Countdown to Bliss

Loren Hammonds and Kahlila Robinson

Met: 1982

Engaged: Oct. 9, 2005

Projected Wedding Date: Nov. 25, 2006

Loren Hammonds, a.k.a. “Mojo the Cinematic,” a vocalist for the hip-hop band Dujeous, plans to marry Kahlila Robinson, a candidate for a doctorate in clinical psychology at City College. The ceremony and reception are being organized by Soraya Jollon, an independent wedding planner based in Brooklyn, at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine.

The couple were both part of the crème de la crème (some call ’em precocious brats!) who attend Hunter College Elementary School. “He was the cool older kid in kindergarten,” said the supple-skinned, sweet-smiled Ms. Robinson, 28. They went on to Hunter High, where both sang in the jazz chorus and joined student theater groups. He directed a play she wrote called Spare Change, about two girls who meet at a bus stop; in a dramatic twist, one turns out to be homeless. “It was M. Night before M. Night,” said the funky, bespectacled Mr. Hammonds, 29, with a hearty laugh. By then Ms. Robinson had developed a serious crush, but he was already involved with a student, a senior, that he’d met on the set of Hair. “To this day, I don’t like him to sing anything from Hair,” Ms. Robinson said testily.

“It’s all right,” Mr. Hammonds muttered. “She’s married, has kids now.”

After graduation, Ms. Robinson matriculated at Cornell, where she majored in hospitality, while Mr. Hammonds was off to the music conservatory at SUNY Purchase (paaar-tay!). She ran into him at a couple of bashes—Hunter kids tend to clump together in social situations—and thought, He looks good. Finally, Mr. Hammonds invited her over to his place in Long Island City, where he was living at the time with this band, for some homemade fettuccine Alfredo. “I was very impressed,” Ms. Robinson said. After the noodles came the canoodles. “It broke open the floodgates,” she said. “And I’ve been cooking dinner ever since,” he said.

They proclaimed their love for one another after only two months of dating, on vacation in St. Martin, after splashing in crystal-blue water, pigging out on Caribbean food, and giggling in their hotel room at a Dateline interview gone awry.

Post-Cornell, Ms. Robinson got a job at Le Parker Meridien, crashing at her parents’ pad on the Upper West Side before scoring her own studio in Fort Greene. Mr. Hammonds joined her in a one-bedroom nearby a year later and proposed near Bethesda Fountain in Central Park on what, coincidentally, turned out to be John Lennon’s birthday.

“We’ve been together for so long, and I want to spend the rest of my life with you,” he said, presenting her with a brilliant-cut, white-gold and pavé-set diamond sandwiched between two sapphires (her birthstone).

“Yes,” Ms. Robinson said, as tears streamed down her face and passersby beseeched her to sign a card for Yoko.

Michele Eggers and Aimmon Lago

Met: Oct. 31, 1999

Engaged: Sept. 2, 2005

Projected Wedding Date: Sept. 29 and 30, 2006

He’s so nice, she’s marrying him twice! Michele Eggers, 27, a stalwart events planner for Sports Illustrated who is no relation to writer Dave Eggers (we think), is organizing not one but two weddings to her sweetheart, Aimmon Lago, 26, a contractor for Accenture, a technology consulting firm. The first will be a small private ceremony at Via Maria Del Mar Chapel; the second, a 200-person gala at the Seascape Resort. Both locations are in Santa Cruz, where Mr. Lago grew up. “It’s to buck the Catholic system,” said the bride-to-be, referring to that church’s tenet that nuptials can’t take place indoors.

The couple currently share a one-bedroom on the Upper East Side. “I didn’t want to live with anyone until I was married,” said Ms. Eggers, a native of Danville, Calif. “Then I got to the city and saw how high the rent is.”

They met while attending Santa Clara University, that playground of the bronzed, blond and beautiful. Ms. Eggers (blond, beautiful), working for the campus athletic department, recruited Mr. Lago’s seatmate for a halftime kickoff contest during a Halloween football game. “No, no, pick me,” said Mr. Lago (blond, bronzed), who went on to win handily in his makeshift pimp costume of sheer black shirt, grandpa-style high-water pants and a gold chain. He distributed his candy prize to children in the crowd.

Later that evening, Ms. Eggers—who, by the way, is a candy freak, a regular Wilhelmina Wonka—got dressed up as Superwoman and ran into Mr. Lago at a party. But nothing came of it. “She was attracted to a really studly basketball player that night,” he said.

Two months later, though, after another chance encounter on campus, they set up a “play date” at his apartment. Meaning: an evening of soccer and video games. “It seemed like a good idea at the time,” Mr. Lago said.

Date Number 2: hiking and a picnic at Big Sur, followed by a drive to his folks’ place, where she met Ma, Pa, brother and sister Lago. “By that time, I was totally into him,” Ms. Eggers said, though the evening was marred when she stubbed and broke her pinky toe on a car in the parking lot. (The following Easter, wearing a cute green sundress, she fell neck-deep into an algae-filled fish pond she mistook for grass. Klutz much?)

After graduating, Mr. Lago started working for Accenture in Santa Cruz, and Ms. Eggers began working at the San Diego Convention Center, freelancing occasionally as an event planner. She was poised to join him up north when SI sent her to Athens for the Olympics, then offered her a full-time job in New York that began in the dead of winter.

It was a difficult adjustment from the Golden State for Ms. Eggers, whose heaviest piece of clothing at the time was a denim jacket. She shacked up with her identical twin sister Jenny, a copywriter, before Mr. Lago got his company to transfer him here. The transplants have enjoyed exploring the city’s bookshops and occasionally playing Frisbee, as Californians are wont to do, in Central Park.

Two months after they began living together, Ms. Eggers flew to San Diego for a bachelorette party. She thought she was going to have dinner with a friend’s grandparents, but when she got out of the car, Mr. Lago was waiting for her. “What are you doing here?” she exclaimed, her eyes filling with prescient tears.

Ms. Eggers’ friends tossed her belongings from the car and drove off. Mr. Lago brought her to the next staging area of the conspiracy: a grassy knoll, where he got down not on one but on two knees. “There are so many things I want to say to you, but I have a whole lifetime to say them,” he said, slipping a platinum ring containing three princess-cut diamonds in a row onto her finger. Then they went sailing.

“Is there anything you want to celebrate with?” inquired the captain. Mr. Lago pulled out an enormous bag of gummy worms, Ms. Eggers’ favorite confection, inspiring a fresh round of happy tears. “I’ve never seen so much candy,” she said. “I was more excited than I was with the ring.”

Countdown to Bliss