Peter Arkle and Amy Goldwasser
Met: June 1999
Engaged: July 3, 2005
Projected Wedding Date: August 2005
Amy Goldwasser was mingling at the Chelsea bar Passerby during the birthday party of a friend, straining to make conversation with a laconic but handsome (and shaven-headed) Scotsman, when she flashed back to the words of a psychic named Maria that she’d consulted several months prior.
“He’ll have few words to say at first, but then—boy, will he have a lot to say,” Maria had predicted about Ms. Goldwasser’s future man. “You’re also going to receive an invitation to a beach, and it ain’t going to be no Hamptons.”
When the Scotsman—one Peter Arkle, a freelance illustrator who produces a charming eponymous newsletter—mentioned an expedition he was organizing to search for horseshoe crabs at Plum Beach, Ms. Goldwasser felt a prescient tingling sensation. “Oooh!” she exclaimed. “Horseshoe crabs—that sounds interesting.”
“Alice can fax you the information,” Mr. Arkle replied, alluding to the birthday girl. But there was something disinterested about his response. Girlfriend? Or … gay? Ms. Goldwasser thought worriedly. (This was Chelsea, after all ….)
“I don’t know if it’s just me or all men, but I knew you were interested, so I was scared,” Mr. Arkle recalled later. Still, after slogging back to his apartment in Park Slope that night, he wrote in his journal: “I met a woman with the most amazing eyes.”
Though discouraged by her friends, Ms. Goldwasser—a slender, pixie-coiffed brunette who was then the editor of Metropolis magazine—decided to attend the outing. “I kind of felt she was going to come,” said Mr. Arkle. “And that’s kind of arrogant and weird, because I didn’t encourage her that much.”
Following a leisurely stroll amidst the muck, sand and discarded hypodermic needles, the Plum Beach group stopped in a local fish restaurant. One platter arrived with a very nasty-looking clam.
“It was completely enormous, and phallic, and disgusting,” said Mr. Arkle, who promptly downed it—to impress Ms. Goldwasser, he confessed. The following evening, he was struck with food poisoning. After he recovered, he called Alice to make sure that Amy … and, er, everyone else was O.K. Alice gave him Ms. Goldwasser’s phone number.
Their first date was a stand-up comedy show at Here Theater, during a gay-and-lesbian festival. (The couple showed up late, enduring heckles of “breeders!”) Shortly into their courtship, Ms. Goldwasser decided to embark on a freelance career. Three years later, the duo set up dual home offices in an Alphabet City apartment. Mr. Arkle, 37, has adorned the walls with his series of potato paintings, and both inhabitants have filled the CD racks with eclectic musical selections from all over the world.
Though they joked that they would never marry, Mr. Arkle started to feel sentimental during one of the couple’s annual trips to Scotland (their cat and Ms. Goldwasser’s grandmother had both recently died).
When they got back to New York, he took her for a walk in Soho and bought her a sexy black crocheted frock—over her protests—at Catherine Malandrino. “It’s one of those dresses where people are going to be looking to try and see if you’re naked or not,” Mr. Arkle said.
“I kind of wanted you to have it,” he told her, “because I’ve been thinking: Will you marry me?”
The couple plans to be wed at City Hall. Ms. Goldwasser, 34, will don her special dress for a party for their New York friends, at a location still to be determined. Our crystal ball says it’s going to be a rockin’ bash!
Abby Spiegel and Heath Sroka
Met: Fall 1999
Engaged: June 16, 2005
Projected Wedding Date: Fall 2006
Abby Spiegel, a blond, bronzed, 23-year-old account executive at the lifestyle Web site DailyCandy.com, is marrying Heath Sroka, 24, a sharp-jawed, dark-haired equity trader. He proposed outside her Upper West Side apartment building, bearing a hand-painted sign reading “Will You Marry Me?” in front of a hired horse and buggy and a cheering crowd that had gathered while he waited for her to finish primping. “It was like having tunnel vision,” Mr. Sroka said. “It was like in the movies, where they pause everything else.”
“I thought he was picking me up in a taxi,” Ms. Spiegel said.
After she accepted, the rig lugged them to the restaurant Osteria del Circo, where members of Ms. Spiegel’s family—some of whom had schlepped in from California—were waiting to congratulate the new couple. Even former Mayor Rudy Giuliani was there to mark the glorious event. “Not really for us,” Ms. Spiegel said, “but we pretended.”
The couple first met at Colgate University, where Mr. Sroka saw Ms. Spiegel strolling across campus in expensive-looking flip-flops. “Prada?” he asked.
“I thought he was a freak,” Ms. Spiegel said.
They developed a friendship steeped in sexual tension, only making out late one night after a storm set the appropriate mood. “It was a prah-cess,” Ms. Spiegel said in a thick Westchester accent. She attended Riverdale Country School in da Bronx. In college, she was competitive but ladylike. “She’d be worried about doing better than me,” Mr. Sroka said.
One evening before they graduated, he arranged a small party of friends in one of the college’s outdoor common spaces. The couple was snuggling languidly under an alcove of tiki torches when Ms. Spiegel alluded to their eventual wedding date.
“Oh, I’m not going to marry you,” Mr. Sroka said.
Ms. Spiegel’s jaw dropped. “What do you mean, you’re not going to marry me?” she thundered.
As it happened, it wasn’t long before Mr. Sroka caved and the two went on an intensive ring-shopping expedition to the Big Three: Tiffany, Fortunoff and Harry Winston. Remember, this is one of those DailyCandy chicks we’re talking about here—a real pro. “I knew vaguely what she wanted, but she changed her mind every two minutes,” her suitor complained.
Eventually, Mr. Sroka settled on a three-carat cushion-cut diamond acquired through his family jeweler, Jhana Fine Jewelry, in Milburn, N.J. He secured her father’s permission the old-fashioned way, over dinner at Dinosaur BBQ in Harlem. Prior to staging his elaborate proposal, he Googled for the perfect words with which to ask for Ms. Spiegel’s hand.
He later found out that Ms. Spiegel had also Googled in search of the perfect response.