Countdown to Bliss

Caroline Blanchard and Laurent Morisse

Met: June 2002

Engaged: Aug. 3, 2003

Projected Wedding Date: May 23, 2004

Laurent Morisse,31, bar man at the Soho Moroccan-French restaurant L’Orange Bleue, is marrying Caroline Blanchard, 32, an account manager for Clear Channel Entertainment.

Their first in-French flirtation took place when Ms. Blanchard visited L’Orange Bleue with friends, scouting for her upcoming birthday party (the place is known for its raucous fêtes, which end with noisy presentations of sparkling candles by hunky French waiters). She sat down at the bar, and the chatty Mr. Morisse poured the cocoa-skinned belle a Wild Turkey. He soon learned that though she was raised on Long Island, her parents were both Haitian, and she spoke both French and Creole. “Suddenly, he starts speaking to me in Creole-and it was impeccable ,” she said.

Mr. Morisse, a native of Paris who also works part time at Les Halles, told Ms. Blanchard that he too was Haitian, and she believed him; he seemed to know about the culture. Truth was, he’d just dated a Haitian girl … or several.

“There was more than one?” Ms. Blanchard gasped as the Love Beat pried out this information. ” Non !”

“Yes-but just like kissing, you know?” said naughty Monsieur Morisse.

Ms. Blanchard had her own bag of tricks. She returned to the bar the following week with a fellow in tow. “But we’d just broken up,” she said. “It was one of those closure meetings.” When the ex went to the bathroom, she explained the “closure” custom to Mr. Morisse and invited him to her birthday party, which she’d ended up deciding to have at Passerby.

He arrived with another Frenchman and felt ignored. “She seemed so … American,” he said. “She was talking to everyone and came up to me for a second and was like, ‘Hey, how are you doing? Oh, I have to go to the bathroom!’ And then she’d leave me for 20 minutes!” He left in an angry French huff. “I expected her to be with me all the time, is that clear?” he said. “But when we left, my friend started making fun of her and I felt upset. And I said, ‘Hey, stop that. You never know … one day she might be my wife.'”

Suspecting that he was offended, Ms. Blanchard called to apologize the next day, and they made a date to go to Café Deville. Afterward, she pecked him on the mouth. “He was all kinds of confused,” she said.

“In my country, you don’t do that unless you’re together,” he said.

Things moved along pretty vite . He moved into her cozy Union Square studio last winter. They speak English every day except Sunday, when they alternate between French and Creole. “I’m short-tempered, but she can cool me down,” Mr. Morisse said. “It’s the first time that’s happened with a girlfriend. She knows how to drive me. She has the instruction papers.”

He bought her a diamond in a white-gold Tiffany setting, reassuring her father that he has plans to buy his own restaurant downtown eventually, and they’ll be married at the Inn at Fox Hollow in Woodbury. No sparklers, s’il vous plait . “I get enough of those at work,” he said.

C. Andrew Larrick and Abigail Leah Plumb

Met: August 2000

Engaged: June 2003

Projected Wedding Date: Oct. 3, 2004

Sex libris! Andrew Larrick, 31, a librarian at Columbia’s Arthur W. Diamond Law Library, is marrying Abigail Plumb, 25, a librarian for the Soho medical publishers Lippincott, Williams and Wilkins, with whom he shares a penchant for alt-country music and mid-century modern furniture. “Everyone calls us the ‘librarian power couple,'” she said, without apparent irony.

Their first encounter was on line-the kind you stand in, that is (how refreshing). The curly-haired, prematurely graying Ms. Plumb, who has an adorably squeaky laugh and still uses the word “gosh,” had just arrived on the University of Michigan’s Ann Arbor campus to start the two-year library master’s program. Waiting for some new-student information at the registrar, she spotted Mr. Larrick: balding, square-jawed and holding a folder with the program’s name on it. “A ‘guybrarian’ is what we like to call them,” she said. They began a hushed conversation. “I had the distinct feeling he thought I was hitting on him,” Ms. Plumb said. “But I wasn’t! Really!”

Mr. Larrick had an unusual career trajectory: He’d decided to go to library school after graduating from the University of Michigan’s law school, realizing that he’d rather read about law than be a “mercenary.”

One of their first assignments was a group project helping a local business organize information better. Their student team chose the all-female-run Ann Arbor Cat Clinic. “One of the things we had to do was just sit together in the clinic a lot, watching,” Ms. Plumb said. “To be honest, it wasn’t really very interesting.” Are you kidding? Sounds like paradise .

The academic-library social scene began to heat up. “There were a bunch of us who were the young, single, slightly raucous librarian students,” said Ms. Plumb. “We were prone to going out late to bars and whooping it up a little bit-contrary to the typical librarian stereotype.” One night after such a party, they found themselves in a furtive embrace. “It got late, and we forgot ourselves,” said Mr. Larrick, who’d been harboring feelings for some time.

Ms. Plumb was born in Chelsea and went to Dalton, and she could take the Midwest for only so long-so after graduating, the couple moved into a Morningside Heights one-bedroom with her orange cat, Margory, a bunch of Ikea bookshelves and a relaxed approach to the Dewey decimal system. “I have fiction in no order at all,” Ms. Plumb said.

The subject of marriage came up rather arbitrarily one summer morning in the kitchen, when Mr. Larrick casually asked her what time of year she thought was best for weddings.

“Maybe autumn?” she said.

“O.K. How about next fall?” he suggested.

Huh? Did we just get engaged? Ms. Plumb thought.

Mr. Larrick began doing extensive research on diamond rings during the copious slow moments at work (neither have a New York Public Library card), eventually settling on a just-over-half-carat diamond solitaire in a yellow-gold setting from Bluenile.com. “I’ve gone about wedding planning the same way,” he said. “Just like I’d go about trying to research something legal.”

The big affair will be at Hudson House in Nyack, N.Y., with the brainy bride clad in sample-sale, tulle-skirted Vera Wang. The couple has not yet consummated in the stacks. “But, hmmm … it’s definitely a thought!” Mr. Larrick said.

Countdown to Bliss