TEALE m@ca.on.middlesex_county.london.london_free_press 2008-05-24 published
TEALE, Wayne and Vicky - Happy 25th Wedding Anniversary
Congratulations love your family Open house Saturday, May 24th 1519 Donnybrook, Dorchester, Ontario 3: 00 pm

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TEALE m@ca.on.middlesex_county.london.london_free_press 2008-06-21 published
TEALE, Wayne and Vicky - 25th Anniversary
Thank you to our loving family and Friends for celebrating our 25th Anniversary with us. Thanks for all the gifts and memories that we share which made the day so memorable. Your Friendships are the greatest gifts of all. Thank you Wayne and Vicky.

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TEASDALE m@ca.on.middlesex_county.london.london_free_press 2003-04-12 published
Forthcoming Marriage - Joyanne BECKETT and Rob WAGNER
Joyanne BECKETT, daughter of Pat TEASDALE of London and the late Butch TEASDALE and Rob WAGNER, son of Joan and Ron WAGNER of Elmira will be married May 10, 2003. The wedding will take place in Hamilton. Congratulations from everyone!

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TEETER m@ca.on.grey_county.artemesia.flesherton.the_flesherton_advance 2008-06-04 published
TEETER, Ken and Carol - 50th Wedding Anniversary
Family and Friends Please Join Us in Celebrating Ken and Carol TEETER's 50th Wedding Anniversary and Ken's 75th Birthday Saturday, June 14th, 2008, 8: 00 p.m. Royal Canadian Legion, Shelburne, Ontario
Best Wishes Only. Your Presence is Gift Enough
Page 15

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TEETER m@ca.on.grey_county.artemesia.flesherton.the_flesherton_advance 2008-07-02 published
TEETER, Ken and Carol - Anniversary
We would like to thank everyone for the best wishes, cards and gifts for our anniversary and Ken's birthday. Special thanks to our family for the great party.
- Ken and Carol.
Page 3

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TEIXEIRA m@ca.on.middlesex_county.london.london_free_press 2003-05-03 published
Forthcoming Marriage - LIEBREGTS / TEIXEIRA
Harry and Wendy LIEBREGTS of Saint Thomas are pleased to announce the forthcoming marriage of their daughter Erin Joanne to Jason Silva, son of Joao and Ilda TEIXEIRA of London.
This celebration will take place this summer.

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TEIXEIRA m@ca.on.middlesex_county.london.london_free_press 2003-08-30 published
SHARPE / TEIXEIRA
The families of P.J. SHARPE and Susan TEIXEIRA are pleased to announce the forthcoming marriage of their children to be held on September 13, 2003 at St. Agnes Church, Toronto.
P.J. and Susan will reside in Oakville, Ontario.

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TELEWIAK m@ca.on.york_county.toronto.toronto_star 2003-02-08 published
Happy 50th Wedding Anniversary Ted and Josie LUKASIK (née TELEWIAK) February 7, 1953 Congratulations and Best Wishes From Your Family & Friends
With much love to Babci and Dziadzi Randy, Mary Ann, Alicia and Andy Sto Lat!

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TELEWIAK m@ca.on.york_county.toronto.toronto_star 2003-02-11 published
Happy 50th Wedding Anniversary Ted and Josie LUKASIK (née TELEWIAK) February 7, 1953 Congratulations and Best Wishes From Your Family & Friends With much love to Babci and Dziadzi Randy, Mary Ann, Alicia and Andy Sto Lat!

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TELISMAN m@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2008-04-26 published
NELSON / TELISMAN
Dan and Cathy NELSON are very pleased to announce the marriage of their daughter, Rebecca Jean NELSON, to Paul TELISMAN, son of Frank and Nada TELISMAN of Burlington. The wedding took place on Saturday April 19th, 2008 in Toronto at the Kingsway Lambton United Church. The entire day will be treasured forever.

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TEMPLE m@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2005-11-06 published
Sheree M. LANTIN and Wai Michael TEMPLE -- Match
By Judith TENENBAUM, Saturday, November 5, 2005, Page M4
On their second date, as a birthday treat, Michael TEMPLE ushered Sheree LANTIN through Loblaws with an invitation to select her favourite delicacies so he could demonstrate his culinary acumen.
Ms. LANTIN, a self-described foodie who has tried "almost every restaurant in Toronto," recalls feeling skeptical as she flung down the gauntlet, selecting exotics such as fiddleheads and seafood. "He thinks he can cook?" she remembers thinking. "Let's see."
With celerity, he whipped together a feast. "He didn't even flinch -- [he] cooked five-star calibre," she says. "I was astonished."
A reticent Mr. TEMPLE soon confessed to having once worked at the celebrated French restaurant Auberge Gavroche.
The couple had met days earlier, during the May long weekend of 2003, when a mutual friend extolled each to the other, and suggested they meet at a birthday celebration in a downtown lounge.
One of four girls checking their jackets caught Mr. TEMPLE's eye.
"I thought I would be the luckiest guy if that indeed was Sheree," he says, and was rewarded 45 agonizing minutes later when the two were introduced and his luck held. After a brief chat, Ms. LANTIN drifted away, but made a lasting impression. "I realized she was what I was looking for, and the other girls said, 'She thinks you're a doll.' "
"He had a really good sense of humour -- that's what got me in the beginning," Ms. LANTIN says. "We spent hours talking and just phased out the other people."
Mr. TEMPLE wasn't ready to have his dream date vanish into the night and escorted her home. "I didn't know what to say or do, so I offered him this huge bowl of chocolate ice cream," she recalls with a laugh. The invitation enabled him to linger, and reflect with every measured spoonful on the price we pay for love: Mr. TEMPLE is lactose-intolerant.
The following weekend, Mr. TEMPLE was in Tofino, British Columbia, as a member of a friend's bridal party, and succumbed to the pangs of separation. "He called me a million times a day and then put the phone to the ocean. Really cheesy stuff," Ms. LANTIN says.
His Friends cautioned, "You're going to scare her off. She's going to think you're psychotic." But, enthralled by the adulation and miffed when it dwindled, "I told his Friends to stop giving him advice," she laughs.
Their lives meshed quickly. Mr. TEMPLE, now 38, with a B.A. from Concordia University, is general manager of Temple and Temple Tours Inc., a travel agency founded by his twin brothers in 1988 and geared to curriculum-based student travel. Until recently, Ms. LANTIN, an honours science graduate from the University of Toronto, worked across the street from him as an account manager for BIMM Communications. (She now has a new career as a senior account supervisor with FCB Direct.) The duo was soon blissfully spending seven days a week together.
Unfortunately, the couple entered a difficult phase in February, 2004, when Mr. TEMPLE's father, Walter Michael TEMPLE, was afflicted with terminal cancer. At the same time, Ms. LANTIN became ill with a complex lower intestinal dysfunction that left her feverish, in pain and barely able to stand. Exasperated after a series of misdiagnoses, she researched her problem on the Internet, and with the help of a friend, gained access to an appropriate specialist. Just before her two operations corrected the problem, Mr. TEMPLE's father died.
"That spring was one of the most trying periods of my life," says Mr. TEMPLE, who lifted his father's languishing spirits when he declared his intention to marry Ms. LANTIN.
As she recovered, his care and compassion underscored their bond. "I knew he was absolutely the one during that most meaningful and bittersweet time. His loyalty and kindness were there from the beginning," she says.
Mr. TEMPLE's just-in-time plans for a Christmas engagement unravelled when he ended up snowbound in Atlanta on December 23 -- the day he planned to pick up the ring -- while returning from Costa Rica with a tour group. He won a reprieve, however, when his brother stepped into the breach, enabling Mr. TEMPLE to insert the ring box as scheduled into one of a pair of snow boots placed in a Louis Vuitton bag. "We don't exactly remember what was said," Mr. TEMPLE says. "We were sobbing with tears of joy."
On August 13 on the deck overlooking the fairway of the Rosedale Golf and Country Club, Dr. Antoine AOUAD led the ceremony before 130 formally attired guests. "We thought of [the reception] as a big dinner party," the bride says, and the revelry continued at their King Street neighbour's after-party until daybreak.
As for the domestic peal of, "What's for dinner, honey?" Mrs. TEMPLE, 33, admits, "Mike likes to cook dinner. He finds comfort in it, and has fun at Dominion or St. Lawrence Market."

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TEMPLETON m@ca.on.york_county.toronto.toronto_star 2002-12-03 published
STERN / STARKMAN
-- Sylvia and Zanvel STERN, Sheila STARKMAN and George TEMPLETON and David and Joyce STARKMAN are thrilled to announce the engagement of their children, CORINNE to BRETT. Proud grandparent is Bronka STEIMAN. Excited siblings, nieces and nephews are Jill, Derek, Zachary and Jared STERN; Andrea, Steven, Alex and Charli STARKMAN and Debbie STARKMAN.

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TENENBAUM m@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2005-01-01 published
Wendy MANGOFF and Enzo DIMATTEO -- Match:
By Judith TENENBAUM, Saturday, January 1, 2005 - Page M5
Sometimes the vagaries of circumstance make life a raw deal, but you have to play the cards you're dealt. Wendy Eliza MANGOFF's health, finances and six-year career in office administration were devastated in 1997 by a driver running a red light at Coxwell and Dundas. "I spent 2½ years in physio and am still constantly in some sort of pain," she says.
In 1999, her life was still in tatters, and incredibly, her car was struck again: same intersection, same attending policeman, same result. "It aggravated my earlier injuries and it took another year of physio to recover. I think [fate] was telling me I had to leave my relationship and start life over," she says, explaining her decision to end an unsatisfying 10-year romance she was involved in.
Her self-vindication began with yoga. "It made me believe in myself again. I took a one-year course and became a certified instructor," she says. "It is a joy teaching because when people are hurt it helps them physically and emotionally."
In spite of the prognosis that her multiple injuries would prevent her from holding down a job, the once-adept skier and rock climber began an inexorable return to the working world by taking a part-time position as a receptionist at NOW magazine. By November, 2000, she was dating maverick NOW writer Enzo DIMATTEO, although it was soon apparent their ambiguous emotions were mired in problems, not passion.
"Her ex was still on the scene, even though she didn't want to be in touch with him. I didn't want to be in the middle," Mr. DIMATTEO says. "I felt there was something missing, unattainable, and distant about her. We weren't going anywhere."
The relationship petered out, "but on a good note," Ms. MANGOFF says. "I was still healing, and we were in two different states of mind."
In April, 2002, a nervous Mr. DIMATTEO responded by e-mail to her weekly invitation to a staff yoga session. "There are a lot of things I want to tell you but I don't want to say them in an e-mail," he wrote.
"I decided to seize the moment," he says. "It was one of the few times I allowed emotion to determine what I was going to do, as opposed to letting reason talk me out of it. It was liberating."
They had dinner soon after, and their conversation led Ms. MANGOFF to put aside reservations about their connection. "He was different, and I walked out of there happy and I don't think we ever stopped seeing each other after that," she says.
Their effervescence was stilled when, three months later, she was diagnosed with cervical cancer. She implored Mr. DIMATTEO to break it off and avoid the uncertainty that lay ahead. Instead, he proved a bulwark. "He stuck by me every single day, and I knew at that point in time if anyone can be with me now, he'll be with me forever," she says.
For the indefatigable Ms. MANGOFF and the once recalcitrant Mr. DIMATTEO, an August, 2002, motor trip to the Maritimes with a jog to Bethel, Maine, proved incandescent as they mused on their future and reflected on their past. He notes, "The trip was a big deal for Wendy. She felt after 10 days in close proximity, if we could come back and say we had a great time, there was something there."
In March, 2004, they returned to Bethel, where they had first declared their love. Poised on a rugged Appalachian mountain peak, he knelt and offered an engagement ring, replacing the promise ring she had worn.
The wedding ceremony took place at the elegant Edwardian Ontario Heritage Centre on September 4, with Sarah BUNNETT- GIBSON officiating.
"For Wendy, the wedding was a spiritual redemption, her dad walking her up the aisle, her sister maid of honour, and her confidence in the commitment," the bridegroom says.
Still working at NOW magazine, Mrs. DIMATTEO, 32, is a senior credit co-coordinator and Mr. DIMATTEO, 41, is a news editor. Never realizing his childhood dream of changing our world as a foreign correspondent, he did, however, have an impact on his bride's world.
"When I think of all the pain and suffering I have gone through, and still at times go through, the universe has given me Enzo to hold onto and I will not let go," she says. "We will be married forever, with a family."

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TENENBAUM m@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2005-01-22 published
Marnie SUGARMAN and Stephen ADLER -- Match
By Judith TENENBAUM, Saturday, January 22, 2005 - Page M6
If Stephen ADLER chronicles his memoirs, the results will leave the uninitiated bedazzled. In first-year university, with the bravura of a 19-year-old, he wrote to Dennis Swanson, president of ABC Sports: "You gave Oprah her first job, now give me mine." And he scored. For the next three summers, he worked as an intern in sportscasting for the major U.S. networks. The bold feat even led to an interview with Oprah Winfrey herself.
So it's not surprising the story of his engagement to Marnie SUGARMAN features more of the same bold strategizing.
Ms. SUGARMAN, a former camp counsellor, got together with Mr. ADLER after bumping into his sister, Pamela ADLER, a one-time charge of hers, on Bloor Street. "My brother looks pretty good these days," Ms. ADLER told Ms. SUGARMAN.
Ms. SUGARMAN handed over her number, and shortly after that encounter in November of 2001, she and Mr. ADLER met.
"She was stunningly beautiful, and I had her on the first date when I casually said I had been on Oprah, and then changed the topic," says the University of Ottawa graduate, who is now a fundraiser at Reena, a Toronto agency that works with the developmentally disabled.
Ms. SUGARMAN, who holds a master's degree in journalism, enthuses about their common interests. "At the time, I was an associate producer for W-Five and he didn't ask me to explain. It was brilliant." Later, she told her mother, "I think I met my match, someone who talks as much as I do."
Further, both embraced the value of family. Their visit to his grandparents in Montreal profoundly affected her. "He respected them and they loved him, yet were Friends. It was pivotal -- I had always wanted someone who respected family the way I did," she says.
By the summer of 2003, Mr. ADLER was envisioning the extraordinary: "To give her the biggest and best proposal story anyone can have." But because of her close relationship with Friends and family, he knew Ms. SUGARMAN would want to be with them when she got engaged.
He concocted a bifurcated approach. In a parody of the phantom character George Kaplan in Alfred Hitchcock's North By Northwest, Mr. ADLER created a fictitious client whom he described as a flamboyant bon vivant. Then, he arranged an appointment at the Windsor Arms hotel, where the couple headed after a Peter Gabriel concert in July, 2003. "Even his parents were in on it, saying he [the supposed client] sounded fabulous," Ms. SUGARMAN notes. "And I bought into every ounce of the story."
When they arrived, they received a message that the client was delayed but that they were invited to his suite, where flowers and delicacies awaited. Suddenly, when Ms. SUGARMAN noticed the stuffed bears that were reminiscent of Mr. ADLER's first gift to her, the jig was up. "She almost started to convulse, smiling and wailing in combination as I got down on one knee and proposed," Mr. ADLER says. He then ushered her to the downstairs bar, where family and Friends toasted the engaged pair.
Two weeks later, the spectacular finale was set. Mr. ADLER persuaded her boss to commandeer a reluctant Ms. SUGARMAN, now a television producer for Red Apple Entertainment, who was in the midst of a long-awaited interview. "My boss wouldn't even let me go to the bathroom," she says. "We ran, ran, ran, out. Stephen put his foot on the pedal, and we were off."
Timing was crucial because of distance, a border to cross, and an intractable schedule dependent on the weather. Mr. ADLER gave her a series of envelopes to open in sequence, each with driving directions that collectively led to their final destination, without revealing it.
Mr. ADLER fuelled the drama by insisting that she relinquish her ring. "The place we're going you can't be engaged or married," he explained.
A six-hour push found them in Akron, Ohio, at sunset, on the tarmac for the Goodyear blimp. "Oh my God, you're going to ask me to marry you again," Ms. SUGARMAN guessed. "I'm going to laugh!"
"I don't care what you do," Mr. ADLER whispered, "but they think this is our engagement and you'd better cry." As the blimp ascended, he handed her a love note, tears gushed on cue, and the flight crew applauded.
An engagement on the blimp was as likely as a seat on Apollo, yet undeterred, Mr. ADLER had e-blitzed for months every potential source to plead his case, while saving every correspondence for Ms. SUGARMAN, an avid scrapbooker. Finally, an empathetic ear at Goodyear agreed to help.
On October 10 at the Toronto Marriott Downtown Eaton Centre, Rabbi Erwin SCHIELDS wed the couple, then both 27. The bride's 92-year-old grandmother, whose 65th anniversary was that very day, attended the ceremony. Their odyssey would continue on a honeymoon planned by Ms. SUGARMAN to the Seychelles Islands, Zanzibar and Madagascar.

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TENENBAUM m@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2005-01-29 published
Lori Lynn MASON and James EMBELTON -- Match:
By Judith TENENBAUM, Saturday, January 29, 2005 - Page M4
Like many young Australians, James John EMBELTON went on a "walkabout" after graduating from university. The rite of passage is almost a national tradition, says Mr. EMBELTON, who graduated from Monash University in Melbourne in 1994.
"It's encouraged that graduates put a pack on their back, buy a one-way ticket, and see the world," he says. "I thought I'd stop [in Toronto], get a job for a year, and see what I thought."
That was more than 10 years ago. "I made Friends," he says, "did well career-wise, and started to love the place."
Within a few years of his arrival, he became a Canadian citizen and began working in financial services. He succumbed to the opiate of Muskoka winters, highlighted by an annual weekend at a rustic retreat near Gravenhurst, Ontario, owned by his friend Craig MARSHALL.
It was in this serene environment that Mr. EMBELTON staged a surprise proposal to Toronto native Lori Lynn MASON that reflected the international nature of their relationship.
The two had met at AIC Mutual Funds, where they were working in sales, in February of 2001. Each was in another relationship at the time, but their water-cooler musings heated up into romance by 2003. "Lori has an incredible smile and beauty. We are both motivated and caring," he says.
"Many women go gaga over him, but the accent wasn't a draw," says Ms. MASON, a business graduate of Mohawk College in Hamilton. "He is kind and intelligent."
Mr. EMBELTON made his move in March, 2004, after some stealthy manoeuvring. The pair had planned to make the annual trip to Mr. MARSHALL's place in Muskoka, but at the last minute, Mr. EMBELTON told Ms. MASON to go ahead on her own, saying he needed to study for his financial-analyst exam. In fact, he was taking care of some last-minute engagement details.
Things almost went awry, Mr. MARSHALL recalls. "James was travelling on business and left me his package to bring up to the camp. I picked up flowers for him, but in my rush, because I was entertaining the whole group, I got halfway and realized, 'Oh my God!' I'd left it."
The package was critical to Mr. EMBELTON's plans, so Mr. MARSHALL pulled a few strings to get it: "Fortunately, my ex-wife lives next door [to me]," he says with a laugh, "is a good friend, and likes James and Lori, so she hired a locksmith to break into my house so James could swing by for his stuff."
The next morning, Mr. EMBELTON rushed to Muskoka to rendezvous with two confederates who helped him set the scene. "It was beautiful, near zero, not a cloud in the sky and we set up a blanket on a snow-covered hill where Lori and I had spent time before," he says.
To paraphrase Jimmy Kennedy's lyrics to The Teddy Bears' Picnic, Ms. MASON "went into the woods that day, and she was sure of a big surprise." Mr. EMBELTON whisked Ms. MASON off by snowmobile to the secluded proposal spot, where the contents of the package were laid out against a backdrop of white pines: champagne flutes and a toy koala and polar bear teddy holding Australian and Canadian flags, respectively.
"I felt we were destined to be together," Ms. MASON says. "I was very emotional."
On September 5, Canadian and Australian flag bearers planted their standards on either side of the altar at All Saints Anglican Church in Etobicoke, where the bride taught Sunday school.
A design of a maple leaf and Australian gum leaf, their stalks intertwined, appeared on the invitations and in all facets of the wedding.
Ms. MASON, 30, entered on her father's arm to strains of Waltzing Matilda and O Canada. A bouquet on the altar honoured her late mother.
Close friend Reverend Timothy FOLEY, youth director Susan OLIVER and assistant priest Michael LLOYD incorporated a full Eucharist service into the ceremony. Mr. MARSHALL serenaded the audience on guitar as the couple signed the register.
The bridegroom, 32, was a national champion in yachting, and fittingly, the reception was held at the Boulevard Club. The bridal party entered to Australia's rousing football song with the newlyweds making their debut to the Hockey Night in Canada theme.
The 130 guests included 25 from abroad, whom the groom calculated logged a total of 270,000 kilometres to be there.
The newlyweds are now off for a two-year stint in Australia, where Mr. EMBELTON has accepted an associate director position at Macquarie Bank.
"It is more than a geographical change," says his bride, who looks forward to taking on new challenges there, including volunteer work caring for infants born with cocaine addiction.
"In Australia, I won't have the commitments I have here, so I'll have the time."

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TENENBAUM m@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2005-02-05 published
Amy OICLES and Ronald GOSLING -- Match:
By Judith TENENBAUM, Saturday, February 5, 2005 - Page M6
When planning a wedding, some couples want frothy and romantic. Others go for the ultimate in elegance, fun or fantasy. Ronald James GOSLING and Amy Lynn OICLES sought a singular event that reflected their adventuresome, roving spirits.
After all, Mr. GOSLING, a Toronto musician, had spent months over the years touring the United States with his band, Weirdstone, and as a solo artist. Ms. OICLES, meanwhile, ventured farther afield, making forays from her native San Francisco to Alaska, Laos, Malaysia, Nepal and Thailand, where she taught English.
So theirs was a marriage on the move -- on a tour bus.
"Everyone has a different idea about what is romantic, but we wanted the unusual," Mr. GOSLING says.
"Ron wanted to get married in motion because we both wandered around so much," Ms. OICLES, 34, adds, "and we have this dream of crossing the U.S. in a Winnebago."
On the afternoon of January 23, a 40-foot luxury Canada Coach pulled up to their apartment in the Bathurst and St. Clair neighbourhood. Early arrivals decorated the chapel on wheels, cramming in food, drink, the cake and a slew of musical instruments.
The bride and groom, outfitted respectively in traditional white and a $28 thrift-store suit, boarded the bus, which then navigated snowy Toronto streets to collect Friends and family from homes and hotels.
"I was nervous for a fair chunk of it," Mr. GOSLING, 37, says. "I'd never been married before, and the storage bins hit my head, but the danger just amplified the wedding."
With officiant Sarah BUNNETT- GIBSON balancing the bumps and curves, the "I do's" took place somewhere between Main and Danforth, and Greenwood and Gerrard. Passengers defied double-digit negative temperatures to tour key Toronto attractions -- the Distillery District, Royal Ontario Museum and the C.N. Tower -- as onlookers rubbernecked the wedding assemblage. At Harbourfront, the celebrants feted the coincidental birthday of the bridegroom's father with sparklers. Aboard the bus, seven guitarists and a toy keyboard that sounded like a cathedral organ heightened the festivities.
Six hours later, the tour ended at the couple's apartment, where Mr. GOSLING's friend Howard BERTOLO tickled the ivories into the night.
The hardy entourage braved a blizzard the next afternoon to hit the dance floor at the Chick'n'deli, where the groom's father, jazz trombonist Len GOSLING, wound up the group with his iconic Climax Jazz Band, a fixture there since it opened in 1983.
The wedding's rolling venue was particularly appropriate since Ms. OICLES actually worked as a tour-bus driver in San Francisco in 1996 during one of her returns from her international wanderings. "I love driving people around," she says. "But there was a lot of pressure. If anything goes wrong, it is always the driver's fault."
For seven years, she indulged her nomadic urge after graduating in 1993 from the University of California in Santa Barbara.
She hung up her backpack to study psychology at San Francisco State University, and by 2003 she was working in the public-school system while also tutoring a student with Asperger's syndrome.
It was during this sojourn home that she met Mr. GOSLING on April Fool's Day, 2003, in a bar in Fairfax, California, where he was playing guitar.
"She struck me as terrific," he says, "and we made a date for the next day."
Several months of sun, surf and sparks made the two a pair. "Ron is incredibly funny. His music, sense of adventure and high level of honesty make him unusual," she says.
Mr. GOSLING plaintively admitted being homesick and missing snow, however, just when she was ready for the road again. "I was itching to get out of the Bay Area," Ms. OICLES says. "It had become expensive and everyone was working with no time to relax."
With a stop at the Grand Canyon, the duo drove across the country, pulling into Toronto in August.
Mr. GOSLING, who frequently took on work as a house painter ("for the bread part"), is now the superintendent in the couple's upscale apartment building. When not nursing its cranky boiler, he practises: guitar, piano and trumpet. "I'm kind of a Jack of many [instruments], but the bass is my forte. I play on demos or do a gig if someone needs a sub. I just love music."
Despite the new responsibilities, the couple's travels continue, as they cross the border every few months to make sure Ms. OICLES stays on the right side of Canada's immigration laws.
"We go for weekends in Buffalo and Niagara Falls," Ms. GOSLING says. "It is really ridiculous, but we do what we can to stay legal."

