Countdown to Bliss

Brandon Cheek and Jessica Langdon

Met: August 1999

Engaged: May 2004

Wedding Date: Sept. 3, 2005

It’s a Fashion Week marriage! The pricelessly named Brandon Cheek, who once modeled in a Miguel Adrover fashion show and is now a painter, will wed Jessica Langdon, a recent enrollee in the accessories-design program at F.I.T.

The chic couple lives with their black Labrador, Cody, in a Park Slope railroad apartment whose walls are covered with Mr. Cheek’s colorful paintings. “Although we don’t always have the same taste in things like music or movies, we have a sort of synthesis in what we’d like our lives to be … and what they are already,” said the tall, slender Ms. Langdon, 29. “I am very proud of the places that we’ve lived together, because they always feel very much like home to me-the kind of home you always wanted to have.”

They first met through friends of friends in Olympia, Wash. “I immediately thought, this person is going to make a big impact on my life,” said Mr. Cheek, 28, a hunky 6-foot-4. “I didn’t know if it would be good or bad, but I thought I should stay on my toes.” A little hike through the Washington woods soon cleared matters up. “We talked about a lot of stuff,” he said meaningfully.

“The thing that first struck me about Brandon is how easy it was for us to talk and talk and talk ,” Ms. Langdon said. “Neither of us are the most likely people to strike up a conversation with people we don’t know.”

They were nomadic for a while, living for stints in Oregon, Pennsylvania and (briefly) Morocco before settling in New York. After only a couple of months living in the city, Mr. Cheek was “discovered” on the Lexington Avenue subway platform and asked to model in Mr. Adrover’s show. He took the job, strutting down the catwalk sporting a hobo sack; his picture even made it into The New York Times . But modeling ultimately wasn’t Mr. Cheek’s bag, and he threw himself wholeheartedly into his art. “Brandon is a great painter,” said Ms. Langdon, who hopes to design shoes.

Like most of their bohemian stripe, neither was in any particular rush to get married. Last spring they drove down to visit her parents in Bucks County, Penn., and oh-so-casually went looking for a ring. “We knew we wanted something vintage, something different,” Ms. Langdon said. They found an antique, 1940’s-style diamond and bought it on the spot, intending to stash it away and get engaged at, you know, some point. But with this perfect little bauble in hand they just couldn’t wait, and decided to take a walk in the woods around Ms. Langdon’s parents’ home (these kids are real nature buffs).

They’ll be married in that same spot, far from Fashion’s glittering, cruel gaze.

– Shaina Feinberg

Zachary Hastings Hooper and Allison Mataya

Met: 1992

Engaged: May 14, 2004

Projected Wedding Date: May 28, 2005

Darling, will you market me? Allison Mataya, 31, who works at the ad agency Merkley + Partners as an account supervisor for Mercedes Benz ( vrooom, vrooom! ), is marrying Zachary Hooper, 30, vice president of a public-relations firm called the Rosen Group. Fewer than 100 guests are invited to the ceremony, on Daufuskie Island off the coast of South Carolina.

The blond, blue-eyed and petite couple (he’s 5-foot-5; she’s 5-foot-1) first met as freshmen in a stairwell at Bowdoin College, the liberal-arts enclave in Maine oft-confused with Bates, Bard et al. “I remember thinking that this was the girl I was going to marry,” Mr. Hooper said. “It was some sort of instinct-it wasn’t like I saw her with a halo over her head or anything.”

They fell into that typical college-campus friendship: hanging out in hallways, ordering food and knocking on each other’s doors after midnight to watch television. Ms. Mataya’s rooming group was a veritable boy magnet, for, as she explained, “we were the only girls in the dorm with a VCR.”

Over the summer, they began an old-fashioned correspondence (this was before e-mail got big). “He wrote me these amazingly long letters all the time that summer,” Ms. Mataya said. “I would be so excited to run to the mailbox and see a letter from him.” By the fall, she said, she knew she was smitten: “But it was that really nervous stage where you’re too afraid to admit to liking someone more than they like you.”

One fall afternoon, Mr. Hooper was standing on the sidelines at one of Ms. Mataya’s field-hockey games. “I was talking to one of Allison’s friends about how she had been sort of standoffish with me lately,” he said. “And then I guess I sort of told her friend that I liked Allison.”

The pal, of course, promptly passed the news on to Ms. Mataya, who decided to “do something fun”: create a scavenger hunt that sent Mr. Hooper from one dorm room to the next, ending at a flagpole where she was waiting. “I then made him spill his guts,” she said. “I was still so nervous, I don’t think we even kissed.” But after this tentative start, she said, “we couldn’t keep away from each other. We used to stay up all night, and I remember feeling there wasn’t enough time in the day to really get to know each other.”

Following graduation, he moved to the Upper East Side and she to the West, in a sort of Woody-Mia arrangement.

“There were a lot of cross-park buses,” Mr. Hooper said.

“We had no money and we were trying to establish our careers,” Ms. Mataya said. “We evolved.” In 1998, they evolved all the way to Williamsburg. “Once we moved in together, I think we both knew that this was it,” said Mr. Hooper, who began ring-shopping six months before he actually proposed, ultimately special-ordering a square-cut emerald surrounded by pavé diamonds set in a yellow gold band that looked like one she’d admired while on vacation in Italy. He presented it to her on bended knee under the Washington Square Park arch after yet another treasure hunt-one that enlisted mutual friends to lie in wait at the couple’s favorite bars throughout town. “He did an excellent job,” Ms. Mataya said. Countdown to Bliss