whose likeness she also has tattooed on her left shoulder blade; further down her back, you’ll find the Queensryche logo). Possible aisle music: Bach’s dolorous Fugue in D Minor. Their one concession to tradition is the .75-carat princess-cut, platinum-set diamond ring he gave her when they were on holiday in Cancun.

Ms. Meeker is the continuity director at the New York classic-rock station Q104.3. Mr. Tesoriero recently left a job as an assistant producer at WNEW. He’s now a cameraman at CNBC and plays bass with a band that, pre-sniper, was toying with calling themselves the Crazed Gunmen.

“She can deal with the fact that I’m a musician,” he said. “She puts up with a lot of my crap.”

Kim Moyer and Christopher Rigney

Met: March 10, 2000 Engaged: June 13, 2002 Projected Wedding Date: June 28, 2003

Kim Moyer is extremely fit, but not in that tensile, Christy Turlington–esque way so popular among Manhattan ladies these days. We’re talking triathlons. Ms. Moyer-who is 30, with long blond hair and long toned limbs-has completed six, including one that required her to brave the Hudson River’s murky waters. She spends her so-called leisure time running around the reservoir in Central Park or hoisting weights at her local New York Sports Club.

Her lifelong partner for indoor athletics will be Chris Rigney, 29, a green-eyed, sexily gap-toothed sales-development manager at S ports Illustrated . They met when he went on a business trip to the magazine’s Chicago offices, where she was selling ad space at Sports Illustrated for Kids . “I remember being sort of blown away by how natural and comfortable the conversation was, just off the bat,” Mr. Rigney said.

They got to know each other in sports arenas. He’s a Brooklyn-born Yankees enthusiast; she’s a Pirates fan. “That someone roots for small-market teams is sort of funny to me, because they never win,” he said.

After two years spent speaking 10 times daily and visiting each other every other weekend, she got a job working in sales at Ski magazine in New York. They now share an Upper West Side one-bedroom cluttered with golf clubs, snow shoes, scuba gear, skis, fly-fishing rods, tennis racquets and sports bras. “Keeping active sort of makes her happy,” Mr. Rigney said one recent evening, before dashing off with his intended to a Rangers game.

The limber fellow assumed the proposal position in front of their building after the two went to see Les Miz , presenting her with a 2.5-carat, emerald-cut sapphire flanked with diamonds. “My whole body was shaking,” Ms. Moyer said.

The wedding will be at the bride’s family’s home, near Pittsburgh. The couple expects that the reception will have some sort of sports theme. And when Ms. Moyer lobs the bouquet, guests better duck : “Kim brings a lot of energy to everything she does,” said Mr. Rigney.

“I’m glad he can keep up with me,” said his bride-to-be.

Candace Kohler and Strati Papageorge

Met: June 15, 1996 Engaged: Aug. 8, 2002 Projected Wedding Date: Aug. 31, 2003

Candace Kohler met her beloved on an overnight train from Venice to Salzburg while enduring that horny, grimy post-collegiate rite of passage, the European backpacking trip. She was fresh out of Barnard and wearing a stained white T-shirt, Tevas and a massive black and turquoise EMS rucksack.

“I thought she was cute,” said Strati Papageorge, a dark, dimpled Cornell grad, “but I thought that she’d be even cuter if she were clean .”

They proceeded to grope fervently under thin army-regulation blankets in the shared bunkrooms of youth hostels across the continent.

When Ms. Kohler got back to New York, she went to the Albert Einstein School of Medicine in the Bronx, got a doctorate in psychology and began a private practice on the Upper East Side. Mr. Papageorge eventually went to business school at Columbia, where he is now in his final year. They moved into a one-bedroom with an East River view (if you crane your neck).

He calls her Koukla, which is Greek for “doll.” They’re both 28, but she looks about 16, with golden hair to her elbows. And he acts even younger. One night, for example, he laid out 25 color-coded index cards on the sofa in five categories: “Food,” “Family,” “Travel,” “Geography” and “Grab Bag.” All 25 questions had to do with highlights of the couple’s six-year relationship. She answered 16 correctly. “I thought that was pretty poor,” Mr. Papageorge said. However, because there were no other contestants present, she wound up winning not only second prize (a bag of rice), but third (a pair of old socks) and first (a princess-cut diamond set in platinum with two trillions). What a gas!

The wedding will be at the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Holy Trinity on East 74th Street, with the reception at a Fifth Avenue loft space.

They seem to have an excellent metaphorical grasp of matrimony. “If you put us in a room and locked the door,” Dr. Kohler said, “we could be in there for a really long time just entertaining each other.”

Countdown to Bliss