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TENENBAUM m@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2005-03-12 published
Megan BERNARDO and Ryan MICHALSKI -- Match
By Judith TENENBAUM, Saturday, March 12, 2005 Page M6
If you love something, you can set it free, but it may need a nudge in the appropriate direction. At least that's what Megan BERNARDO reasoned as she "pushed, more than encouraged," a reluctant Ryan MICHALSKI to follow his dream and move to England to play basketball.
The 6-foot-4 athlete, whom she had been dating for five years, had recently obtained his Chartered Accountant designation and a position with Deloitte and Touche LLP. But this bean counter wasn't keen on being tied to a desk. He had been thinking about trying out for a spot on the Northampton Neptunes, ever since Friends from his days at Mount Allison University had ended up on the team and encouraged him to join them. "It was always in the back of my mind," Mr. MICHALSKI, now 26, says, "and Megan said, 'If you don't go, you'll regret it.' "
"I was worried if he didn't go, he'd regret me," Ms. BERNARDO laughs.
His employers were supportive as well, he says, guaranteeing his position for a year, so Mr. MICHALSKI decided to make the move in August of 2003.
He wasn't exactly a stranger in a strange land. "My mother's parents, five of her brothers and sisters and a whack of cousins lived within a hundred miles, and when you come from Canada, a two-hour drive isn't far."
Living and working with his former university teammates helped him feel at home too.
The biggest challenge was being away from Ms. BERNARDO, whom he had met in 1998, when they were both third-year students at Mount Allison, in Sackville, N.B.
"We did stats homework together and became Friends," says Mr. MICHALSKI, who is originally from Saint John's.
The summer after they met, he lined up what he thought was a solid job offer in Toronto, where Ms. BERNARDO lived, and called her.
"My parents always welcomed everyone into our house," Ms. BERNARDO says. "So when they heard Ryan's dad and friend Dave were here, they said, 'Bring everyone.' "
When the families were chatting, they realized that Mr. MICHALSKI's father, a professor at Memorial University in Newfoundland, knew a close family friend, Judy ROBERTS, from when she was a PhD candidate at Memorial. Both families felt an instant rapport.
The connection even led to an offer of employment for Mr. MICHALSKI, who had just learned that his original job offer had fallen through. Hearing the news, Ms. BERNARDO's parents immediately offered him summer employment at Camp Wabikon, a former Hudson's Bay post near Temagami, which they owned and operated.
That fall, the couple started dating, and by graduation in 2000, they were viewing each other in a starry new light as they toured Europe for a month. Ms. BERNARDO decided to return there after the two came back to Canada, to study Italian and formulate her future. "It was hard because Ry had just moved to Toronto and I was going away. But he was very supportive," she says.
While Mr. MICHALSKI completed his 30 months of accountancy requirements, Ms. BERNARDO searched for her niche. After travelling in Europe, she had returned to Toronto, completed the Canadian Securities Course and found work in the investment field. But she wasn't satisfied with her career decisions. "I was miserable in the city being away from what I loved, and midsummer decided I was on the wrong track. I realized that what I had been trying to get away from was what I loved and wanted to do forever."
Happily, in 2003, she joined her siblings on Wabikon's staff as an assistant director. "It's a family affair," she beams.
Meanwhile, Mr. MICHALSKI was preparing to leave the country. He had the ring and envisioned proposing at Christmas, when Ms. BERNARDO planned to visit him. But when she dashed back to the city to bid farewell two days before his departure, the catalyst of nerves and ardour spurred him to immediacy. He missed his opportunity during a romantic dinner when a group in banker's blue noisily invaded the restaurant they had chosen. He skillfully rebounded, however, and proposed later at home. After her slam-dunk response, they bounded off to his scheduled touch-football game.
Just engaged, they were soon an ocean apart. "It was tough being without Megan," he says. "She came over for a month at Christmas, and I surprised her in April."
After that brief visit, he returned to England and stayed three months longer, coaching in primary schools, a job made easier after he had interacted with campers at Wabikon. And by fall, as their wedding approached, he was back here for good, working once again as a Chartered Accountant.
On October 22, Reverend Deborah HART led the ceremony in Eglinton St. George's United Church. The processional and recessional were two versions of the Trumpet Voluntary, played by internist and family friend Lynn SARGEANT, who had performed the identical repertoire at the wedding of the bride's parents in 1969.
"As soon as it started, all of my emotions came up," says the bride, 27. Among her seven bridesmaids were five housemates from university. "It was the first time we had all been together since graduation, and I needed them with me," the new Mrs. MICHALSKI emotes, adding, "Our Friendship came before Ry and I were ever a couple."
Still, she says, nothing can match the bond she has with her husband. "We have the same Friends, are accepting of each other's lives and dreams and make each other laugh, which keeps us sane."

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TENENBAUM m@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2005-03-19 published
Tracy WYNNE and David CLARK -- Match:
By Judith TENENBAUM, Saturday, March 19, 2005 Page M6
David Leonard CLARK was teaching romantic literature at Trent University in 1985 when he encountered a professorial dilemma. Her name was Tracy Lee WYNNE.
The self-described "gaunt, brooding young professor" was struggling to finish his doctoral dissertation and wasn't looking for distractions. He was also well aware of the thorny ethical issues that arise out of student-teacher relationships.
But Ms. WYNNE was "a vivacious, gifted undergraduate with freckles and fair hair," he recalls. "I felt there was this kind of integrity about Tracy, with real intellectual honesty, a woman brimming with intelligence. After years of dating catastrophes she seemed too good to be true."
The attraction was mutual. Almost 30 at the time, Dr. CLARK appealed to Ms. WYNNE in a way that many of her fellow students didn't.
"I have to confess I was immediately struck by David's intelligence and intensity, coupled with the kind of maturity that at the time I didn't find in my fellow 20-year-olds," Ms. WYNNE explains. "It had an infinite appeal for me."
Their ensuing relationship, a model of propriety, was confined to long walks, diverse discussions and wistful glances as they weighed their options. She could remain in his class and observe university decorum or choose another course. "When you're 20, a year seems like a long time," says Ms. WYNNE, "so I dropped the course, picked up another and didn't feel that I was compromising my education."
Eight months later, distance and finances challenged the underpinnings of their romance. Dr. CLARK moved to Connecticut after receiving a postdoctoral fellowship at Yale University -- a distinction that led to "two intense years," he says, "where I threw myself into critical theory."
Ms. WYNNE, meanwhile, had run out of money and had to put her education on hold. To raise enough funds to continue, she took a job in Peterborough. "I... did the honourable work of scooping ice cream and managing a frozen-yogurt store to keep body and soul together and collect enough cash to go back to school," she says. "A helpful travel agent would tell me when I could get a flight to Hartford for $79 return, and it seemed like a king's ransom at the time."
Copious letters connected them. Mirroring a Jane Austen gallant, the sensitive Dr. CLARK has kept them. "They're an archive of what we wrote," he says. "Now, we'd be communicating by e-mail and it would just get deleted."
"We are firm believers that distance does make the heart grow fonder," Ms. WYNNE says.
But when Dr. CLARK joined the staff at McMaster University in 1988 the two took up residence together in a modest apartment in downtown Hamilton, surviving a "boiling summer" together without air conditioning. With pluck and poise Ms. WYNNE completed her undergraduate studies in English literature and history there, then began a law degree at Osgoode Hall. "I drove the life out of our tiny red Hyundai for three years," says Ms. WYNNE, "and when I graduated we moved to Toronto in 1993."
Since then, Dr. CLARK has become the commuter, travelling to Hamilton to teach English as well as supervise M.A. and Ph.D. candidates on A.I.D.S. activism. It's a topic that combines his interest in the social and cultural phenomena of disease with his desire to help some of the people he and Ms. WYNNE know "who are Human Immunodeficiency Virus-positive and struggling to live with that."
Ms. WYNNE, a partner in the boutique firm Lax O'Sullivan Scott, also takes an active interest in social issues, volunteering with Second Harvest food bank and serving on the board of the Bond Street Nursery School, which services the Regent Park community.
In their 16-year committed relationship the pair had exchanged rings and were regarded as de facto married, but as they strolled last June near Allan Gardens Ms. WYNNE was "caught off-guard" by a proposal.
Soberly, Dr. CLARK reflects on why he thought they should formalize their relationship: "So much seems to be falling apart. In a world of war and terror, we feel an ever sharpening sense of the preciousness of what we have in terms of the richness of family and Friends."
Clearly they didn't want to take each other for granted.
The sunset, the sound of tree frogs and hundreds of incandescent blooms announced the beginning of their wedding ceremony, which took place on December 29 in the British Virgin Islands.
Deputy Registrar Hugh Allington HODGE performed the nuptials before a party of eight at Toa Toa House nestled in the hills of Tortola, overlooking Sir Francis Drake's Channel.
A month later, at Canoe, the couple hosted a black-tie reception, where 140 guests sipped island-themed martinis and confections by Eat My Words, a non-profit organization whose proceeds go to Out of the Cold.
To those who still don't understand why they chose to marry after 16 years, Dr. CLARK offers this response: "A poem, Two Words: A Wedding by bp Nichol, read by Dr. Marina LESLIE at our reception is the best answer."
An excerpt reads, "There are things you have words for. Things you do not have words for. There are words that encompass all your feelings and words that encompass none..."

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TENENBAUM m@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2005-04-09 published
Penny HICKS and Simon WHISTON -- Match
By Judith TENENBAUM, Saturday, April 9, 2005, Page M4
Penelope Ruth HICKS was raised in a secular family, but she took a leap of faith on her second date with Simon Edward WHISTON, clinging to him on her first-ever snowboarding trip as they hurtled down the slopes of Blue Mountain near Collingwood, Ontario
Shaky on this unfamiliar apparatus, Ms. HICKS and the veteran snowboarder sped -- and tumbled -- down the hills hand-in-hand.
"Si holding me up, down the mountain, I literally fell in love with him head over heels," she says.
"No guts, no glory," Mr. WHISTON adds of the daring manoeuvre, laughing.
Faith and questions of spirituality would propel the couple through difficult times and secure their bonds.
Ms. HICKS and her sister dabbled in religion as children. "We'd call on Friends to go to church with them. Our parents were supportive of whatever faith we wanted to explore."
Her fascination yielded to typical teenage distractions, but revived in university when Ms. HICKS, who plays the French horn, switched her major at McGill University in Montreal from music to religious studies. Now an account manager with Canadian Business magazine, she says: "I never thought about what I'd become, I just wanted to study my passion."
Mr. WHISTON, now a sales manager at CDI, grew up in a conformist Catholic family and evolved at university into a lapsed Catholic dogged by low-grade guilt. "You go through that period of questioning faith and organized religion," he says.
The pair had a false start when they first met in April of 2000 through a mutual friend at a 26th-birthday bash for Mr. WHISTON. Shortly after, they bumped into each other at a Toronto restaurant. "Simon talked my ear off for a couple of hours... but I was involved with someone else, and it just wasn't going to the next step," Ms. HICKS remembers.
A graduate of the University of Western Ontario, Mr. WHISTON laments, "I was living in London and could tell she wasn't interested."
They reconnected at another gathering in January of 2001, and two weeks later the busy and still not terribly interested Ms. HICKS "squeezed me in between 10 and 12" at night for a drink, Mr. WHISTON chuckles. But this time the chemistry was obvious and he offered to teach her snowboarding the next weekend.
Ms. HICKS's curiosity about religion prompted Mr. WHISTON to revisit his Catholic roots. "There are not a lot of people who talk about spirituality or faith these days -- it's not cool or mainstream," he says. "I was thrilled that Penny was interested and again became interested in going to church."
"In the first few months," she adds, "we talked about God, not in the context of the Catholic Church or of Christianity, but we knew something bigger than us was bringing us together."
They were inexorably headed for marriage, but Mr. WHISTON threw Ms. HICKS a red herring as they prepared for a Christmas vacation in Tahiti in 2003. "Don't get your hopes up -- I'm not proposing on this trip," he told her, leaving her crestfallen.
Actually, he had a ring in his pocket as they got ready to board the airplane. "I was nervous it could set off the metal detector and I'd have to get down on my knee at the airport," he says.
On December 23, they biked a gruelling 40 kilometres in 35-degree heat along the coast of the volcanic island of Moorea, encouraging each other with exhortations of what an amazing adventure it was. Exhausted, they recuperated and cooled off on a beach, waves caressing them, when Mr. WHISTON took his cue. "Penny HICKS, would you like the adventure to continue, will you marry me?" he asked, and produced the ring.
They enrolled in a Catholic marriage preparation course that reinforced their union and had them "asking tough questions about finances, children, expectations and sexuality," he says. "It gives you tools to work through the tough times and stay committed."
Meanwhile, Ms. HICKS resolved her religious quandary and converted to Catholicism. "It was a decision on my part," she says. "The Catholic faith spoke to me, but it was also a commitment to Simon and the family we will hopefully have."
On January 29, Reverend Jim SERCELY wed the couple, both 30, at Our Lady of Sorrows Church in Etobicoke, with a reception following at the nearby St. George's Golf and Country Club.
They went on a snowboarding honeymoon through Europe and were amused to discover that their exploits at Blue Mountain four years ago had become legendary. A Canadian couple they met in Switzerland turned out to belong to the same Collingwood ski club and asked the newlyweds whether they had heard of the pair who had snowboarded down the slopes in tandem.
Although Mr. WHISTON and Ms. HICKS, who is now an expert snowboarder, no longer practise such moves, she says: "I still say 'hold me' as we get off the chairlift."

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TENENBAUM m@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2005-04-16 published
Thomas COOK and Brenda COOK --
By Judith TENENBAUM, Saturday, April 16, 2005, Page M6
Thomas George COOK's eyes welled with tears when he saw his bride in her ivory wedding gown, descending the staircase at Grande St. Lucian Resort in St. Lucia. "She looked so beautiful I was breathless and started to cry," he says.
Onlookers cheered the couple as they walked down a pathway to exchange vows in an ocean-side garden before a local registrar.
Finally, after four children and a quarter-century of marriage, Brenda COOK was wed in the traditional dress she had missed out on the first time around.
On December 30, the residents of Georgetown, Ontario, renewed their vows to mark their 25th anniversary, the first time in their marriage that they had ever been on a holiday without their children.
"We were worried about how we were going to interact alone together without kids," Mr. COOK says, but his wife enthuses, "We fell in love with each other all over again."
The ceremony fulfilled a long-held wish of Mrs. COOK's, her husband says. "Over the years of our marriage I have always asked her, 'Had you any regrets about how we were married?' and she said, 'The only regret I had was not wearing a white wedding gown.'"
They met in 1977 when she, then Brenda May LAW, was 16 and he was two years her senior. His older sister had been enlisted to supervise her and two siblings while their parents vacationed in Florida.
Mr. COOK says he thought he "shouldn't go out with her because she was too young," but her parents supported the relationship and the romance flowered.
Although they envisioned a traditional wedding three years later, the pair were married in a quiet civil ceremony after the new Anglican minister at her family's church posed an impediment.
"He didn't know our family or me," she remembers, "and thought Tom and I were far too young and wanted us to take marriage classes at the church."
But Mr. COOK rebelled upon learning the minister himself was not married. "What does somebody who isn't, or hasn't been married, going to tell us, whose parents have been married over 25 years?" he says. "I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life with Brenda and anything he told me was not going to change that."
So she enlisted a family friend, Supreme Court judge John GREENWOOD, to marry them in his chambers at Osgoode Hall in Toronto on January 18, 1980. It was the first and only time he had performed a wedding. "We were happy just to get married," Mr. COOK says.
The young couple also surprised their new neighbours as they moved into their first home, in Port Credit. When asked when their parents were going to arrive, Mrs. COOK responded, "We are not helping our parents move in. This is my, and my husband's, home."
They would be blessed with four children, Tom, 23, Robynn, 22, William, 14, and Katelynn, 12, all of whom demonstrate academic and athletic excellence. They share their parents' love of the outdoors and respect for the environment. The two younger children and their mother regularly cycle the Martin Goodman Trail to Toronto.
When the couple decided to renew their vows, she explored the bridal salons with her daughters. "My youngest daughter picked out a Cinderella dress," laughs Mrs. COOK, an administrative assistant at Extendicare.
Wearing the gown was a highlight of the trip for her. "I wasn't allowed to see it until the day of the wedding," says Mr. COOK, a supervisor with Toronto Hydro, adding that she dined and danced in it until 4 a.m.
Before the trip to St. Lucia, their children arranged a surprise party to mark their parents' silver anniversary. Robynn encapsulates the couple's journey: "My parents have never had things easy. From day one of their marriage at such a young age they have strived to stay afloat even when the going got tough. They have supported me along the way in every goal that I have achieved -- and even those I've failed."

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TENENBAUM m@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2005-04-23 published
Amy WRIGHT and Wright STAINES -- Match:
By Judith TENENBAUM, Saturday, April 23, 2005, Page M4
The careers of choreographer Amy Elizabeth WRIGHT and lighting designer Wright Harold STAINES intersected on the yellow brick road in a production of The Wizard of Oz at the Grand Theatre in London, Ontario As in that tale, the captivated couple would soon fly over their rainbow, meet the wicked witch of bureaucratic delay and recognize they had the power to control their destiny.
But first, the tornado of fate had to throw them together.
Technically speaking, that happened in December, 2002, during the Wizard of Oz run, but the two didn't actually connect until later. They were too busy concentrating on the demands of their work, which has involved a variety of high-profile celebrities. She has worked with stars that range from Peter O'Toole and Jeremy Irons to Hilary Duff and Woody Harrelson. He has worked with some of the biggest names on Canadian stage.
The two didn't notice each other until April, 2003, during a production of The Music Man at the Grand, when they bumped into each other in the theatre's elevator. Sparks flew, but the pair tried to keep their mutual attraction quiet. Savvy members of the cast soon noticed their ardent glances, however, as Ms. WRIGHT cozied up to the lighting table.
"Wright was the first person to encourage me to share my feelings, and he's funny," she says. "He's the first guy I really trust and can be myself with 100 per cent, and he'll still love me at the end of the day. Even if I argue with Wright, it's still okay."
The beguiled Mr. STAINES calls her "bright and shiny like a penny, gregarious and vivacious."
By December, he proposed. Mr. STAINES had been married once before, and his divorce papers hadn't been finalized. But with career obligations forcing them to spend much time apart, he says he decided "to risk marriage again because I can't give her up, and if I didn't, somebody else would get her."
He was familiar with life on the move, working as a roadie doing lighting design for rock and roll bands before settling into a long-term position at the Shaw Festival in Niagara-on-the-Lake, and later in his current position as head of lighting design at the Grand Theatre. At 44, he now sticks close to London, while Ms. WRIGHT has a working life that's more peripatetic.
Now 33, she was inspired by a workshop at the University of Western Ontario and "followed her dream as a dancer," enrolling at the Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts in Toronto. A part-time stint with Stephanie GARIN, casting director for such Toronto productions as Mamma Mia and Rent, led to a modest choreography assignment where her prodigious talent soon became apparent. In addition to many live-theatre productions, she has choreographed two dozen movie and television features, from 1999's Superstar to the coming The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio.
While working on the latter, she taught Woody Harrelson and Julianne Moore the foxtrot. "I ended up teaching Woody, his wife, and two girls how to tap dance at their house after the shoot," she says.
Their wedding was scheduled for August of 2004, but a stray marriage certificate put a glitch in Mr. STAINES's divorce proceedings and their plans appeared to be unravelling. "I was having a breakdown, saying, 'Oh my God, we can't get married,' Ms. WRIGHT says. "I was so upset, and devastated that I was going to call off the wedding."
Officiant Sarah BUNNETT- GIBSON, however, proposed a solution: a commitment ceremony. The idea thrilled the couple. "We decided because we had come so far with our wedding plans we would go with it," Ms. WRIGHT says, "and if the paperwork arrived in time to do it legally, fine. If it didn't, we'd have the most important part, committing and saying we love each other."
The ceremony took place on August 23, an off-night Monday for their theatre colleagues, on a sunset cruise in Toronto Harbour aboard the chartered yacht Yankee Lady III. The onboard reception for 110 guests was a summery barbecue, enlivened with red and white gingham and lantern accents. Later, as the vessel headed to shore, a coincidental pyrotechnic display at the Canadian National Exhibition lit up the sky, heralding the occasion.
Almost six months later, the tardy divorce papers finally in hand, the couple staged the legally prescribed finale on Valentine's Day, exactly 35 years after the bride's parents were wed, in a Rosedale home. The principals, minister, vows and wedding dress were a repeat performance. Graham COFFING, who appeared in the musical Bat Boy, stood for the bride, and Jenny KENT witnessed for her brother, the bridegroom. "Who gets to wear their wedding dress twice?" enthuses the bride, delighted with her new name, Mrs. Wright STAINES. " Two Wrights are too confusing."
As for others who find themselves on a tortuous path of marital red tape, the bridegroom has this advice: "Don't wait for love. If it's important to you, just have a commitment ceremony, and finish the legalities later."

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TENENBAUM m@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2005-04-30 published
Jamie LAWSON and Leo RAUTINS -- Match:
By Judith TENENBAUM, Saturday, April 30, 2005, Page M6
Lyricist Carl Sigman's 1950s classic line, "Many a tear has to fall, but it's all in the game," could have been Jamie LAWSON and Leo RAUTINS's theme song until the two met and their romance became a slam dunk.
A basketball phenomenon at Saint Michael's College in Toronto, Mr. RAUTINS was inducted into the Canadian Basketball Hall of Fame and played 10 years for Canada's national team. He starred with the Syracuse University Orangemen and was a first-round draft choice of the Philadelphia 76ers, for whom he played in 1983-84. Then, after a brief stint with the Atlanta Hawks, his professional play was in Europe until 1992. A career switch to broadcasting led to his role as a television analyst for the Toronto Raptors since their 1995 inception.
Meanwhile, Jamie LAWSON, a native Texan raised in Memphis, was growing up the antithesis of a demure southern belle. "I was very feminine and a pretty little girl, but into sports and competitive," she says. "I was upset I was born a girl and really wanted to be a quarterback."
As a child, she parked in front of her black-and-white television, captivated by any and every sport, and soon became a trivia buff. At university, her associate degree in biology had her dreaming of sports medicine, but a successful dalliance in modelling led her to recruitment management.
When a mutual friend introduced the pair at Ms. LAWSON's alma mater, the University of North Carolina, at a 2001 charity basketball game, their encounter was definitely a three pointer. "We hit it off and went for dinner," she says, and it was she who took Mr. RAUTINS's number. Her 2 a.m. call to his hotel later that evening had them chatting for four hours. "We started talking about basketball, and I think I won him over at that point because I knew more about college basketball than he did, because the National Basketball Association schedule took so much of his time," she laughs.
Ms. LAWSON was emerging from a disastrous relationship when they met, and Mr. RAUTINS was grappling with a divorce. "Neither one of us was remotely interested in having a relationship," he says, "but there was something there, and we became good Friends." Three weeks later, the tug of attraction, reinforced by a flurry of phone calls, had a glowing Ms. LAWSON jetting to Toronto.
"Leo was there for me through a very tough time, and I was there for him," she says. "It didn't take long to realize that we were soul mates and meant for each other."
Mr. RAUTINS's celeb status has deflected the spotlight from the fetching Ms. LAWSON. " I've never been with a man who, when we enter a room, gets more attention than I do," she chuckles. "It's amusing and a relief. People come up, say hi and turn completely from me."
Scarcely a year after they met, Ms. LAWSON was confident enough in the tenure of their relationship to purchase a Toronto condo as her base and the couple's time alternated between their residences here and in Syracuse, where Mr. RAUTINS's children live.
"There are no secrets. She knows absolutely everything about me and vice versa. Those small white lies to avoid problems are not part of our relationship," Mr. RAUTINS, 45, says. His children, 20-year-old Michael, Andrew, 16, Jay 14, and five-year-old Sammy welcomed Ms. LAWSON as part of their team. "They have extended themselves to me and opened their hearts," says Ms. LAWSON, cognizant that she was "marrying the family."
The couple's journey toward marriage was influenced by the mystique of black swans they saw together on a visit to a jungle zoo in Elmvale, Ontario, near Barrie. The swans, which mate for life in secure family units, embody the commitment that touched a chord for the pair and provided their wedding theme. The date for their nuptials, February 19, was scheduled during the National Basketball Association all-star break to accommodate Mr. RAUTINS's telecast schedule.
The bridesmaids in black and the best men -- all the bridegroom's sons -- waited at The Westin Harbour Castle hotel as the couple approached together on an aisle runner decorated with black swans. The 5-foot, 7-inch bride, in a bias-cut black silk gown backed by a subtle train, and her 6-foot, 8-inch bridegroom, in a black tuxedo and black silk T-shirt, exchanged personal vows in front of Reverend Bob HOLMES before an intimate gathering of 60 guests. At the cocktail reception following, confections by 12 Ohh!cakesions of two black swans and two basketballs bearing the University of North Carolina and the University of Syracuse logos, respectively, continued their theme.
Mrs. LAWSON RAUTINS, 33, has embraced her new vocation as homemaker to her husband, the boys, and one-year-old Kujo, their boxer puppy. Mr. RAUTINS has been named head coach of the senior men's Canadian national basketball team, which will begin competition this summer. If the Canadian team has the resolution of Team RAUTINS, possibilities abound.

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TENENBAUM m@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2005-04-30 published
Jamie LAWSON and Leo RAUTINS -- Match:
By Judith TENENBAUM, Saturday, April 30, 2005, Page M6
Lyricist Carl Sigman's 1950s classic line, "Many a tear has to fall, but it's all in the game," could have been Jamie LAWSON and Leo RAUTINS's theme song until the two met and their romance became a slam dunk.
A basketball phenomenon at St. Michael's College in Toronto, Mr. RAUTINS was inducted into the Canadian Basketball Hall of Fame and played 10 years for Canada's national team. He starred with the Syracuse University Orangemen and was a first-round draft choice of the Philadelphia 76ers, for whom he played in 1983-84. Then, after a brief stint with the Atlanta Hawks, his professional play was in Europe until 1992. A career switch to broadcasting led to his role as a television analyst for the Toronto Raptors since their 1995 inception.
Meanwhile, Jamie LAWSON, a native Texan raised in Memphis, was growing up the antithesis of a demure southern belle. "I was very feminine and a pretty little girl, but into sports and competitive," she says. "I was upset I was born a girl and really wanted to be a quarterback."
As a child, she parked in front of her black-and-white television, captivated by any and every sport, and soon became a trivia buff. At university, her associate degree in biology had her dreaming of sports medicine, but a successful dalliance in modelling led her to recruitment management.
When a mutual friend introduced the pair at Ms. LAWSON's alma mater, the University of North Carolina, at a 2001 charity basketball game, their encounter was definitely a three pointer. "We hit it off and went for dinner," she says, and it was she who took Mr. RAUTINS's number. Her 2 a.m. call to his hotel later that evening had them chatting for four hours. "We started talking about basketball, and I think I won him over at that point because I knew more about college basketball than he did, because the National Basketball Association schedule took so much of his time," she laughs.
Ms. LAWSON was emerging from a disastrous relationship when they met, and Mr. RAUTINS was grappling with a divorce. "Neither one of us was remotely interested in having a relationship," he says, "but there was something there, and we became good Friends." Three weeks later, the tug of attraction, reinforced by a flurry of phone calls, had a glowing Ms. LAWSON jetting to Toronto.
"Leo was there for me through a very tough time, and I was there for him," she says. "It didn't take long to realize that we were soul mates and meant for each other."
Mr. RAUTINS's celeb status has deflected the spotlight from the fetching Ms. LAWSON. " I've never been with a man who, when we enter a room, gets more attention than I do," she chuckles. "It's amusing and a relief. People come up, say hi and turn completely from me."
Scarcely a year after they met, Ms. LAWSON was confident enough in the tenure of their relationship to purchase a Toronto condo as her base and the couple's time alternated between their residences here and in Syracuse, where Mr. RAUTINS's children live.
"There are no secrets. She knows absolutely everything about me and vice versa. Those small white lies to avoid problems are not part of our relationship," Mr. RAUTINS, 45, says. His children, 20-year-old Michael, Andrew, 16, Jay 14, and five-year-old Sammy welcomed Ms. LAWSON as part of their team. "They have extended themselves to me and opened their hearts," says Ms. LAWSON, cognizant that she was "marrying the family."
The couple's journey toward marriage was influenced by the mystique of black swans they saw together on a visit to a jungle zoo in Elmvale, Ontario, near Barrie. The swans, which mate for life in secure family units, embody the commitment that touched a chord for the pair and provided their wedding theme. The date for their nuptials, February 19, was scheduled during the National Basketball Association all-star break to accommodate Mr. RAUTINS's telecast schedule.
The bridesmaids in black and the best men -- all the bridegroom's sons -- waited at The Westin Harbour Castle hotel as the couple approached together on an aisle runner decorated with black swans. The 5-foot, 7-inch bride, in a bias-cut black silk gown backed by a subtle train, and her 6-foot, 8-inch bridegroom, in a black tuxedo and black silk T-shirt, exchanged personal vows in front of Reverend Bob HOLMES before an intimate gathering of 60 guests. At the cocktail reception following, confections by 12 Ohh!cakesions of two black swans and two basketballs bearing the University of North Carolina and the University of Syracuse logos, respectively, continued their theme.
Mrs. LAWSON RAUTINS, 33, has embraced her new vocation as homemaker to her husband, the boys, and one-year-old Kujo, their boxer puppy. Mr. RAUTINS has been named head coach of the senior men's Canadian national basketball team, which will begin competition this summer. If the Canadian team has the resolution of Team RAUTINS, possibilities abound.

