Countdown to Bliss

Aaron Matthew Guzikowski and Alison Hope Silverman

Met: May 2001

Engaged: Dec. 25, 2005

Projected Wedding Date: Oct. 14, 2006

One morning, Alison Silverman and her roommate awoke to a flashing answering machine in their Washington Heights apartment. I love you, but you have to let me go! sang out an unfamiliar male voice. They were transfixed—and mystified.

Ms. Silverman, a whimsical sort, decided they should call every guy they had dated in the past year to find out who had left the message. On her roommate’s very long list was one Aaron Guzikowski.

“Did you sing a love song on our answering machine?” Ms. Silverman asked him.

“Uh … no?” he answered, baffled.

They had a nice phone rapport, though, and after the roommate gave her O.K., made a date to meet in Washington Square Park, near the chess players. Cell-phone-less, they missed each other. A second assignation was arranged, but the brunette, olive-complexioned Ms. Silverman, then a barista at a vegan juice bar, slept through it after partying too hard the night before (she shoulda had a V8!). The third time, she proceeded straight to Mr. Guzikowski’s floor-through apartment in Park Slope. “You’re not a serial killer?” she ventured jokingly. No—just a tall, brown-haired wannabe screenwriter with good manners and a sweet disposition.

After a midnight showing of The Exorcist, Mr. Guzikowski walked Ms. Silverman to the West Fourth Street subway station and asked for a kiss. Feeling uncharacteristically shy, she buried her face in her hands. “You have to count to three,” she said.

“One … two … three … smooch!”

On the ride home, a saxophonist busker was belting out “Over the Rainbow,” echoing Ms. Silverman’s suddenly ebullient mood.

“I’m going to marry Aaron when I’m 29,” she told a friend later, in one of her occasional psychic bouts (alas, she couldn’t intuit who left that answering-machine message). “And he’s going to propose on Christmas.”

Six months prior, Ms. Silverman—who, like many Manhattan women, has a witchy streak—had cast a spell summoning the perfect man. “I had all these qualities for the person I would meet,” she said. “I wanted someone kind, creative, who would want to make films with me. He had all those qualities … except one.” She had requested a blond.

“I was bamboozled by magic!” Mr. Guzikowski said.

Shortly into their relationship, sitting on the F train, he turned to her and blurted out: “I love you … er, on the subway.”

This tagline quickly became their “thing.”

“I love you … ,” Ms. Silverman might tell him, “in the rain.” “It was almost too much to say,” she explained. “You had to add the little silliness to it.” Still, “there was no out once you got in.”

After a stabbing in her building, she decided to move in with him, leaving a bedroom she’d painted bright pink. “I was afraid that I would lose all the girly things,” she said.

But Ms. Silverman would go on to gain perhaps the girliest thing of all: a brilliant-cut Canadian (a.k.a. cruelty-free) diamond topped with three tiers of pavé from the Clay Pot, Park Slope’s pit stop for politically correct precious stones. Mr. Guzikowski gave it to her, as predicted, on Christmas Day. Lisel Burns, a humanist from the Brooklyn Society of Ethical Culture, will preside over their wedding, a small affair at the Prospect Park Boathouse.

The groom-to-be, 32, has become a senior studio associate at Digitas, a marketing company, writing film scripts and recording music in his spare time. The 29-year-old bride, meanwhile, is a freelance film editor, currently working on a show for MTV’s Caribbean outlet, Tempo. The couple also has a film-production company, Shady Cat Productions, named for their black-and-white tuxedo cat. Last year, one of their shorts won a competition and was screened at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

“We play, we make things,” Ms. Silverman said. “It’s fun.”

Elliot Cravitz and Miriam Schultz

Met: Summer 2001

Engaged: Oct. 25, 2005

Projected Wedding Date: Oct. 22, 2006

Miriam Schultz, known to most as Mimi, was sitting at the bar of SoHo House—the original SoHo House, in London—when she was first approached by a tall, dark and handsome Brit named Elliot Cravitz. They had never met before, but a mutual friend had invited them and 15 others on a weeklong vacation in Ibiza, Spain. No, Virginia, not an orgy. But it was a last fling of sorts for Ms. Schultz, who was about to matriculate at Stanford’s medical school.

Mr. Cravitz bought her a gin and tonic, and they giddily discussed the upcoming trip, which proved as decadent as one could hope: tapas on their villa’s veranda, bottles of Spanish wine ( hic!), floating lazily in the outdoor pool listening to Frank Sinatra records …. “I’d never done anything like that before,” said Ms. Schultz, 34, a native of Tucson, Ariz. “Only Europeans do something like that.”

Mr. Cravitz, a creative director who specializes in Web-site design and strategy, was thoroughly entranced with the slender, high-cheekboned brunette, who resembles a young Jodie Foster, and one night their vigorous boogieing at Pascha, a local club, led to a kiss on the dance floor.

After leaving paradise, Mr. Cravitz and Ms. Schultz embarked on a long-distance relationship, with daily phone calls (the hour before she went to bed and he started work) and monthly 11-hour flights, mostly undertaken by him, between London and the Bay Area. “Our first dinner was always me falling asleep in my soup,” he said fondly. “There were lots of hellos and goodbyes. It’s exciting, but it wears on you, because you’re constantly very excited and very sad.”

Mr. Cravitz investigated moving to California to be near Ms. Schultz, but the Internet bubble had burst and it was hard to find work in his field. Meanwhile, she had begun asking Big Questions about their future. “Things just had this revved-up intensity,” she said. “We were together so little that when we were together, I wanted to know when we were going to see each other next and what the plan was for the upcoming summer. Elliot wasn’t quite there.”

“She used the ‘M’ word relatively early,” added Mr. Cravitz, also 34. Reluctantly, he pulled the plug.

Over the next year and a half, Ms. Schultz embarked on another relationship, while Mr. Cravitz brooded silently over what might have been. One day, he got an e-mail from across the Atlantic. “Long time no speak,” Ms. Schultz wrote. “I was thinking of you and wondered how you are.”

“In my mind, it was, ‘Ah, the one that got away, the big fish,’” he said. “It was kind of romantic to be like, ‘Oh, it’s a shame, that one,’ and then when it’s back on your plate—well now, it’s a responsibility.”

He called her immediately, and upon hearing there was another dude in the picture, organized a one-on-one reunion at a two-bedroom cabin on stilts by a lake in Point Reyes, Calif., where they rapidly rekindled their romance, walking hand in hand through the trees.

“My intentions were honorable,” Mr. Cravitz told the Love Beat.

The on-again couple decided to move to New York after her graduation, driving cross-country in five days. Ms. Schultz began a residency in psychiatry at N.Y.U. Hospital, which afforded the couple a sweet subsidized Murray Hill one-bedroom with a view of the East River, and Mr. Cravitz began work toward an M.B.A. at Baruch College. But he still insisted it was a “trial period.”

Ms. Schultz would periodically poke him. “See how much fun we’re having? Is the trial over yet?”

And after three months, he was finally ready to admit that it was. They bought an elegant emerald-cut green sapphire with a pavé halo, set in a platinum pavé band, from a Soho jeweler and began planning a big wedding at the El Conquistador Hotel in Tucson.

“I thought, ‘What am I really doing? Why am I really here?’” said the happy groom-to-be. “It wasn’t to test our relationship—it was to get married to the woman I loved.”

Countdown to Bliss