Countdown to Bliss

Adam Black and Farrah Weinstein

Met: July 4, 2000 Engaged: March 7, 2003 Projected Wedding Date: June 4, 2005

Farrah Weinstein, 28, a curvaceous blond features reporter for the New York Post, is marrying Adam Black, 32, a sleek information-technology consultant for Next Searchgroup, in a public ceremony in Long Beach, N.Y. “I fell in love with him so many times there, over and over again,” said the bride-to-be, who plans to wear strapless silk taffeta Nicole Miller, with her attendants in complementary cotton frocks from J. Crew. The casual-chic theme will extend to the groomsmen, who will wear khakis, and the guests, who will be given flip-flops at the boardwalk.

The couple met at an Independence Day after-party in Long Island City. The crowd was cooing over the fireworks and the spectacular view of the Manhattan skyline. Ms. Weinstein, however, was bored. She pulled out her brand-new tangerine Nokia cell phone (“I guess it was kind of tacky,” she said, “but that’s me,”) and began to tinker with it.

“That’s a really ugly cell-phone color,” said a gentleman behind her with a thick Long Island accent.

Ms. Weinstein wheeled around. ” Excuse me?” she said. “Who are you?”

It was Mr. Black. And, in spite of the slight, Ms. Weinstein-who herself hails from Great Neck-was attracted to this stranger’s blunt honesty. She invited him, along with their respective posses, back to her apartment in midtown. He left with two party favors: her number and her instant-messenger screen name.

A few days later, Mr. Black escorted Ms. Weinstein to the now-defunct nightclub Saci on 41st Street; she was wearing an extremely fetching short, strapless denim dress plucked from the racks of Express. “We danced all night, yadda yadda,” Mr. Black said.

Ms. Weinstein, who’d built a reputation as a bit of a party girl, was somewhat alarmed to find herself in a sudden state of coupledom. Now, instead of flopping into bed when she arrived home at her customary 3 a.m., she’d find herself logging onto AOL and reading Mr. Black’s love poetry-often until dawn. Terrified, she soon ended the relationship. “I had been single for a very long time,” she said. “I never really had a serious boyfriend. Well, in college I did-but it was like, you know, college.”

Undaunted by the diss, Mr. Black sent flowers to her office on her birthday. Feeling nostalgic, Ms. Weinstein galloped over to her computer, where she announced over I.M. that she would have dinner with him-provided it was a nice place. “He took me to this restaurant … on top of this really cool building …. I can’t remember,” she said (gotta love the Post ie’s eye for detail). It was Top of the Tower in the Beekman Tower Hotel. There, he presented her with an epic poem of his own invention-“Breathtaking,” Ms. Weinstein said, “it brought me to tears”-and proclaimed that he was unable to live without her.

And he wasn’t even proposing marriage yet! That happened two years later, in a private tent strewn with rose petals at Casa La Femme, an Upper East Side restaurant that Ms. Weinstein had long been anxious to sample.

Shaking, Mr. Black got down on one knee and presented his ladylove with a two-carat round-cut diamond sandwiched between two half-carat baguettes and set in white gold, which he’d bought after four visits to a diamond warehouse in Long Island City. “I want to spend the rest of my life with you,” he told her.

Ensconced in domestic comfort with him in a midtown one-bedroom, Ms. Weinstein doesn’t miss her former wild days. “I went out every single night of the week; so did he,” she said. “In Manhattan, it’s really hard to get over that, and to realize that you really, truly love someone. That you really want to give all that up and be with them, and hibernate in a one-bedroom apartment.”

Stephen Fleming and Sisa Suriel

Met: September 1997 Engaged: Aug. 25, 2004 Projected Wedding Date: Sept. 24, 2005

It was freshman year at Middlebury College, and in order to stave off cabin fever during the winter, Sisa Suriel and her best friend would sit on the floor of her cramped double, discussing eligible bachelors. “We made this list of guys we thought were really cute and we would date,” Ms. Suriel said, giggling-a list that included Stephen Fleming, a dark-haired, broad-shouldered gent who lived in the same dorm.

But she and Mr. Fleming didn’t become romantically involved until their senior year, when they attended a campus production of Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues with six of her closest female friends on Valentine’s Day-or, as it’s now (sadly) known across college campuses, Vagina Day. Miraculously, Mr. Fleming sat through the entire play.

“I’m sure it was a little awkward for him,” said Ms. Suriel, who is of medium build with black, curly hair. “O.K., I know it was a little awkward for him … but it went well.”

A few years after graduation, the couple moved to New York and found separate studio apartments in upper Manhattan. He became a ninth-grade English teacher at A. Philip Randolph in Harlem; she found work as a marketing manager at Jeffrey Berman, an architecture firm in midtown. After they arranged a trip to Cambria, Calif., to visit his parents, Mr. Fleming began plotting a marriage proposal, visiting the diamond district with Ms. Suriel’s older sister and best friend for a single-carat emerald-cut diamond rock, set in platinum. He was hoping to pop the question during a sunset stroll on the Cambria beach.

But ….

“That’s so cheesy!” yelped Ms. Suriel, a cynical sort, when he suggested the walk. “We can do that any day!” She wanted to go to the farmers’ market in San Luis Obispo instead (45 minutes away), since her sisters were coming for dinner.

“Really?” Mr. Fleming said. “You don’t just want to hang out here?”

“Why?” Ms. Suriel asked. “Do you have something planned?”

” No,” he sulked.

As the sun started to set, Mr. Fleming’s agitation became increasingly visible. “What’s wrong with you?” Ms. Suriel said. “Just relax!”

When the pair finally returned to Cambria, dusk had definitively set in. Ms. Suriel flopped down languidly on the couch in the family room.

“Can’t you sit up for a second?” Mr. Fleming asked. She obliged. “This isn’t exactly how I had drawn this out,” he said, “but … will you marry me?”

“Oh, no-I ruined it!” squealed Ms. Suriel. Naaah ….

Both 26, the couple will make it legal at Tagart Memorial Chapel, just outside the bride’s hometown of Baltimore. They will merge households after the marriage.

Born Yesterday

Catherine Mary McCarthy

April 26, 2005 6:05 a.m. 8 pounds, 10 ounces New York-Presbyterian

Mini-marketer! Anne McCarthy, 35, an associate media director at Optimedia, has borne her first child with Sean McCarthy, 37, a partner at Bulldog New York, a start-up marketing agency, and her husband of seven years-and the little girl is already showing a talent for the biz. “She likes to scream 90 percent of the time when I’m home at night,” Mr. McCarthy said. “I get the impression she’s an angel all day-until I get home from work.” The two ad pros know a thing or two about building hype: They refused to tell anyone the name they’d picked out (after two of their grandmothers) over dinner at BLT Steak one night. “It drove people crazy!” Mr. McCarthy said. Alas, meals out are now a distant memory. “We’re cooking a lot more now,” Mr. McCarthy added woefully.

Countdown to Bliss