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TENENBAUM m@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2005-05-07 published
Robyn Michelle KAISER and Eli Daniel MOGIL -- Match:
By Judith TENENBAUM, Saturday, May 7, 2005, Page M4
Adventurers Robyn Michelle KAISER and Eli Daniel MOGIL have tested their relationship in a variety of ways, from driving in the Chilean desert to travelling in Thailand after the tsunami hit. But it was a minor spill on a bicycle that convinced Ms. KAISER that she should marry Mr. MOGIL.
The defining moment came in June of 2003 during a day trip to the Niagara Escarpment, 27-year-old Ms. KAISER recalls. "I had slipped off my bike and Eli came to help me. I looked at him and knew in my heart of hearts. You just know when it's the one."
Nearly a year earlier, in August of 2002, a mutual friend encouraged them to meet. They rendezvoused at a College Street café, talked until closing, then strolled near Christie Pits Park until 3 a.m. They discovered that their penchant for unconventional travel and professional ambitions were in sync. Mr. MOGIL, 28, compares meeting Ms. KAISER to seeing "a mirror image across the table."
He attended Cornell University in Ithaca, New York and worked as a teacher in the Bronx for three years before changing direction and returning home to study law at Osgoode Hall. There in 2003, he won the J.S.D. Tory Prize in research and writing and is currently articling with McCarthy Tétrault.
Similarly, Ms. KAISER switched careers after graduating from Concordia University in business and sociology. Realizing film was her passion, she became an assistant director on films such as X-Men. She now works as senior publicist for Disney's Buena Vista Pictures, travelling regularly to studios in New York and Los Angeles.
They ventured into risky travel together in January of 2004. She visited Mr. MOGIL in Chile, where he was realizing his dream of playing squash for Canada in the Pan Am Maccabiah Games, a competition for young Jewish athletes from around the world.
After the games, they flew to Tierra del Fuego at the southern tip of South America near Antarctica, where the Pacific and Atlantic merge and penguins thrive. "We hiked through glaciers and mountains. It looked like Lord of the Rings," Mr. MOGIL says.
A week later, they headed north to tackle Chile's Atacama Desert, one of the world's driest. In a "rent-a-wreck" they drove the 4,000-kilometre coast, frequently in desolate terrain. "At one point, we didn't have any water," Ms. KAISER says, "and stopped at a gas station in the middle of the desert. They didn't have water, just warm Sprite, but we made it through."
"Together for a month in a challenging environment at the bottom of the world, frightened at times, that's when things crystallized for us," says Mr. MOGIL, who was convinced that after that test, marriage would be easy.
"A cheap flight and the use of a friend's home" were the impetus for an October of 2004 weekend getaway to Vancouver and Whistler, Ms. KAISER says. But Mr. MOGIL had an agenda and deftly packed an engagement ring and her cocktail attire. Lest the ring box be discovered by airport security, he had a note in his back pocket ready to flash: "This is an engagement ring for my girlfriend. Please do not open it and ruin my surprise."
His concern was unfounded, but his anxiety mounted as they toured Vancouver. At 4 a.m., angst-ridden and unable to sleep, he booked a boutique hotel and dinner reservations, stashing Ms. KAISER's finery with the spare tire of their rental car. As they drove to Whistler and ascended the summit by cable car, the worldly Mr. MOGIL trembled with sweaty palms until he was able to steer Ms. KAISER to a secluded spot and propose. As they celebrated that evening, he says, "everyone was a stranger, but everyone was happy for us, and we came back home to four months of getting ready, showers, and celebrating."
They turned a dreary March 6 into spring with red roses, red tulips, bridesmaids in red and red up-lighting at the Liberty Grand, where 215 guests watched Rabbi Edward GOLDFARB perform the nuptials.
Despite the cautions of well-intentioned advisers, the determined couple stuck to their plan to honeymoon in tsunami-ravaged southern Thailand.
"We didn't want to abandon the country because they had a terrible natural disaster, to go seemed appropriate," Mr. MOGIL says. Sensitive to the plight of the Thai people, they kept a low profile at their hotel. "We were conscious of tension and didn't wish to act like Western tourists on a honeymoon when peoples' lives had been ruined."
After nine days, they flew to Chiang Mai, the gateway to rugged northern Thailand and renowned for deep-rooted culture. They trekked and mountain biked, navigating their own route past indigenous hill tribes and elephants, and risked bamboo rafting. "It was a nice balance to come from a fancy resort and then to finally get our feet into the country," Mr. MOGIL says.
The couple hope their complementary styles will serve them well in their marriage. "It's hard to predict life," Mr. MOGIL says. "We bring out the best in each other, the truth in ourselves."

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TENENBAUM m@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2005-05-21 published
Elizabeth SCOTT and John JOHNSON -- Match:
By Judith TENENBAUM, Saturday, May 21, 2005, Page M6
When John David JOHNSON, a Huntsville lawyer, couldn't negotiate an out-of-court settlement for one of his clients, his case proceeded to the examination-for-discovery stage, in May of 2001 in Lindsay, Ontario But his ultimate discovery would be Elizabeth Ann SCOTT.
After he conducted 45 minutes of questions, "I sat back in my chair, proud, congratulating myself," he says. Mr. JOHNSON then suggested Ms. SCOTT, a Toronto lawyer representing another party in the case, might have further queries. "She asked her first question, and I thought, 'I should have asked that,' and then another that was good too, and so it went for about an hour.
"Elizabeth was showing me how to do my job. That was the first time we met."
Ms. SCOTT says she found Mr. JOHNSON "pretty smart and cute," but other than that, she didn't think much about him at that point.
However, when the examinations concluded in November of 2001, Mr. JOHNSON and Ms. SCOTT lunched that final Friday with a fellow lawyer before each headed home. "I didn't know if there was a boyfriend, so I asked questions designed to elicit a 'we' response, and gathered by the end of lunch she was single," says Mr. JOHNSON, who was newly available after a divorce.
When Ms. SCOTT said she would be working that Sunday, he mentioned that, coincidentally, he would be in Toronto that day and invited her out to dinner. "That's when I realized, whoo, he's asking me out on a date," says Ms. SCOTT, who cites timing and fate as instrumental in their romance. She notes that had the lawsuit against her client been dropped, "John and I would have never met."
As they got to know each other, they learned that they had taken the same bar admission course in Toronto in 1993. "I'm sure we passed each other in the hall, and never knew who the other was. If we had met, it wouldn't have been the right time," says Ms. SCOTT, since Mr. JOHNSON was married at that time.
Strong parental influence prompted both their careers. "When I was a child, I was so argumentative my parents said I'd be a fine lawyer. I'd wanted to be one from the time I was 10," says Mr. JOHNSON, a Queen's University graduate who hails from Sundridge, Ontario, north of Huntsville.
"My dad always said, 'You should work for the underdog and help people who need help.' "
True to that tenet, he says his clients are frequently "people who have been hurt, or are sick, and trying to get benefits from their insurance companies." As well, Mr. JOHNSON, 35, has worked regularly with house-building charity Habitat for Humanity, participating in five projects, including one in Guyana.
Ms. SCOTT accepted her lawyer father's advice and entered law school at the University of New Brunswick after completing an honours degree in psychology and taking off a year to tour Australia, New Zealand and Southeast Asia. After graduating, she found her niche with Lawson McGrenere LLP representing insurers.
"I'm 39 now, dated a bit, and knew what I wanted. John is not your conventional lawyer. He was like nobody else I had ever met and treated me like gold," she says.
After only their second date, a smitten and hopeful Mr. JOHNSON made an oblivious Ms. SCOTT his life-insurance beneficiary. Meanwhile, he had unwittingly won her over when he arrived at her home toting a toolbox and ready to hang a heavy mirror that other suitors had only promised to do. "I thought it was a sign," she says, recalling that she had mused to herself, "Wouldn't it be funny if this is the one I'm going to marry?"
Despite the playful chastisements of Friends that he was consorting with the opposition after eight months of commuting from Muskoka to Toronto, Mr. JOHNSON arranged a transfer and joined Ms. SCOTT in a home they purchased. He became a partner in Johnson Clonfero LLP and revived his adolescent passion for motorcycles. He purchased one with assurances to a nervous Ms. SCOTT that at the driver's certification course he had taken, the examiner had deducted points for driving too slowly.
On Friday evening of the 2004 Labour Day weekend, he persuaded a wary Ms. SCOTT to hop on his sport bike.
She clung to him tightly as they wound their way to Cherry Beach. Alone there, she recalls her surprise as he reached into his motorcycle jacket, pulled out a little box and got down on one knee. "It was sweet," she says, "and by the water you feel like you're not even in Toronto."
At Leaside United Church on January 22, Reverend Betty JORDAN, whom the bridegroom had met through Habitat, and Reverend Erin TODD performed the nuptials, with a luncheon at McLean House capping the event.
Considering that they often find themselves on the opposite ends of arguments, they are remarkably adept at keeping their relationship free of tension. "For the most part, we see things the same way and bring the same philosophy to the practice of law," Mr. JOHNSON says, adding, "Elizabeth is smart, sexy, independent, everything I wanted in a partner."

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TENENBAUM m@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2005-05-28 published
Jennifer KAPLAN and Philip CHOWN -- Match
By Judith TENENBAUM, Saturday, May 28, 2005, Page M6
Jennifer Mia KAPLAN didn't make it easy on Philip CHOWN.
Having been married once already, she was happily ensconced in 2002 with the only man of the house she was interested in: her son, Lucius, who lived with her in her landmark Ansonia condominium in New York.
She was wary of any relationship that would affect her family-oriented lifestyle, or her dedication to her career as a psychotherapist, so she resisted her Toronto relatives' matchmaking efforts. "With the aunties calling, and set-ups by cousins, I've had so many blind dates a friend said I should get a seeing-eye dog for free," Ms. KAPLAN, 41, quips.
Originally from Toronto, she'd always had her eye on New York, and in 1981 won a wager with her father, Robert KAPLAN, solicitor-general in the Trudeau era, by gaining admission to Grade 12 at the Dalton School, a prestigious private academy in Manhattan.
She went on to graduate from Sarah Lawrence College and Columbia University, where she obtained a merit scholarship, and settled into life in the Big Apple. She married, gave birth to Lucius, and became a U.S. citizen.
By 2002, she was single once again, and a prime target for her relatives, who persevered in the Yiddish matchmaking tradition despite her reluctance to date.
Mr. CHOWN, a graduate of the University of Victoria and director of foundations and major gifts for the University of British Columbia, was visiting his sister at her Toronto home when Ms. KAPLAN's brother -- dispatched by his wife Julie on a scouting mission -- turned up. "Jennifer's brother John came by my sister's house to meet me for 15 minutes... kind of an old-fashioned shtetl [Jewish community] set-up, to make sure I wasn't sinister," he says with a laugh.
The relatives approved, but when Mr. CHOWN visited New York in December of 2002, a contrary Ms. KAPLAN refused an invitation to dinner. "It seemed crazy to begin anything with someone across the country, and in another," she says.
A year later, her family was still trying to promote Mr. CHOWN. "You mean he's still single?" chirped a sarcastic Ms. KAPLAN to her sister-in-law. Julie KAPLAN upped the ante, drawing on her 14 years of marriage to Ms. KAPLAN's brother. "You know I've never asked you for anything, have I?" she implored. "Well, I'm asking."
Ms. KAPLAN finally gave in and agreed to a dinner date when Mr. CHOWN visited New York at the end of 2003.
For his part, Mr. CHOWN, 45, didn't have high expectations for the rendezvous either. He remembers a casual conversation with his dean at University of British Columbia, at which he expressed satisfaction with bachelorhood. "I'm happily a professional single. I've got my golf, yoga, a slate of nieces and nephews nicely distributed geographically and a social life," he recalls saying, never dreaming that only a couple of weeks later he would consider changing his marital status.
He suggested meeting Ms. KAPLAN on December 29 at Pastis, which just happened to be her favourite haunt.
"I put on my French bistro dress, got there before Phil, and waited at the bar," Ms. KAPLAN recalls. "I had no idea who my sister-in-law picked for me." She expected a serious, religious type and was pleasantly surprised by a hip Mr. CHOWN.
With a mutual affinity for Ashtanga yoga and their view of Judaism somewhere between sacrosanct and secular, they agreed to another date the next night. "That was the night I gave him the talk," Ms. KAPLAN says. "I was a serious person, knew about life and didn't get involved in anything that wasn't going to last."
A beguiled Mr. CHOWN didn't analyze or strategize. "I just accepted her," he says. " I saw the possibility of my life shifting in a huge way."
After only three dates, "I was making plans," Ms. KAPLAN says, "the very thing I said I'd never do. I thought, 'Either I'm having a psychotic break, or I'm falling in love.' "
Their transcontinental romance flourished and during Passover in April of 2004, Ms. KAPLAN hosted a New York cocktail party for Friends to introduce Mr. CHOWN.
That afternoon, when supposedly shopping for a baking sheet, he purchased a 300-year-old, pink sapphire engagement ring for Ms. KAPLAN. Unexpectedly, her intuitive father had flown in. "As the party was spinning out, I asked for his blessing," says Mr. CHOWN, who proposed after the guests left.
They set a wedding date for that November in Toronto, but had to stop the printing of the invitations on the presses when revised U.S. immigration laws scuttled their plans. If they married in Toronto, "Phil would have to stay a full year in Canada after the wedding," Ms. KAPLAN says. "I was ready to run into a brick wall if he couldn't come" to New York. Three lawyers and two pounds of paperwork corroborating their romance later, the couple got the go-ahead for a New York ceremony.
Ms. KAPLAN, who is passionate about grandiose, early 20th-century architecture, booked the entire first floor of the Romanesque revival Puck Building for her child-friendly, funky-formal wedding for 300. Six nannies stood at the ready with art supplies and pillows for forts for about 40 little ones. "I wanted people to enjoy what they wore, a tuxedo and jeans," she says.
On May 8, Rabbi Chezi ZION, who once declared with certitude that his friend Mr. CHOWN would never marry, wed the couple in an Orthodox service. The bride made the chuppah, the traditional Jewish wedding canopy, by hand out of violet silk chiffon, and many guests carried through her colour theme in their gowns as a surprise. Ms. KAPLAN wore a crocheted Irish gown, more than 200 years old, that she bought when she was only 19 and had stored since then in a silk pillowcase.
Mr. CHOWN continues his employment with University of British Columbia, telecommuting from a New York office. He has received the stamp of approval from Mrs. CHOWN's son Lucius, now 8, who confided to his uncle, "I want to thank you for introducing my mother to Philip and making her so happy."

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TENENBAUM m@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2005-06-04 published
Nicola ETHERIDGE and Joseph SPINOSA -- Match:
By Judith TENENBAUM, Saturday, June 4, 2005, Page M4
Some couples just want to have fun, and for Nicola ETHERIDGE and Joseph SPINOSA, the ties that bind include making special occasions contagiously funny. "We go pretty crazy at Christmas," Ms. ETHERIDGE says. "But we both love Halloween."
Spotlights and gravestones appear on the lawn of their century-old home every October 31, along with cobwebs and scary monsters. "We try to get the kids to scream. It's a riot."
"It's all for the children, and we're both kids at heart," says Mr. SPINOSA, who describes himself as "an oldie, goldie fan" who often dons an Elvis wig and costume to dish out treats.
Halloween, 2004, will probably remain their most memorable. With October 31 falling on a Sunday, Mr. SPINOSA planned his marriage proposal for Saturday evening at a dinner theatre in a legendary Stouffville haunted house. But Ms. ETHERIDGE felt under the weather, and he had to wait until their usual exchange of gory gifts on Halloween morning for his opportunity. Rummaging through her gift bag, she pulled out a skull candle, plush bat and a small white box containing a mock severed finger wrapped in blood-like stained cotton. Mr. SPINOSA gingerly removed the cotton to reveal a diamond.
"I freaked out, threw the tissue and we hugged and kissed," she laughs. The tissue was ignited by a candle. "It kind of killed the mood, but made it memorable."
The mirth in their relationship makes up for a rocky beginning. The pair, who met when Mr. SPINOSA was a supplier to the company where Ms. ETHERIDGE worked, Reaction Promotions Inc. (now called Accolade Reaction Promotions Group), initially dated for three months, just long enough for Ms. ETHERIDGE to become vulnerable. Mr. SPINOSA closed his firm, began work at hers, and for some murky reason about business and pleasure not mixing, abruptly ended the budding relationship.
"I knew back then he was the one," Ms. ETHERIDGE says.
The transition to a mere collegial Friendship left Ms. ETHERIDGE with a plummeting heart.
"I stayed away and looked elsewhere," Mr. SPINOSA says. "The Friendship we maintained was better than any relationship I'd experienced and eventually I came to my senses," he confesses.
Two years later, with some trepidation, Ms. ETHERIDGE gave him a second chance. The next five years were almost idyllic as they continued to work together at a Toronto promotional products company, she as operations manager and he as marketing manager.
Mr. SPINOSA continued to spend much time with the 30-strong cadre of buddies he had kept since attending St. Michael's College School and the couple added a 600-square-foot deck to their heritage home, big enough to fit all their Friends for annual keg parties.
The fun times rolled until a pivotal moment at a friend's wedding in September, 2004. A teary outpouring by Ms. ETHERIDGE in the church blanched Mr. SPINOSA. " It's my birthday next month and I'm sick and tired of waiting for you," she told him.
Motivated, he reviewed the situation. "I have a large family, a lot of nieces and nephews that are a huge part of my life and seeing Nicky childlike with them I realized the excellent qualities in her and that was part of moving forward."
Wedding planner Cynthia MARTYN located a perfect venue, the Capitol Event Theatre. Says Ms. ETHERIDGE, "I'm 36, I didn't want a fancy wedding, just a big party with an Elvis twist, a band and dancing."
Mr. SPINOSA, 38, a collector of Elvis memorabilia with a bust of the rock legend in his office, notes, "Her mother told me, as a kid, Nicola used to impersonate Elvis and she never thought it was weird. It's just a little connection we have."
On May 13, Reverend Dorian BAXTER, who is also an impersonator known as Elvis Priestley, officiated (assisted by Laura STANGRET,) as the couple recited traditional vows in front of their guests. After cocktails, Elvis Priestley reappeared, this time complete with white jump suit, sunglasses and guitar to croon Love Me Tender for the couple's first dance.
"There is some trepidation as you buck tradition," the bridegroom notes, "but I wanted people to get a glimpse of how we are as a couple."

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TENENBAUM m@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2005-06-11 published
Rupa AGGARWAL and Mario VELOCCI
By Judith TENENBAUM, Saturday, June 11, 2005, Page M6
When Mario Giulio VELOCCI encountered a damsel in distress, his chivalry included the bonus of a business opportunity.
It was 1: 30 a.m., and Rupa AGGARWAL was standing on Yonge Street crying, having just had an argument with her boyfriend at the time.
Mr. VELOCCI tapped her on the shoulder and handed her his card. "You are much too pretty to be crying," he said, "You should be modelling because you are beautiful."
Ms. AGGARWAL, a University of Western Ontario graduate who was then studying occupational therapy, contemplated whether his approach was professional or propositional. "I sat on his card about three months, did some research and found out he was legitimate," she says.
During his student years, an enterprising Mr. VELOCCI had modelled and worked as a wardrobe stylist to put himself through York University and a master's program at the University of Toronto. He had planned to become a teacher, but jobs were scarce when he graduated in 1997, so he launched his own niche business, VELOCCI Model and Talent Management. "Most of my Friends were of ethnic origin and couldn't find representation as models or actors," he says, recalling how he promoted their talent to clients.
Consequently, he encouraged Ms. AGGARWAL's part-time modelling career, and over the next four years they partied at glamorous industry events as Friends, and set each other up on dates. But Friends joked that they should consider going out themselves.
Love comes when you are not looking, and one evening over an innocuous dinner the pair wondered what it would be like if they married. The genie was out of the bottle, and Ms. AGGARWAL returned home that evening "feeling weird about Mario."
After another awkward movie evening, she showed up at his office and said, "I need to talk." When she confided her feelings for Mr. VELOCCI, he in shock jettisoned what he was eating. Discombobulated, he waited 2½ months before inviting her out to chat -- and confess his adulation.
"Our relationship was gradual, because we were making the transition from Friendship to relationship, and both took it slowly for the first year," she remembers with a laugh. "We didn't know exactly how to proceed.
"It's a little strange because all of a sudden you're kissing your best friend."
Cultural differences posed a further challenge. She was of East Indian Hindu heritage and he of Italian Catholic, but obstacles paled next to the possibilities. Her parents, advocates of arranged marriage, were reluctant to accept Mr. VELOCCI as a serious suitor as a stream of eligible Hindu candidates were in pursuit. Finally, he implored, "Please slow down. We're in a relationship -- no more prospective suitors!"
At her first luncheon with his family, gnocchi with meatballs was on the menu. At the time, Ms. AGGARWAL was a vegan (not convinced by dogma, but by dyspepsia from a downtown eatery). "I was horrified, not being able to eat at a family function, thinking what am I going to do?"
Happily, now all foods beckon to her -- by choice, not compromise, she insists.
On their second dating anniversary, his gift was a diamond pendant. Decrying her mother's dubious comment -- "It's a far reach from the neck to the ring [finger]" -- Ms. AGGARWAL insisted that Mr. VELOCCI would make his move when he was ready.
When she gave him The Idiot's Guide to Hinduism on another occasion, he countered with a promise of a book on Catholicism when he proposed. And after four years of dating, one evening in June, 2004, on the night before her 29th birthday, he offered a card, the book and the ring on bended knee.
"She burst out crying, and all emotional, gave me this hug, didn't even see the ring. And I asked, 'Does that mean you are going to marry me?' " he recalls.
The couple satisfied their disparate family cultures with a ceremony for each. On May 14 at Holy Spirit Roman Catholic Church, Rev. Thomas MOORE wed the pair in a Catholic ceremony. One hundred and sixty attendees, mainly from Mr. VELOCCI's side, were given gifts purchased by the bride in India, and she conversed in limited Italian at their Renaissance Parque Dining, Banquet and Convention Centre reception in Concord.
A Hindu ceremony and reception was held on May 22 at the Greek Canadian Community Centre in London, Ontario, where Pandit Rajinder MOHLA officiated before 250 guests, largely from the bride's side. The couple in Hindu garb distributed Italian bomboniere.
The newlyweds' careers now largely focus on their modelling and fashion-related businesses, including television appearances. Ms. AGGARWAL appears on Shop Toronto as an on-air reporter and Mr. VELOCCI, 32, can be seen as a fashion consultant on Toronto Living and Style by Jury. "We complement each other," he says, "I am the schmoozer and can work a room in less than an hour. Rupa gets into intellectual discourse.
"She is social. My job is to maximize contacts."

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TENENBAUM m@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2005-06-18 published
Carol WELSMAN and Pat HARRIS -- Match:
By Judith TENENBAUM, Saturday, June 18, 2005, Page M4
When singer Carol WELSMAN was introduced to lawyer Pat HARRIS, personal feelings simmered, but her curiosity peaked when she learned that he and an associate were defending actress Winona Ryder in her much-publicized trial in 2002. Anxious to see him in action (while visiting Los Angeles on business), she avoided the interminable lineup outside the courtroom by charming the bailiff and offering up a white lie: She told him she was Mr. HARRIS's fiancée.
"I thought girlfriend sounded a little weak," she says with a laugh.
Ushered to a front-row centre seat, she found herself sitting beside a friend of Ms. Ryder, who promptly asked who she was. So she spun the same tale.
The ruse began to unravel, however, when court adjourned that day and Mr. HARRIS and the Ryder entourage boarded an elevator along with Ms. WELSMAN. Suddenly, Ms. Ryder gushed congratulations to her astounded lawyer on his upcoming nuptials.
"It gave me a minute to think," he recalls, chuckling. "I picked up on it, and figured how she'd gotten into the courtroom. So I just played along."
Ms. WELSMAN's manoeuvre raised a few eyebrows, particularly with Mr. HARRIS's associate Mark GERAGOS, but her blend of bravado and beauty cast its spell, and the couple began dating.
Both in their 40s, they had each endured numerous relationships that had been negatively affected by the demands of their high-profile careers."I have a busy lifestyle," explains the Los Angeles-based criminal lawyer. "It's hectic. I'm gone a lot, and when I'm in a trial, it's extremely tense, so it's hard to continue relationships.
"Then I met Carol. She was so understanding, easy to be with. I don't think she even knows, but the first night we went out I had a sense that this was going to be something special."
Similarly, dating had been difficult for Ms. WELSMAN because travel took her away so often. "Rather than fall hopelessly in love and drag myself through heartache, I'd say it wasn't working and 'goodbye.' "
But everything changed when Mr. HARRIS entered her life. "Pat has a tremendous understanding of the entertainment business, knows how to promote, and is extremely supportive of what I do. He's a lovely person," she says. "After two weeks, I wanted to marry him."
Born in Arkansas, Mr. HARRIS obtained a B.A. there and his Juris Doctor from Michigan Law School in 1994. His career began in politics, foreign and domestic policy, and moved into the financial side of real-estate development. Then, after a two-year stint as a public defender, he joined Geragos and Geragos in Los Angeles, where he specializes in criminal law. Having helped defend Susan McDougal in a case linked to the Whitewater real-estate fiasco, he wrote a best-selling novel, Susan McDougal: The Woman Who Wouldn't Talk.
An internationally acclaimed singer, pianist and lyricist, Ms. WELSMAN, from Don Mills, majored in piano performance at Boston's Berklee College of Music in 1980, and left because of an opportunity to study voice in France with Christiane Legrand, daughter of well-known composer Michel Legrand. While in Europe, she honed her songwriting and production skills, including sessions with Romano Musumarra, producer/songwriter for Celine Dion.
Her accomplishments since then include four Juno Award nominations, being named 2002 Canadian vocalist of the year at the National Jazz Awards, and encompass performances with symphony orchestras (including Toronto's), to jazz ensembles and co-writing the Ray Charles hit Out of My Life. She was signed as the first artist on Grammy Award producer Pierre Cossette's new label, which will release her DVD / CD in the fall.
Despite conflicting schedules, the pair zigzagged the globe for rendezvous, including sojourns to her parents' Muskoka cottage. However, Ms. WELSMAN needed reassurance of Mr. HARRIS's marital intent. "I wasn't convinced that he was convinced," she says, until the summer of 2003 when he subtly revealed himself.
Ms. WELSMAN, although very ill at the time, was performing at a club in San Francisco. "He came up and took care of me," she recalls emotionally. "I was singing every night in the club, and he was selling CDs for me."
A year later, he was visiting her family's cottage for the July 4 long weekend. Bulky sweater in hand, Mr. HARRIS persuaded Ms. WELSMAN to take a lake cruise as sunset mellowed to moonlight. A conversation about where their lives were headed ended abruptly when he extricated a ring from the folds of his sweater. "There were stars," he says. "It was incredible.
"The only downside was proposing between mosquito bites."
On May 28, the Honourable Justice Patrick W. DUNN captained Ms. WELSMAN by boat to the dock beside the tiny and historic St. Anne's Whiteside Catholic Church in Bala, Ontario Greeted by a piper, she disembarked in her ivory-silk two-piece, designed by Toronto's Zanesha GOWRALI, beading twinkling through a tulle overlay on her mermaid-shaped skirt.
Delicate strains of flute, cello and guitar welcomed 32 guests as Reverend Martin DALIDA wed the couple. A champagne cruise on the refurbished 1902 steamboat the Rambler was followed by a reception at the Lake Joseph Club.
" I had kind of given up in terms of thinking I'd ever be married," Mr. HARRIS reflects. "All I can say is that you never know when THE RIGHT ONE is going to come through the door."

