Vanessa June Marshall and Jeff Parvin
Met: August 2001 Engaged: Nov. 30, 2003 Projected Wedding Date: Aug. 6, 2004
How’s this for a fairy-tale romance?
While rehearsing the role of Cinderella for a Vista, Calif., production of Into the Woods , singer-actress Vanessa
June Marshall couldn’t help noticing Jeff Parvin, a strapping, 6-foot-1
assistant stage manager. “The chemistry was there from the very beginning,”
said the blue-eyed Ms. Marshall, 26. “The girl who played Little Red Riding
Hood totally noticed it.”
This was a summer job for Mr. Parvin, who was working toward an
M.F.A. in stage management at the University of California at Irvine. At the
end of their first rehearsal, he offered Ms. Marshall a ride back to her home
in Long Beach, the well-known hub for JetBlue flights of desperate,
Manhattan-bound Angelenos. “The conversation in the car, that was really
magical,” Ms. Marshall said. “Really intense-about philosophy and life. We
really stimulated each other intellectually.”
That’s not all that was
getting stimulated. “Working in the theater, I’m around beautiful women all the
time,” said the soft-spoken Mr. Parvin, also 26. “Vanessa is so much more than
her beautiful face, and it makes all the difference in the world. She had this
light in her eye, thinking and listening and being interested in what we were
talking about.” He invited her back to his apartment in Irvine for a
home-cooked meal and a bottle of Pinot Grigio. “It wasn’t a ‘come back to my
place’ move,” Mr. Parvin insisted.
Whatever it was, it worked. “There was this one point that first
night when I lay my head down in that nook in between his head and chest, and
it felt like I had done it every day for the past 10 years,” Ms. Marshall said.
“I know it sounds so cheesy, but he felt like home.”
After he completed his degree in 2003, the couple moved to a new
home: a one-bedroom apartment in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn. Mr. Parvin got a
job in development for Disney Theatrical (where callers on hold are treated to Beauty and the Beast in Korean) and Ms.
Marshall enrolled for her own M.F.A. at Brooklyn College, teaching private
voice lessons and “Little Maestros”-a music class popular among Upper East Side
mommies and kids ages 3 and under-to pay the bills.
He proposed on her birthday at Village 247, a restaurant on Smith
Street known for its chocolate-jalapeño ice cream, first enlisting the owner to
scatter roses and candles throughout the joint. “It was unbelievably romantic,”
Ms. Marshall said. “We had a conversation that got more and more intense. I
think we ended up proposing to each other .”
There was particular poignancy behind the ring, a single large diamond with
smaller diamonds wrapped around a gold band: It had been picked out by Mr.
Parvin’s late father for a hypothetical future daughter-in-law.
The wedding will be an intimate affair for 75 at the Gardens on
Caitlin Creek, an estate outside of Middletown, N.Y. The bride allows that she
will wear a Maggie Suttero gown but is keeping the other details hush-hush. “I
want to surprise him,” said Ms. Marshall, ever the dramatist.
“I used to tell my friends that I would never date an actress
because of that whole thing about them being all crazy and emotional,” said Mr.
Parvin. “It’s not that the perception is wrong-it’s the idea that it’s a bad thing.”
Noah Arnow and Tamara Reiss
Met: Jan. 29, 2002 Engaged: Jan. 24, 2004 Projected Wedding Date: Dec. 5, 2004
Cupid rides the C train! Noah Arnow was
waiting on the 86th Street downtown platform, en route to his job as
communications director for City Councilman Eric Gioia, when he spied comely
Tamara Reiss, a familiar face from his Jewish prayer group, reading Newsweek . “She looked friendly,” he
said, “and I had nothing to lose.”
Ms. Reiss didn’t recognize him, but fortunately didn’t snap into
the default karate-chop stance of the Manhattan female subway passenger. “Noah
isn’t exactly the most threatening of characters,” she said of the 5-foot-8,
dark-eyed Mr. Arnow.
They rattled downtown together, discussing food (“We both like
cilantro-not everyone does,” Mr. Arnow said) and discovering that they lived
cater-corner to one another on West 90th Street.
A decorous six weeks later,
he crossed the street and picked her up to go see Kissing Jessica Stein in Lincoln Square, followed by a nosh of
blintzes at Artie’s Deli. “It was so easy,” said Ms. Reiss, 27, a Medicare
education associate. “There were never stops and starts in the conversation.”
At the end of the date, Mr. Arnow synchronized his watch with hers so they
would be sure to be on the same train the following morning.
The next two years passed in a blur of good food, baseball (she
roots for the Cardinals, he for the Mets) and joint sessions with The New York Times. “I knew that this
was different and special,” Ms. Reiss said. Mr. Arnow, 25, used the adjectives
“wonderful” and “adorable” to describe her. Also, he said, “she laughs at my
jokes.” Men are suckers for that.
One frigid night, he took her to Ben’s Best-his favorite spot for
kosher hamburgers-in Rego Park, then schlepped her to the Algonquin to see
Andrea Marcovicci, a favorite of theirs, sing Cole Porter’s love songs. Ms.
Reiss was growing suspicious. “I kept wondering if Ms. Marcovicci was going to
call me out of the audience, or if the empty table next to us meant something,”
she said. After the show, Mr. Arnow insisted they get on the subway rather than
a cab. A few transfers later, they were back near the spot where they first
met, whereupon he dropped on bended knee and broke into a rendition of “All of
My Life” by Irving Berlin.
