Countdown to Bliss

Jay Bushman and Meredith Fisher

Met: January 1991 Engaged: Oct. 15, 2000 Projected Wedding Date: June 29, 2002

The Mets were creaming the Cardinals in the playoffs, and Jay Bushman was sitting in the bleachers, happy: His girlfriend, Meredith Fisher, had just brought him a hot dog.

He looked down and saw a silver metal ring sticking into the moist meat, between the folds of the bun. “Would you do me the honor of becoming my husband?” she asked. He wiped his tears and wiped off the ring.

Then he ate the weenie.

“It’s frighteningly like When Harry Met Sally ,” said Mr. Bushman, a tall, goateed artsy type who is working on screenplays and has a play, The Waiting Room , currently playing Off Off Broadway.

Yes, if Sally had gone through a lesbian phase as an undergraduate ….

“It was the 90’s!” said Ms. Fisher, a poised, blue-eyed brunette currently in job limbo.

She and Mr. Bushman were movie buddies back then, at George Washington University. “She scared the living daylights out of me at first,” he said. “At one point I was dating this girl, and we ran into Meredith on the street. When we left, the girl said, ‘She made me feel like a little girl with skinned knees.'”

After graduation, they both spent the summer in D.C. and became the best of friends. Ms. Fisher had landed a weekend gig as a gossip columnist at The Washington Post . During the week, she’d go out for sushi and watch Mike Leigh flicks with Mr. Bushman. She’d set him up with her girlfriends. He’d set her up with his girlfriends. But in the end, it was clear that they really just had eyes for each other.

“Anytime a relationship seemed to go anywhere, Meredith would get territorial,” explained Mr. Bushman.

At one point, he told her: “Listen, I’m going to take all these feelings and signals I’m getting from you and I’m going to put them in a little box and put the box away, and they’ll never come back … unless you want them to come back.” Typical Mets fan, eh?

By 1999, like everyone else, they both had dot-com jobs in New York, and she finally fell on him after a few drinks at one of those fabled, decadent Christmas bashes. They moved into her Chelsea apartment, where they’d awake under a whirling ceiling fan, the audio soundtrack of Apocalypse Now -their favorite movie-blaring from the CD alarm clock. They’re planning to honeymoon in Vietnam, as a sort of homage to Francis Ford Coppola.

Evan Stavisky and Kristen Zebrowski

Met: May 15, 1999 Engaged: May 25, 2001 Wedding Date: June 9, 2002

Second-generation policy wonk, meet second-generation policy wonk!

Kristen Zebrowski, 31, is the daughter of Ken Zebrowski, who has served on the Rockland County legislature (formerly as chairman and majority leader) for five terms. In the spring of 1999, Dad decided to run for a State Senate seat against Republican State Senator Tom Morahan, and Ms. Zabrowski, a tall blonde, went “Gore girl” and volunteered for him full-time. One crowded day at election headquarters in Congress, N.Y., she noticed a handsome fellow in wire-rimmed glasses and a snazzy designer suit across a sea of campaign volunteers in grungy T-shirts.

It was Evan Stavisky, co-founder of the Parkside Group, a Democratic consulting firm based in Queens, and son of New York State Senator and Queens political legend Leonard Stavisky. Parkside people have worked with Mario Cuomo and Fernando Ferrer, and most of the New York City Council’s freshman class has Mr. Stavisky to thank for their seats.

Alas, his magic touch didn’t work in this instance-Zabrowski père lost by a slim margin-but his daughter had found herself a new boyfriend.

The elder Mr. Stavisky died later that year, and Ms. Zebrowski helped his son through the ordeal. “She was there for me in more ways than I can even describe or appreciate,” he said. (His mother went on to take the seat in a special election.)

“He’s the sweetest person I’ve ever known,” said Ms. Zebrowski, who’s now administrative coordinator at the Bank Street College of Education. “We were meant to be. By the second date, I knew we’d be married.”

They celebrated their two-year anniversary together in Paris. They were strolling the banks of the Seine at twilight when he said, “I want to spend the rest of my life with you. Let’s get married.”

“Are you kidding?” she asked.

Mais non . She’s now wearing a platinum ring with baguettes and an old-fashioned 2.4-carat “mine cut” diamond that belonged to his great-great-grandmother. They will wed in her family’s own nursery and botanical gardens in Spring Valley, N.Y., with lots of wonks in attendance.

