Countdown to Bliss

Susan Schulz and Kevin Wuornos

Met: March 17, 2001

Engaged: Sept. 26, 2003

Projected Wedding Date: July 3, 2004

Susan Schulz, 32, the editor of CosmoGIRL! magazine, is marrying Kevin Wuornos, 33, a manly Minnesotan who sells technology for residential and commercial buildings.

Both are part Irish and met through a friend during a St. Patrick’s Day pub crawl. A week later, they tried to have their first date at the Comedy Cellar on Macdougal Street. But the show was sold out, so they ended up at a nearby Thai restaurant, engaged in a spirited discussion of The Rules . “I was intrigued that he wasn’t just like, ‘That’s bullshit,'” said Ms. Schulz, an energetic, freckled brunette whose résumé includes stints at YM and Good Housekeeping . She had recently reread the appallingly retro dating manual and found it insightful.

Real-estate circumstances also lent their courtship a 1950’s pace: Mr. Wuornos was living in Stamford, Conn., at the time, and Ms. Schulz didn’t want her Upper East Side apartment to become his Manhattan crash pad. “We would go to dinner, make out in the car, and he’d drop me off,” she said. “It was so high school. It was nice and slow.”

Every month, her suitor would dutifully go to the newsstand and pick up a copy of CosmoGIRL! to read Ms. Schulz’s Dr. Judy-like love wisdom. He liked what he saw. “She’s passionate about helping people make themselves better,” he said. “She’s made me want more for myself.”

Ms. Schulz appreciated that the chisel-cheeked Mr. Wuornos had installed cable and dug ditches as an undergraduate at the University of Minnesota at Minneapolis, in contrast to all the Manhattan pansies she’d met. “I was tired of 30-year-old guys going through midlife crises,” she said. “Kevin’s salt of the earth. He’s not afraid of hard work.”

One day she turned to him and approvingly announced: “You’re like a blue-collar guy in a white-collar shirt.”

Mr. Wuornos took her at her word, moving to Hell’s Kitchen. They eventually found a swish pad together at Trump Place; Ms. Schulz, still sort of playing by The Rules , wanted to delay cohabitation until he decided to propose, which he did one balmy fall evening at Bethesda Fountain, presenting a 1920’s platinum ring with a round-cut diamond that he’d secreted on his person for two months, waiting for the right moment. Ms. Schulz had innocently suggested that they kill time by wandering into the park before a screening of Lost in Translation , playing right into his hand. The movie forgotten (and still unseen), the happy couple celebrated with champagne at Tavern on the Green.

They’ll be married at the C.V. Rich mansion, a fancy-pants early-20th-century estate in White Plains, where the bride grew up. “I’m pretty darn happy to have found him,” she told readers in a recent issue of CosmoGIRL!

Mr. Wuornos said his sweetheart defies magazine-editor stereotypes. “She’s not all caught up in all the fashion and all the foofy stuff,” he said. “She’d just as soon go over to the Boat Basin and have Coronas.”

Jessica Lipman and Ben Terk

Met: October 2002

Engaged: April 8, 2004

Projected Wedding Date: April 30, 2005

Jessica Lipman is a producer at Bloomberg Television with a penchant for skydiving; her boyfriend, Ben Terk, had never tried it. A venture capitalist with the looks but not the nerve of Christopher Reeve’s Superman, he finally agreed to take the leap during a recent trip to Saratoga Springs.

The couple flew over Lake George in an antiquated Cessna that Mr. Terk described as a “kite with an engine.” Ms. Lipman was doing her best to calm his quivering man-flesh.

“I’m not nervous,” he said. “I’ve got you by my side.” He asked for her left hand, thrust a platinum ring with a round-cut diamond solitaire upon her fourth finger and then- whoosh! -he was gone.

“It was pretty trippy,” Ms. Lipman said. “All of a sudden I’m engaged, and my fiancé is getting sucked out of a plane.”

It was not the young Terk’s first bold move. When he initially spotted the foxy, straight-talking blonde at a party in an apartment at the Sherry-Netherland, he motored right over with a pick-up line (“Do you have any hobbies?”). Ms. Lipman wasn’t moved. “Whatever I was selling,” he said, “she wasn’t buying.”

Undeterred, he pried her number from a mutual friend and asked her to a fête at the Guggenheim Museum. It was the first of several lukewarm dates. “At first I didn’t think I was ready for him,” said Ms. Lipman, is 28, a onetime Catholic schoolgirl. Mr. Terk is 33 and Jewish.