“I was sobbing,” Ms. Reiss said.
The ring he gave her used stones previously owned by her maternal
great-grandmother, set in a new platinum band (Mr. Arnow had secretly asked for
Ms. Reiss’ hand when they were visiting her parents in St. Louis for
Thanksgiving). “She didn’t want a rock,” he said. “She wanted a story.”
They’re marrying in Scarsdale, N.Y., where Mr. Arnow grew up, and
have just closed on a new two-bedroom on the Upper West Side, mere steps from
the site of their first rendezvous. Come fall, Mr. Arnow will enroll in a
six-year program at the The Jewish Theological Seminary. “He’ll be an amazing
rabbi,” kvelled Ms. Reiss. “And I think we’ll be a great team.”
Cooper Lawrence and Sean Lee
Met: Aug. 3, 2002 Engaged: Feb. 3, 2004 Projected Wedding Date: March 26, 2005
Sexy as hell , thought radio host Cooper Lawrence upon spotting rock singer
and voiceover artist Sean Lee sipping a beer at their agent’s housewarming
party in Hoboken. The Korean-Irish-French-Swiss-American Mr. Lee has big blue
eyes, sandy-brown hair and a voice he describes as “everyday guy, mixed in with
some announcer,” which can be heard on spots for McDonald’s and Time Warner
“I trusted him immediately,” said Ms. Lawrence, a boisterous,
dark-haired Sarah Jessica Parker type. “He’s incredibly beautiful, and yet he
has this sweet, vulnerable quality”-rare in New York men. “Either a guy is
incredibly sweet and vulnerable and they’re ‘kind of attractive,'” she said,
“or they’re incredibly sexy and they know it and you’re just another girl to
The couple, who will admit only to being in their 30’s (ah,
showbiz!), hit it off immediately. They took a New Jersey Transit bus back to
the city together, caught a showing of My
Big Fat Greek Wedding and shared a taxi back to Hell’s Kitchen, where Ms.
Lawrence lives, and where Mr. Lee, a resident of Stamford, Conn., was crashing
with a friend for the night. When they reached his corner, Mr. Lee dashed out
of the cab without asking for her number, leaving Ms. Lawrence wondering if
perhaps they were on different frequencies.
A day later, however, her phone went brrring . (Mr. Lee had gotten the digits from their agent.)
Their first official date was a stroll through Poet’s Walk in
Central Park, followed by dinner at a Thai restaurant, where they bonded over
having divorced parents.
Ms. Lawrence, who was finishing up her doctorate in developmental
psychology at the time, had been having trouble sleeping. About a month into
their relationship, Mr. Lee called as she was going to bed and crooned a
lullaby he’d written called “Goodnight, Beautiful.” “He wasn’t trying to get
into my pants,” Ms. Lawrence said. “From the beginning, he was a very good
A while later, they were cooking dinner in her apartment when the
endearment “Weetie” (short for sweetie) slipped from his lips. “I remember
thinking, Oh, this is it-I’ve overstepped
my bounds here ,” Mr. Lee said. Au
contraire : An amused Ms. Lawrence swiftly dubbed him “Weetles” (insert
obligatory gagging motion here).
When they reached their one-and-a-half-year “anniversary,” Mr.
Lee suggested that they go to a favorite Upper West Side diner for breakfast,
as per their custom.
“Call me your boyfriend,” he said to her on the way over, during
a cloudy walk through Poet’s Walk.
“O.K., you’re my boyfriend,” replied Weetie, a little confused.
“That’s the last time you’ll
ever have to call me that,” said Weetles triumphantly, falling to one knee and
presenting a family heirloom dating back to the 1890’s, a platinum band
containing a cornflower-blue sapphire surrounded by small diamonds-“not a dish-doing
ring,” said Ms. Lawrence, who found herself having that “horrible Meg Griffin
moment where you start bawling.” (She meant Meg Ryan , she clarified later.)
They’ll be married at the Players, the private-theater club
founded by Edwin Booth, with the bride in a strapless white silk Vera Wang with
antique buttons down the back. She’s also busily planning her new syndicated
talk show, Cooper .
Mr. Lee, meanwhile, is looking forward to moving out of the
‘burbs. “When I’m not around her,” he said, “I get confused.”
Felix Henry Smith
June 28, 2004 4:08 a.m. 7 pounds, 12 ounces St. Luke’s–Roosevelt
New York Post reporter Samuel Smith, 34, has his first child with Christine Smith,
33, a nurse, after a tabloid twist: When Ms. Smith was 26 weeks pregnant and
crossing Sixth Avenue in Park Slope on a green light, she was struck by a jeep
hurtling around a left turn. “Ironically, a few weeks before that, I thought to
myself, ‘I should really stop jaywalking-I’m pregnant,'” Ms. Smith recalled. It
was a harrowing third trimester for the couple, with the mom-to-be on crutches
after surgery to repair a broken shinbone (with minimal anesthesia and
painkillers), shimmying backwards on her bum up the stairs to their
fourth-floor walk-up. But the baby survived the hard knock intact, emerging
with brown peach fuzz, a sweet disposition, and gangly arms and legs that made
him look “like a frog,” Mr. Smith said. “It was a great relief when he came out