Countdown to Bliss

Laura Ferran and Jeffrey Rose

Met: July 13, 1995 Engaged: Feb. 14, 2005 Projected Wedding Date: July 2005

Jeffrey Rose, 39, a clinical hypnotherapist who specializes in weight loss and smoking cessation, has convinced Laura Ferran, 28, a senior management consultant in forensics psychiatry at Bellevue Hospital, to marry him.

This voluptuous “Julia Roberts type” first caught Mr. Rose’s eye in the lobby of the Hotel Pennsylvania, where she was attending a Buddhist lecture one sweaty summer afternoon. “If you’re going to that Barbizon thing, it’s a scam,” he remarked offhandedly (he’d just been helping some out-of-towners find the modeling company’s open call).

“Probably the best pickup line that wasn’t a pickup line that I’d ever heard,” said Ms. Ferran, who was 19 at the time, interning for NY1 reporter and general gadabout George Whipple. The dimple-cheeked Mr. Rose quickly had her in a trance. “His smile was just so alluring,” she said. “It was as if we already had spent time together and it was a continuation of a conversation.” He invited Ms. Ferran to a party at Details magazine in Noho that night (this was back before Details became a spank book for confused metrosexuals). There, he realized that he’d dated a friend of hers a year and a half earlier.

“This was the guy I called the perfect man for you!” hollered the friend on the phone to Ms. Ferran later.

“It was destiny,” the latter said.

That summer, Mr. Rose’s friends threw him a 30th-birthday party. Ms. Ferran showed up in a white silky dress and sang “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” in a breathy Marilyn Monroe voice. “It wasn’t slutty-it was theatrical,” he said. “I just felt like I could marry this girl.”

But first she had to finish up at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute ….

The couple bused energetically back and forth between the city and Troy, N.Y. After graduation, she moved into his Upper East Side one-bedroom. “We just grew together,” Mr. Rose said.

About three years ago, Ms. Ferran got certified as a holistic health counselor and began collaborating with her honey at the Advanced Hypnosis Center on East 65th Street, where he is the director. “He’s unbelievably supportive,” she said. (We are getting very sleepy …. )

Mr. Rose was ready to get married sooner than Ms. Ferran, who said she wanted to focus on her career and didn’t feel the need for a formal pronouncement until they were ready to have kids. “She was still young,” he said. “I was O.K. with waiting.” But last December, she suddenly heard the loud tick-tocking of her biological clock.

“Are we getting engaged?” she asked him outright.

The couple immediately started looking for a place in West Nyack (maybe you’ve heard of their shad festival?), settling on a stucco four-bedroom with a stream in the back.

On Valentine’s Day, Mr. Rose arranged a scavenger hunt for Ms. Ferran. The final clue: “Meet me at Tavern on the Green.”

After dinner there, he presented her with a key chain bearing a massive plastic “diamond” and the key to a brand-new green Mazda RX-8 that he’d bought for their future commutes.

They plan to visit a justice of the peace, then throw a housewarming/marriage celebration in the backyard of their new house. “When you’ve been with someone for nine years, it’s not the moment in time” when you get married that’s important, Ms. Ferran said. “It’s the time leading up to it.”

Carlo Cerruti and Kenzi Shaw

Met: October 2001 Engaged: July 15, 2004 Projected Wedding Date: July 1, 2006

It was after 2 a.m. when Carlo Cerruti and a couple of friends tumbled out of the 10th Street Lounge and paused drunkenly on the corner of Second Avenue.

“Hey, you in the black-I want to talk to you!” shouted one of the friends, pointing across the street at five young ladies dressed in black.

“I was absolutely mortified,” said Mr. Cerruti, 34, a doctoral student in education at Harvard with bright blue eyes.

One of the women was Kenzi Shaw, a 5-foot-3 brunette from McGill University in Montreal, who was visiting New York for a pal’s 21st-birthday celebration. The two groups drifted together to the now-defunct bar Madame X on Houston. “I had eyes only for Kenzi,” Mr. Cerruti said.

“I liked him,” demurred Ms. Shaw, now 25, “but not in an overwhelming way.”

Walking to the subway station (still en masse), he gave her a kiss and his phone number, telling her to give him a call if she wanted to hang out over the weekend.

“Do I call this guy that I met on the street?” she wondered the next day. Her friends were heading to one of those loft parties in Williamsburg, and so she invited Mr. Cerruti and his merry men to join them. They didn’t show up till 2 a.m. “Carlo had driven around for over an hour looking for the street,” Ms. Shaw said tartly.

After another (longer) smooch, Mr. Cerruti gave her his e-mail address. “I didn’t want to be pushy,” he said.

After a couple of months of cyber-courtship, Mr. Cerruti flew up to Canada. “We were far enough apart to have a chance to miss each other,” he pointed out.

Upon graduation, Ms. Shaw accepted a job as a research associate at CIBC World Markets, moved into a two-bedroom in Murray Hill and began to spend a lot more time with him.

Sitting in the little park by the Sunshine Cinema, she kept opening her mouth and closing it wordlessly. “I can’t believe this,” she said finally.

“I love you too,” he said.

A few years later, Mr. Cerruti invited Ms. Shaw and her best (gay) friend, Matt, on a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge for pizza at Grimaldi’s. Then he called to say that he was stuck in the borough of Kings. The two friends began walking across the bridge. When they reached the middle, Ms. Shaw stopped short: There was her boyfriend. “In a suit!” she said. “Carlo never wears a suit.”

Mr. Cerruti handed Matt a camcorder-a wise move, it turned out. “I can’t even remember what he said,” Ms. Shaw said of the proposal that followed. “I was truly not suspecting anything. I was never one of those girls who thought nonstop about getting engaged.”

However, she had the presence of mind to inquire: “Isn’t there something missing?”

Mr. Cerruti hastily brought out a 1.1-carat diamond set in platinum and surrounded by 48 smaller stones, picked out with Matt’s help. There was also a new (personally assembled) four-poster bed waiting back at her apartment.

But before they could test-drive it: dinner, at the River Café. Showing remarkable foresight, Mr. Cerruti had checked Ms. Shaw’s favorite outfit at the restaurant. “He even brought the strapless bra I need to wear under that dress,” she marveled. Countdown to Bliss