Kevin Croke and Laurayne Teutschman
Met: Dec. 8, 1999
Engaged: Dec. 7, 2002
Projected Wedding Date: Aug. 20, 2003
Meet the happy hoteliers!
Laurayne Teutschman, 33, is a manager who sells conference space for Manhattan’s five sleek W hotels. Kevin Croke, also 33, is director of sales and marketing at the more old-school Roosevelt, on 45th Street. His hotel offers a conservative ballroom perfect for bar mitzvahs; her boasts plastic sheets for combining food and sex.
They met at an industry holiday party at the Rihga Royal. At the time, she was working for the Roosevelt, where he was about to transfer from a Hilton near Wall Street. The burly, baby-faced Mr. Croke apparently was a bit of an industry rake. “The hotel business is predominantly female,” he said. “And without a doubt, being young, single and in the hotel business, you can do a lot of fun things. From the time I got to New York, I never had a serious relationship that was more than a few months.”
He was introduced to Ms. Teutschman and a bunch of other Roosevelt “gals” (a favorite word of his) as their soon-to-be boss, and was entranced by the dimple on the left side of her mouth and her soft, hospitable voice. “I made several advances to Laurayne in a variety of ways, and she always shot me down,” he said. “Like we’d go out, and I’d try to grab her and kiss her in the back of taxis. I’d say, ‘Give me a little sugar,’ and she’d jump out of the cab!”
“It was difficult,” said Ms. Teutschman, an Upper East Sider. She eventually gave into his advances. “He was the boss and I was the peon, and I had to be subservient to him, and that’s not a good way to have a relationship.”
He dubbed her a “model employee.” “We got to two or three months and I said, ‘Usually you’d be done by now, but actually things are going pretty good,'” Mr. Croke said. What a charmer!
In a career-saving move, she moved to the W last spring, and then they “came out” to his staff with a big Al-and-Tipper-style kiss at another office party.
When they went on a field trip to pick out a Christmas tree near Tarrytown, where he lives, Mr. Croke suggested that she add a certain two-carat “ornament” (with four baguettes in platinum) to a tree branch before they cut down the pine. “No, no, no!” she said in surprise. Back at his townhouse, he fed her chocolate-covered strawberries and they drank champagne chilled in a monogrammed Roosevelt bucket.
Their wedding will be at the Dolce Tarrytown House, and he’s arranging antiquing trips, golfing and boat cruises in case the guests get bored with the hotel’s pools and tennis courts. “We just want everyone to have a good time,” she said. They’ll honeymoon in Hawaii-hello, industry discount!
“He’s a great guy,” said Ms. Teutschman, who might want to start stocking up on complimentary ear plugs (her beloved snores). Meanwhile, Mr. Croke has affectionately dubbed his mate “Anal Annabelle” for her Maid in Manhattan –esque qualities. “She’s a perfectionist and wants to make sure that people around her are taken care of,” said Mr. Croke. More importantly, “she takes good care of me ,” he said.
Paul Haas and Suzette Won
Met: February 1999
Engaged: June 6, 2001
Projected Wedding Date: June 7, 2003
The New York Youth Symphony’s music director, Paul Haas, 31, is marrying Suzette Won, 28, a graduate of Cornell and second-year law student at Northwestern University who has played violin since she was 6. Her Yalie fiancé plays the violin as well; he also plays jazz piano and sings. “He’s what they call a talented dilettante,” said Ms. Won. In 2001, when Mr. Haas guest-conducted the National Symphony Orchestra, The Washington Post praised “the scrupulous cut-and-thrust of his baton work.” This is one lucky lady!
Their personal appassionamento began during an intimate concert at Juilliard. Mr. Haas was in the audience, for a change, and Ms. Won was onstage turning pages for a violinist friend. “It was impossible to look at the musician,” he said. “She was nothing compared to Suzette.”
“He was just into Asian women,” Ms. Won said.
They were at Café Mozart recently, eating scrambled eggs.
“I noticed him because he was talking the whole time!” she said.
