Countdown to Bliss

Ulrich (Uli) Bader and Rosalie O’Connor

Met: Dec. 10, 2000

Engaged: June 10, 2001

Projected Wedding Date: Aug. 10, 2002

It’s sorta like The Red Shoes , but with a much happier ending. American Ballet Theater corps member Rosalie O’Connor, 32, is going to marry Ulrich (Uli) Bader, 32, a German-born former professional cellist who’s now artistic administrator of the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

They met when Ms. O’Connor was visiting friends in Georgetown, who had invited Mr. Bader for a pre-dinner drink. “He didn’t know I was a dancer, and he started peppering me with questions,” said Ms. O’Connor, who has the dreamy blue eyes and long blond hair that little-girl ballerina fantasies are made of.

By happy accident, they both were heading to Orange County, Calif., the following week (Ms. O’Connor to dance the Summer Fairy in Cinderella , Mr. Bader to visit his uncles for the holidays). He saw her perform and sent her red roses. The next week, he baked her a German chocolate cake in her Riverside Drive apartment, and that was that.

When their relationship reached the half-year mark, he took her to the Indian restaurant Nirvana on Central Park South after her performance that night in Don Quixote . Thus fortified, they returned to her place, where he perched her on her bed and brought out a large black bag and a long scroll of square papers tied together with blue and yellow ribbons. On it, in florid calligraphy, he’d written a poetic litany of all they’d done together.

“Happy six months, joyful 26 weeks, glorious 182 days!” he read aloud in his sing-songy German way. Then he began placing special tokens from their relationship on the bed: tickets from when they’d taken the Circle Line together, faxes and postcards they’d exchanged, snapshots that Ms. O’Connor, who moonlights in photography, had taken. He reminded her of the time she was sick on tour out West and he FedExed her favorite applesauce. He took out a lemon cake that he’d baked.

“It was insane,” she said.

Then he pulled out a little black box.

“Would you dream with me in days and nights, and dance with me in the summer rain?” he said, still reading. “Would you build a castle of imagination with me, and circle the world with me in a ship of life and love?”

Inside the box was a yellow-gold ring with two diamonds framing a sapphire (Europeans often give colored stones for engagements).

“You, my love / Dear Rosalie, / Will you come / To marry me?”

Well, ja , when you put it like that!

The fraulein plans on hanging up the toe shoes and becoming a photographer full-time when she becomes a frau . (Her work has already appeared in Vogue and The New York Times , and can also be seen in ads for Movado watches on phone booths citywide.) The invitations to their Old Lyme, Conn., wedding will feature a shot she took of two dancers clasping hands. She’ll trade in her tutu for a gown festooned with pearl beading and pale blue tulle. The groom is leaving the cake to Sylvia Weinstock.

Anissa Karp and Robert Klein

Met: Jan. 26, 2000

Engaged: Jan. 25, 2002

Projected Wedding Date: June 22, 2003

Anissa Karp, 25, works in the finance department of J. Walter Thompson. One morning, her boss informed her that a car was going to take them both to a meeting downtown, and then they’d have the afternoon off. Whoo-hoo! Ms. Karp figured. I’ll get home early and go bowling with a girlfriend!

Meanwhile, Robert Klein, a 26-year-old client adviser at a midtown money-management firm, was in the couple’s midtown one-bedroom, frantically packing bags. He threw in 25 pairs of Ms. Karp’s underwear and her entire makeup drawer. Then he hopped in a chauffeured Lincoln town car.

He was waiting in the back seat when Ms. Karp’s boss opened the car door and shoved her in.

“Surprise!” said Mr. Klein. “You’re being kidnapped.”

“I can’t go with you!” said Ms. Karp, comprehension dawning slowly. “I have a meeting!”

Before long, they were at LaGuardia. “Will I be home in time for bowling?” she said feebly.

After they landed in South Beach, Miami, and checked into their hotel, Mr. Klein suggested that they walk to dinner along the beach.

“I’m not walking in the sand in these shoes,” she said. But once outside, Ms. Karp was surprised to find a white blanket, rose petals and pillows arrayed along the water‘s edge.