A few months later, he sent her an e-ticket for a flight to Anguilla-scheduled for over Christmas. D’oh! But the trip, once rescheduled, brought them closer, particularly after Ms. Lipman slipped on wet stairs at their villa while carrying a bottle of Absolut Vodka (a closed bottle, she emphasized), requiring 40 stitches in her right forearm at the local emergency room. “It was a very frightening experience,” Mr. Terk said. “To come out on top of that was a meaningful moment in the relationship.”

They embarked on other adventures: skiing in Lake Tahoe, visiting his family at their house on Fire Island. It was during a jaunt to South Africa that Ms. Lipman suddenly realized he was The One. “I was like, ‘Oh my God, I love this guy so much!'” she said.

She began gunning for a proposal, dropping hints and taking care to get her hair and nails done before trips. Mr. Terk responded to these feminine machinations by joking that he planned to pop the question at Disney World. (Not funny, bub!) Since he had bid for the Saratoga Springs jaunt on a lark during a charity auction, Ms. Lipman had no idea what was coming. “I’ve always met men that are kind of weak, but there’s no pushing him around,” she said admiringly.

They are planning a “luxury destination wedding” at a location to be determined-perhaps Anguilla-and have feathered a charming little love nest in a one-bedroom condo on East 57th Street.

“I see her as a partner who’s going to bring dimensions into my life,” said Mr. Terk, sounding ready to go to the moon.

Mary Cameron Goodyear and Jeffrey Chandor

Met: August 1986

Engaged: Nov. 19, 2003

Projected Wedding Date: July 24, 2004

Cameron Goodyear, 29, an oil painter and distant relative of the tires guy, is marrying J.C. Chandor, 30, a bushy-haired filmmaker with piercing blue eyes.

They come to each other straight outta Compton-er, Little Compton, R.I. They met there 18 years ago, at the end of the summer season in the Newport County town, where both their families had second homes. Their mothers had arranged a meeting at the golf club’s talent show so that the kids could chat about Ms. Goodyear’s experience at the American School in London, where Mr. Chandor was enrolled for the upcoming fall.

The exchange was awkward. But a few years later, Mr. Chandor was giving children sailing lessons at a nearby river and noticed the blonde, early-blooming Ms. Goodyear sitting in the launch boat. “She was quite voluptuous,” he said (and she’s since shot up to 5 feet, 9 1¼2 inches).

They stayed in touch throughout high school and college. She studied painting at the Rhode Island School of Design; he majored in American culture and film at the College of Wooster in Ohio. Both moved to New York upon graduation, and their mutual regard only intensified. About three years ago, while in a secluded chamber at a friend’s party back in Little Compton, they decided to have a talk about the sexual tension that had become what Ms. Goodyear called “the elephant in the room.” It was a short talk: Mr. Chandor surprised her by lunging forth into a passionate embrace. “I thought we were going to have a two-hour discussion and then start off by holding hands,” she said. “But then he cut me off.”

On their first real date, they ate dinner at a Vietnamese restaurant in Carroll Gardens and saw the movie version of Hedwig and the Angry Inch . It felt strangely unfamiliar, given that they’d known each other for 15 years. “It was very scary at the beginning,” Mr. Chandor said. “It’s like meeting a whole new person.”

A few months later, they found a 2,400-square-foot living space on lower Second Avenue-what is this, Friends ?-and spent the next month turning the mosaic-tiled former showroom into a funky love nest. Ms. Goodyear, who works out of the East Village apartment (she specializes in portraits), said that the renovation experience brought them together. “Evenhanded, considerate and trustworthy” were the adjectives she applied to Mr. Chandor as he installed a gas line and floor and ceiling for the bathroom.

They were hiking down a hill during a trip to Costa Rica when Mr. Chandor suddenly pointed at a clump of moss.

“What’s that?” he asked.

“Watch out-it could be a poisonous frog!” Ms. Goodyear warned, en garde after carefully reading her Frommer’s . Then she squinted. The Central American sun was being brilliantly refracted by an emerald-cut solitaire ring that her boyfriend had surreptitiously planted on the way up.

Their wedding will be held back in the old ‘hood, with a talent show harking back to those old summer days and-special bonus-two smoothly integrated sets of in-laws. “We knew and were close to each other’s families and friends already, so we didn’t have to worry about these other elements,” Ms. Goodyear said. “We could really focus on getting to know each other.”

Countdown to Bliss