John Adamek and Sarah Hanssen
Met: Feb. 2002
Engaged: Feb. 9, 2004
Projected Wedding Date: June 21, 2004
Hipster Christians! John Adamek, 28, an architect, and Sarah Hanssen, 27, a filmmaker, met at a weekend mixer in Vermont sponsored by the Manhattan Redeemer Presbyterian Church. Love first struck Ms. Hanssen when she spotted Mr. Adamek bruising parishioners during a game of “broomball,” a kind of makeshift hockey, on a frozen river. Not the most Christian virtue, but …. “Nobody else was as aggressive,” she said. “He looked like he was going to knock his teeth out.” And that can be hot.
After the Presbyterian posse arrived back in the city, they arranged for a night of karaoke in the Village, followed by a pilgrimage to Bowery Bar. Mr. Adamek and Ms. Hanssen couldn’t stop talking: not after they left the bar; not after he had escorted her home to her apartment in Tribeca; not after they strolled over the Brooklyn Bridge the next morning. They finally piped down during a matinee of Monster’s Ball -which they swear to God was the steamiest thing about their 18-hour first date. “I was attracted to her sense of humor, her faith and her street smarts,” said Mr. Adamek, a blue-eyed, wry Ohioan who spent his bachelor days in Williamsburg.
Ms. Hanssen is also blue-eyed, with freckles and a sexy gap between her teeth. The couple share a love of Shaker Villages and, now, that place in Tribeca. Yes, before wedlock-we told you, these are hipster Christians.
Mr. Adamek proposed at their “default” neighborhood restaurant, South’s on Church Street, when Ms. Hanssen-just returned from the Berlin International Film Festival-was conked out on Dramamine and a drink. He insisted on ordering dessert, even though his sweetheart had begun to doze off on his shoulder. She woke up in a hurry when their waitress bought over champagne, a beautiful Shaker box filled with lilies of the valley (her favorite flower) and an apricot-gold ring with a round-cut diamond from Reinstein/Ross in Soho.
“John has better taste than I do,” she said admiringly.
Mr. Adamek had spent some time choosing the ring, settling on one with a matte, wabi-sabi finish; the Japanese term, which he discovered when studying design, means something that draws its character from its flaws. “It’s not shiny,” he said. “We’re not shiny people.”
Indeed: They plan to marry at the northern edge of Strawberry Fields in Central Park, with only 16 in attendance, in order to avoid the red tape of getting a permit from the Parks Department. This modest ceremony will be followed by a big bash in September at the Brooklyn Brewery in Williamsburg. Ever the parsimonious Presbyterians, they plan to move back there eventually.
Jennifer Lynch and Demian Finn Wyma
Met: July 19, 2003
Engaged: Jan. 19, 2004
Projected Wedding Date: Sept. 19, 2004
Jennifer Lynch, 36, the auburn-haired senior director of VH1′s Save the Music charity, is marrying Demian Wyma, 34, an officer with the vice squad of the Los Angeles Police Department. “You meet a lot of cops and they’re like, ‘Me and my big gun’-but he really sees himself as a public servant,” she said.
The 6-foot-1, goateed Officer Wyma (his undercover duties require him to look “skanky,” Ms. Lynch explained) traveled secretly to her Chelsea brownstone to stage an elaborate proposal sting with candles, champagne and a note with instructions to dial his home phone number. When she obeyed, the call was forwarded to a cell phone. He was staking her out in a nearby frame store.
“What do you think?” Officer Wyma asked.
“You’re here!” said Ms. Lynch, using admirable police work: He had blown his cover by leaving a purple bath sheet hung up by the shower (she uses the beige towels).
Her plainclothes paramour then came bounding manfully up the stairs and busted out the classic “little blue box” from Tiffany, containing an Etoile-style ring with a round diamond in a platinum band.
Then he read her her Miranda rights and slipped her the nightstick.
The couple met after Officer Wyma, in town and off-duty, joined a group of mutual friends for a Saturday-night dinner at Lunchbox, a restaurant on the West Side Highway. His manly physique was clearly visible through his short-sleeved, tailored shirt and baggy jeans. “Very L.A. swingers,” Ms. Lynch said, who promptly handed over her e-mail address.