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TENENBAUM m@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2005-07-02 published
Irene MONIZ and Liz COATES -- Match:
By Judith TENENBAUM, Saturday, July 2, 2005, Page M4
Playing Friday evening broomball on opposite teams 13 years ago, their glances were tentative, and neither Liz COATES nor Irene MONIZ ventured a smile. But they were both instantly attracted to "something in the eyes, a sparkle," recalls Ms. MONIZ.
They'd chatted with Friends over drinks after games, usually about their shared love of nature, and within a month they were dating.
"It got pathetic, to the point that we were on the phone late into the night," says Ms. MONIZ, who six months later affectionately welcomed Ms. COATES into her home in Brampton and into her life -- which included her eight-year-old twin boys, Brandon and Christian.
"The transition was so easy that no one was aware that there was a transition," she says. "The boys regarded Liz with as much affection as me. It was a matter of whose lap they'd sit on watching television, or reading a book."
Ms. COATES got Brandon into hockey, both boys into baseball, and with their mother, encouraged them to play soccer and enjoy camping. Soon, their father, whom the boys visited frequently, also fondly accepted Ms. COATES.
"Everything she does she puts her whole being into," Ms. MONIZ, 44, says of her partner of over a decade. "So many people, all different kinds, care for her. Her personality overwhelmed me."
The couple with a fondness for the outdoors also had dreams of owning property in the country. So eight years ago, they "cornered off a little piece of the world where we can hang out," 45 acres atop the Beaver Valley in Collingwood, Ontario "We've taken in backhoes and bobcats, and tailored it to be this fabulous place," enthuses Ms. MONIZ, a construction company manager. "We have trails, trout ponds, gigantic raised gardens, and go up through the winter."
"We spend most of our time and energy there. People know they can drop in any time and are always welcome. Irene is a great cook," beams Ms. COATES, 41, a pre-press manager.
As parents, they'd survived the usual battery of worries raising two young children, as well as some not-so-usual ones. Regularly, large groups of neighbourhood children congregated at the couple's home. "Most of the time there never was a problem," Ms. MONIZ says. But "when the word got out our family was a little different, the boys were picked on and teased."
She was summoned to meet with a school panel: psychologists, teachers, the guidance counsellor and the principal.
"People fear what they don't know. Even though our families are just the same as theirs, most people haven't had a chance to find that out." The school had wanted to punish the offenders, but a conciliatory Ms. MONIZ suggested a more subtle approach. She volunteered for school trips, where she "had the young [rascals] in my group, and ironed it out right away."
Despite vestiges of societal sanctimony, she is a veteran volunteer for the March of Dimes and Co-op Education in Peel. "We do little private things here and there. Just a home-cooked meal, a little note on a voice mail," she adds, convinced that kindness is the greatest gift anyone can bestow.
Brandon and Christian's teenage years proved to be a pivotal point for their mother and her partner as well. "It was a struggle," Ms. COATES recalls. "We were interested in having a solid relationship and felt anything can be worked through. Irene is the only person that I've ever met that when we have an argument it doesn't mean we're breaking up. We made it through kids and that's a tough one when you're not the actual parent. As a couple you're stronger for it."
Last year, the twins hit their early twenties and headed west for career opportunities in Calgary, leaving the couple with an empty nest. Alone for the first time, they renovated their entire house. "We are quiet people, have good Friends and live a really good life," says Ms. COATES. " We've had a great year, having fun, back to who we were when the kids were younger."
"We wanted to be married, in bliss. It didn't have anything to do with the law changing," says Ms. MONIZ.
Ambivalent about what path to follow, and convinced by a friend that they'd regret eloping, the pair formalized a wedding in two weeks. ("What are you doing next Friday?" Ms. COATES asked her family.) Everything fell into place, including rings that fit without sizing. And the delighted couple were both unexpectedly feted with bridal showers by their respective colleagues. "We are very open to our companies and nobody has a problem with it," Ms COATES says. "Act like a normal person. You don't need to hide anything. You are a couple. People see that."
On May 27, at Mississauga Civic Centre, before an intimate gathering of parents and siblings, the Reverend Tina GABRIEL performed their nuptials. A cozy reception followed at Bassano Ristorante in Brampton. "It was magical," Ms. MONIZ says tenderly, "Together for 13 years, we've become family with everybody. Our parents adore each other, mine adore Liz and hers love me. I don't think I've seen so many people cry at a wedding in my entire life."

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TENENBAUM m@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2005-07-09 published
Kareen MADIAN and David WOLF -- Match:
By Judith TENENBAUM, Saturday, July 9, 2005, Page M4
Ultimately, Kareen Melanie MADIAN would conclude that if she mixed all of the ingredients for her perfect man, David Daniel WOLF would crystallize. However, her first phone interview with him, for a syndicated radio program called Canada's Business Report, where she was a producer, left the impression he was haughty and aloof.
A colleague assured her, however, that she shouldn't judge him by that first impression: "He's an economist and needs to sound like he knows what he's talking about."
So in August, 2002, at the show's guest-appreciation night at Jump Café and Bar, she decided to take the initiative and try to find him.
"Half of Bay Street was out, and I realized that I didn't know what these people looked like and was about to leave," says Mr. WOLF, who was then senior economist and chief interest rate strategist at RBC Capital Markets. But then a "very cute girl" approached him and said, "Can I ask you a really stupid question?"
He replied that she would be surprised at the questions people asked him.
Her query, of course, was whether he was the man she had interviewed a few months earlier. She had already recognized his voice, however, and led him over to meet the group from her radio program.
That October, when she called Mr. WOLF for another interview, he floored her with his response: "This isn't our usual time. Are you calling to ask me out?"
Mr. WOLF admits it was the first time he had used such an approach. "I'm usually pretty shy. I think it reflected something deeper. I just kind of blurted it out."
An ensuing buzz zoomed through her office when she confided, "I think I just made a date with David WOLF. I called for an interview and all of a sudden we're going out for drinks."
She missed his signals at first, however, and assumed that, as the youngest economist on the street, he was just looking for professional camaraderie. Several dinners later, the façade was lifted. "I realized we were actually dating," she says.
Their paths had seemed destined to cross. A decade earlier, they had lived a short distance apart in North Toronto, and his sister, Susan, had often extolled her brother to teenage classmate Ms. MADIAN. His sister once borrowed Ms. MADIAN's library card and neglected to return a book. Harangued by the library, Ms. MADIAN followed up with a phone call, and Mr. WOLF senior had acknowledged, "That sounds like Susie."
"It was a weird, small world thing," Mr. WOLF says. "She knew my sister, and had spoken to my father."
Parental influence had prompted the entrée of both into economics. It was her mother's interest in CNBC that precipitated Ms. MADIAN's pursuit of business journalism at Ryerson University. She advised her daughter, "Where you have unrest, unemployment, people totally disenfranchised, you will find there is an economic reason for it, and there are lots of stories there." After a period at CTV, Ms. MADIAN gained an internship with CNBC in New York, and is now a Web editor of moneysense.ca.
Mr. WOLF, now 29, whose father is a professor of economics at York University, is a graduate of Princeton University in that discipline and currently chief strategist and head of Canadian economics at Merrill Lynch Canada.
Intoxicated for five months by the vibrant Ms. MADIAN, Mr. WOLF, who was in Europe on business, impulsively urged her to join him in Paris. A plane seat in doubt, his plucky lady fabricated a tale of romantic distress where she desperately needed to meet her fiancé. "'Husband' was taking it too far," she says with a laugh. It worked.
Together, they savoured the nirvana of Paris. "We were on the Left Bank, stopped for a crepe. It was this amazing feeling... in Paris, worlds away," she says. "Going on vacation with someone is a big test. We realized we could stand each other and wanted to spend more time together."
The couple had discussed marriage, and religious differences were never at issue. "I'm Christian. David is Jewish," Ms. MADIAN says. "We wouldn't call ourselves religious -- more spiritual. If we have children, we'll expose them to both our cultures."
In October, 2003, they celebrated the anniversary of their first date in Las Vegas. When Mr. WOLF knelt on the grass at the Bellagio claiming he felt ill, she visualized a proposal. "I thought, oh my God, this is it! He's pretending to be sick and is going to propose in front of the light show. It's going to be perfect," Ms. MADIAN recalls.
But her excitement turned to fear as she assisted him back to his room in the throes of nausea.
Surreptitiously, that Christmas holiday Mr. WOLF had obtained her parents' blessing. Her mother, Arpi MADIAN, says she "bonded beautifully with him," noting that they went ring shopping together at a family jeweller where she knew her daughter's ring preferences. "The minute we met David, we loved him. Frankly as a mom, I was so relieved he had active brain cells," she adds with a laugh. "He's extremely intelligent, but not arrogant, like some, or impatient with those who can't keep up. He's quite humble and sweet."
Finally, on January 10, 2004, Ms. MADIAN's birthday, a day he always purported too mundane for a proposal, he offered a ring.
At the Le Royal Meridien King Edward hotel, on June 11, the couple recited personal vows before Reverend Frank FOLZ. The newly minted Mrs. WOLF, 26, who had fantasized about being a bride since her "Barbie" days at the age of 5, stunned guests by looking like a doll herself in an Oleg Cassini gown layered in organza, with crystal bands at the waist mimicking a hair band, punctuated by her ponytail and long cathedral veil trailing behind.
There wasn't a dry eye when the newlyweds danced the bolero. Her mother recalls emotionally, "David had two left feet, and you could see he did it just for her."

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TENENBAUM m@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2005-07-16 published
Brigitte GOULET and Gabriel CHAN -- Match:
By Judith TENENBAUM, Saturday, July 16, 2005, Page M6
Surgical resident Gabriel CHAN still ponders whether it was the purported mystical and aphrodisiac qualities of chocolate or his magnetic charm that made Dr. Brigitte GOULET succumb. The couple had met while working in adjacent laboratories at McGill University in 2002.
Her initial impression of him was of a boisterous doctor suffering from "cellphone-itis."
"The first time I saw him if you had told me that I was going to marry him, I would have laughed at you," she says, having then just ended a relationship and of the opinion that all men were fickle Casanovas.
During their routine repartees, chemistry began to bubble up outside the lab, and that October before setting off to rock-climb in Les Calanques, near the southern French city of Cassis, Dr. CHAN asked if he could bring her anything.
Dr. GOULET had literally lived around the world in Seattle, Washington France; Chile; Gabon; and the Ivory Coast, and offhandedly mentioned Mi-cho-ko, a French chocolate candy she was mad about, but hardly expected to see.
Yet, true to his word he recalls his mission with a laugh, "I carted these bonbons up the side of a cliff, carried them around five days and brought them back." His sincerity and generosity reaped the reward of casual dinner dates and piqued Dr. GOULET's interest.
Early in their dating at a friend's dinner party, Dr. GOULET fell ill. Dr. CHAN quickly ushered her home and diagnosed the flu. He drew on his medical expertise and recommended chicken soup or hot honey lemon tea. Then, after brewing the tea, he lingered until 3: 30 a.m.
The possibility of infection yielded to infatuation when he kissed her with abandon, declaring, "I won't get sick," which he didn't. Smitten, he adds, "She has an innocence, is full of life, friendly and an optimist with a hop in her step. I fell in love after about the 10th time I saw her."
In December, she jetted off to the Democratic Republic of the Congo to spend Christmas with her parents, promising to write. At the time, her father, Roland GOULET, was Canadian ambassador there.
When the anticipated mail failed to arrive, Dr. CHAN reveals, "I was expectant, waiting, disappointed, but understood that a postcard from Africa could take quite a while."
However, when she hand-delivered it on her return, explaining there was no mail service in Congo, his flame was fanned.
Early in the summer of 2004, his plan to propose at Niagara-on-the-Lake vaporized when he forgot the ring at his parents' home in Toronto. His next effort on an August weekend antiquing in Quebec's Eastern Townships almost veered into Neverland. "I had had a very bad week, and when we arrived, he hadn't reserved anything and I wasn't the most happy camper," Dr. GOULET says.
A desperate call was made to Francine GOULET, and things brightened when she suggested a ski resort in Sutton with ample rooms. Ironically, fate had the misguided adventurers take a wrong turn and land in Orford, where the frustrated and exhausted pair snared a room, thanks to a last-minute cancellation.
The next morning, Dr. CHAN arranged a massage and brunch for his sweetheart, hoping to heal her fractured mood. When she returned rejuvenated, and much like her upbeat self, "I asked if she was still grumpy, she said, 'No' and I proposed, she accepted and cried," he chuckles of their special moment that played like a non-event.
Dr. CHAN, 31, with a M. Sc. in biochemistry from McGill, and an M.D. from the University of Western Ontario, is now in residency at McGill. He is replicating the surgical odyssey of his father, who now practises at Thornhill's Shouldice Hernia Centre.
He and Dr. GOULET, who has a Ph. D. in biochemistry and is now a research associate in McGill's Molecular Oncology Group, enjoy the social and culinary experience of Montreal's bistros, but their other interests are more disparate. She dislikes hockey, and he loves playing.
"We're more complementary than similar. I would rock-climb; she would read. She goes out with girlfriends; I spend time with Friends from medicine," notes Dr. CHAN.
"I'm like a wildcat he domesticated by slowly gaining my confidence. I'm more extravagant and panic at little things. He's very calm, makes me laugh and I come back to earth," says Dr. GOULET, 32.
On May 22, the holiday weekend enabled guests to travel from Montreal to Toronto, where at Spring Garden Baptist Church in North York the couple were wed by Pastor Rick WUKASCH. Photos on the picturesque grounds of the Shouldice Centre were followed by a reception at Deluxe Chinese Cuisine, where 230 guests observed a traditional tea ceremony preceding dinner.
"When you are not looking, [love] comes like a hair on the soup. Bloop, and there was this one, [Gabriel] and he was different," Ms. GOULET says.

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TENENBAUM m@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2005-07-23 published
Sandra CORELLI and Michael NIGRO -- Match:
By Judith TENENBAUM, Saturday, July 23, 2005, Page M4
Sandra CORELLI didn't have a prolonged quest for the author of a message in a bottle that had apparently washed up near a rocky pile on the beach. "I said, 'Someone must have had a romantic evening here,' " she recalls.
Her boyfriend, Michael NIGRO, had gingerly picked up the bottle, extricated a piece of weathered-looking parchment and handed it to her. The enclosed note was a chronicle of milestones in the couple's relationship, saying at the end: "... long walks on the beach, plus this long walk... equals a lifetime to look forward to." Then Mr. NIGRO dropped to one knee.
"I'd written it about a week before and burned the edges," chuckles Mr. NIGRO, who confessed to his new fiancée that his cousin and fellow conspirator, Rawl FURMAN, was clandestinely filming the theatrics, having earlier planted the bottle in its designated place.
"I don't enjoy being on video and wanted them to turn off the camera, but they kept going," she remembers. She was initially perturbed by the intrusion on their intimate moment, but she now confesses, "Michael is extremely funny, and always making me laugh. Now, I'm happy because I have it, [the proposal on video] and it will last."
Blissfully, the couple spent much of their leisure time at Mr. NIGRO's family cottage on Bluewater Beach north of Wasaga, where beach walks were routine and they kicked things up with Friends and family playing volleyball, soccer and football.
On this particular September 28, 2003, weekend, a family group of about 30 had gathered for their annual homemade pasta day.
"I could think of no more appropriate place," Mr. NIGRO says. "Of course, the first thing I did was ask Sandra's parents' permission, but my cousin Rawl and father were the only ones [in my family] who knew I was going to propose," he laughs.
The hardest part was for Ms. CORELLI's younger sister, Jennifer. Caught up in the romance of giving her input to help him design the ring, she managed to keep the marriage proposal a secret.
It was on a boat cruise during frosh week in September of 1996 that Ms. CORELLI, in her first year at the University of Toronto, met Mr. NIGRO, a York University student who was on board with his Friends. The two had chummed with their individual groups of pals since their early teens. After the cruise, the groups combined to form a nucleus of about a dozen who kept regular company, with Ms. CORELLI and Mr. NIGRO charged with event planning.
"Sandra and I were the main contacts and would arrange everything. We went for dinner, dessert, drinks, to nightclubs, skating at Nathan Phillips Square, and around Oscar time we'd see all the nominated movies," he says.
Time and proximity soon had a magnetic effect. "Out of the entire group we became the tightest, and got along well on all levels," Mr. NIGRO says.
In February, 1998, while Ms. CORELLI vacationed in Mexico with her Friends, Mr. NIGRO felt an emotional void. On her return, she surprised him with what he deemed more than a friendly effort for his birthday, a handmade card and truffle. A beguiled Mr. NIGRO notes, "We figured out we were crazy about each other around the same time." By March, they were a couple.
Each from traditional Italian families, they accepted a long courtship as the norm. "We didn't want to get married while we were in school and wanted to be at a certain point in our careers and lives," he asserts.
After graduating from University of Toronto in employment relations, Ms. CORELLI launched a corporate career in human resources and Mr. NIGRO, a graduate from York's Schulich School of Business, found his niche in provincial public service.
On June 4, Reverend Eugene FELICE, who had baptized Mr. NIGRO, and wed his parents, officiated as 400 guests observed from the pews of Saint Margaret Mary Roman Catholic Church in Woodbridge. A reception followed at the Terrace Banquet and Convention Centre. There, Mr. NIGRO's best man, best friend and confidant -- his father -- delivered an impassioned speech about his late wife, who had died when their son was a child, and then presented a treasured heirloom, her ring, to the astonished bride.
The couple, both 28, "are at our best when we have Friends and family around us. The foundation of our relationship is built on a strong Friendship," Ms. CORELLI observes, "and I think that's what makes it great."

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TENENBAUM m@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2005-07-30 published
Karlyn TUNBRIDGE and David PATON -- Match:
By Judith TENENBAUM, Saturday, July 30, 2005, Page M4
It took just two weeks for Karlyn Helen Maureen TUNBRIDGE and David Cameron PATON to start talking about getting married. Two months later, they were engaged.
In March of 2004, after spending nine hours toiling on a summer program brochure, Ms. TUNBRIDGE, now 34, an employee with the Toronto parks and recreation department, decided to log on to an Internet dating service she had recently joined.
The screen name Haggis McBagus caught her eye. Assuming he might share her Scottish background, she immediately arranged an exchange of phone numbers. On her transit ride home, she called his cellphone and caught him as he was walking his dog.
Their casual conversation lasted until midnight, concluding with his invitation to dinner the next evening. She accepted, but asked that he e-mail her a photo. "I really didn't like his picture," she says. "But he was making me laugh, and I enjoyed talking to him, so I didn't care."
When he arrived, however, flowers in hand, Mr. PATON didn't look anything like he did in the photograph, she says. He reminded her of race-car driver Paul Tracy.
The two hit it off instantly.
"There was an automatic comfort level," Mr. PATON, 39, recalls. "On a first date, there are those long periods of silence, and we didn't have that. We weren't 25-year-olds who had to explore what we wanted in a relationship."
Despite some unusual circumstances, Ms. TUNBRIDGE says it was love at first sight.
"David was in the beginning stages of divorce and I hadn't been in a relationship in a long time," she says. "Sitting across the table, I just knew, and we started talking about getting married within two weeks."
Although her mother was worried and skeptical, her fears dissipated after learning Mr. PATON was from her birthplace of Paisley, Scotland. Her sister, Stephanie, was reassured after he declared his honourable intentions. Anticipating an engagement ring, an excited Ms. TUNBRIDGE began scoping out wedding sites. Enthusiastic about the West Rouge Community Centre, she suffered an emotional meltdown when Mr. PATON, in a playful ruse, apologized that he couldn't afford a ring.
Then he dramatically produced one, and asked her to marry him.
"Get out of here," she replied.
Emphatically, he repeated the question, and she tearfully accepted. It was the May long weekend -- only two months after they had met.
It might seem like a snap decision, but Ms. TUNBRIDGE has always been one to follow her heart.
She had originally worked at a bank, but did not enjoy it. When a friend offered her a summer job at a wading pool and playground, Ms. TUNBRIDGE, who loves children, jumped at the chance, despite the low pay and part-time hours.
It was a perfect fit for her, since she has a deep affection for the outdoors. "I love the beach, camp, the cottage, and pretty much grew up in a canoe. My father had me on the water before I was walking," she says.
To become a children's recreation expert, she went to Centennial College and got a recreation scholarship, then moved to George Brown as a full-time student while juggling a job and her studies.
She now facilitates the training of staff for more than 30 summer camps, while finding time to volunteer with Fashion Cares, the A.I.D.S. Walk and the Toronto Youth Games.
Currently in the midst of a career change, Mr. PATON's passions included Manchester United, Saturday United Kingdom soccer, and, to the chagrin of Ms. TUNBRIDGE, collecting Star Trek memorabilia.
The pair are perfect foils. "I'm a little off-the-wall wacky at times, and David is much more serious. I have this crazy laugh, a lot of different Friends, and David is a homebody. He helps ground me, and I help him to let go," Ms. TUNBRIDGE says.
Their wedding invitation specified "a no-tie or dress-up event. You could show up in your Speedo if you wanted to," Ms. TUNBRIDGE says.
For her part, she took advantage of the chance to wear flip-flops down the aisle, beneath her white dress.
"I'm mildly obsessed with flip-flops. They are comfortable, cool, summer, the epitome of everything fun. I start wearing them in March and they come off in October," she says.
"She not only has flip-flop shoes, but flip-flop pendants... anything with a flip-flop design," Mr. PATON says with a laugh.
On a steamy June 25, the kilt-clad bridegroom, groomsmen in white shirts and khaki pants, bridesmaids, including four flower girls all in pink with pink flip-flops, three ring bearers sporting Hawaiian shirts, and 110 guests were assembled on Rouge Beach.
A piper and the rhythmic tapping of her flip-flops announced the bride as she sauntered down a sandy aisle, which was decorated by an inventive Mr. PATON and his best man, Ehren MENDUM, with eye-catching gigantic pink faux gerbera and sunflowers obtained that morning from the dollar store.
Rev. Tina GABRIEL performed the nuptials and the Sons of Beaches, a rock 'n' roll band made up of City of Toronto employees, played at the reception.
The couple are now renovating the Guildwood Village home where Ms. TUNBRIDGE was raised. "I loved growing up here," she says of the leafy half-acre property atop the Scarborough Bluffs that they purchased from her father.
She is hoping to soon join the area's constituency of soccer moms.

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TENENBAUM m@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2005-08-06 published
Lisa PIJUAN and David NOMURA -- Match:
By Judith TENENBAUM, Saturday, August 6, 2005, Page M4
It took a couple of encounters with David Robert NOMURA, orchestrated by his sister Catherine, to shift Lisa Susan PIJUAN's view of him from askance to starry-eyed. Of their first meeting at a party in 2002 she recalls, "I thought he was pretty cute, but gay. He and two Friends wore red shirts and I was obnoxious, pretty loud, a party girl and didn't see him again for a few months until his sister invited me to the Rivoli, saying, 'By the way, my brother is coming.' "
"This is great," Ms. PIJUAN lamented at the time. "The guy is gay and can't stand me." However, she was wrong on both counts.
Charmed by her candour, Mr. NOMURA spent the next 24 hours endearing himself to her, confessing that he had just ended a 10-year relationship, was emotionally bankrupt, committed to remaining single for a year, and needed time to clear his head.
Meanwhile, Ms. PIJUAN could attest to her own series of heartbreaks, but had come to the realization that with her cats, books and support of Friends and family, she was strong enough to live alone and remain single. Yet, determined to avoid her pattern of romantic disasters, she had established protective boundaries: "I won't say I love you for four months, will only see you twice a week, won't move in for a year, or marry for two." So she wished Mr. NOMURA luck, and, convinced that she'd never see him again, countered, "You don't have to be alone to heal," and they parted.
Unexpectedly, he e-mailed the next day. "I made up my mind to break my commitment to myself," he laughs. The pair began dating, their respective concerns flying with a flutter.
A turning point came two months later in August, 2003, before a kayaking trip at a friend's cottage near Georgian Bay. "I drove in the dark, and when I saw my sister's car I knew Lisa was there. My heart tingled, and flooded with joy and anticipation," he remembers.
Their shared love of the outdoors -- hers visual, his practical -- would collide a few months later on a madcap escapade to Algonquin Park. His sister had arranged for five veterans and novice Ms. PIJUAN to trek and canoe to an isolated cabin on Thanksgiving. Dave had the canoe and there were about nine kilometres of portaging and canoeing," Ms. PIJUAN recalls.
Mr. NOMURA, an experienced camper, admits, "It was the most extreme trip I'd been on."
When Ms. PIJUAN stumbled and hurt her tailbone, the other five decided to split up temporarily. Some searched for the cabin, and others retrieved the canoes. Alone, Ms. PIJUAN heard the howling of wolves across the water. Thankfully, the wolves ignored her, her companions returned, and they paddled to the cabin -- only to find it occupied by a gun-toting squatter. The stranger refused to leave but affably shared stories and their Thanksgiving dinner, cheerfully departing the next morning in his pickup. "We later found out we were trying to negotiate with Greg SARAZIN, chief Algonquin land-claims negotiator since 1991, to get out," laughs Mr. NOMURA.
Ms. PIJUAN, a graduate of the now-defunct School of Physical Theatre, formed GirlCanCreate and is currently working on the puppet production The Zoe Show, which began as part of the Groundswell Playwright Unit with Nightwood Theatre in Toronto. She also curates RED, a night of live performance integrating dance, puppetry, music and film, which will again be performed next Wednesday at the Lula Lounge.
Mr. NOMURA's passion for photography was rekindled last summer when the couple explored Newfoundland. This May, he started a one-year sabbatical from his software career to test that hypothesis.
Meanwhile, an overwhelmed, stressed Ms. PIJUAN was organizing her October, 2004, opening of RED without funding when she asked Mr. NOMURA, " What am I doing? This is insane!" Suddenly, he tapped her on the shoulder and proposed. She tearfully accepted, but, always unconventional, insisted, "Why am I supposed to get a ring with a diamond? I'm about equality and togetherness." Soon, the two displayed matching engagement bands.
The wedding was scheduled for Toronto's Algonquin Island and the date was destined to be June 25, close to the summer solstice. It was two years and five days since their first date. She and her mother were born on the 25th and their phone number ended in 0025.
An entourage of 50 disembarked the ferry to be greeted by the harmonies of flamenco guitarist Nicholas Hernandez, violinist Chris Church and pennywhistle player Dan Restivo, who synthesized the bride's Spanish and the bridegroom's Japanese/Celtic heritage. As tree fluff fell like magical summer snow, the assemblage, led by two 13-foot puppets from the Clay and Paper production where the bride had starred as Lilith, and resembling the couple, serpentined to the lawn of the island clubhouse. There beneath Noah Kenneally's canopy, the bride, 33, in a twenties-vibe chantilly lace Lowen Pope creation and the bridegroom, 35, in a sixties Mandarin-collared black suit, exchanged personal vows in front of Reverend Sarah BUNNET- GIBSON. Later, they danced to The Rainbow Connection, popularized by Kermit the Frog.
In lieu of a honeymoon, the PIJUAN- NOMURAs flew to Prague to help create a puppet version of Carmen to be performed at the world's largest street theatre festival in Austria. They are living the vows they exchanged from Walt Whitman's Song of the Open Road: "Will you give me yourself? Will you come travel with me? Shall we stick by each other as long as we live?"

