Countdown to Bliss

Peter Beinart and Diana Hartstein

Met: Aug. 6, 2001

Engaged: Feb. 14, 2003

Projected Wedding Date: Oct. 25, 2003

Neo-liberal love! Peter Beinart, the swarthy 32-year-old who’s been the editor of The New Republic since 1999, is marrying Diana Hartstein, also 32, an attorney with the tax and litigation firm Caplin and Drysdale in Washington, D.C.-and a serious babe.

The Sephardic ceremony and reception to follow will be held at the Willard InterContinental Washington hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue. Former Bush speechwriter David Frum, as well as New Republic editor in chief Martin Peretz, literary editor Leon Wieseltier and owner Roger Hertog, are all expected to attend-we didn’t have the heart to ask about Gregg (“Really Bad Choice of Words”) Easterbrook-and may well break a sweat. Mr. Beinart said he and his bride are both “horrah maniacs,” adding: “Our rule is that until someone is on the floor in a coma, the dance isn’t done.”

The couple met at a Mexican restaurant on Wisconsin Avenue, during a mutual friend’s benefit for a local charter school. Ms. Hartstein, a graduate of the University of Maryland and Columbia Law who’s currently an adjunct professor at Georgetown Law School, made the editor positively giddy. But she’d never read The New Republic ! “She’s less of a political junkie than I am,” said Mr. Beinart, a graduate of Yale and Oxford. “But her instincts run towards a kind of hawkish liberalism-a liberalism that isn’t embarrassed by open displays of patriotism.” God bless America.

“I knew she was ‘it’ pretty quickly,” he continued. “Diana was what I had always been looking for. This is mushy stuff for your paper, but she just sort of radiates a warmth and a caring and a dynamism that really struck me very early on.”

On a vacation with her sister and mother in Paris, Ms. Hartstein was wondering around the patisserie La Duree on the Champs Elysee (“I’m a huge baker,” she said. “I mean I love to bake-not that I’m a huge person”) when suddenly Mr. Beinart appeared and whisked her off to the Tuileries Gardens, where he produced a platinum, Lucida-style diamond ring.

“Intellectually, I guess I knew it was going to happen when he showed up, but I wasn’t quite sure of my name at that moment,” she said. Then it was off to, er, discuss politics in a suite at the Ritz.

“He makes me so happy,” Ms. Hartstein said. “He makes my life an adventure through constant enlightenment and encouragement. He’s also the most deeply moral and principled human being I’ve ever met. He has a huge curiosity about humanity and the world at large.”

Mr. Beinart, with commendable idealism, believes that the stresses of putting out a weekly magazine won’t interfere with his marriage. “When you’re an editor, you usually have the last word, and I don’t think that’s going to be the case here,” he said. “Being a husband is going to be a lot more important to me than being an editor.”

Amanda Lipitz and Greg Smith

Met: May 2002

Engaged: Aug. 27, 2003

Projected Wedding Date: July 4, 2004

Broadway producers and paramours Greg Smith and Amanda Lipitz were walking by the Helen Hayes Theatre on West 44th Street.

“Oh, look what’s playing,” said Mr. Smith. Ms. Lipitz looked up. The marquee read “Amanda Will You Marry Me?”

“Shut the fuck up!” she gasped.

Each of their families then rushed out from inside the theater (can no one propose in private anymore?) as Mr. Smith knelt down and unloaded a large round diamond in a sparkling platinum pavé setting. After Sardi’s sent over champagne, the entire ensemble proceeded to Marseille for dinner.

The couple met after Ms. Lipitz, the daughter of philanthropists, fell in love with a little Off Broadway musical with a cast of two called The Last Five Years during her senior year studying drama at N.Y.U. She rang the show’s production office, East Egg Entertainment, to inquire about investing, and after a couple of interviews wound up working there as an assistant. She was seated across from the dark-haired, cleft-chinned Mr. Smith.

Ms. Lipitz is also dark-haired-pretty and taut, with flawless skin-and their physical chemistry was instant. “I distinctly remember this one time I was filing something in a cabinet, and he walked by and touched my hip,” she said. “And I ran home to my roommate and was like, ‘He touched my hip! What does that mean?'”

They went to see Burn This , the Off Brodway play starring Catherine Keener, and spent much of the next day making out furiously in the office elevator and conference room. “I was like, ‘This is so wrong. I can’t do this,'” said Mr. Smith, who is 34 (Ms. Lipitz is a mere babe of 23). “I’ve always considered myself a very professional person and I have to do the right thing, and she’s too young!” By the end of that week, he was trying to break it off over lunch at the Palm.