They plan to honeymoon in Alaska. “It’s the one state I’ve never been to,” said Mr. Stavisky, who is 33.

Hollis Fuller and Matthew Morris

Met: Nov. 7, 1999 Engaged: May 18, 2002 Projected Wedding Date: April 26, 2003

Hollis Fuller, 31, is marketing manager for a trio of teeny-bopper magazines and a member of the Junior League, but what she really loves is to read-Victorian literature mostly, though she’s been known to stick her nose in the occasional “urban city-girl” novel like Breakfast at Tiffany ‘s or, more recently, Bridget Jones’s Diary .

She’d been logging a lot of hours at her local Barnes & Noble, sucking back soy-milk specialty drinks, staring out over Columbus Avenue from the sweeping windows and wondering if her sweetie, Matthew Morris, would ever propose. (And asking herself, if he did, would she be able to stand becoming “Mrs. Hollis Morris”?)

She fretted so much that she lost eight pounds one week this spring, like a consumptive Victorian heroine.

The two met at the New York City marathon, where she was passing out sponges to runners with some other Patagonia-clad Junior Leaguers. Mr. Morris wasn’t running that year, but might’ve been (he’s currently in training for a Montauk triathlon), and he stopped to introduce himself. “Kind of young,” thought Ms. Fuller at the time.

“She’s the prettiest girl in New York City,” said Mr. Morris, 34, who works long hours as an investment banker at Banc of America Securities.

After coming home one too many times at 2 a.m. to find his sleepy girlfriend pointing out proposal scenes in her favorite books, he woke up early one Saturday morning and drove three hours to Providence, R.I., to secure the blessing of Ms. Fuller’s father. Then he zoomed back to New York and took her to the King Cole Bar at the St. Regis hotel (the site of their first date), where he got down on one knee and surprised her with a large, emerald-cut diamond with tapered baguettes in a platinum setting.

Now she can eat again!

The pair will marry in Providence. She’s reading Diary of a Mad Bride for inspiration.

Michael Lieberman and Jessie Washburne-Harris

Met: May 1999 Engaged: Dec. 26, 2001 Projected Wedding Date: Oct. 13, 2002

Is there room for love in an art world that produces chopped-up cows and defecating machines?

Apparently so.

Michael Lieberman, 28, first noticed Jessie Washburne-Harris, 29, back when the two had junior positions at the Gagosian Gallery. They’d compare gourmet salads at lunch time and spend weekends gallery-hopping in Soho and Chelsea.

“A lot of people in the art world are strange for the sake of being strange,” said Mr. Lieberman, who has long lashes and a collection of Paul Smith socks, “but I just thought Jessie was very down to earth.”

When they’d part ways on Saturday nights to go on dates with other people, the blue-eyed, Marc Jacobs–sporting Ms. Washburne-Harris would think to herself: Geez, I wish I were going out with Michael Lieberman tonight instead .

“Michael was just unlike any other guy that I’d ever met in that he was incredibly intelligent,” she said. “He’s the only person I know that reads The New York Times on Sundays cover to cover-also Monday through Friday. He’s very up on foreign affairs; I just find that very refreshing.”

One night they were sharing a cab home from a party, and he leaned in for a kiss.

“We can’t kiss!” she said, giggling nervously. “We work together!”

We all know that’s not exactly taboo in millennial Manhattan. But Ms. Washburne-Harris, 29, had her qualms. “I just didn’t think it was very kosher to go out with someone I worked with,” she said. “It was a foreign concept to me.”

She tried to end it one day at a Madison Avenue diner.

“Let’s just be friends,” she said.

“O.K., let’s be friends,” he said.

“What do you mean , ‘Let’s be friends’?!” she said, suddenly indignant.

Fast-forward to a ski trip in Telluride, high up in a gondola lift above the glittering lights and the moonlit snow, when he took off a glove, reached in his pocket, and took out a dazzling round diamond set in platinum.

In February, they moved into a spacious two-bedroom near their favorite dinner place, Babbo. The airy rooms are filled with work by Cecily Brown, Vik Muniz and Thomas Scheibitz, plus Frank Gehry apple-crate chairs and a flat-screen TV. They’re registered at Moss on Greene Street and will pick up some more things in Copenhagen this summer.

Oh, and Mr. Lieberman found a job at the Lombard-Freid Fine Arts gallery, so the marriage will be completely kosher. Countdown to Bliss