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TENENBAUM m@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2005-08-13 published
Nicholle BAKER and John RUSSELL -- Match
By Judith TENENBAUM, Saturday, August 13, 2005, Page M6
As he was being gurneyed into surgery for a liver transplant in 1998, John Charles RUSSELL smiled at his tearful family.
After being ill for years, Mr. RUSSELL was philosophical about the procedure. "I was weeks away from dying. I'd either make it or I wouldn't; live or die. I finally had an opportunity to have a life and was ecstatic," he said.
Drained of his vitality, he had succumbed to the ravages of hepatitis C when he received the call from the University Health Network, Toronto General. After the operation, he was told that his liver had been so cirrhotic that it actually fell apart.
As he convalesced, his heart was captivated by the "warmth in the eyes" of Nicholle Elizabeth Anne BAKER, a nurse on the transplant team. "She was cute, and had a wholesome look, someone I could see myself with, but at the time we were both in relationships," he says.
His condition required ambulatory visits during which the pair maintained a rapport, and as he recuperated, Mr. RUSSELL would often sneak peeks at Ms. BAKER working in her hospital office. In March, 2004, now unattached, he sent out his new e-mail address and an immediate mouse click from Ms. BAKER queried his well-being. "I looked down at my desk, saw a pair of Colorado Avalanche tickets, knew she liked hockey, and asked if she'd go."
Emotionally fragile after a past relationship, and circumspect about dating a former patient, she accepted but kept it platonic by meeting him at the game. Despite living only blocks from the Air Canada Centre, he optimistically parked his car there, and persuaded Ms. BAKER to accept a lift to the Oakville GO station.
"As we sang along with the radio, I felt strange. Those little endorphins were going off. When we said good night, I had butterflies flying around in my stomach," he recalls.
Euphoric, and contemplating a second date, he then floored it to Whitby, where his Friends were playing a rock 'n' roll gig. Noting his early arrival, they concluded, "The date must have sucked," but he exclaimed, "It was the best I ever had."
Ecstasy turned to agony when the following Friday he read her e-mail. The decorous Ms. BAKER had decided that dating a former patient mandated a velvet brush-off. "If I were in a different role.... I don't want to be construed as hurting you in any way.... you are a wonderful person," she wrote.
Mr. RUSSELL, who had been a successful developer before his illness, was not ready to capitulate and fired off an impassioned response: "I'll go to another doctor. I'll switch to the transplant unit in London."
"I poured my heart into it," he recalls, pleading, "It's about taking a chance in life. Whatever happens, happens."
At the time, Ms. BAKER felt defined by her snappy convertible, home in Oakville, her decision to adopt two girls if still single at 35, and her career as a transplant co-ordinator. Yet, in a rare display of vulnerability, she shared his poignant e-mail with colleagues, and her mother, who, all moved to tears, urged her to follow her heart. Her mother's proviso to the gourmet cook: "If you're not quite certain, don't impress him; just have him over and order pizza."
On their second date at her home with the hockey game as a backdrop, Mr. RUSSELL could hardly contain himself. "I wanted Nicholle to know everything there was to know about me, the good, the bad and the ugly. I gave it all to her in three hours, this is who I am and I'm not changing," says Mr. RUSSELL, now 45, who had emerged from a divorce and had no children.
Ms. BAKER was left without doubts and shortly took him to meet her mother. He wheeled up in a silver-bullet muscle car. Surreptitiously, with maternal concern, she noted down his licence-plate number but now asserts, "I love him because he makes my daughter's spirit soar."
It was Oakville's historic lighthouse at the end of the pier that illuminated the couple's commitment in July, 2004, only a few months after their first date. In response to Ms. BAKER's "I love you," Mr. RUSSELL posed, Does that mean you'll love me forever?" He then dropped to one knee and proffered a ring.
Family and Friends were thrilled although Mr. RUSSELL could not resist self-parody. "Nicholle dated academics who went to the U of T. I went to the University of the Street. My Friends think something's wrong with her if she's with me, and suggest she check her eyes," he laughs, but admits he's redefined his life.
A recent honours graduate in Human Service Counselling and winner of the Award of Excellence from George Brown College, he now plans to work with addicted youth.
Ms. BAKER, now 33, left the transplant unit, moving to Public Health as a high-school liaison in injury, violence and substance-abuse prevention for Halton Region. But with a master of science in nursing focused on transplant hepatology, she stays apprised of progress in the field. "I changed so that should anything happen to John I could be at his side," she says. "And living and working in the same community has made me more politically active, and socially aware."
On June 25, candles flickered to a string-quartet rendition of Over the Rainbow at the Carlu. The bride in a silk blush Justina McCaffrey gown, clasping white peonies, was escorted partly down the aisle by her father, and then led by her stepfather to the Rev. Sarah BUNNETT- GIBSON, where the couple exchanged personal vows.
"It's been like a fairy tale," Mr. RUSSELL says. "I was broken down and sick, fortunate enough to receive a transplant, and Nicholle happened to be there. I thought I knew what love was, but never did until now."
A thankful new Mrs. RUSSELL urges readers to visit the Trillium Gift of Life Network at http: //www.giftoflife.on.ca.
I've already signed up to donate. But then, I could hardly say no. Mr. RUSSELL is my new son-in-law.

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TENENBAUM m@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2005-08-20 published
Erika VEH and Mark KNODELL -- Match:
By Judith TENENBAUM, Saturday, August 20, 2005, Page M4
Canada Day, 1999: In a Queen Street East booth, as an enterprising Erika VEH supplemented her regular income by promoting time-share packages for a Collingwood resort, neither she nor Mark KNODELL could imagine that serendipity would have them sharing their lives. Out with his buddies, he chatted briefly with her at the booth before hesitatingly leaving -- he was immediately captivated by Ms. VEH. "My Friends said, 'She likes you!' Mr. KNODELL says, "and I thought to myself, 'Wow, she's a great girl. I really like her.' We came back about 10 minutes later and I tried to persuade her to give me her number but she wouldn't."
"I'd been through a lot of relationships and only been in Toronto three months," Ms. VEH recalls. "My parents taught me the safe thing to do was not to give him my phone number, but to take his," which she did.
Her brief encounter with Mr. KNODELL would have remained just that, but kismet would intervene when she returned home to Ottawa for her father's birthday on July 2. There, her mother, Suzanne VEH, insisted that the recent graduate of Barrie's Georgian College in resort and hotel administration discard student paraphernalia she no longer needed. As Ms. VEH rummaged through material destined for the recycling bin, she picked up an expensive textbook called Fundamentals of Management that she had never used.
"I flipped it open, and I tried to place the smiling picture staring back at me." Suddenly, in an illuminating flash, she excitedly announced to her mother that the enterprising Halifax fish broker described in her textbook had tried to pick her up in the Beaches.
Back in Toronto, Ms. VEH rushed to call him, but the shorts where she'd stuffed his number had been laundered, leaving a blanched scrap with only a vestigial 416. When the telephone directory held no listing, she reasoned he must have been a mere visitor to Toronto and had returned to Halifax.
Two weeks later, her mother visited for the weekend and over a glass of wine tactfully queried, "Did you follow up with the East Coast connection?" Ms. VEH explained she had been unable to reach Mr. KNODELL, and, in any case, was not interested in a long-distance relationship. Yet, fate summoned her mother to urge, "Call 411. Just do it for me." A listing materialized, and with some trepidation, Ms. VEH called him.
A voicemail responded, "You've reached Mark and Dominic, please leave a message," and had her discombobulated, leaving hints for him to remember her. Immediately Ms. VEH realized Dominic might be a woman. "I freaked out. Oh my gosh, here I am leaving a message on a strange guy's answering machine and he's probably living with a girl!"
That Sunday, on his return from a business trip in Finland, a delighted Mr. KNODELL dashed to call Ms. VEH, explained Dominic was a male roommate, and they arranged a rollerblading date mid-week.
"I looked over at Erika and thought, 'What is this girl doing, no padding, no helmet, going way too fast down the hill?" Mr. KNODELL says.
"The brakes on my roller blades weren't working. I was trying to impress Mark and didn't want to scream. I basically took out someone's sprinkler system," she remembers. Before she crashed into the house, "a chivalrous, Mark swooped me up." That, she notes, was her first and last sortie into rollerblading. Later, on a boardwalk bench, they chatted the night away, rapt in each other until 4 a.m. "Both of us didn't want it to end, but by dawn work was beckoning," Ms. VEH says. She had explained the serendipitous nature of her quest to locate him, and the role of her textbook, as he listened in disbelief.
In 1992, Mr. KNODELL, 32, and a former winner of a Youth Entrepreneur Award of Merit, was interviewed and photographed for inclusion in a proposed marketing text. "For me, the craziest thing was the book. They promised me a copy, but I moved, never got it, and forgot about it."
Lured by the opportunity in Toronto, the 1995 Saint Mary's University graduate had moved his business, Continental Connections, from the Maritimes about 18 months before meeting Ms. VEH, 29. Also drawn to Toronto, she had found work with a recruitment firm and then moved to advertising sales.
The committed couple pooled their resources in 2001 to purchase a home in the Beaches. On the premise that a dog was requisite for "in group" membership in the neighbourhood, they were joined by Rupert, a Boston terrier.
By April of 2004 the pair had moved to a second Beaches home, and Ms. VEH had switched career paths to take the real-estate licensing course. When she successfully completed phase one on July 19 of last year, Mr. KNODELL suggested they celebrate over dinner. In a small, candle-lit private room, his odd behaviour had her wondering, "like most women what was wrong? What did I say?"
However, constrained by the table and squeezed into the corner, he was struggling to kneel and open a ring box. "Of course I said yes, and was shaking and crying," Ms. VEH says.
The wedding was Victorian, vintage and simple. On July 10, at dusk, the bride, in her mother's original gown, reworked by Kathy COOPER of Urban Bride, floated down an aisle draped with peony balls elevated by seven-foot shepherd rods to a stone outdoor altar at Vaughn Estate where Reverend Gordon KUSHNER wed the couple. Classic touches included violins, Kir Royal, and, acknowledging Ms. VEH's family heritage, a Danish cone-shaped cake with multiple marzipan-filled, cookie-like pastry layers, tiny Canadian and Danish flags on each.
"I feel like something bigger was in control, something bigger than us," Ms. VEH says.

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TENENBAUM m@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2005-08-27 published
Naomi Malka SHUPAK and Mark DRIMAN -- Match:
By Judith TENENBAUM, Saturday, August 27, 2005, Page M4
Born just nine days apart and together since they were teens, the only thing Naomi Malka SHUPAK and Mark DRIMAN seem to be at odds about is how they met. "I remember distinctly being introduced to her on the beach my first year at [Timberlane] summer camp," Mr. DRIMAN says. Ms. SHUPAK, on the other hand, says she didn't notice her future husband until 10th grade at the Community Hebrew Academy of Toronto.
But since the pair's first official outing -- to their Grade 10 prom -- they have been exclusive. "I don't really know anything about dating, because I never really dated," admits Ms. SHUPAK, 25. "But I don't feel at all like I'm missing out."
After graduating from Community Hebrew Academy of Toronto in 1998, he did a year at Thornlea Secondary School, while Ms. SHUPAK began studying at York University. The following year, they both enrolled at the University of Western Ontario in London.
Mr. DRIMAN graduated with an honours degree in business administration and was awarded the University of Western Ontario Scholarship of Distinction in 2000. Ms. SHUPAK completed first a B. Sc. in psychology, then an M. Sc. in medical biophysics and won both the University of Western Ontario Chancellor's Prize in Social Science and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council Canada Graduate Scholarship in 2003, as well as several other research awards.
Despite hard work at school, the couple did find time to spend with Friends, attend charity balls and participate in a memorable, and moving, tour called March of the Living, which brings Jewish youth from all over the world to Auschwitz and Birkenau on Holocaust Memorial Day and then to Israel for Independence Day.
Upon graduation, the couple were separated again when Mr. DRIMAN took a position as an investment banker at Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce in Toronto. On weekends, Ms. SHUPAK, still at University of Western Ontario, visited him, and he spared her the lonely schlep home by accompanying her back to London on Sunday evenings. On Monday, he would wake up early and whistle back to the city on the train just in time for work.
On March 18, 2004, on the eve of Ms. SHUPAK's master's dissertation, Mr. DRIMAN made their separation that much easier -- by bringing her an engagement ring. "I think we have known forever that we wanted to get married," Mr. DRIMAN says. "All the things that happen in life, the big steps -- moving away to go to university, going on your first trip without your parents, graduating, moving out, milestones in one's life -- we've been through them together."
Mr. DRIMAN has been helping Ms. SHUPAK with yet another milestone. Following in the footsteps of her father, aunt and uncle, Ms. SHUPAK is currently studying medicine at the University of Toronto. To keep her at her best, Mr. DRIMAN provides some "chicken soup for the fiancée." Says Ms. SHUPAK: "On many occasions, he'd come from work to prepare a meal while I was studying for exams and then return for what could result in extremely late nights for him at the office."
The two were wed on July 10 at Adath Israel Congregation, with Rabbi David C. SEED officiating. Included in the wedding party was four-month-old Madeline Anne, the bride's niece, who was carried down the aisle by her parents Debbie and Marc BAKER. The bridesmaids held rose bouquets, each in a different hue of pink. The bride wore a strapless dress adorned with crystals and pearls, designed by Jim Helm, underneath a bolero jacket.
The celebration was not without some sadness. Ms. SHUPAK's grandmother passed away in January. "They had talked on the phone many times a day," Mr. DRIMAN says. In tribute, the ceremony was performed with her wedding ring and the bride wore her heirloom pearl earrings, complemented by a pearl necklace from the bridegroom's grandmother, Ray CHUDY.
Under the chuppa, the bride symbolically circled her bridegroom seven times. This tradition is said to represent creativity (the earth being created in seven days) and a sevenfold bond between the couple and their families. Now, the two just need to agree on their own creation story.

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TENENBAUM m@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2005-09-03 published
Asma McKHAIL and Ryan William SHOLLERT -- Match:
By Judith TENENBAUM, Saturday, September 3, 2005, Page M6
A teary Asma McKHAIL sensed wedding plans were off to a bad beginning as her ill-fitting gown was snipped and hemmed with abandon as the woman designated to assist her chimed, "You look great sweetie," and departed for lunch.
At a fourth fitting just days before she was to leave for her ceremony in British Columbia, she panicked when asked, "Didn't you come in yesterday and cancel your wedding?" Staff at the bridal salon had confused her with another client and had not worked on her gown, and their quick adjustments would fall short.
"[They] had screwed up the clasps, my bridesmaid had to pin the dress, and I was late for my wedding," she says. Rush alterations for one of her attendants proved more costly than the dress itself.
Unfortunately, all of this was just a harbinger of more problems to come.
Ms. McKHAIL and Ryan William SHOLLERT had met at the Toronto Cricket Skating and Curling Club in October, 2001. A York University graduate in kinesiology and health sciences, Ms. McKHAIL was assistant to the fitness co-ordinator there, and Mr. SHOLLERT a senior-level pairs skater.
By May, Ms. McKHAIL left to establish her own business, Your Peak Performance, but the two kept in contact. On their first official date on July 14, she asked him to DarkNights, a souped-up-car show at the Markham Fair Grounds and later suggested a jaunt to Niagara Falls.
"We're sensible people, not flighty, but I felt an instant connection," she says.
The couple, now 27, both love soccer, blading, running, skiing, snowboarding and the outdoors. Mr. SHOLLERT admits, "I brought up marriage after a month."
But in March, 2003, the duo parted as Mr. SHOLLERT, a British Columbia native, left for Vancouver to find a pairs partner. Friends skeptical of long-distance relationships warned Ms. McKHAIL that she was in competition with "little girls in little short dresses."
For her part, Ms. McKHAIL says, "I was never jealous. We knew it would be tough, but we didn't want him to have regrets. You have to put all the emotional stuff aside and focus on the athlete."
To stay in touch, Ms. McKHAIL designed and e-mailed training programs for athletes in Vancouver, periodically travelling there to assist her clients with off-ice training and rendezvous with her boyfriend.
To celebrate the anniversary of their first date, the couple went ballooning. Their second anniversary, which they celebrated in Kelowna, British Columbia, in 2004, was climactic. They exchanged gifts, skated privately on a rink he had reserved, and Mr. SHOLLERT presented Ms. McKHAIL with long-stemmed white roses, their signature flower, before a Thai dinner. Her fortune cookie read, "A merry heart doth good like medicine." He then quipped, "Imagine if it had said marry?"
On the pretext of buying ice cream for dessert, Mr. SHOLLERT then drove Ms. McKHAIL to Guisachan Heritage Park, literally whirled her around to face the best view of the garden, and proffered a ring.
Permanently in Toronto by 2005, the couple decided on a Kelowna wedding on July 16 at the exact spot where they had become engaged. Eschewing a pushy officiant, they chose "a sweet lady, English, reminding me of my nan," Mr. SHOLLERT says. Too bad, jokes Ms. McKHAIL, "she turned out to be the grandma from hell." On rehearsal day, she said she was stuck in traffic, had booked another wedding and would conduct the session by phone. Luckily, they were able to say no and replace her with a hastily recruited justice of the peace.
Amid the hubbub, the bride failed to notice the absence of a bridesmaid, who missed her flight when her family had stopped for a car-tire repair and arrived an hour late for the rehearsal. "My dad stepped up and said, 'Let's go through it again for Amanda,' and Asma was none the wiser," laughs Mr. SHOLLERT.
There were other complications: The wedding band couldn't be sized for the bride's tiny fingers and a best-guess custom ring arrived at the 11th hour; the groom needed last-minute help with the music selection; the cake was so disappointing a replacement had to be arranged; programs printed in Toronto had a spelling error.
Through all of this, though, a thoughtful Mr. SHOLLERT ensured the bride stayed unaware of any setbacks and helped her maintain composure by sending white roses and coffee.
And, by the time of their wedding-day nuptials, sunlight dispelled rain clouds and the officiant wed the pair without mishap (other than misspelling the bride's name on the marriage certificate). At the reception following -- as if in tribute to the power of love over adversity -- Mr. and Mrs. SHOLLERT made their debut to the Rocky theme wearing boxing gloves.
In a last glitch, none of the photographer's photos turned out, but guests with digital cameras recorded the day.

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TENENBAUM m@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2005-09-10 published
Tanya HOWARD and Robert EICHVALD -- Match:
By Judith TENENBAUM, Saturday, September 10, 2005, Page M6
At a star party on the roof deck of the EICHVALD family boathouse on Lake Muskoka, guests craned to see a meteorite shower against a canopy of black. But that August night in 1999, Robert EICHVALD and Tanya HOWARD were also fixated on each other. Just casual acquaintances at the time, Mr. EICHVALD says, "We just knew this was it. We knew we were going to be together. That's just how it was."
Until she met Mr. EICHVALD, Ms. HOWARD had focused most of her attentions on ballet. Born in Uitenhage, South Africa, she started dancing at the age of 4 and at 14 entered the National School of the Arts in Johannesburg. After graduation, she won numerous awards, including a scholarship to the National Ballet of Canada. She apprenticed there in 1998 and a year later became a member of the corps de ballet.
In 2004, Ms. HOWARD was promoted to second soloist with the company. She has been featured in Monotones II, The Sleeping Beauty, Serenade and The Nutcracker. She also created the role of Twig in James KUDELKA's Cinderella.
For his part, Mr. EICHVALD, a University of Waterloo psychology graduate, is vice-president of organizational development at the Canadian Council on Rehabilitation and Work, a network that provides services for job seekers with disabilities and businesses committed to equality and inclusion.
"What I choose to spend most of my time on is helping other people fulfill their lives," he says. "I guess I'm a bit of a bleeding heart.... I want to be there and make a difference."
Mr. EICHVALD is also a dedicated athlete, and hockey and beach volleyball are some of his passions. The 38-year-old underwent a cultural conversion during his courtship with Ms. HOWARD. "If I have two or three [roles] in one production, he will come two or three times," she says. In turn, Ms. HOWARD cheers him on when he plays sports.
Mostly, though, the two look forward to shared downtime. They commute together daily from their Junction-area home to their work downtown and enjoy travelling, especially to see spectacular sunsets.
In May, 2004, Ms. HOWARD, now 26, thought she was accompanying Mr. EICHVALD to an Atlanta work conference -- until the departure gate revealed the surprise destination of Key West.
"We went there as our first trip," he says. "It's the end of the road in North America and artistic people who are dreamers end up there. Everybody actually goes out and watches the sunset: performers, musicians, all kinds of sailboats."
During one such sunset, Mr. EICHVALD added to the magic with a proposal.
On July 16, by the water's edge at Windsor Park in Bala, Ontario, the couple were wed by Reverend John W. OLDHAM before 100 Friends and family. A casual reception followed at the EICHVALD cottage.
"A traditional city wedding wasn't our style," the bridegroom says. "A lot of the people coming to the wedding had been at the cottage at some point, so it was a place of great memories for more than just the two of us."
After cocktails, guests danced under a tent set up on the roof and ate at food stations, including a carving station and one serving stir-fry in Chinese take-out boxes.
And since it was a hot day, "literally everyone ended up jumping in the water in full dress, and various other states of undress, and had a great time," Mr. EICHVALD says. Around 4 a.m., guests were shuttled safely back to their hotels by bus.
As the newlyweds ponder their future, Mr. EICHVALD is considering new ways to help others. The cause that interests him the most these days is Right to Play, an athlete-driven organization focusing on sports and health for children in war-torn countries.
Meanwhile, Ms. HOWARD, who plans to keep her name for performance purposes, envisions a lengthy career in ballet, "as long as my body will allow."
She also suggests motherhood and dance are compatible. "Now, it seems more acceptable to quit and come back. I've already crossed over to other forms of dance early in my career," she says, referring to her participation in the Peggy Baker Dance Projects.
And, of course, they'll save time for each other. Ms. HOWARD says, "I would hope that people see the respect and care that we have for each other, and that our happiness is the real thing."

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TENENBAUM m@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2005-09-17 published
Jennifer STANLEY and Manuel SALAZAR -- Match:
By Judith TENENBAUM, Saturday, September 17, 2005, Page M6
Cancun may mean tequila in the minds of most visitors, but not for abstainer Jennifer STANLEY. "I spit out chocolates if I realize they are made with liqueur," she says with a laugh. When her Friends decided to go to the Mexican resort town for an April, 2002, mini-break, she had no idea that it was dubbed "party city."
However, Ms. STANLEY sensed kismet had intervened when, as a tag-along with her companions, she was hustled into a bar where Manuel SALAZAR worked as a waiter and emcee. "The second we locked eyes, he walked over and started talking. It was the chemistry. You either have it, or you don't," she says. He asked her to wait until he finished working, and the two spent five hours just talking.
After that, the moonstruck pair would routinely rendezvous at the end of Mr. SALAZAR's shift and chat in the town square until 7 a.m. Then, Ms. STANLEY would dash back to her hotel and wake her girlfriends for a daily regimen of shopping, touring and tanning. "I don't think I slept the entire five days we were there, but I didn't want to be one of those girls who meets a guy on holiday and takes off on her Friends," she says.
Back in Toronto, clear-eyed but smitten, Ms. STANLEY soon realized a flurry of calls and pixelated images were no substitute for the real thing. So, on a work hiatus that summer, she took a tentative step and rented a house in Cancun. "I always thought my entire life would revolve around my career, but as soon as I met Manuel, I had different priorities. I wanted to do it on my terms, not go blindly into a whirlwind romance," she says. But she adds, beaming, "It was the summer we fell in love."
Fall brought an apprehensive Mr. SALAZAR to Toronto. "My worst fear was that I wouldn't fit in," he recalls thinking. But warmly embraced by the STANLEY family, snow was the only frostiness he encountered. "Toronto was different than I had thought. It is very multicultural and open."
After his four-month visit, it was Ms. STANLEY's turn to travel to Mexico. "I'd be on a plane with people dying to get to the beach, and I'd spend two weeks there and not see the beach once," she says, remembering that her junkets entailed day trips with Mr. SALAZAR and visits to his relatives.
A year into their relationship, on one such excursion, Mr. SALAZAR surprised her at their culinary compromise, a restaurant featuring Italian and Mexican cuisine. "Out comes a chocolate milkshake. It was a huge deal because they don't have milkshakes, so I drank it, and at the bottom was the ring," she says.
The next two years were defining. "We talked about where we would live and what we would do. Would it be easier for Manuel to create a life here with me and blend in rather than my going there?"
Ms. STANLEY, who appeared in commercials as a child, aspired to become a television news reporter. So she studied print journalism at Centennial College because, she says, "I wanted a strong backbone for interviewing, researching and writing." Her internship at The New VR in Barrie was production-oriented, but volunteer work at Shaw/Rogers soon landed her a job combining news reporting, cinematography and work as an anchor.
Her next quantum career leap followed a 2 a.m. epiphany when she abruptly woke and drafted the concept for Urban Insider, a show she now produces and hosts. The television series is a behind-the-scenes look at places like the SkyDome, the C.N. Tower and Woodbine racetrack. In 2004, it won the Impression Award for best television magazine series in Canada.
With his fiancée's career in ascendancy and his yet to be launched, Mr. SALAZAR graciously reasoned it would be "the Maple Leaf Forever," and the couple planned July 23 nuptials, "wanting to bring a little bit of Mexico to Canada."
With a Latin flourish, the bride, 27, appeared in a handmade red veil and tiara, a red beaded bustier embroidered in gold, and a white skirt panelled and trimmed with red. The bridegroom, 26, stood in a traditional Latin American shirt, a guayabera, cotton drawstring pants and sandals as Reverend Tom MASSENA officiated on the dock at Perfect Little Moments near Claremont, Ontario
Loads of sand and the adjacent pool transformed the STANLEY backyard into a beach-themed reception venue. Surprised guests were supplied sandals, had their caricatures drawn and snacked from a Mexican fruit stand. Palm trees and a tiki hut completed the ambience.
Revellers imbibed tequila shots in scooped-out cucumbers, drank Mexican beer and let loose to a mariachi band. A local Mexican restaurateur set out a buffet and dessert was the bridegroom's favourite -- individual tres leche cakes, which revealed fortune-telling charms at the pull of a ribbon for 13 guests. At dark, a dazzling fire-art display of twirling, swallowing and juggling lit the scene.
"Manuel and I met in a Cancun bar, which is why I believe in fate and destiny," the new Mrs. SALAZAR says. "I don't believe I would have found myself there for any other reason than to meet him."

