Countdown to Bliss

Sharon Wolfe and Michael Lord

First Met: Dec. 2, 1999

Engaged: Oct. 5, 2001

Projected Wedding Date: Oct. 12, 2002

Michael Lord was conceived on the Queen Elizabeth cruise ship, where his father worked in the engine room, en route from then-swinging London to suburban Long Island. Maybe because he began life in the tight quarters of a berth, Mr. Lord, 30, grew into a semi-professional neat freak.

When he’s not working on the trading floor for J.P. Morgan Chase, he’s home organizing his Murray Hill one-bedroom apartment into a feng-shui palace of love.

Last year his fiancée, Sharon Wolfe, encouraged him to take a six-month certification course to become a feng-shui consultant so that other people could start paying him to “harmonize” their living environments. “He’s the dream guy! He redid my closets!” said Ms. Wolfe, who’s 31, works for a staffing firm and sings in a pop band for fun.

When the two of them were set up by a mutual friend in late 1999, they met at the Wet Bar in the W Hotel on 39th Street and curled up on a sofa by the crackling fireplace. He ordered beer; she stuck to ginger ale. They discovered that they both had graduated from SUNY Oneonta, both had families affected by the Holocaust, and both idolized Bach and Ozzy Osbourne.

When it was time to leave, Mr. Lord stared down into Ms. Wolfe’s lovely green eyes, and she eyed his “luscious” top lip, but they copped out and went for the handshake.

They kissed on date No. 2, though, and spent the next year holding hands everywhere from Central Park to Colorado, Napa Valley to England.

When Mr. Lord decided to propose to Ms. Wolfe, he picked out a round diamond with a platinum setting, but then realized it just didn’t seem feng-shui perfect. He switched to antique white gold so it would be a “happy” ring.

He had planned to pop the question on a bench after they strolled from the Upper East Side into Central Park one evening, but Ms. Wolfe cut the walk short when her new, pointy-toed boots began to hurt. Her stomach growling, she dragged him to a nearby restaurant, Bello Bleu. But Mr. Lord didn’t feel comfortable there. “It was feng-shui incorrect,” he said.

So he took her to another fancy eatery, where he gulped wine, then suddenly blanched and pulled out a little box. An awkward little pas de deux ensued. “He was kind of in a mid-sit limbo between down on one knee and being on the chair,” said Ms. Wolfe. “I thought he was going to hug me, so I got up, and then he sat down, and then I sat and he got up. It was romantic.”

As they finished dinner, they called family and friends on their cell phones with the happy news.

At their fall wedding reception in the Hudson Valley, a guitarist from Ms. Wolfe’s band will skip the Ozzy Osbourne covers in favor of classic rock. Of course, Mr. Lord will ensure that the décor is feng shui.

-Anna Jane Grossman

Rebecca Felsen and William Sherman

Met: Oct. 13, 1999

Engaged: Feb. 11, 2002

Projected Wedding Date: Jan. 19, 2003

AsInternetdatingruns rampant, the Upper West Side clings fast to Drip, that coffeehouse on 84th and Amsterdam where you fill out personality profiles-nopicturesallowed-and pore over other romantichopefuls’paper dossiers. When you find one you like, Drip management sets you up on a coffee date.

Rebecca Felsen, a 33-year-old vice president of community-outreach programs for J.P. Morgan Chase, was cat-sitting at a friend’s Upper West Side apartment when she decided to give the Drip thing a shot. She was hoping to find someone a few steps up from the, er, drips she had met on the Internet. “One guy said he was active and sporty, but when he showed up he was literally dragging his foot behind him,” she said. “Another guy said he was funny, and I couldn’t have made him laugh if I was tickling both his sides hard.”

Upper West Sider Bill Sherman, a business consultant working in television and e-commerce, had had his own share of miserable blind dates before filling out a Drip profile on a whim. “A lot of women I went out with turned out to be freaks ,” he said. “One girl said she had a beautiful smile, and when I met her, her teeth were rotting and crooked .”

That wouldn’t be a problem with the well-groomed Ms. Felsen, who took no chances and skedaddled over to Saks for a free makeover before her date with Mr. Sherman at Drip. “Anyone who works around Rockefeller Center knows to do that,” she said.

Luckily, she found him “adorable and handsome as anything.”

