David Adelson and Lynn Harris
Met: Nov. 20, 2002
Engaged: July 14, 2003
Projected Wedding Date: Nov. 16, 2003
Lynn Harris, creator of the Breakup Girl franchise-online advice columns, books and a canceled TV show about a superhero who comes to the rescue during “romantic emergencies”-is marrying Rabbi David Adelson of the East End Temple on East 17th Street. “You know, I’m 34 and had been going through mental somersaults of ‘O.K., what can I live without? What concessions can I make?’” said Ms. Harris, a freelance writer, stand-up comic and amateur ice-hockey player. “And I’m not making one with this guy. Not one .”
Mr. Adelson is 33, a native resident of Park Slope and a Stuyvesant-Oberlin alumnus with angular features and sexy, hairy hands. The wedding will be at his childhood synagogue, Congregation Beth Elohim, complete with a bedeken (a loud, stomping, pre-ceremony veiling ritual) and a raucous ketubah signing. “It’s going to be really intense, lots of dancing,” Mr. Adelson said. “Sort of neo-funky Jewish.” “It’s going to totally be like a rave,” said Ms. Harris, a sprightly thing with dyed-auburn hair and a total of six ear piercings.
They met at a fund-raising gala for the New Israel Fund at Studio 450, where she caught his eye in a beaded black Betsey Johnson. “I believe in the organization,” Mr. Adelson said, “but I was very much open to and interested in meeting a nice liberal-minded young Jewish woman.”
Ms. Harris put it more succinctly. “He was looking for some long-term lefty Jewish tail,” she said.
He asked her for coffee the next week at the Community Bookstore in Park Slope. As they were leaving, Ms. Harris (a Yale grad and doncha forget it) oh-so-casually picked up Her Way , a book by feminist Paula Kamen that she’d blurbed. “I feigned surprise when I saw it,” she said. “But I wanted to show him that I was someone of substance. I mean, anyone can publish a book. But I’d blurbed a book!”
Before their second date, to see the stage version of Tuesdays with Morrie , he challenged her to try and find anything with sugar in it that he wouldn’t eat. She showed up with Harry Potter Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Jelly Beans (vomit, ear wax, etc.). “It was so sweet and fun,” he said. Alas, the play sucked. “I would’ve rather been eating snot jellybeans,” Ms. Harris said. But everything since has been complete sweetness. Recently, she moved into his one-bedroom rabbi hutch, around the corner from her former Park Slope apartment. “He makes pie ,” she said, marveling. “He even makes the crust.”
They got engaged while eating smoked mackerel on the balcony of a rented apartment in Jerusalem where he was attending a conference, then went to a jewelry shop near Ben Yehuda street to pick out the ring, a round diamond hanging off a link that holds together three separate yellow-gold bands. “It felt both really alterna- and really Zionist to us to buy the ring there and help their economy,” Mr. Adelson said. “During the trip, I really came to realize in a pre-verbal way inside that I was ready and that this was right.”
Summarizing her fuzzy feelings, Ms. Harris reverted to the comic-book imagery of her longtime alter ego. “It wasn’t a lightning bolt. It was more like being hit by a Nerf ball,” she said. “It wasn’t a ‘Pow! He’s the one!’ It was more like a ‘ duh! ‘”
Kristen Beelitz and Greg Vassar
Met: Nov. 13, 2001
Engaged: May 17, 2003
Projected Wedding Date: May 15, 2004
Kristen Beelitz, 29, a promotion coordinator at YM magazine (formerly Young Miss ; became Young and Modern in the post- Sassy era now, apparently Your Magazine ), is, like, totally into her job. The one-bedroom across from the Museum of Natural History that she shares with her fiancé, Greg Vassar, is cluttered with pink boas, many scattered lip glosses, a collection of Justin Timberlake CD’s and a new 32-inch flat-screen TV that is usually tuned to MTV. “She loves all the boy bands, and she’s always listening to Britney Spears,” said Mr. Vassar, 28, an account executive at the national radio-advertising company Interep. “She’ll read all the teen magazines. Sometimes I feel as if I’m dating a teenager .”
The couple was fixed up by her boss’ husband after Ms. Beelitz was overheard whining in YM ‘s pink-painted office about how icky dating was. “I was complaining that I wasn’t meeting any nice boys,” she said. They made a drinks date for Cibar on Irving Place-”I knew there were a lot of cute girls at YM , so I figured I probably couldn’t go wrong,” said the dimple-chinned Mr. Vassar-and indeed, he was instantly taken with her blond hair and American Eagles Outfitters wardrobe. “She looks a lot like Gwyneth Paltrow,” he said, “but she has a sort of Jessica Simpson flair.”