“Yes, I was talking to my friend-but we were talking about how cute she was,” said Mr. Haas, who isn’t bad himself, with a square jaw, blue eyes and golden hair that flops around when he conducts.
He contacted the pretty page-turner through the violinist the next week, and took her to see City Opera do Jack Beeson’s Lizzie Borden . She got violently ill with food poisoning after the show. “He took care of me for the rest of the evening,” said Ms. Won, pursing her heart-shaped lips. “That’s when I knew I was going to marry him.”
The ceremony, to be held at Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church, will incorporate Korean traditions-a lot of bowing. The bride will wear a white satin Jim Hjelm gown, switching into a high-waisted colorful garment for the moment where she and Mr. Haas drink out of a shared gourd. The groom will don poufy pants and a headpiece with long flaps. “He’s just going to have to do it,” Ms. Won said.
A reception at the Cosmopolitan Club will follow, organized by the party-planning firm In Any Event. The couple will perform a duet from the Jules Massenet opera Thaïs , but they’ve yet to work out the music for their first dance. “The fourth movement from Tchaikovsky’s Sixth Symphony is our song,” Mr. Haas said. “But you can’t really dance to it.”
Ms. Won said she started pestering him about getting engaged one week into their relationship, but his pace was more adagio . “I have two speeds,” explained Mr. Haas. “Slow and reverse.”
“I used to be a wild child, a constant partier,” she said, “but being with Paul tamed me …. He has this core about him-this solid-gold core.”
When he finally proposed, it was over custard cake at the Greek Kitchen near Lincoln Center, with a 1.3-carat round brilliant diamond in a platinum Tiffany setting.
“I think my first words were ‘Is it real?'” Ms. Won said.
“She blushed,” Mr. Haas said. “She was kind of, like, vibrating.”
Tamar Cohen and Brett Salup
Met: July 3, 2000
Engaged: July 13, 2002
Projected Wedding Date: Aug. 24, 2003
Tami Cohen’s nickname for her dear one, Brett Salup, is “Pooh”-as in “Winnie the …. ” “He’s so cute!” she said. “He’s squishy and huggable; he’s like a teddy bear. I hardly ever call him Brett.”
For his part, Pooh is fond of his lover’s mouth. “She has the most incredible lips I’ve ever seen on a woman,” he said. “Julia Roberts can’t hold a candle to her lips. She has, like, Liv Tyler lips. She could be a lip model.”
Mr. Salup proposed during a quiet night at home in their Chelsea one-bedroom. Ms. Cohen had made him his favorite baked ziti and he wanted to take her out for ice cream, but she said she “wasn’t in the mood.” So he put the velvet box containing the ring (a round diamond, just under two carats and flanked with baguettes, set in white gold) next to an oft-plumbed lip-gloss collection in her top dresser drawer. Ms. Cohen, clad in her jammies, discovered it as she went to lube up while watching the Kevin Kline movie Dave on TV. “He just did it on a normal night so I would have no idea,” she said. “He started saying all this stuff, but I don’t remember what because I was hysterically crying, like totally sobbing.”
“I love everything about her,” said Mr. Salup, 29, a salesman for Pitney Bowes. “In Jerry Maguire , when Tom Cruise says, ‘You complete me’? I thought it was corny bull! I thought it was movie blah. I didn’t know what love was, but then I met her and I felt that.”
Ms. Cohen, a voluptuous, doe-eyed 24, used to work in advertising but is now a substitute teacher, applying to graduate school for elementary special education. “I gave up my big advertising career, because I wanted to be home and be more stable for him,” said the young traditionalist. “I didn’t want to be out all the time.”
They’re both from Long Island and met at Session 73, an Upper East Side singles bar, recognizing each other’s subtle accents like two animals sniffing in the forest. Their wedding will be at a place called the Lawrence Country Club, which overlooks a golf course. “I studied abroad, I’ve been all over the world,” Ms. Cohen said, “and it’s so funny that I ended up circling back to be with someone from the place I’m from!”