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TENENBAUM m@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2005-09-24 published
Jan WOODEND and Ken VINCENT -- Match
By Judith TENENBAUM, Saturday, September 24, 2005, Page M4
Ottawa resident Janice Norma WOODEND, a contented single parent of four for almost a decade, was secure in her family-law practice. Yet, in the spring of 2003, nostalgia had her logging on to Classmates.com to explore the possibility that alumni from her Etobicoke Collegiate Institute graduation class had organized a 25th reunion. Also, curiosity about a former sweetheart and aspiring artist, Kenneth David VINCENT, tugged at her memories as she scanned for his name.
"I visited my parents' home regularly and I thought maybe I'll see Ken's name in the newspaper in a show at some gallery," Ms. WOODEND recalls of her Toronto visits. "But I was unaware that he had not stayed in that field."
A graduate of the Ontario College of Art, Mr. VINCENT had married a fellow artist, and decided to pursue a new career with the realization that two starving artists couldn't live more cheaply than one. He attended George Brown and Fanshawe Colleges respectively, and went on to become a technologist in the physics department at the University of Toronto.
By the time he posted a personal profile on Classmates.com, he was divorced.
Gingerly, Ms. WOODEND made a move and e-mailed Mr. VINCENT. His warp-speed response was the portent of long dormant feelings.
"It's a bit scary because you're thinking, 'Is this the real thing, or am I just reliving some fantasy from the past? ' So you have to spend some time straightening that out in your mind," Ms. WOODEND says.
But all the while her heart was aflutter. "I don't think I got any work done for the next three weeks," she adds. "Every time that e-mail thing would beep, I'd rush to see if it was from him."
She was planning to visit her mother in Toronto for Easter, so when Mr. VINCENT responded, the two arranged to meet. "I remember thinking at the time, 'What if he still likes me, and then, oh no, what if he doesn't?' " she recollects. "We got together for coffee, he smiled at me and the whole rest of the room disappeared."
"Your mind is racing back to all those old memories and you're almost in a dream," Mr. VINCENT recalls. "Jan was very smart, knew her own mind, and different from any other girl I knew in high school." Back in the 1970s, he says, "I hardly understood the female species, and could never actually figure out if we were a steady couple."
As romance deepened, they managed to get together almost every second weekend. "But the long distance was problematic," Ms. WOODEND says, and they pondered where and how they could possibly merge their families and lives.
That contemplation was cut short, however, by the remarkable surprise that the couple became expectant parents on a Paris vacation in the spring of 2004.
This prompted a family conference. "We had all the kids together at my place in Ottawa in July," Ms. WOODEND says. "We wanted to tell everyone about it at the same time. Needless to say, dinner didn't get eaten we were all so excited."
After some deliberation, the couple decided to live in Toronto, where Mr. VINCENT worked and Ms. WOODEND had strong family ties. Her legal skills were portable and, as a full-time mother, she would have the opportunity to focus on their new child. "I like a balance between work and family life," she notes. The following month, they started house hunting. One home was priced beyond their budget, but, Ms. WOODEND says, "we went in, looked at each other and said we have to live here." She is positive their decision was destined. Her grandfather had built the subdivision in the Bloor West Village area: The street was named after her aunt and uncle, and another, two blocks away, was named after her mother.
Living arrangements for the family, which now includes little Ethan, who was born on February 16 this year, were a logistical challenge. Mr. VINCENT's daughter Emma, from his first marriage, alternates weeks with her mother. Ms. WOODEND's eldest daughter, Jennifer, attends the University of Guelph and is happy that she can now see her mother more frequently. Eric, in Grade 12, packed his bags for Toronto. But his younger sisters, Julie, and Sarah, dedicated to dance classes and Friends, opted to remain with their father in Ottawa. (They come to Toronto by train on convenient weekends and spend summers with their mother.)
Clearly, though, the children connect in a concrete way at Ms. WOODEND's family cottage in Wasaga Beach where she summered when she was young. On the dining-room wall, striated markings of annual growth spurts now include notches for Emma and baby Ethan. Of course, the couple bonded in an even more meaningful way on July 2, when they were married at Windermere United Church, the site of the bride's baptism, before an intimate group of 30. The couple's daughters were in dreamy "floaty chiffon" dresses each had chosen from Queen Street's cheeky Misdemeanors. Eric escorted his mother to the altar where the Reverend Kate YOUNG officiated. Then, the youthful entourage paraded in their finery through Bloor West Village to a garden reception at the newlyweds' home.
In 2028, when their class holds its 50th reunion and people ask the inevitable question, "Whatever happened to...? the VINCENTs will need a little time to explain their story.

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TENENBAUM m@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2005-10-15 published
Christine Anne BOYNE and Ian Robert Campbell DOVEY -- Match
By Judith TENENBAUM, Saturday, October 15, 2005, Page M6
In every teacher's career, there is a student who touches her soul. In 2002, for Christine Anne BOYNE, a teacher at Oakville's MacLachlan College, it was Grade 3 pupil Natasha Alexandra DOVEY. "I remember calling my family quite early on about Natasha because I found her extraordinary, and was drawn to her immediately," she says.
The school's small size prompted familiarity among parents, students and staff, and Ms. BOYNE recalls her reaction on learning that eight-year-old Natasha's mother was battling terminal cancer. "I sent her a letter saying I would watch over [Natasha] as long as I could," she recalls. She didn't realize her words would be prophetic.
"About halfway through the school year, my wife passed away, and Christine was fabulous [about] making sure Natasha was okay," recalls Ian Robert Campbell DOVEY. "We spent a fair amount of time communicating about how she was doing."
Six months later, he saw their parent-teacher link drift into Friendship and soon venture to the next level.
"It was an interesting process; at first, I'd come for barbecues. It was very platonic and that progressed for a year, nothing more," says Ms. BOYNE.
Thus, when Mr. DOVEY asked her out for Valentine's Day in 2004, it was a quantum leap. "I was all askew, didn't know what to make of it, and went," she says. "It progressed very quickly after that. You know a person on a daily basis and then realize, 'Oh my goodness, I'm attracted!' "
Concern for Natasha was central to the direction of the couple's romance. "Initially, I was her friend, not his, so we had to bridge that," Ms. BOYNE says. "There were days that I was walking nervously because I had no desire to make her upset. There were lots of talks and I was upfront with her -- when there was a development in our relationship, she was the first to hear.
"You have to move forward," insists Mr. DOVEY, now 49, a consultant with Rogers Telecom. "It was certainly Natasha that gave the impetus. Otherwise, I might have gone in a very different direction emotionally. I felt comfortable with Christine. We laughed, went out, did all the things Friends do, and from there it was an easy decision. "
Five months after their first date, Mr. DOVEY proffered a ring.
Immediately, Ms. BOYNE's family enthused about a new granddaughter. Her grandmother, Jean HARPER, told Natasha, "Now you're going to call me G.G." Happily, Natasha continued to maintain a loving relationship with her mother's family, as the trio celebrated Christmas with them.
The three relocated from Burlington to Oakville, closer to Natasha's school and Friends. "It was an important transition for all of us. We needed to restart together in a new place. It was pivotal in our relationship and development as a family," asserts Ms. BOYNE, now 31. On July 16, despite a deluge, an assemblage of nearly 100 faced the Niagara Escarpment through the open wall of the rustic circa-1860 barn of the Round House in north Burlington. The bride and her sister, Sara, were in white, and "best girl" Natasha stood outfitted in a tuxedo to match her father's. In contrast to the grey day, chandeliers, crystal candelabras, orchids, chocolate-brown mahogany chairs, tucked silk cloths and leather couches cast an uplifting romantic glow as Reverend James C. GILL officiated.
After the couple's vows, the new Mrs. DOVEY read to Natasha from Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's The Little Prince, that responsibility and care for someone grows into love. She sealed her promise that they'd be a family with the presentation of a necklace.
Later, guests kicked up a storm to Royz Band, and the celebration ended outside as they wielded sparklers while encircling the newlyweds.
Naturally, there were some crosscurrents of emotion for Natasha's mother's family, who came from as far away as England to participate. "It was very difficult for them to come on one level, but important to support Natasha and acknowledge Ian. They were happy for him," Mrs. DOVEY says of the bittersweet moment. As the sage Little Prince once advised, "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly."

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TENENBAUM m@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2005-10-22 published
Orlena LEE and Derek WONG -- Match
By Judith TENENBAUM, Saturday, October 22, 2005, Page M6
Seven hours of French director François Truffaut's new wave films on Digital Video Disk -- including Derek WONG's favourite, The 400 Blows -- was the litmus test for Mr. WONG's third date with Orlena LEE. " It's tough for most people to swallow," he laughs. "I wanted to see how Orlena would take it."
It turned out to be reel love.
A native Montrealer, Ms. LEE made a career- and lifestyle-altering move to Toronto in May, 2004, as a senior consultant at Environics Communications. Tired of blind dates "with no chemistry," she had admonished her mother, "I don't want any more of these matchmaking things with another Chinese guy. It never works out."
But her mother, Eliza LEE, was undeterred. On a visit to Hong Kong, she learned from an aunt that a friend, Pun Kit Chik WONG, was seeking "a nice Chinese girl" for her son living in Toronto. An eligible, cosmopolitan Mr. WONG soon received a photo of Ms. LEE at her 1998 graduation. His initial reaction: "What am I going to do with a girl who looks so proper?"
Luckily, a few weeks later, Mr. WONG reconsidered and risked a call. "I thought, 'Everyone looks proper in a graduation photo, especially beside their mother.' "
In September, 2004, a leery but punctual Ms. LEE awaited a traffic-delayed Mr. WONG at the Bloor Street Diner. She scoured the area, frustrated because she had no idea what he looked like, just as he sprang from his car for their inauspicious lunch. "I did most of the talking," she recalls. "It's hard to make conversation with someone you don't know." Yet, later, when they strolled a University of Toronto book sale and chanced on a carillon concert at Soldiers' Tower, the resonant pealing of the bells fractured the ice.
"We started having fun and talked more," she recalls, and they discovered a shared passion for music. Ms. LEE had studied piano for 12 years and played competitively. Mr. WONG was trained in composition. "Derek loves the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and listens to classical Compact Disks in the car and at breakfast," she says. Their date drifted into Little Italy, used bookstores, and ended promisingly at the Drake Hotel, until he dropped her at home, saying he would call after a business trip. She then surmised he wasn't interested.
His surprise call two weeks later took them to the Royal Ontario Museum, where the architectural devotee studied the planned expansion on a free-admission Friday night. Mr. WONG's penchant for the design genius of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe "was one of the reasons I moved to Toronto," he jokes. "He designed the building I work in, the Toronto-Dominion Centre," says Mr. WONG, a mechanical engineer who works as a senior manager for a global accounting firm.
By the fourth date, they were serious.
"My mom said, 'Calm down, it may be over in a month. There are others in Toronto,' Ms. LEE says. But, she recalls, "it was like a fairy tale. At his Christmas office party, we went on the dance floor and had such a good time that I knew I couldn't live without Derek and had to dance with him the rest of my life."
Mr. WONG, 36, says the two share the same sensibility. "We are both neither Asian nor Western," he says. "It is not every day that you find someone at the same place in the social spectrum. We are both into books, the arts, and have a lot of fun together."
It was Valentine's Day, 2005, when Ms. LEE broached the subject of marriage, and at first blush the instant simplicity of City Hall appealed to the couple. However, by the time Mr. WONG showed up at her office wearing his best suit, bouquet in hand, and motioned toward Queen and Bay, she had already deferred to convention. "I had called my mom [and] said Derek was on the way and I was going to get married," she recalls. "She cried and said, 'We haven't even met him yet or his parents or his family.' " So he met her parents at Easter, and after a laudatory speech to them, he presented Ms. LEE with an engagement ring.
The urban couple eschewed the extremes of a stereotypical Chinese wedding -- "a restaurant with red and gold and 500 people we didn't know," Ms. LEE says -- and minimalist destination nuptials, opting instead for intimacy and individualism. At the Granite Club on August 9, about 100 guests, mostly international, perused captioned photos depicting the couple's life journey. Strains of a classical quartet echoed as officiant Allan C. LANE wed the couple. A traditional Chinese ceremony followed.
During dinner, flamenco dancers launched a Latin theme that continued throughout the evening. At the end of the night, guests were given copies of a Compact Disk titled, in Chinese, Double Happiness, containing a composition written by Mr. WONG with piano selections played by Ms. LEE.
Ms. LEE, 29, says marrying Mr. WONG was, fittingly, a family affair. "He and my mom chat regularly on the phone, and she calls him about her day. I love his parents. We go out together every weekend."

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TENENBAUM m@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2005-10-29 published
Christine Mary SHALABY and Michael Donohoe KILBY -- Match
By Judith TENENBAUM, Saturday, October 29, 2005, Page M6
Emerging lawyers Christine SHALABY and Michael KILBY could argue a case for their relationship either way. If common interests, lifestyle and family values are the ties that bind, the pair share a virtual bounty; yet the paradox that opposites attract also fits their parameters.
Their families are complementary: Stocked with teachers and engineers, as well as twins -- including Mr. KILBY. And Ms. SHALABY, whose parents had emigrated from Egypt more than three decades ago, was born in St. Joseph's Hospital, as was the father of Mr. KILBY, who is of Scottish descent. Furthermore, Mr. KILBY's mother, Helen DONOHOE, remembers of her son, "As a child, Michael's burning ambition was to be an Egyptologist; he still treasures his King Tut pencil case." And, she adds, "Christine, with an ear for languages, has studied and perfected subtle Scottish regional accents."
In the Honours Arts and Science program at McMaster University in 1999, living with housemates off campus, the pair seemed polar opposites. "I'm a bit of an introvert, quite quiet," Mr. KILBY says. "Christine had no trouble standing up in school and singing an impromptu song, or talking to anyone randomly on the street. I wouldn't be so bold. She was someone very different from me [whom] I was attracted to."
"Mike is a good listener, extremely intelligent, always has another angle, and new insights, not ever predictable, which is exciting for me," notes Ms. SHALABY.
With a first kiss in March of 2001, their Friendship veered into romance. Concerned things might spiral out of control, they moved into different residences. "I did not feel it would be appropriate for us to live together and continue seeing each other," Ms. SHALABY says. "We are both fairly traditional people with a sense of propriety."
Upon graduation the next year, he began law school at the University of Toronto and, before eventually following suit, Ms. SHALABY chose a year's sojourn at her parents' Mississauga home. "I was a bit of a tourist, visited Europe, relatives in Egypt, and improved my spoken Arabic at [Cairo's] Kalimat School," she says.
"E-mail correspondence, where you can be very honest because you are not face to face, probably prompted us along," she admits, but she still managed to rendezvous with Mr. KILBY. "We visited by car, train, subway, and knew a lot of different routes to get to each other. We had a lovely year."
About that time, the pair began earnestly attending Walmer Road Baptist Church. "This is not a dogmatic, conservative church," Ms. SHALABY says. "It's more liberal and welcoming. There is a lot of diversity in belief, culture and age." It appealed to her Presbyterian and his United Church sensibilities.
Touring Scotland in June, 2003, was pivotal for the pair, who are now 25. "I visited and met Mike's relatives and stayed with his grandparents in Edinburgh," Ms. SHALABY recalls. "We had talked about getting married, but I think that probably sealed it for us."
When Mr. KILBY took Ms. SHALABY to visit the Power Plant gallery, she was hopeful: "He was fidgeting in his pocket and I thought for sure this was it." When he produced his wallet, her heart sank.
The gallery featured a John Kormeling installation, Mobile Fun -- a working, 30-metre Ferris wheel constructed to carry passengers in one of four mounted Saab automobiles. Over a couple of circuits, their auto and his courage soared. He produced the engagement ring, designed by Christian HASLER of Yorkville. "We came on as two single people, and got off engaged," Ms. SHALABY says.
On hearing the news, his fiancée's tightly knit phalanx of relatives humorously asked Mr. KILBY whether he had seen My Big Fat Greek Wedding. "It would be a useful primer for what lay ahead," laughs Mr. KILBY, slightly taken aback by the grandeur of wedding preparations. "I ended up making a chart of Christine's family and kind of knew who people were before I shook their hand."
On August 13, at Walmer Road Baptist Church, a piper greeted the 270 attendees. The pastoral officiants, Steve and Buff COX, greeted bridesmaids in eggplant dupioni silk cocktail dresses belted and hemmed in lime green, groomsmen in tuxedos with lime ties, the kilted bridegroom, best man, and the bride, gowned in an ivory silk Valencienne creation wearing pearls like an inverted pyramid. Three-year-old ring bearer Lucas GRUBB, from Edinburgh, handed a traditional horseshoe to the couple to capture good luck. Classical organist Imre Olah provided background music. Then at the register signing, Mr. KILBY's brother Scott, lead singer with the rock band Zeitgeist, sang David Francey's Come Rain or Come Shine, accompanied by piano and guitar.
The Liberty Grand reception livened up as Scotsmen -- many in kilts for the first time -- craned their necks at women, including the bride, gyrating with belly dancing moves during the Arabic music mix. Mr. KILBY was handed a cane and, prompted by his new wife, attempted the Saiidi dance.
Winner of McMaster's Hurd Medal for the highest mark in undergraduate economics, Mr. KILBY is articling at Stikeman Elliot LLP. Ms. SHALABY, who will finish her law degree this year, volunteers at the Barbara Schlifer Commemorative Clinic for women survivors of violence. "It's nice to be able to use law in a meaningful way," she says.
It is also, perhaps, a hint of their future. "We don't know where we will end up or what we will do," Ms. SHALABY says. "But we hope we'll end up as a family making a meaningful contribution."

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TENENBAUM m@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2005-11-06 published
Sheree M. LANTIN and Wai Michael TEMPLE -- Match
By Judith TENENBAUM, Saturday, November 5, 2005, Page M4
On their second date, as a birthday treat, Michael TEMPLE ushered Sheree LANTIN through Loblaws with an invitation to select her favourite delicacies so he could demonstrate his culinary acumen.
Ms. LANTIN, a self-described foodie who has tried "almost every restaurant in Toronto," recalls feeling skeptical as she flung down the gauntlet, selecting exotics such as fiddleheads and seafood. "He thinks he can cook?" she remembers thinking. "Let's see."
With celerity, he whipped together a feast. "He didn't even flinch -- [he] cooked five-star calibre," she says. "I was astonished."
A reticent Mr. TEMPLE soon confessed to having once worked at the celebrated French restaurant Auberge Gavroche.
The couple had met days earlier, during the May long weekend of 2003, when a mutual friend extolled each to the other, and suggested they meet at a birthday celebration in a downtown lounge.
One of four girls checking their jackets caught Mr. TEMPLE's eye.
"I thought I would be the luckiest guy if that indeed was Sheree," he says, and was rewarded 45 agonizing minutes later when the two were introduced and his luck held. After a brief chat, Ms. LANTIN drifted away, but made a lasting impression. "I realized she was what I was looking for, and the other girls said, 'She thinks you're a doll.' "
"He had a really good sense of humour -- that's what got me in the beginning," Ms. LANTIN says. "We spent hours talking and just phased out the other people."
Mr. TEMPLE wasn't ready to have his dream date vanish into the night and escorted her home. "I didn't know what to say or do, so I offered him this huge bowl of chocolate ice cream," she recalls with a laugh. The invitation enabled him to linger, and reflect with every measured spoonful on the price we pay for love: Mr. TEMPLE is lactose-intolerant.
The following weekend, Mr. TEMPLE was in Tofino, British Columbia, as a member of a friend's bridal party, and succumbed to the pangs of separation. "He called me a million times a day and then put the phone to the ocean. Really cheesy stuff," Ms. LANTIN says.
His Friends cautioned, "You're going to scare her off. She's going to think you're psychotic." But, enthralled by the adulation and miffed when it dwindled, "I told his Friends to stop giving him advice," she laughs.
Their lives meshed quickly. Mr. TEMPLE, now 38, with a B.A. from Concordia University, is general manager of Temple and Temple Tours Inc., a travel agency founded by his twin brothers in 1988 and geared to curriculum-based student travel. Until recently, Ms. LANTIN, an honours science graduate from the University of Toronto, worked across the street from him as an account manager for BIMM Communications. (She now has a new career as a senior account supervisor with FCB Direct.) The duo was soon blissfully spending seven days a week together.
Unfortunately, the couple entered a difficult phase in February, 2004, when Mr. TEMPLE's father, Walter Michael TEMPLE, was afflicted with terminal cancer. At the same time, Ms. LANTIN became ill with a complex lower intestinal dysfunction that left her feverish, in pain and barely able to stand. Exasperated after a series of misdiagnoses, she researched her problem on the Internet, and with the help of a friend, gained access to an appropriate specialist. Just before her two operations corrected the problem, Mr. TEMPLE's father died.
"That spring was one of the most trying periods of my life," says Mr. TEMPLE, who lifted his father's languishing spirits when he declared his intention to marry Ms. LANTIN.
As she recovered, his care and compassion underscored their bond. "I knew he was absolutely the one during that most meaningful and bittersweet time. His loyalty and kindness were there from the beginning," she says.
Mr. TEMPLE's just-in-time plans for a Christmas engagement unravelled when he ended up snowbound in Atlanta on December 23 -- the day he planned to pick up the ring -- while returning from Costa Rica with a tour group. He won a reprieve, however, when his brother stepped into the breach, enabling Mr. TEMPLE to insert the ring box as scheduled into one of a pair of snow boots placed in a Louis Vuitton bag. "We don't exactly remember what was said," Mr. TEMPLE says. "We were sobbing with tears of joy."
On August 13 on the deck overlooking the fairway of the Rosedale Golf and Country Club, Dr. Antoine AOUAD led the ceremony before 130 formally attired guests. "We thought of [the reception] as a big dinner party," the bride says, and the revelry continued at their King Street neighbour's after-party until daybreak.
As for the domestic peal of, "What's for dinner, honey?" Mrs. TEMPLE, 33, admits, "Mike likes to cook dinner. He finds comfort in it, and has fun at Dominion or St. Lawrence Market."

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TENENBAUM m@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2005-11-12 published
Lindsay Erin ENGLAND and Regan Shane NEUDORF -- Match
By Judith TENENBAUM, Saturday, November 12, 2005, Page M4
Regan Shane NEUDORF had that sinking feeling he had missed the boat, although it was in fact a jet that whisked Lindsay Erin ENGLAND off to New Zealand in 2001. The winsome Ms. ENGLAND, a leader of worship services at the Unionville Alliance Church, had stirred his heart, yet he was too circumspect to make a first move before she left the country to begin six months of study at Capernwray Torch Bearer Bible School. "I got to know her family, but never actually got to know her," he says.
He remained involved with the church while working toward his fine arts degree at York University, but when Ms. ENGLAND returned to Canada, she took a job at a summer camp in Muskoka, so the two didn't bump into each other. By September, she had begun an honours science degree at the University of Guelph, concentrating on family and social relations.
Their random encounter in front of the Horseshoe Tavern on Queen Street defied probability, yet in October, 2002, each arrived there with a different group of Friends, drawn by the reputation of the evening's entertainment: the spiritually magnetic band Pedro the Lion.
Mr. NEUDORF summoned his courage and struck up a conversation. "I was attracted. I thought, 'This girl's really cool, I'd like to get to know her,' so we just hung out that night," he says.
That December, her parents hosted a musical fete for church volunteers where the riveted couple were soon comparing their eclectic musical backgrounds. (She had been a vocalist for 10 years and he had played guitar and bass in a punk band.) A barrage of e-mail and MSN conversations that led to phone calls morphed into romance. After a first date in March, 2003, the two were soon exclusive. "I think [our attraction] was rooted in our Friendship at the beginning and through our common interests in music and faith," she says. "The person I wanted to spend the rest of my life with needed to appreciate the same things, so we really clicked."
A friend's wedding in Alberta the next spring prompted thoughts of a timely engagement by Mr. NEUDORF. The realization that Pedro the Lion was scheduled for an encore at the Horseshoe settled the place. He optimistically fired e-mail messages to the band's management, and an enthusiastic response shot back. Nervous with anticipation, on June 24, 2004, he fingered the ring in his pocket as Ms. ENGLAND and other Friends squeezed among the 400 fans. Several songs into the set, lead vocalist Dave Bazan announced that the next song, Start Without Me, one of Ms. ENGLAND's favourites, would be dedicated to her.
Suddenly, surprise turned to shock when Mr. NEUDORF bounded on stage, delivered heartfelt accolades about Ms. ENGLAND to the audience, beckoned her to join him and proposed.
The couple's planned Sunday, August 14, wedding would be "a step away from the traditional," Ms. ENGLAND explains. But the libertine couple's choice of the York Event Theatre as a wedding venue yielded a ceremony enveloped in faith and spirituality nonetheless. Ms. ENGLAND approached the dais to the accompaniment of Josh Grogan's You Raise Me Up, performed live by a vocalist, with piano, violin and guitars. The bridegroom's father, Reverend Eugene NEUDORF, officiated the moving service. The bride, who wore a slim-fitting ivory cowl-necked gown accented by hot pink shoes, a matching netted cocktail hat and a bouquet of pink gerberas, says with a laugh, "I would have gone for a pink dress if I'd seen one."
Mr. NEUDORF, 25, is now the creative arts director at Unionville Alliance Church, where he produces and runs student ministry teams that involve youth in lighting, graphic and Web design, and video editing for weekly presentation programs. Mrs. NEUDORF, 22, hopes to work in youth counselling and development. Espousing their idealism, she enthuses, "We both really like to see passion in youth. A vibrant generation living honestly, and loving other people peacefully."