“I just put my hand on his and said, ‘It’s O.K., Greg. I understand. But you’re not going to be able to help yourself,'” said the impish Ms. Lipitz. “And a half hour later, we were making out again.”

She was promoted to producer earlier this year, and they are currently producing a stage version of the Steve Martin-Michael Caine flick Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. “And one day we’ll produce a family, too,” she said, Kate Hudson-esquely. In the meantime, there’s Hope Lipitz-Smith, the chow/golden-retriever mix with whom they share a two-bedroom in Tribeca. “I’m a freaky dog person,” said Hope’s “mom.”

“Amanda makes a lot of people feel very, very special,” Mr. Smith said. “Everyone needs a little bit of Amanda in their life-I truly believe she’s a star.”

“And to me, that’s the ultimate compliment,” said Ms. Lipitz, who recently took performance classes with the Upright Citizens Brigade.

She’ll wear a “dramatic” Candice Soloman gown to their showbiz-themed wedding ( Playbill s, etc.) at her mother’s Baltimore home. Guests will receive compilation discs of the couple’s favorite show tunes. “I never thought I’d find a straight guy who’d listen to musicals with me!” Ms. Lipitz said.

Since bride and groom are big fans of the Billy Joel musical Movin’ Out , she will walk down the aisle to “She’s Got a Way” and he to the beginning of “Scenes from an Italian Restaurant”-cutting off before Brenda and Eddie start to fight when the money gets tight.

Matthew Cooper and Lyndsey Grimes

Met: Sept. 6, 1999

Engaged: April 7, 2003

Projected Wedding Date: March 13, 2004

Lyndsey Grimes, 28, a vice president at Rubenstein Public Relations, is marrying Matthew Cooper, 31, a chiropractor at Manhattan Sports Medicine on East 58th Street. “He’s great,” said Ms. Grimes, a lissome creature with brown eyes and silky black hair down to her boobs. “He’ll adjust me whenever I want.”

“No, she doesn’t do my P.R.,” said the dashing, sloe-eyed doc. “Everyone is always asking me that.”

They met at the restaurant 212 after being fixed up by Dr. Cooper’s cousin (a classmate of Ms. Grimes’ from the University of Miami), but it took them a while to arrive at the same mental area code. “He has a quiet demeanor about him, and I have a very strong personality,” she said. “So at first I just thought he wasn’t interested in talking to me.” Dr. Cooper thought she was cute, though. “She’s always smiling,” he said, “and has these big dimples.”

Ms. Grimes ignored his follow-up phone call the next day. But later that week, she ran into him at a Video Music Awards party at Veruka, arm-in-arm with a model. That’ll do the trick, fellas! “I was like, ‘Wait-I think I’m missing out on something,'” she said. Dimples apologized for not getting back to him. “I think I have a little crush on you,” she confessed.

“I was like, ‘Sure, great,’ but it was kind of awkward because I was there with someone else,” Dr. Cooper said. “Luckily, the girl I’d brought didn’t really speak English.”

When they met again at Della Femina the next night, the relationship snapped into place like a pair of re-aligned vertebrae. “He’s a very kind, kind person,” Ms. Grimes said.

Cut to a snowy bridge in Venice, where they were vacationing after one of those hedonistic Under the Tuscan Sun weddings that are so au fait these days. Dr. Cooper suggested a gondola ride. “I want to spend the rest of my life with you,” he declared. “I’m like, ‘O.K., great, but let’s go back to the room,'” Ms. Grimes said. “It was so cold, and I was so tired.”

Then he gave her a chunky round diamond in an antique platinum pave setting.

“Suddenly she’s like, ‘ Now I’ll go on a gondola!'” he said.

She’ll wear a white satin Ulla-Maija dress when they wed at the Pleasantdale Château in West Orange, N.J. (his home state). They’re honeymooning in South Africa and moving into an Upper East Side junior four as soon as they close.

The bride-to-be has been enjoying plenty of gratis spinal treatments, of course. “But it’s hard to work on her,” said Dr. Cooper. “Because if I’m doing soft-tissue work and it hurts, she complains more than my other patients.”

“I never really realized that I had any back pain until we started dating,” Ms. Grimes said. “Now I have pain all the time.”