Countdown to Bliss

Melissa Danenberg and Marc Turkewitz

Met: 1999

Engaged: Sept. 8, 2003

Projected Wedding Date: Oct. 2, 2004

Remember Moomba? Marc Turkewitz, who goes (perhaps inevitably) by “Turk,” was getting his groove on at the now-defunct nightspot when he spotted “a hot girl” sitting on a couch with some friends of his and decided to strike up a conversation. “I could tell she was really smart and motivated,” said Mr. Turkewitz, 35, who works in real estate. “I must have respected her right away, because otherwise I would have tried to take her home.” We love these Technicolor snapshots of the male psyche ….

“He was handsome and fun, and he definitely made an impression,” said Ms. Danenberg, 34, the lynx-like head of operations at Lanx Management, who has long legs, brown hair and a creamy complexion (“Melissa has stripper skin—it’s incredibly soft,” gushed Mr. Turkewitz). Alas, she was living in London at the time, and he in Los Angeles.

“You know that scene in Sleepless in Seattle where Tom Hanks pulls down a map to show how far apart they were? That’s sort of how I felt when I would think about Melissa,” Mr. Turkewitz said.

In 1999, he moved into an apartment on the Upper East Side with his best friend, not-yet-disgraced P.R. princess Lizzie Grubman. A year later, someone asked if he remembered Melissa Danenberg, another recent arrival in town. “I said, ‘Give me all her numbers! I want her cell, work, home—everything!’” he recalled.

Their first date was at Sushi Samba, on that cheesy Park Avenue South restaurant strip. It commenced with a round of shots. “I think we were both a little nervous,” Ms. Danenberg said. After dinner, they headed to Lotus in the meatpacking district (this was back when the club was actually somewhat hot—i.e., wasn’t hosting Amy Sohn’s book parties), staying out till 2:30 a.m. The young Turk tried to come home with her, but she refused.

They began casually dating—oxymoronic as that may be—but he needed time apart after his father died in 2001. Then came 9/11, which helped them reevaluate their priorities, along with many other urban couples.

“I think that commitment is something you have to work at—it’s not roses every day,” philosophized Mr. Turkewitz.

Ms. Danenberg bunked with him and Ms. Grubman for two months while she was waiting for renovations on a Gramercy Park one-bedroom to be completed. After she moved into her new pad, she started noticing that Mr. Turkewitz was bringing more and more stuff over. “I started thinking about it as ‘our apartment’ when I started seeing things that belonged to his father,” she said.

They were making rigatoni with meatballs one night when Ms. Danenberg went for a bottle of red wine.

“Why don’t you check out that bottle of white I put in the fridge?” suggested Mr. Turkewitz. The special bottle was bearing a label designed by a friend that read “Le Marriage,” along with assorted other love quotes.

When Ms. Danenberg emerged from the refrigerator, she found her honey on one knee, proffering a cushion-cut, platinum-set diamond he’d selected with the help of her mother. “I was very excited,” she said. “I like to look at jewelry the way some people like to go the museum.”

They’ll be married in Puerto Rico, with La Grubman in close attendance.

Tanyette Colón and Vincent Pedre

Met: May 2002

Engaged: September 2004

Projected Wedding Date: Winter 2006

Aw, heck—the wedding can wait! Sometime this week, Tanyette Colón is due to deliver the baby son of her fiancé, Park Avenue internist Vincent Pedre. “I didn’t want a ‘gunshot,’ or ‘shotgun’—why did I say that?—I didn’t want the shotgun wedding to overshadow everything else that we were doing,” said Ms. Colón, 31.

They met over dinner at Tao with a mutual friend. “The moment I saw her, I just thought, ‘Wow!’” said the dark-haired, square-jawed Cuban-American doc, also 31. He fixed her with an intense gaze.

“I kept saying, ‘Has anyone told you you have beautiful, amazing eyes?’” said Ms. Colón, until recently a co-host of Murray in the Morning, an FM sports and talk show in Chicago. But she swatted away his advances. “I was being stubborn—I was playing hard to get,” she said. “I enjoyed the attention.”

Dr. Pedre assumed that the full-lipped, high-cheekboned, curvy Puerto Rican was “out of my league.”

The following year, a larger group of their pals met for a weeklong sojourn in South Beach. Ms. Colón’s reserve began to melt over drinks at Larios on the Beach, a restaurant owned by Gloria (“I know you can’t control yourself any longer”) Estefan. “I thought, ‘This is an incredible person, and I shouldn’t cheat myself out of the opportunity of being happy just because I’m afraid,’” she said.

On the way home to Chicago, she fortuitously missed a flight and had to be rerouted through New York. Dr. Pedre called in sick, and the new couple went to Strawberry Fields and sat talking on a bench for hours.

“I felt very free with him—and beautiful,” Ms. Colón said. “I was used to being surrounded by so much testosterone at work that it was kind of nice to be around someone that was O.K. with being romantic.”

That February, she received news that she was pregnant.

“You could say it was shocking,” Dr. Pedre said. “For a week, I felt like a deer in the headlights.” They decided not to rush into a life-changing commitment like marriage. “We weren’t quite there,” he said. “We were definitely getting closer and coming to trust each other a lot more, but we weren’t quite ready for that.”

In May, however, Ms. Colón decided that she was ready for cohabitation and moved into Dr. Pedre’s Upper East Side duplex studio. She’s taken a series of odd jobs, including filling in for the receptionist at his office. One day, she fielded a call from a patient who had helped hook him up with some diamond dealers. “Is he engaged yet?” asked the patient. Oops!

That night, Dr. Pedre surprised Ms. Colón (sort of) with a scavenger hunt that took her from Zebu Grill, a Brazilian restaurant, to Café Lalo and then back to Strawberry Fields, where he presented her with a two-plus-carat cushion-cut diamond in a platinum setting surrounded by 58 embedded diamonds.

They celebrated with snacks from Citarella and champagne. “A little sip,” said Ms. Colón, patting her belly.

The entire evening was captured by a camera crew from the TLC show Baby Stories and is scheduled to air in December—but you read it here first. Countdown to Bliss