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TENENBAUM m@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2005-11-19 published
Edward Manuel CORDEIRO and Noelia Maria JOAQUIM -- Match:
By Judith TENENBAUM, Saturday, November 19, 2005, Page M5
The kinks in the once-budding relationship between Nelly JOAQUIM and Ed CORDEIRO were merely bookends to their rediscovery after 26 years apart.
They had both arrived in Toronto as young children from Portugal. By their teens, he was an M.V.P. football player at Parkdale Collegiate Insitute, and she attended West Toronto Secondary School. When she was confronted by the ultimate crisis -- no date for her 1977 prom -- her cousin Lydia recruited Mr. CORDEIRO for what would play out like an episode of Happy Days.
"I got dressed up in this long, gorgeous, sexy red gown, [and] drove with my cousin and her boyfriend [future husband] Joe MELO in his Camaro over to Ed's place," she recalls.
Ed had played football, gone out for a few with the boys, and was lying down for a nap. Bedraggled, he showered and the quartet floored it to the Park Plaza Hotel, arriving late. "They set up a folding table for us smack in the middle of the dance floor," Ms. JOAQUIM recalls. "I didn't know if that was to embarrass us." If not, the table collapsing and depositing Mr. MELO's dinner in his lap sufficed.
Ms. JOAQUIM, now executive assistant to the president of Holt Renfrew, says: "Ed was good-looking, a nice guy, not the macho type, but my parents were strict and I was not allowed to date."
Using his sister as a go-between, Mr. CORDEIRO managed a handful of dates with Ms. JOAQUIM until she went abroad for a month. "I sent him a postcard, which he just found among his memorabilia," she says. "We're not sure to this day why we didn't reconnect."
During the intervening years, each followed a distinct path of marriage, family and divorce. It was Mr. MELO, their lifelong mutual friend, who served as a catalyst when he invited the pair to his pool party.
"I'm not a matchmaker," Mr. MELO says. "I didn't tell anyone in case it didn't work out, but I felt they had so much in common."
The party fell on the day of the blackout of 2003, and Ms. JOAQUIM was almost a no-show, hesitant to leave her children alone. She set out when the lights came on, not knowing her football hero would be there. "His blond hair was grey, he had a grey mustache, and I didn't recognize him until he smiled, and I thought, 'Oh my God, that's Eddie!' " she says.
"I felt the sparks and the magic," says Mr. CORDEIRO, 48. "It was an amazing evening."
But Ms. JOAQUIM had emerged from tattered relationships and admits she was mired in doubt. "I needed someone who would treat me as an equal," she says, "love me for who I am, not someone they wanted me to be."
Mr. CORDEIRO, who runs his own technology business, sought "that multidimensional relationship where you connect on all levels, and you are stronger as a team than individually."
Within two weeks, he had hurdled her barriers and professed his love. "The words just came out of my mouth and I was shocked," he says.
Their families met a month later, sharing travel and adventure over the next year. That November, as the two were celebrating Ms. JOAQUIM's 45th birthday at her favourite restaurant, Auberge du Pommier, he proposed with a poem and a diamond nestled in petals of a white rose.
The bride's vision of a tropical destination wedding was trumped by family practicality, but they transformed Sunnyside Pavilion into a Polynesian paradise. There, they recited personal vows on August 26 before Reverend Robert BUCKLEY. The attendants were the couple's children: maid of honour Melanie JOAQUIM, 21, her brother Jeffrey, 16, best man Adam CORDEIRO, 18, and his sister, Megan, 16.
"When my mother reconnected with Ed, I knew he was going to be part of our family, and [I knew] that my mom had fallen in love with him even before she did," Melanie JOAQUIM says. "She just radiated a different kind of happiness."

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TENENBAUM m@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2005-11-26 published
Jessica Karie RUYGROK and Daniel Donald John DIFLORIO -- Match:
By Judith TENENBAUM, Saturday, November 26, 2005, Page M5
Although Jessica RUYGROK and Daniel DIFLORIO had once played together as two-year-olds at a Christmas party, they seemed destined for close encounters and detached lives.
In their early teens, while they were at different high schools, she trained on the running track that circled the field where he played baseball. "I always noticed the catcher and he always noticed who was running in the red top," she says. But those encounters never went beyond furtive glances.
Two years later, they again came tantalizingly close at a Halloween party, but their costumes kept them from recognizing each other. Finally, a mutual friend introduced them in October, 1999, when Ms. RUYGROK was in her last year of high school and Mr. DIFLORIO had started to study engineering at George Brown College.
"There was a mystery to him, and I wanted to get to know him better," she says.
"We developed a strong Friendship, played pool, and I could talk to her like one of the guys," Mr. DIFLORIO says.
Intrigued, yet slightly taken aback by her sharp tongue and quick wit, he pretended indifference.
On Valentine's Day, 2000, he offered a tepid card: "Be my Valentine, be my friend." But a couple of days later she stopped by his house to watch a movie. Suddenly, they kissed.
The reluctant romantics' feelings would manifest a few weeks later. On a trip to Mexico with her graduating class, Ms. RUYGROK remembers, "I just felt empty, wishing he was here." Mr. DIFLORIO, meanwhile, admits that he "moped around and did absolutely nothing."
On her return, they saw each other daily. Then she left for a massage therapy program at Sir Sandford Fleming College in Peterborough and stayed there over two summers.
The long-distance relationship endured, however. "I believe it was a test for us," Ms. RUYGROK says. "The separation gave us a chance to be more independent, and kept things in a nice balance."
The athletic couple fence, play badminton and hockey, and when she returned to Toronto, they volunteered for the same team -- he on the ice as a coach, she on the bench as a trainer.
Ms. RUYGROK, who works at the Optimum Health Clinic in Mississauga, had always wanted to have her own home before marriage. In January, she was out of town at a hockey tournament when Mr. DIFLORIO, now a mechanical designer, called to say their offer on a handyman special had been accepted. He felt it was time the co-owners extended their partnership. "Driving from work, it just popped into my head," he says. "I had the next day off, and went out and bought a ring."
On February 11, as the couple skate-skied at Hardwood Hills, the more experienced Ms. RUYGROK set a brisk pace. She paused for Mr. DIFLORIO. "He took his gloves off. I was impatient, saying, 'You don't have to take [them] off to have a drink.' Then he started saying nice things to me, but I wasn't paying much attention," she says with a laugh. Then she froze as Mr. DIFLORIO brandished a diamond.
On Friday, August 26, at the Glenerin Inn, the bride entered to the subtle strains of a Spanish guitar. Her gown of ivory French silk, accented with antique lace, was a gift from her aunt, Ottawa designer Janine ADAMYK. On a canopied deck with a forested ravine as backdrop, 90 guests watched as Dr. Antoine AOUAD wed the couple. "[It was] very Jessica, very rustic," maid of honour Conor SNELSON says. "They are young -- both 24 -- [and] have careers and a home, whereas most people our age aren't there yet. They really knew what they wanted and went after it."

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TENENBAUM m@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2005-12-03 published
Airin Calder STEPHENS and Charles Zalman LEVKOE -- Match:
By Judith TENENBAUM, Saturday, December 3, 2005, Page M6
Airin STEPHENS and Charles LEVKOE swim with their own current of spiritual and environmental enlightenment. In November, 1997, Mr. LEVKOE was back from a three-month stint in Ghana with Youth Challenge International, an umbrella group dedicated to peace and the environment, and working in Toronto recruiting staff for another project. Candidates were to rough it at a weekend selection session where Ms. STEPHENS was a last-minute volunteer cook.
Friday evening, they broke the ice with a parlour game: Name your favourite scent. After other innocuous answers, Mr. LEVKOE proffered his choice: "Someone you love has stayed overnight, and left in the morning before you've woken up, leaving an article of clothing that smells like them." Intrigued by his candour, Ms. STEPHENS was anxious to meet him.
The next evening, "We were in tuques, mitts and warm layers around the campfire," she says. "I just started talking to this guy and we had a beautiful conversation under the moon. It was magical, but I never got his name." The next day, she saw that it was Mr. LEVKOE.
At the time, both were students and in other relationships, but remained Friends. In December, 1998, they celebrated winter solstice in the tradition of John Muir, founder of the Sierra Club: "Hiking from when the sun rises until it sets," Mr. LEVKOE says.
When their trek was over, as she drove him to his bus, an emotional arc supplanted platonic bliss. "We just looked at each other, and there was this intensity," she says. But six months later, he left for Israel on a two-year peace initiative project, and she left for an ecological study in Alberta.
Mr. LEVKOE briefly returned in February, 2000, and they snatched a week at a cabin north of Toronto. "We realized who we were, whom we wanted to live and grow old with, share and discover," she says. That summer, her visit to the Middle East reaffirmed their feelings and accelerated his return.
"We decided to prioritize our relationship and explore the rural East Coast," Ms. STEPHENS says. There, they worked hands-on while explaining the benefits of organic farming and sustainable building.
"We were together 24/7, a beautiful, simple life living on this little island off the coast of New Brunswick," she says.
But the pull of graduate school in environmental studies for Mr. LEVKOE, and teachers college for Ms. STEPHENS, found them back in Toronto. In February, the couple -- whose Friends claimed they would never marry -- reflected in an isolated cabin, once again under winter's spell. They decided to declare their love publicly in a Brit Ahavah (Covenant of Love) ceremony before family and Friends.
A private City Hall marriage on May 27 led to a celebratory August 26 weekend at the Riverstone Retreat Centre in Durham. Many of the 260 guests camped, hiked, tubed, played volleyball and shared a potluck dinner.
The ceremony, Mr. LEVKOE says, "was trying to find a way to bring together my Jewish and Airin's Ukrainian background."
After contemporary renderings of the seven blessings by Friends, co-officiants Carly STEINMAN and Suzanne GALLOWAY moved with the bridal party and the chuppah to an open field, where the entire group encircled them, holding hands. Guests planted native species in a stream restoration project before the commencement of festivities.
Ms. STEPHENS now teaches at George Harvey Collegiate Institute and Mr. LEVKOE is an urban agriculture co-ordinator at the Stop Community Food Centre.
The couple, both 30, live in a communal home.
"Recently, we invested in an organic farm where we will not be connected to the power grid," Mr. LEVKOE says. "We live our values and act on what we believe."

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TENENBAUM m@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2005-12-10 published
Maria Augusta FAGAN and Michael Claude ROGERS -- Match:
By Judith TENENBAUM, Saturday, December 10, 2005, Page M6
The sun always shines on Regatta Day in Saint John's, a municipal holiday unique in North America because weather conditions determine the date. In August, 1994, Maria FAGAN and Michael ROGERS were among the passengers in a car returning from the regatta, where Ms. FAGAN had competed. "We decided to go for a swim in a pond just outside of Saint John's, but ended up getting into a very bad car accident and never made it," he says.
The car wound up on its roof, the occupants sent to hospital, and their distraught parents meeting -- unaware of the portent -- for the first time.
That fall, Mr. ROGERS recalls, their Friendship intensified "when Maria asked me if I would be her date for graduation." She was a year older and a grade ahead, but, she admits, "I had a big crush on Mike."
The two were out for a drive couple of months later, and as she turned left at a particular intersection, Mr. ROGERS says, "I decided it was time that I became more than just Maria's prom date, and asked, 'Do you wanna try going out with me?' "
"I got butterflies in my stomach," she says. "It was very exciting."
Meanwhile, Ms. FAGAN entered a psychology program at Memorial University of Newfoundland. Still in high school, Mr. ROGERS joined her for evening study sessions at the university library, making him a campus veteran by the time he enrolled the next year to study physics.
Later, when she began a master's degree at the University of Guelph, their two-year separation was inconsequential. "You have to let the other person have freedom to grow and become whatever it is they want," Mr. ROGERS says. "In a lot of ways, we were very lucky. We didn't have to try to make it work; the shoe fit."
In September, 2002, their academic and personal aspirations flourished when both were accepted for postgraduate studies at the University of Toronto -- he as a master's student en route to a physics doctoral program and she as a PhD candidate in clinical child psychology. Two years later, Mr. ROGERS bought a ring. "I was reminded a few times over the years that I wasn't much of a romantic," he laughs. To counter that, he stashed the ring for three months until their visit home to Saint John's.
On Christmas Eve, as they drove to his parents' for dinner, they arrived at the legendary intersection of a decade ago. One hand on the wheel, he executed the same left turn, pulled out a ring box, and echoing his teenaged self, made a more enduring request: "So, do you wanna marry me?"
An intimate wedding of 30 was anticipated, but the couple were delighted with the enthusiastic response of 100 Friends and family from across North America.
On September 3, at the University of Toronto's Emmanuel College Chapel, Dr. Antoine AOUAD wed the couple. Afterwards, the assembly walked across campus to a reception in the Hart House music room. The bride describes their gift to their guests with true island pride: "Mike's mother made little jars of partridgeberry jam with the Newfoundland tartan on top."
The new Mrs. ROGERS, 28, currently holds a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Doctoral Fellowship, and sees her career as a researcher and clinical child psychologist as being portable.
Mr. ROGERS, 27, has been featured in physics journals for his pioneering research in the realm of buoyant plumes and vortex rings. He explains that, while it's of great academic interest, there are no practical applications to date. "I never got into this for the money or a job," he says with a laugh. "She'll be the moneymaker."

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TENENBAUM m@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2005-12-17 published
Pamela Kaur SINGH and Darren Graham Henry STOKES -- Match
By Judith TENENBAUM, Saturday, December 17, 2005, Page M5
Pamela SINGH and Darren STOKES met in Charlottetown, so it isn't surprising that this quote from Anne Shirley, in Anne of Avonlea, seems so prophetic: "Romance may not come into one's life with pomp and blare... perhaps it crept to one's side like an old friend."
In May 1999, the two were attending Show Canada, the annual Canadian motion picture industry convention, and film was their common parlance. She was there to accept awards for excellence as a Cineplex theatre manager. He was representing his employer, MIJO Corp., a distributor of video, audio and print media.
When invited by a former employer to join some colleagues for cocktails, he eased in beside Ms. SINGH. "We clicked from the get-go. He was funny, charming and smart," says Ms. SINGH, who found herself sharing every unscheduled moment at the convention with Mr. STOKES, joking around and taking in island attractions like Green Gables.
Appropriately, it was Confederation Bridge that brought the duo together. Her reluctance to descend a rocky slope at the edge of the bridge drew a challenge from Mr. STOKES. "I was a phobia queen, afraid of heights, dogs, the dark, bugs and water," she confesses. "I said, 'I can't!' Darren said, 'You can!' He grabbed my hand, I got to the bottom, and was screaming, ecstatic, hugged him and said thank you." Back in Toronto, on a first date at Just Desserts, they exchanged photos, reminisced and considered the prospect of future nocturnal meetings, since Ms. SINGH worked most nights until 2 a.m.
Despite the awkward schedule, Mr. STOKES, a hopeless romantic under his macho façade, could not resist -- coming to meet Ms. SINGH for late-night coffee dates. Likewise, on her single day off, she would get up after three hours of sleep and meet him for breakfast.
Over the next couple of years, Mr. STOKES helped Ms. SINGH grapple with her demons: He converted her to snorkelling, tempered her fear of dogs and the dark and introduced her to squash. "Darren has been extremely supportive of my career and work ethic... and showed me there is more to life than work," she asserts.
But Mr. STOKES is quick to return the compliments. Ms. SINGH "has a wealth of knowledge," he says. "She meticulously plans events and it's great to sit on the sidelines and watch."
On December 18, 2004, he booked a corner table at Thornhill's Octagon Restaurant. Recuperating from her company Christmas party and the stress of just beginning her holiday shopping, Ms. SINGH felt bedraggled. As they toasted his imminent promotion, she wasn't prepared for what came next: "Sweetheart, I love you," he said, holding out a blue box. She didn't need to ask what was inside.
The wedding took place outdoors on September 10 at the Richmond Hill Country Club, with pastor Dale BOLTON officiating. The ceremony melded the bride's Hindu and Sikh traditions, including the lighting of a deeya [clay pot] in tribute to Lord Ganesh, with the groom's Anglican background.
Today, Ms. SINGH, 31, is a senior consultant with the GCI Group and Mr. STOKES, 30, is a vice-president at MIJO Corp. And, according to their friend Jason BORK, they're the perfect Toronto couple: "Each from different cultural backgrounds, they are social butterflies, love Toronto, and most importantly love and are dedicated to each other."

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TENENBAUM m@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2005-12-24 published
Mark Andrew SYKES and Marlene Marie Alicia BONIA -- Match
By Judith TENENBAUM, Saturday, December 24, 2005, Page M4
A focus on algebra and isosceles triangles shifted to a more personal dimension when Marlene BONIA and Mark SYKES met in a Grade 10 math class in 1998. "I noticed him because of his English accent and because he was fresh in the country," she recalls.
A year and a half later, Friendship and casual dating had evolved into a relationship reminiscent of those bobby-sox teen flicks of the Sixties. Soon, love would trump logic when the teenagers sealed their future with a secret engagement.
"We realized we had similar goals and beliefs," Ms. BONIA explains. "Mark said he wanted to get married, but our parents wouldn't understand -- we were too young -- and he gave me a gold band with a tiny row of little diamonds."
They would ensconce the secret in their hearts and minds for almost four years. "It was something between an engagement and a promise ring -- an equal commitment," says Mr. SYKES, who was raised near Bristol, England. "I know people who have found somebody they really love, but they say they are too young, have too much to do, and let them go. Down the line, they've grown up and realized it's a big mistake."
Initially, the shy Mr. SYKES had been intimidated by Ms. BONIA's home life, which bristled with inquisitive and energized siblings and extended family. But after nearly two years, he started coming around. "I loved her family and their taking me in," he says.
In June, 2003, Mr. SYKES was a year from graduating in civil engineering at Humber College and gaining full-time employment with Shaheen and Peaker Ltd. when he decided to propose. "I think Mark won us over when he invited my husband Jim and I for coffee and asked our permission," says Ms. BONIA's mother, Laura. "We were pleased it would be a long engagement and they would both finish school first."
Thus, up in cottage country, Mr. SYKES, now 24, chose a picturesque spot and made the engagement official. "I was really nervous but happy it was final -- our Friends and family would know we had made a commitment and were getting married."
Family describe them adoring and quietly devoted. "She does everything for me; we're soul mates and best Friends," Mr. SYKES says.
"He's the most giving person I ever met. Caring, thoughtful and always two steps ahead of me to make sure I'm looked after," says Ms. BONIA, now 23, an English graduate from York University and a strategic assistant for Krcmar Surveyors Ltd.
Determined to pay for their own wedding, the couple enthusiastically and successfully scrimped and saved for the elegant affair Ms. BONIA had long envisioned. Thrift became their byword. "We both lived with our parents through university and college saving every penny for the wedding, and we didn't go away or even out for dinner," Ms. BONIA says.
The stately Graydon Hall Manor in Don Mills, a century-old mansion with 11 fireplaces and expansive stone terrace, would house the ceremony and reception.
On September 10, bridesmaids entered its chapel to strains of Bach on violin and harp. Then, Pachelbel's Canon in D announced the bride in a Maggie Sottero satin-and-lace creation, and Rev. Tina GABRIEL performed the nuptials.
The newlyweds, who reside in Aurora, have laid out an ambitious agenda: "Homeownership in five years, children in seven, and lots of travel," says the new Mrs. SYKES.

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TENENBAUM m@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2005-12-31 published
Louise PROCKTOR and Rick MALHOTRA -- Match:
By Judith TENENBAUM, Saturday, December 31, 2005, Page M4
Rick MALHOTRA, an economic analysis manager at Exchange Solutions, decries the glib stereotypes often applied to number crunchers. But when he proposed to Louise PROCKTOR on September 24, 2004, he couldn't resist mixing a little math and a bit of logic into his romantic plans. Friday made an ideal day for proposing, he figured, because he and Ms. PROCKTOR could plan an engagement period of exactly a year and get married on September 24, 2005 -- a Saturday.
"Rick has a way of pre-planning. He's the more calculating one but has gotten romantic over the years," Ms. PROCKTOR says.
Both were employees of Kraft Foods Inc. during August, 2000, he in finance and she in marketing. After four consecutive days of business and social gatherings, they developed a distinctly non-corporate mutual interest. "I kind of thought he liked me because he had been coming around my desk quite a lot," Ms. PROCKTOR, now 31, recalls with a laugh. That Christmas, she invited him to her party; he reciprocated by asking her out. Despite their efforts, the spiralling office romance soon became public, as fellow employees spotted them entwined at the Art Gallery of Ontario and office spring fling.
In the spring of 2002, Ms. PROCKTOR entered the Schulich School of Business M.B.A. program. "It was intense," she says, "and I could call Rick at any hour and he'd talk me through anything.
The next summer, a job-hunting Ms. PROCKTOR often crashed like a third roommate at the conveniently located Yonge and St. Clair apartment Mr. MALHOTRA shared with a friend. "We spent a lot of time together," she recalls. "I love the way he is with family and Friends, always so sincere."
Mr. MALHOTRA, now 29, found her presence a delight, taking front row centre for her performances in amateur musical theatre, and teaching her tennis while she taught him golf. "She was someone I could be myself with, and most importantly she laughed at my jokes," he chuckles. "It's excellent being with someone who pulls you out of your normal comfort zone, and at the end of the day makes you a better person."
On their September 24, 2004, outing, he insisted that she close her eyes until at Coronation Park, at Lake Shore and Bathurst. He guided her to a blanket strewn with roses facing the site of their future condo home. He then presented her with a handmade book of poems, the first three transcribed with his comments, and a fourth he had composed titled Four, symbolizing the years they had dated and that pivotal quartet of those August days when they had first met. His poem ended, "I would be forever honoured and blessed if you would accept this," and on turning the page Ms. PROCKTOR found a ring nestled inside.
After he slid the ring on her finger, Mr. MALHOTRA deliberated a fitful 20 minutes before urging her to use his cellphone to confirm the tentative arrangements he had already made with her insurance company adding the diamond to her policy. Having noted his angst the previous evening, an intuitive Ms. PROCKTOR had manicured her nails and stowed a camera in her bag, which they handed to a passing policeman on horseback to capture the moment.
The traditional wedding included Chaplain Milton ORRIS reciting a Hindi greeting, a rice ceremony and the Saptapadi [seven blessings]. The couple ended their vows with the same quote, "I promise to walk through this life long journey together, side by side, hand in hand and heart to heart."

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TENENBAUM m@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2006-01-07 published
Giulia FRISINA and John PREINER -- Match:
By Judith TENENBAUM, Saturday, January 7, 2006, Page M4
John PREINER may have stumbled and fumbled in his ardent pursuit, but he eventually swept Giulia FRISINA off her feet. Fortunately, she says, "A big part of John's personality is that he is persistent."
They had met at Roxy Blu, the now-defunct club on Brant Street, in April, 2003, when Dr. PREINER coaxed a phone number from a starchy Ms. FRISINA, memorized it and called the next day to invite her to a party he was having. She and her girlfriends arrived at his Beaches home to what seemed like pandemonium. "I didn't see him because the entire city was at his party," she recalls with a laugh.
Hearing that Ms. FRISINA was ready to drive off after 10 minutes, Dr. PREINER, a urologist, dashed at breakneck speed to intercept her. "She had obviously gone out of her way to come, and I had invited her because I was interested," he says. "It turned out we had been in the same circle for years, at the same events, but never actually met."
Yet, barely registering a blip of interest, she left.
His call shortly thereafter, inquiring what she was doing that evening, received the cool response that she and Friends would be cheering the Leafs at Il Gato Nero on College Street. With verbal swagger, he countered that he had a date with his ex-girlfriend, but he breezed in later with yet another girl and 12 Friends in tow. "He was trying to get to know me better, but we were amongst 20 people, it was really awkward, and I was not impressed," recalls Ms. FRISINA. Should he call again, she decided, "I was going to give him the boot."
His next call, however, changed her feelings; he offered to come down and meet her one-on-one for a coffee. When, on the way, he was forced to cancel and return to his Newmarket hospital for an emergency, she empathized, and gave him the chance to make it up on the next date: a 12-hour tour of College Street bistros that began well and "got better from there."
Three months after meeting, the pair, both generous of spirit, talked of marriage. "It wasn't like butterflies or lights going off -- we just felt at ease, and comfortable," says Dr. PREINER, now 36, adding that they share similar values, including the importance of Friends.
On Christmas Eve, 2004, he was summoned to perform an emergency operation and she insisted on accompanying him. She waited for him at the hospital until 2 a.m. "That really meant a lot," says Dr. PREINER, "that someone would care that much and go out of their way."
Similarly, he has been a wellspring of support through the early travails of her owning and publishing Dining Out Magazine. Ms. FRISINA, now 30, says: "I respected him more and more for the person he was, the way he thought, the values he had. I could just be myself."
The engagement six months later was hardly candlelight and roses. Tired of his commute, Dr. PREINER was finalizing the purchase of a Don Mills home when he sensed some uneasiness on Ms. FRISINA's part. So he made a proposal that sounded like an apology. "I spoke to your dad, talked to a diamond merchant, I bought a ring and was going to propose when I took possession, but don't want you to think I bought a house to have you move in."
Father Gregory BOTTE wed the couple on September 17 at St. Francis' Church, where both of their fathers had been altar boys. Afterward, the celebrants marched in a procession through Little Italy to lunch at Trattoria Giancarlo.
For Dr. PREINER, the highlight of their reception at Copper Creek Golf Club in Kleinberg was their first dance: a Strauss waltz, a tradition that honoured his Austrian heritage. After four months of lessons marked by contusions, near spills and the instructor's suggestion that they should consider an alternative, the dauntless pair whirled to perfection, and the dancing sizzled until 2: 30 a.m.