Mr. Klein bent down on one knee, but before he could finish his spiel and proffer the platinum ring he’d purchased (round diamond, two baguettes), Ms. Karp let out a yelp and toppled him onto the sand. The couple’s parents had never met, but they were waiting at the restaurant, all four of them, with flutes of champagne and silly grins.

The well-organized Mr. Klein had come a long way from when he was a Cornell undergraduate and noticed Ms. Karp around campus, but was too shy to ask her out. Not to mention one of their first dates, at a Houston’s in midtown, when he started choking on a tortilla chip at the bar and had to flee to the bathroom to dislodge it. “I thought you were retarded,” Ms. Karp told him.

“He keeps calling and sending me flowers!” she said to her mother early in the relationship. “I’m not used to this! He’s a nerd!”

“If you let this guy go,” replied Mom, “I’ll kill you.”

Andrew Chait and Hedy Hartman

Met: June 15, 2000

Engaged: Feb. 27, 2002

Projected Wedding Date: Sept. 29, 2002

Destiny has been subtly nudging Andrew Chait, 42, and Hedy Hartman, 47, together for decades.

Both help run Oriental antiques and décor businesses that were founded by their respective grandfathers in the 1920’s. Both were raised on East 88th Street. He went to Dwight; she attended its then sister school, the Franklin School. Their parents socialized. Both families attended Temple Emanu-El. And yet somehow they never met. The spunky, athletic Ms. Hartman met and married a computer geek, whom she divorced in 1999.

A couple of years ago, she volunteered to be an usher at the temple, where the tall and distinguished-looking Mr. Chait was pleased to show her the, er, ropes.

They became inseparable, attending lots of Yankee games and enjoying romps with Ms. Hartman’s golden retriever, Victoria.

After less than two months of romance, the two walked home together one night after ushering at a particularly scintillating lecture and decided that it was just meant to be.

“We’re the perfect people for each other,” said Mr. Chait.

Ms. Hartman is now wearing the emerald-cut diamond and sapphire ring that once belonged to Mr. Chait’s grandmother. They’ll be married at Temple Emanu-El, with a black-tie-optional reception to follow at the Mark Hotel. They’re registered for lots of Wedgewood china at Bloomingdale’s-but please, folks, no Oriental vases.

Jaime Cohen and Darren Klein

Met: Feb. 10, 1999

Engaged: March 13, 2002

Projected Wedding Date: Nov. 16, 2002

Jaime Cohen, a 29-year-old Upper East Sider, and Darren Klein, 30, of Center Reach, Long Island, were introduced by a mutual friend, Mae Lewis. “She’s single, Jewish and hot!” Ms. Lewis told Mr. Klein. “He’s single, Jewish and hot!” Ms. Lewis told Ms. Cohen.

Ms. Lewis arranged for Ms. Cohen, then the human-resources director at an Internet advertising firm, to “interview” Mr. Klein. Mr. Klein was happy at his job as an ad representative for The New York Times ‘ Web site, but he went along with the ruse, presenting his résumé (Wharton!), flashing his bright blue eyes, and telling her about his adventures backpacking around the world the previous year. “It was the best interview I ever did,” said Ms. Cohen, a preppy, bespectacled brunette.

Indeed. After she offered him a position, he told her that the interviewer was more interesting to him than the interview, and that he’d love to take her to a Corrs concert. Not long afterwards, he was humming “Total Eclipse of the Sun” and other favorite tunes of the 1980’s in her ear as he dragged her on backpacking trips through Central America and Europe.

His proposal, which he recorded on a mini-disc player, featured him playing a song on his guitar that ended, “Jaime, will you marry me?” Along with a diamond solitaire engagement ring, he presented her with a CD dubbed the “Will You Marry Me Mix” that featured Marc Anthony and Oasis. Insisting he capture the moment on film, he pushed an Elmo doll into her arms. “Take this-it’ll help you relax,” he said.

“He’s so sweet,” she said. “He’ll hide stuffed animals in the pockets of my coats, and then I’ll find them when I get to work. He’s playful in a Romper Room kind of way.”

At their wedding in Kingston, N.Y., 280 guests will slurp all-you-can-eat sundaes from Stewart’s, the upstate ice-cream chain. Countdown to Bliss