When she got into work on Monday, there was a message from him reading: “I don’t know what your problem is but it’s been 36 hours and you haven’t called or e-mailed me-what are you trying to pull?”
Luckily, Ms. Lynch read that as “funny” rather than freaky.
After a month and a half of intense cyber-courtship, she went to visit him at his three-bedroom house in the foothills of L.A. “It was so all done at that point,” she said.
They vowed to never go more than three weeks without seeing each other again. “I think we know we’ll be happier together than we were apart,” said Officer Wyma from his aforementioned cell phone, outside his office in Reseda, Calif.
The wedding will be near her family’s summer house in Cape Cod, at a church that is “not Crucifixion Central,” as Ms. Lynch put it (she is Catholic; Officer Wyma is Jewish), with a 200-person reception to follow at Ocean Edge, a turn-of-the-century estate. “Finding him was the hard part,” Ms. Lynch said. “The rest will work itself out.” This is one of her favorite sayings.
“I love that,” her fiancé said.
Officer Wyma is currently looking for jobs in New York, maybe with the Motion Picture Association of America’s fraud unit or the United Nations. As they say in L.A., whatever .
Michael Cipolla and Johanna Ada Rome
Met: March 2003
Engaged: April 29, 2004
Projected wedding date: May 22, 2005
Cheating: It’s not usually the best way to win a girl’s affection, but it worked for Mike Cipolla, 25. Twice. O.K., not that kind of cheating …. Mr. Cipolla, a charismatic, wiry insurance adjuster working out of Melville, N.Y. (that’s on Long Island), first caught sight of competitive horseback rider Josie Rome when she was cramming for one of their company’s aptitude tests. She was hard to miss: a blonde with big eyes the color of water on a New England beach. He dropped an anonymous slip of paper in the fold of her textbook that read: “Study all the words in bold and you’ll pass the test.”
Not only did she pass, but Ms. Rome, 27, later agreed to a date. Score! Mr. Cipolla brought her to Max’s Tavern in Rockville Center (yes, we’re still on Long Island), where he happened to be old friends with the manager, assuring special treatment. “He opened all the doors and was right on time,” said Ms. Rome appreciatively.
“I just thought she was so beautiful,” Mr. Cipolla said. “When we talked at work, it was like we knew each other before.”
After a few months of interoffice romance, however, they took a hiatus-prompted by Ms. Rome, who was still getting over an old flame, an accountant. She buried her sorrows in the thick mane of her Trakehner, Whirl.
Mr. Cipolla retaliated by switching printers so that he didn’t have to walk by her desk. “It was ugly,” he said.
So was the next exam Ms. Rome had to take, a medical-claims test. Her frustrated suitor watched in anguish as she sat a few tables away, laughing and flipping through the pages, her head in her hands. Finally he could take it no longer, asked her to meet him outside and handed over his crib sheet. Whereupon she melted. “He took care of me,” said Ms. Rome, who was given up for adoption as an infant. “I felt really safe with him.”
They have since moved to a different insurance company, their chicanery undetected.
Last winter, Ms. Rome took Mr. Cipolla on a trip to Sydney, Australia, to meet her birth mother.
When they returned from the emotional trip, he surprised her after a horseback-riding session at her apartment in East Meadow (yep, still on Long Island) with a 1.3-carat princess-cut diamond set in white gold. Giddy-up, girlfriend!
Actually, it wasn’t that much of a surprise. “She was really pushing the issue,” Mr. Cipolla joked. “She should have asked me to marry her.” Ah, but the old taboos are still intact, aren’t they?
After hearing his proposal, Ms. Rome leaped into his arms and remained there for five minutes. “It was very unceremonious,” he said.
They’ll be walking down the aisle on the isle of Manhattan: at Bridgewaters in the South Street Seaport. The bride is growing out her shoulder-length hair and plans to wear a “big gown” for the occasion.
Follow Anna Schneider-Mayerson via RSS.