Coffee led to dinner at Cafe con Leche, which led to Mr. Sherman asking her back to his Central Park West pad to “listen to some music.”

“Bullshit,” she thought to herself, “but what the hell.”

When she missed the last train back to Hoboken, N.J., he drove her home himself. And then called the very next day.

Several months later, they found themselves staring down at two fortune cookies at Tse Yang, a Chinese restaurant. Ms. Felsen reached for one and cracked it open. The fortune read, “Wrong cookie. Try again.” She cracked the second one. Out dropped a diamond ring and a fortune that read, “Rebecca, will you marry me?”

“I had to microwave a fortune cookie till it got mushy, and then stick the ring and fortune inside,” Mr. Sherman said.

They’re registered at Zabar’s.

-Blair Golson

Michael Davis and Stacy Levenson

Met: Nov. 7, 1999

Engaged: March 17, 2001

Projected Wedding Date: June 15, 2002

Twenty-nine-year-old Michael Davis is in the family business, a linens-rental service called the Cloth Connection. He first met Stacy Levenson, 28, when she came with a friend to the annual New York City Marathon party he throws at his First Avenue apartment. Ms. Levenson was looking down at the sweaty runners in short shorts flexing their quads on the street below. Mr. Davis was looking at her .

He took the green-eyed, raven-haired speech pathologist to a sweaty Knicks game the very next week.

Two basketball seasons later, Mr. Davis was the one perspiring. He and Ms. Levenson were strolling in Soho on St. Patrick’s Day. When they hit Prince Street, Mr. Davis convinced her to pop into a gallery called Art from the Heart. He said he wanted her to help him find new art for his apartment. “See anything you like?” he asked, nudging her over to a painting of a man and a woman in an embrace. On it was written “Stacy, will you marry me? Michael.”

“Is this for me?” she asked tearily.

He got down on one knee, forked over an oval diamond with trillions on each side set in platinum, then whisked her away in a white stretch limo to dine at Gotham Bar & Grill. The painting now hangs in the kitchen of the couple’s Upper East Side two-bedroom.

The Cloth Connection is providing custom-beaded, copper-colored table cloths for the couple’s black-tie wedding reception in Springfield, N.J.


Nicholas Gray and Katharine Clark

Met: October 2000

Met Again: October 2001

Engaged: March 14, 2002

Projected Wedding Date: March 2003

Nicholas Gray, 28, and Katie Clark, 26, are both actors, playwrights and ardent folk-music fans. They first met at the Bitter End at a performance of the underground folk-music guru Peter Mulvey, but in merely a “hi … bye” kind of way.

Last October, they vaguely recognized each other when they both auditioned (successfully, it turned out) for a troupe called the Hypothetical Theater Company. Ms. Clark was enchanted by Mr. Gray’s unruly dark curls and slate-colored eyes, but she tried to play it cool. “He was stealing my focus ,” she said.

The following week, Mr. Gray went to see Ms. Clark in an Off Off Broadway show called Meat , just to make sure she didn’t already have a stage-door Johnny. A few nights later, the Hypothetical gang was enjoying post-rehearsal drinks at the Old Triple Inn when Mr. Gray spotted Ben Affleck, Matt Damon and their entourage at a nearby table. When Mr. Affleck rebuffed Mr. Gray’s attempts to do a little careerist schmoozing, the latter decided that tonight was the night to put the moves on Ms. Clark. It worked.

This winter, she moved her belongings into Mr. Gray’s apartment in Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn. Then she left to tour for three months as Juliet in a Theater Works/USA production of Romeo & Juliet set in the future. The New York Times pronounced her “sultry.”

“Doing Romeo & Juliet , love was on the brain,” said the raspy-voiced Ms. Clark. “I don’t know if it would have been different if I’d been doing Macbeth .”

Meanwhile, you may have seen Mr. Gray playing a cop whose camera is confiscated by aliens on Unsolved Mysteries. He’s also currently writing a sitcom that he hopes will be picked up in Peru.

When Ms. Clark was on hiatus from her tour and back visiting in Brooklyn, Mr. Gray bent down on one knee in the living room near the TV and whipped out a white-gold ring with an inset diamond.

They are registered for a bunch of Tom Waits CD’s at

-A.J.G. Countdown to Bliss