Countdown to Bliss

Elizabeth Chung and Edmund Lee Met: June 1996 Engaged: June 30, 2003 Projected Wedding Date: Oct. 25, 2003 Edmund Lee,

Elizabeth Chung and Edmund Lee

Met: June 1996

Engaged: June 30, 2003

Projected Wedding Date: Oct. 25, 2003

Edmund Lee, 30, is a features editor at Women’s Wear Daily -and in serious denial. “I’m not a fashion person by any means,” said Mr. Lee, drinking a Stella Artois at Café Gitane. Oh, yeah? So what’s with the hand-stitched Hilditch and Key shirts? The carefully coiffed, self-trimmed, long, wavy hair? The fiancée who’s a buyer at Barneys?

“He’s almost a little too fashiony for my taste,” said his bride-to-be, Elizabeth Chung, 28, sitting nearby in a low-cut Barneys private-label striped tank top. “I just want to come home and take a break from that stuff, and he’ll be like, ‘What do you think of this new line?’ or whatever, and I’m like, ‘I don’t care!’

“But in some ways he’s really a guy, and I like that about him,” Ms. Chung continued. “The guy I dated before was such a girl , and I realized I don’t really want a sensitive man. I want a guy like Ed. He likes knives and baseball and Star Wars .” Not to mention haute couture ! Mr. Lee will wear an Isaia suit to their wedding, in her native Houston. The bride will wear an ivory silk Richard Tyler gown. You gotta love that employee discount.

They first met at A. Magazine , a now-defunct Soho-based Asian-American-oriented publication where he was freelancing and she was an intern (both are first-generation Korean-Americans). “Basically, Ed and his friends came by the office to check out the interns,” said the lithe Ms. Chung, a Princeton grad with long black hair, a sexy mole near the left corner of her mouth and a penchant for tight skirts.

“That’s not true!” he barked.

“Oh, it’s so true. It’s completely true,” she said.

“She seemed like the kind of girl who would never give me the time of day,” said Mr. Lee, who attended N.Y.U. “I developed a crush on her because she was kind of impossible.”

This was the first non-cross-cultural relationship for each. “Mostly, growing up, I liked Jewish girls,” Mr. Lee said.

“If I had known he was Korean when we met, I never would’ve dated him,” Ms. Chung said. “Korean men have a bad reputation. They drink too much and beat their wives. That’s on the record ,” Mr. Lee said. “I try to pass myself off as Filipino, because I have dark skin.” He dyed his hair blue during their protracted courtship. “It was his first midlife crisis,” Ms. Chung said.

After she graduated, she couch-hopped with friends in Manhattan until she landed a Soho one-bedroom, which they’re busily filling with sleek items from Crate & Barrel. He proposed in the garden of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s American Wing, followed by dinner at Mario Batali’s noisy Otto.

The ring, an oval diamond flanked by two trillions (1.5 carats total), has an undulating, Lucida-reminiscent setting created by the Aaron Faber Gallery on Fifth Avenue. Mr. Lee designed it himself. “I think a ring’s setting is really so much more important than the diamonds, and I thought this design was particularly beautiful,” he said, adjusting the sleeve of his yellow, plaid, high-thread-count shirt. “But whatever-I’m really not a fashion guy. Definitely not. Not one bit.”

Katherine Bailey and Day Rosenberg

Met: Oct. 16, 2002

Engaged: May 25, 2003

Projected Wedding Date: June 17, 2004

The idea of doing the suburban thing and spending the weekend raking the backyard has a lot of allure at the moment,” said Day Rosenberg, an upper-school dean at the hippie-dippy Quaker school Brooklyn Friends.

Mr. Rosenberg, 32, who was raised by Buddhists but believes Quakerism has helped him to “nurture my innate passions,” is marrying Katherine Bailey, 33, the admissions director at the Andrus Children’s Center for emotionally disturbed youth in Yonkers. “Kat and I are really a couple of old souls, hitting the accelerator to Grandma and Grandpa in some ways,” he said. “We’re happier ordering in Thai food than going out clubbing. And we love khakis and that sort of thing. We’re really into the whole Ralph Lauren realm.” Ah, a Quaker-Buddhist materialist!

“He has good manners,” Ms. Bailey said, recalling their sedate early dates to see the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens and Gauguin at the Met. “He’d take my coat, say ‘thank you’ and ‘please’!”

Chalk up one more success story for “I’m not a Casanova,” the inconspicuously handsome Mr. Rosenberg said. “I pretty much came to the realization that I wasn’t going to meet the right person in a bar or through that sort of typical pickup scenario.” He was one of about 400 cybersuitors to contact Ms. Bailey, whose online profile photo displayed long-lashed hazel eyes and a chiseled jaw. “I loved it!” she said of the sometimes salacious attention. “I was having such a good time.”