But though she e-mailed him the very next morning-so modern -Ms. Beelitz wasn’t quite ready for her Nick Lachey. “I thought he was really cute and nice, but I think initially I was a little scared of, like, getting into a relationship, because I hadn’t been in one in a while and I liked being a single girl,” she said. “I liked being the boss of me.”
She changed her tune after a mouse appeared in the kitchen of her then apartment, on Broome Street, and was swiftly dispatched by Mr. Vassar. “I was, like, crying,” she said. “He was my hero.”
“She says the word ‘like’ a lot,” Mr. Vassar commented. “It doesn’t annoy me. I think it’s cute . She has an amazing personality-people always warm up to her very quickly. She has tons of friends. She’s not the kind of person who’s catty or gossipy. She just has a good aura to her.”
The feeling is mutual. “I think he is just so sweet and so sensitive. He’s just really sweet,” Ms. Beelitz said. “I can be a little nutty at times, and he can be really sensitive about that. I get stressed and a little wacky, and he, like, you know-he keeps me under control.”
The sweethearts are planning a wedding at Mayfair Farms in West Orange, N.J., near the Livingston Mall. He proposed in their apartment, which he’d filled with roses and candles, busting out a thoroughly “like, wow!” super-sparkly round diamond with two baguettes set in platinum. “She was totally freaking out,” Mr. Vassar said.
“I was totally surprised,” Ms. Beelitz said, “because I didn’t have a manicure, and I’d told my friends to make me get a manicure if they knew I was getting engaged.”
Hollie Geren and Paul Rapello
Met: April 19, 2002
Engaged: June 28, 2003
Projected Wedding Date: Oct. 5, 2003
Hollie Geren, a comely Southern belle, met Paul Rapello, a preppy salt-and-pepper Yank, during a spring heat wave at a party in an East 88th Street apartment-a prewar with (gasp!) no central air-conditioning. “It was sweltering,” said Mr. Rapello, a founding partner of Great Circle Capital, a Connecticut private equity fund, with an inclination toward threadbare Izod shirts. Our post-postmodern Scarlett, who had managed to exit her 20′s without securing an engagement ring thanks to New York’s famed “spinsterizing” effect, was busy searching for cold booze. “I saw her smile and was immediately taken with her,” he said.
“I was kind of feeling really good about myself,” said Ms. Geren, 31, a vice president of corporate communications at the New York offices of the ad agency Lowe and Partners Worldwide who has long, side-parted brown hair and gleaming teeth. “I was feeling like it was the beginning of a new time of my life.”
They struck up a conversation about Boggle, one of her favorite pastimes. She invited him to a soirée she was hosting later that week, but he was going to Europe on business, so he sent some of his Georgetown buddies in his place. “I told them to go and keep an eye on her and box out any guys that tried to come near her,” said Mr. Rapello, 38, “and they said, ‘Well, who is she?’ And I said, ‘She’s my girlfriend. She just doesn’t know it yet.”
After a trip to the Cloisters and a couple of smooches at Arlene Grocery, she knew, all right. But there was one glitch: Ms. Geren is an F.D.R.-style liberal Democrat-one of those incessant “Draft Wesley Clark” e-mailers-and Mr. Rapello is rabidly right-wing. “She keeps saying that [Clark] is the only way we’re going to get rid of Bush, and I say, ‘Why would we ever want to do that?’” he said.
A year after meeting, they decided to cohabitate in an Upper East Side junior four. Yes, Virginia, before marriage. “Uh oh-no one in the South knows that,” Ms. Geren said. Luckily Mr. Rapello proposed in the apartment “on a whim” one day-”He wasn’t down on one knee, so I was kind of like, ‘Huh? What are you doing?’” she said-with a platinum ring holding a 2.3-carat round diamond flanked by six smaller princess-cut ones. Great balls of fire!
The wedding will be conducted by the bride’s granddaddy, a retired minister, with a reception at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, N.C.-which, Ms. Geren likes to point out, was built by a New York Vanderbilt who fell in love with the South. “It’ll be 50-50 Yanks and Rebs,” Mr. Rapello said.
Ms. Geren is pleased as punch with her groom. “He’s just so unaffected and down to earth,” she said. “Whether we’re at a cocktail party in New York or hanging out with my grandmother in the hills of Tennessee, he fits in. New Yorkers often have this name-dropping mentality-who you know, where you went to school, that sort of thing. But you’d never get that stuff from him unless you asked. He doesn’t have to wear who he is on his sleeve.”