When she arrived for their first assignation at Cherry, the coyly named and decorated bar in the Tuscany W hotel near Grand Central, Mr. Rosenberg found himself utterly “tongue-tied.” “It was all very clear to me right away,” he said. “Kind of like in The Godfather , when Al Pacino describes meeting his wife in Italy as being struck by a lightning bolt.”

Speaking of lightning, a few months later, there was an actual electrical fire in Ms. Bailey’s apartment building, rendering the entire structure uninhabitable. “Boy, it’s really something to experience a major low like that with someone,” Mr. Rosenberg said. “It makes you feel like you can get through anything.” He valiantly donned a construction hat and helped her carry out baskets of moldy books-“I could cry just thinking about it,” she said-then took her to buy a few essentials at Woodbury Commons. The final heroic-boyfriend touch was applied in his Brooklyn Heights one-bedroom: a two-carat round brilliant-cut diamond in a platinum Tiffany setting designed by Berj Zavian, the studly Antiques Roadshow appraiser.

Mr. Rosenberg’s stepfather, author of a book called The Zen Commandments , will officiate at a nondenominational ceremony in Rehoboth Beach, Del. The couple is plotting a move to White Plains, where they will decorate their new apartment with the Oriental rugs and antique andirons they’ve received as wedding gifts. “We’re a good mix of highbrow and trashy,” Ms. Bailey said. “Like we’ve both studied meditation and Buddhism, but at the same time we’re not above watching The Newlyweds on MTV.”

John Mastrodimos and Diana Perez

Met: October 2000

Engaged: Nov. 28, 2002

Projected Wedding Date: Dec. 6, 2003

Diana Perez, 29, the owner and manager of Agozar!, a new Cuban restaurant on the Bowery, is marrying John Mastrodimos, 34, a tech-support guy at the recording company EMI whom she met back when she worked in royalty accounting there. The couple seems very happy, or so we decided after being plied with fried plantains and empañadas (hey, a girl’s gotta eat). “And please, have another drink,” said Ms. Perez, pouring the Shiraz. “It’ll make us more interesting.”

Mr. Mastrodimos found this 5-foot-2, J. Lo–curvy lady “very attractive” from the moment he set up her computer systems, but there were some qualms about the so-called Latina-spitfire element. “I’d see her do cartwheels and whatever at office parties and would just roll my eyes,” he said. “I don’t know-I guess it’s just that I’m pretty mellow and subdued, and she’s more the life-of-the-party type.”

“I’m kind of high-energy,” Ms. Perez admitted, biting off the tip of a potato croquette.

She had traditionally pursued Aryan Brotherhood types, but something about Mr. Mastrodimos, a meaty, 6-foot-4 Greek-American, appealed. Fortified by tequila shots, she approached him at an office party at One 51 one night. “I never in a million years thought that I would have more than a one-minute conversation with her,” he said. “We start talking and he’s like, ‘You’re pretty cool!’ And I’m like, ‘Yeah, I know!'” she said. Then she leaned in and kissed him. ¡Olé! “I kind of freaked out,” he said.

Soon thereafter, however, they discovered a mutual taste for what they call a “Euro” style of living-late nights, fine food, etc. “He’s a snob,” Ms. Perez said. “Average and down-to-earth most of the time, but then every once in a while he won’t drink a certain beer because it’s not of a good-enough caliber, or he’ll be snobbish with his wine, or he won’t go to just any Irish pub. He’ll be like, ‘Yeah, I’m not feeling that.'” For his proposal-which took place at her mother’s house in New Jersey, with both sets of parents present-Mr. Mastrodimos nonchalantly rolled out the fine silver, Dom Perignon and a 1.5-carat diamond flanked by 0.3-carat baguettes set in platinum. “I turned every color possible-white, blue,” Ms. Perez said. “And he’s just standing there.”

They later bought a one-bedroom near Union Square. They enjoy frolicking at the nearby dog run with their boxer, Dublin.

The wedding, organized by Fête Events, will take place in the ballroom of the Harold Pratt House at the Council on Foreign Affairs on the Upper East Side. Ms. Perez, who will wear an ivory-colored Reem Acra gown with champagne embroidery, is frenetically planning a rehearsal dinner at Agozar!. “He’s always putting out fires with me,” she said of her fiancé. “I’ll get really worked up about things and he’ll calm me down. I’m extremely hyper, and I think he can bring me down to an almost-normal level.”

Countdown to Bliss