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TENENBAUM m@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2006-01-14 published
Annabel Jane GRIFFITHS and Timothy Stuart FITZSIMMONS -- Match:
By Judith TENENBAUM, Saturday, January 14, 2006, Page M4
While they were still just Friends, Annabel GRIFFITHS wrote in her diary about her affinity with Timothy FITZSIMMONS: " Time we spend together is like we are building a step in a staircase. One day we will complete the staircase, look at this world we have created together, and kiss."
The two met in 1995 at Ryerson's theatre school, but the next year their careers and lives took divergent paths. An English graduate from the University of Western Ontario, Ms. GRIFFITHS established herself as an actor, writer and certified yoga instructor. She co-wrote (along with Alison Lawrence and Mary-Francis Moore) a semi-autobiographical play, bittergirl, a sassy comedy about getting on after getting dumped. The three starred in its London, New York and Toronto hit runs. Mr. FITZSIMMONS, during this time, graduated in English from McGill University and pursued a master's in journalism at New York University.
The two exchanged perfunctory e-mail messages and phone calls, but sustained their Friendship with a Jane Austen-like exchange of letters, where they shared sentiments that tiptoed around romance. "We loved the way we could express ideas and talk about things going on in our lives," Ms. GRIFFITHS says.
Queried as to why he was so obsessed with Ms. GRIFFITHS by fellow student Yon MOTSKIN -- later his best man -- Mr. FITZSIMMONS admitted: "I think this is the girl I'm going to marry. I have to go and see Annabel."
Thus, on a Labour Day visit home in 2000, he arranged a dinner date, shifting their standard scenario from coffee to candlelight as he resolved to "put it all on the table and tell Annabel." Despite an enchanting evening, Mr. FITZSIMMONS was afraid unrequited love would jeopardize their Friendship. He abandoned his effort and, disconsolate, trundled off to visit his parents in Kitchener.
Speaking to her friend Jen COMISH, Ms. GRIFFITHS lamented: "He's going back to New York. It will be months before I see him, and am I always going to wonder?" Ms. COMISH -- her future maid of honour -- persuaded her to call him before he left Kitchener, and she cast her fate with a message.
"I met him at the bus stop. We were grinning from ear to ear, went for a drink, and had our first kiss," she says of their decisive moment.
That fall, Ms. GRIFFITHS visited Mr. FITZSIMMONS several times. They walked all of Manhattan, enjoying Central Park, the East Village and Broadway.
By 2001, he was back in Toronto working as a website writer and editor until he entered Osgoode Hall Law School the next year. By December, 2004, they had moved "from hesitation to certainty." So after requesting Ms. GRIFFITHS' hand from her parents with a written declaration of his love, he surprised her with a weekend at Niagara-on-the-Lake's Oban Inn.
Mr. FITZSIMMONS recounted fond memories of vacations there as they crunched past his grandparents' former home, to the lake, where he proposed. "I said, 'Of course, but will you marry me?' " she recalls, teary-eyed. "We put the ring on, jumped in the snow, hugged and held hands just as the sun was setting."
On October 9, the Pillar and Post welcomed her English family and his Scottish family to their rose garden wedding, where Rev. Derek RYMARCHUK officiated. Their gifts to one another reflected a Victorian sensibility: He offered a love letter and diamond necklace in exchange for an engraved pocket watch.
Today, Mr. FITZSIMMONS, 32, articles at Fraser Milner Casgrain, as the new Mrs. FITZSIMMONS, 34, who will retain her maiden name professionally, juggles her artistic career while directing OmZone, a yoga and wellness company. "It's almost as if our souls were circling one another and when the time was right we came together," she says.

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TENENBAUM m@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2006-03-04 published
Amanda Maria DERVAITIS and Matthew Stephen CASSAN -- Match:
By Judith TENENBAUM, Page M6
Just one look was all it took for Amanda DERVAITIS to fall for Matthew CASSAN, whose brother, Jim, was the high-school sweetheart of her cousin, Laura VANDERLAAN, and also an acquaintance of hers.
The threesome often visited the CASSAN household, where Ms. DERVAITIS remembers admiring family photos. "I said to Jim, 'Wow, your brother is so cute!' But I'd never met him. It was a weird crush," she explains. Not to mention that Mr. CASSAN was in a relationship at the time.
Then, in December, 2000, the plucky Ms. DERVAITIS tagged along with her cousin to a surprise birthday party for the object of her unrequited affections -- hosted by Mr. CASSAN's girlfriend. Undeterred by that salient detail, she admits to "changing six times" before she was ready for the event. Face to face with Mr. CASSAN, at last, she had to cut the banter short when she realized she had been monopolizing the guest of honour.
The following spring, Ms. DERVAITIS, who has a bachelor of education from McGill University and was working at a Toronto learning centre, was in urgent need of a break after "one of the worst weeks in my life." So her cousin, Laura, and Laura's boyfriend, Jim, offered her solace at his family's cottage. There they encountered Mr. CASSAN, who had just completed his animation studies at Sheridan College. Happily for Ms. DERVAITIS, he was now unattached.
Long-time cottagers, Mr. CASSAN and Ms. DERVAITIS saw nothing untoward in sharing quarters. "We got the bunk room," she explains. All night long, they talked about their lives, commitment to environmental issues and favourite pastimes, including Looney Tunes and Samurai Jack.
"It was like a sleepover, when you were a kid," Mr. CASSAN remembers, chuckling.
"My face hurt from smiling so much," Ms. DERVAITIS says, beaming.
Back home, the magic lingered. Mr. CASSAN resolved "to move slowly," then called before the requisite 24 hours were up. Three days later, on a first date together, they watched animated shorts together at a bar. "Growing up, I loved cartoons," Ms. DERVAITIS confides. "Then Matt came along, I was completely enamoured&hellip and he was an animator."
They were inseparable through the summer, and their love was tested when Mr. CASSAN took a job in Halifax and Ms. DERVAITIS returned to school in Montreal that fall. For further studies in speech pathology, she "only applied to Dalhousie. I wasn't willing to go anywhere else." Denied admission due to limited enrolment, she journeyed to Halifax anyway, clerking in a mall and then working as a tutor.
In April, 2003, Mr. CASSAN's animation studio shut down unexpectedly. Three weeks later, the two packed everything into a U-Haul and returned to Ontario. Their impecunious struggles continued until the following October, when Mr. CASSAN landed a job at Smiley Guy Studios in downtown Toronto. In January, 2004, Ms. DERVAITIS, now 27, began training in order to open her own Oxford Learning Centre in High Park.
In June, 2005, a planned first-ever vacation by Smart car to Newfoundland stalled with reports of frigid weather.
So instead Mr. CASSAN splurged on a Dominican package, using funds he had earmarked for a diamond ring.
Frolicking in the Caribbean, Ms. DERVAITIS assumed a spontaneous proposal was whimsical until Mr. CASSAN's pleadings became so heartfelt that they were both overcome with emotion. In the end, the promise was sealed with an $8 ring, a hotel purchase that has not left Ms. DERVAITIS's hand since then.
December 31, 2005, saw a tripartite event at the Trident Banquet Hall in Toronto: the bridegroom's 30th birthday celebration, a black-and-silver themed New Year's Eve fete and the couple's nuptials, performed by Reverend Tina GABRIEL.
The bride's mother, Lucy BELVEDERE, observes: "They are very much in sync, and their openness keeps them in tune with each other.
"Amanda followed her heart."

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TENENBAUM m@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2006-03-11 published
Ashley Ann THAKE and Jeffrey Douglas WILSON -- Match:
By Judith TENENBAUM, Page M6
If proposing marriage is akin to traversing a portal, Jeffrey WILSON had his choice of 7,503 draped gates when it came time to kneel before a stunned Ashley THAKE at the Christo and Jeanne-Claude exhibit, The Gates, in New York City's Central Park.
"I didn't think engagement, whatsoever. I was in absolute shock," Ms. THAKE recalls of the magical moment. "It was an exhibit we really wanted to see. Spectacular, in the dead of winter -- the trees bare, snow on the ground and a sea of saffron [fabric] moving with the wind through the gates.
"Apart from the wedding, it was the best day of my life!"
In February, 2005, with conspiratorial help from his fiancée's employer, Mr. WILSON whisked Ms. THAKE to New York for the weekend.
"I went through an unending series of metal detectors, from the airport to the top of the Empire State Building," recalls Mr. WILSON, who was sure he was going to be called upon at any moment to pull out the ring he had tucked away in his pocket. Rejecting the ubiquitous proposal site on the observation deck of the Empire State, he was drawn to the dazzling exhibit in Central Park.
Fortuitously, parents of a friend were in New York a short while later, when the exhibit was dismantled. As a result, explains Ms. THAKE, they have a framed scrap of the saffron material displayed on their mantelpiece, "and we get to reminisce all the time.
"Saffron is now my favourite colour, New York my favourite city in the world, and it will still be our romantic rendezvous when we are 89 years old," she says.
The couple's odyssey began in 2000, when Mr. WILSON, who is now 30, saw a photo Christmas card that Ms. THAKE, a graduate of the University of Western Ontario and an account executive at the Discovery Channel/CTV, had sent to his roommate.
"That was my first time meeting her -- without meeting her," he recalls.
Even though their circles frequently intersected, however, it would take another year before they connected at a friend's party. A few days later, they were sipping martinis in Little Italy and comparing notes on what they had in common.
For Ms. THAKE and Mr. WILSON, family was the linchpin. Both halves of the couple had parents who had been married for nearly four decades, were youthful, fun-loving and slightly off-centre. "It was uncanny," Ms. THAKE, now 34, remarks.
Her parents fired the first welcoming salvo, inviting the elder WILSONs to the "First Annual Fossil Fest, so us old folks could meet and get to know one another."
"They were like four peas in a pod," Ms. THAKE says of the prospective in-laws. "They now get together without us and have dinner dates."
The College Street couple cycle about Toronto, enjoying its amenities. She is tentative about inconsiderate drivers; he is a " a road racer" and often bikes the 150 kilometres to her old cottage in the village of Sturgeon Point.
It was there, as they lay snuggled in a hammock facing the lake, that the pair first realized they were destined to be life partners. But for Mr. WILSON, a Trent University graduate who is a project co-ordinator for CitiCapital, it would take three-plus years, waiting while "the stars finally aligned," in order to launch his Manhattan project.
Grandeur and proximity made Hart House, at the University of Toronto, the choice for the January 21, 2006, nuptials, at which Justice of the Peace Tony YOUNG officiated. One hundred and eighty guests gathered around the Great Hall's massive fireplace to savour hors d'oeuvre and take to the dance floor at a cocktail reception that followed the vows. "It was phenomenal," exclaims Ms. THAKE, who will now be known as Mrs. WILSON.
At the Park Hyatt on their wedding night, a photo of their four parents loomed at close range -- placed on the bedside table by the concierge. "Keeping an eye on things," the bride's father, Richard THAKE, says, laughing.
"So on their wedding night, there we all were, the THAKEs and the WILSONs, starting off together."

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TENENBAUM m@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2006-03-18 published
Victoria Mireille HOCKIN and Craig Arthur LAURENCE -- Match:
By Judith TENENBAUM, Page M6
After dating for five months, Victoria HOCKIN and Craig LAURENCE were still proceeding cautiously until a trip to Boston for a U2 concert propelled their romance to the next level. There, as they strolled through an outdoor market, past a coterie of buskers, she describes "a turning point for both of us. One busker was playing, All You Need Is Love, and a group of kids were clapping, singing along. As Craig and I walked by, he stopped, pointed and said, 'There's a couple in love, right there!' He said, 'Kiss her,' and the kids went, 'Kiss her! Kiss her!' Craig grabbed me, kissed me and did one of those little dips you do when you're dancing."
"It was a poignant moment. I'll never forget it," adds Mr. LAURENCE.
Each of them had recently become disentangled, when they met in January, 2005. Mutual Friends arranged a double date with the two, only to opt out at the last moment and leave the couple to their own devices. After a long revelatory evening "out for pints," Mr. LAWRENCE, who is a Chartered Accountant and a graduate of Queen's University and the University of Windsor, was enchanted -- in awe of Ms. HOCKIN's accomplishments and taken with her humour. "It left me wanting to get to know her more," he admits.
Sadly, the following morning she was spirited away to the Palm Springs Film Festival where her Last Mogul documentary on the legendary Lou Wasserman premiered as a smash hit. (It would later be featured in New York and Toronto, as well.) "Craig e-mailed for the whole weekend, checking in and taking a real interest in what I was doing, which was really nice," she recalls. "I gave him a call when I got back."
Products of an idyllic adolescence, the couple had grown up in Aurora, spending their summers at Muskoka camps and cottages. He was an accomplished guitarist and she was a pianist. Together, they saw music "as another language that we speak." She laughs as she shares Mr. LAURENCE's recurring fantasy: "He'd like to say 'rock star,' but he's not."
Their parents knew each other, and Mr. LAURENCE, now 36, had attended St. Andrews College, where Ms. HOCKIN's father had earlier been headmaster. "There aren't that many girls who can talk about what it's like to grow up in a boys' boarding school," she chuckles.
With a B.A. in English from University of Western Ontario's Huron College, Ms. HOCKIN, now 34, is the executive vice-president and a partner at Endeavour Marketing. There, over the past six years -- enlisting her business partner, Barry AVRICH, as a writer and director -- she has produced documentaries.
In September, 2005, Mr. LAURENCE, a new business-development corporate strategist at Canadian Tire Corp. Ltd., planned a Positano getaway for the two of them. Ms. HOCKIN's aspirations soared. But then, in a riveting performance (citing insufficient time to seek her parents' permission, let alone choose a ring,) Mr. LAURENCE provided the reality check: "I just need you to manage your expectations. It's not going to happen in Italy."
"I really bought it," Ms. HOCKIN admits, determined not to be disappointed. She was subsequently astonished, then, on the balcony of their villa in Amalfia -- as they chatted over wine and the dinner she'd just made -- when Mr. LAURENCE proffered the ring.
On February 4, 2006, at St. Paul's Anglican Church on Bloor Street, the Rev. Tim HAUGHTON officiated, as three-year-old Foxtyn STEPHEN, the bridegroom's nephew and ring bearer, performed flawlessly -- despite an unnerving left turn and his disappearance at the rehearsal. A gourmet reception followed at the Toronto Hunt Club, with grilled cheese sandwiches, chocolate chip cookies and milk shooters capping the evening.
"Craig is a mathematical guy, but creative when it comes to music. Doing very different things in our careers gives us a lot to talk about," Mrs. LAURENCE enthuses. Her husband adds, "Tori is a romantic, and it's great to be on the receiving end. I like to think I'm on the giving end, as well."

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TENENBAUM m@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2006-03-25 published
Joanna Christine SHEPPARD and Bethan Claire KINGSLEY -- Match:
By Judith TENENBAUM, Page M6
When Joanna SHEPPARD, a graduate student at Brock University in St. Catharines, promised to find lodging for a work-placement visitor from England, she never dreamed that place would be in her heart.
Bethan KINGSLEY, a student in sports and recreation development at Leeds Metropolitan University, arrived at Brock in January, 2004, just as Ms. SHEPPARD returned from an academic conference in Australia -- having forgotten all about the promise she had made.
"I went running into the office, and said if you need a place to stay or anything, I have a car," she recalls.
A Friendship flourished as they chummed together with other students, and there was "a quick connection," Ms. SHEPPARD adds. Then, when Ms. KINGSLEY's sister visited and the three of them made a trip to Niagara Falls, "we felt there was more." But they were considerate of other existing relationships.
After six weeks Ms. KINGSLEY returned to England, where a plethora of calls and e-mail confirmed ardent feelings on both sides.
On Ms. KINGSLEY's return to Canada the following summer, to work at a Young Men's Christian Association camp, both women were "single and free." Aware of the pitfalls of e-enchantment, however, Ms. KINGSLEY arrived steeled for a moment of truth.
"What if I had created a Joanna who wasn't the real person, and she had done the same?" she remembers thinking, and yet… "When we saw each other at the airport, we knew."
"We hugged and kissed," Ms. SHEPPARD emotes. "Everybody could have been staring at us…" But for the two of them it seemed as if there was no one else around.
The duo was almost inseparable for two weeks, until suddenly Ms. KINGSLEY felt they needed a breather. "I finished work, decided to go home, not see Jo and do something else," she remembers, but fate would have no part of that. As she cycled home that day, a tumble left her scraped, bruised -- and summoning Ms. SHEPPARD. "She came round to my place, and I never tried it again," Ms. KINGSLEY explains with a chuckle.
That summer, the couple motored through Southern Ontario and then headed to Montreal. According to Ms. SHEPPARD, they "camped out and did all the touristy things. It was nice to sit beside the fire not having to say anything."
In November, 2004, Ms. SHEPPARD made a quick jaunt to visit Ms. KINGSLEY, who had returned to Leeds to complete her studies. The two visited with family, took in some rugby and enjoyed a Paris weekend. "It was exciting for me to see how Bethan lived [in England] and what she was about," Ms. SHEPPARD says.
Ms. KINGSLEY was exactly the Anne of Green Gables kindred spirit that Ms. SHEPPARD's mother had often fantasized about for her daughter. The following May, upon graduation, Ms. KINGSLEY joined Ms. SHEPPARD here again.
Labour Day, 2005, on the beach in Port Dalhousie, Ms. SHEPPARD resolved the nuances of a proposal without melodramatics. "It was pretty much, who was going to start talking first. I started, proposed… She said yes."
Now 22, Ms. KINGSLEY is a teaching assistant at Brock, where she begins a master's degree this fall.
Ms. SHEPPARD, 26, who has a string of academic awards, is pursuing a PhD in education at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. This April, under the auspices of the Scotiabank Champions for Health Promoting Schools, she will accompany a team of Ontario Institute for Studies in Education students, including Ms. KINGSLEY, to the Caribbean to participate in a collaborative "healthier-living" project with local school and community leaders.
On February 17, at the Old Mill, Ms. KINGSLEY wore a gold silk gown from Chinatown and Ms. SHEPPARD dressed in brown tweed to exchange their vows before the Rev. Tina GABRIEL and 42 guests. "It's comforting every time I look into Bethan's eyes. I look into her soul and can feel everything she's feeling," says the former Ms. SHEPPARD.
The couple has taken the surname KINGSLEY- SHEPPARD.

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TENENBAUM m@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2006-04-01 published
Anna Ruth CHRISTIANSEN and Paul Charlton DOUGLAS/DOUGLASS -- Match
By Judith TENENBAUM, Page M6
After hosting a pool party in the summer of 2003, Joanie SKINNER persistently nudged her divorced brother-in-law, Paul DOUGLAS/DOUGLASS, toward her neighbour, tall, blond, beautiful Anna CHRISTIANSEN, a divorcée who was happily raising daughters Corrine and Vanessa, now 15 and 13. Ms. SKINNER would invite Ms. CHRISTIANSEN to her soirees, then insist that a genial Mr. DOUGLAS/DOUGLASS escort her on the brief trek home. "Joanie wanted us to hook up, and it got to the point where I was even checking out plumbing in Anna's basement," he laughs.
When Ms. CHRISTIANSEN, who is now 44, downsized from an unmanageable large home and was selling off her furniture, she recalls the furtive glances they exchanged. "Paul came over, stood in the doorway with his girlfriend -- and was uncomfortable because dating wasn't an option at the time."
A year and a half later, free of other relationships, they finally began to see each other, somehow avoiding Ms. SKINNER's radar until October, 2004, when their incandescent glow at the birthday party of Mr. DOUGLAS/DOUGLASS's niece provided evidence that the mission had been accomplished. "Anna walks into a room, and lights up the place. My Friends call her exotic. She has a great sense of humour and is always smiling," a beaming Mr. DOUGLAS/DOUGLASS explains, before going on to describe himself as "a 200-pound, 6-foot-2 inch guy who looks like a Mafia hit man."
Ms. CHRISTIANSEN, in contrast, characterizes Mr. DOUGLAS/DOUGLASS, who had no children of his own, as "gentle, kind-hearted and easygoing," and delights in the fact he has a great relationship with her daughters. When the two girls chose to experience living with their remarried father in his new home, Ms. CHRISTIANSEN was "crushed." But Mr. DOUGLAS/DOUGLASS's support helped her adapt to weekend parenting. "Now I know what it's like for a dad -- but I probably see them more than I did, because it is every weekend. We go shopping, have fun, and they enjoy fine dining," she explains.
An honours graduate of Halton Business Institute, and also a graduate of design at Humber and Fanshawe Colleges, Ms. CHRISTIANSEN has interests that are more vroom than Vogue. "I was raised on the water, always had a boat and can carry on a conversation about cars and boat motors…" she notes. Employed in the family business, Bronte Outer Harbour Marina, she was "tired of doing the boy thing all my life," so in 2002 she took on supervisory responsibilities at the marina's new conference centre.
A branch manager for Yellow Transportation, Mr. DOUGLAS/DOUGLASS, 43, shares her interest in all things automotive, and he is particularly dazzled by the 1958 Biarritz convertible in her parents' collection of 65 classic cars.
In March, 2005, still feeling the effects of an earlier car accident, Ms. CHRISTIANSEN required spinal surgery. Mr. DOUGLAS/DOUGLASS was panicked by the attendant risk, but obliged her by going to work: "I called the hospital every five seconds, until I was told not to call. My heart was broken. I was on edge -- I thought what would I do if I didn't have her?"
By September, he was determined to merge their destinies. Home from work one day, she was greeted by her pug Lucy (who had a diamond ring affixed to her dog collar), champagne on ice and Mr. DOUGLAS/DOUGLASS, anxious to pledge his troth.
"We didn't want to put everyone through a second marriage and thought we'd just elope," she says. But plans for a Vegas/Elvis nuptial package were vetoed by elder daughter Corrine. "I've been through seven years of your being divorced and dating, and I want to be in your wedding!" she insisted.
At the Harbour Banquet and Conference Centre, on February 25, in a candlelit ceremony before 90 formally attired guests, the pair were married by Rev. Bethany BEATTY- CHIRE to the accompaniment of a harp and violin quartet. With "feet on the ground," Mrs. DOUGLAS/DOUGLASS says, "we get it more than the younger ones do."

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TENENBAUM m@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2006-04-08 published
Sherri Elizabeth BURCH and Lee John BONNELL -- Match:
By Judith TENENBAUM, Page M6
Seated beside a platonic lady friend on a flight to Mexico in February, 2005, Lee BONNELL focused on a beguiling Sherri BURCH, sitting nearby, "talking up a storm" with her girlfriend.
"Lee's radar was always on the alert for the damsel of his dreams. I knew he was on a mission after checking out Sherri on the plane," the friend recounts.
After they settled into their Huatulco resort, she continues, "he sprang into action, helping himself to a seat at her breakfast table," and hovering around her at the pool. "His persistence drew curious reactions from guests who had seen Lee and me together. They were scouting for scandal," she surmises.
Soon, the twosomes became a foursome, as they took in tourist events, discovered a mutual Friendship and expounded on life. "We had a great time. It was open and relaxed, and we talked about everything," Mr. BONNELL enthuses. Upon their departure, a week later, he and Ms. BURCH glowed, moonstruck, their approaches to life seemingly a tailored fit. Each owned a century home, hers in Fergus, his in West Toronto, and they shared a love of antiques, tennis and dogs. Ms. BURCH, however, was still "cautiously optimistic. There was obviously an attraction, but when you get home, it's different," she explains.
The next weekend, however, when Mr. BONNELL drove to Fergus to cook dinner for his new friend, he was certain, the moment he saw her, that his ardour hadn't paled. "The resort thing was the real deal. I just looked at Sherri and knew it was still there.
"I was going to impress her by cooking lamb, but I burnt it silly," laughs the account manager at M-qube, who, along with his culinary aspirations, has a master's of engineering and an M.B.A. from the University of Toronto.
Ms. BURCH, 36, a University of Guelph graduate and owner of Sage Benefit Solutions, fared better with her cheesecake, until half of it disappeared. The "usual suspects" included his dog, her two dogs, a drop-in dog and three cats. The comic aspects of the dinner notwithstanding, love flourished.
"Lee is the kindest person I know. When we were first together, I had the red-pencil mentality, looking for something to be wrong. There was no way he could be this fantastic," Ms. BURCH recalls.
Over the following several months, it became obvious the couple's next trip would be down the aisle. Late summer, they visited his family in Edmonton, and on September 1, 2005, after a perfunctory gondola ride up Sulphur Mountain, they tore off to Canmore, where they swooped, by helicopter, into backcountry -- along with a guide. Midway through a three-hour trek, they paused for a gourmet lunch, and on cue the guide took a hike on his own. Then Mr. BONNELL, now 44, produced a Tiffany box he had stashed with his extra socks. "Sherri said yes, we toasted and kissed."
Their search for a century home mutually convenient to their work seemed to be over when they found a Georgetown classic. Other bidders jumped into the pool, but by midnight they were the only ones still afloat. His home sold in a week, hers in a day, and despite a drunk driver crashing into the side of Ms. BURCH's place before closing, everything turned out well.
Almost a year to the day they met, on the evening of February 25, 2006, in the candlelit music room of Hart House at the University of Toronto, Ms. BURCH's young nieces, Hanna and Claire WILES, walked her down the aisle; Mr. BONNELL's nieces, Rhiannon and Kristjaan BONNELL- DAVIES, played Pachelbel's Canon in D on violins as the register was signed before officiant Lawrence BERNSTEIN. A string trio took over as 105 guests mingled at a cocktail reception in the Gallery Grill.
Mrs. BONNELL, who is on the board of directors of Groves Memorial Community Hospital Foundation in Fergus and also sits on the board of an agency dealing with street youth in Kitchener, reflects, "I always say I lead a blessed life -- especially having met Lee, who loves and cares for me."

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TENENBAUM m@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2006-04-22 published
Shelagh Melinda GUSTAVISON and Christopher Patrick CUMMINS -- Match:
By Judith TENENBAUM, Page M5
Despite her love for Christopher CUMMINS, after four years of dating, Shelagh GUSTAVISON felt stranded in never-never land. "Shelagh sat me down at dinner and gave me some pretty stern words, upset the commitment hadn't come," Mr. CUMMINS remembers.
Ironically, their friend Nicole YOUNG had endorsed his choice of a diamond only three hours earlier. His somewhat audacious feint to Ms. GUSTAVISON was, "It's not going to happen in the next three days -- or on our upcoming vacation." Thus without a zephyr of hope, and flaunting the fact she could paddle her own canoe, she set out in mid-August, 2005 -- sans Mr. CUMMINS and flanked by girlfriends -- for five days on the Chiniguchi Waterway near Sudbury.
Meanwhile, Mr. CUMMINS had a plan. Which included chartering a float plane and enlisting one conspiratorial girlfriend -- to identify the paddlers' location. Sadly, those plans threatened to unravel when the pilot of the float plane, a Peterborough friend, became skittish. Unflappable, Mr. CUMMINS pressed on. He recalls that he spoke "with most helicopter and float-plane companies and aviators in Northern Ontario," before being referred to a gentleman known as J.R., who was stirred by the romantic pleadings and agreed to fly Mr. CUMMINS.
With blessings, and a gift of champagne, from Ms. GUSTAVISON's parents, Mr. CUMMINS headed north, arriving in Sudbury at 3 a.m. to find every hotel room booked. Sleepless and stuck in his car, he recalls e-mailing Friends from his BlackBerry with the champagne chilling in the back seat. Then at 7: 01 a.m. he dashed into the local Starbucks, ordered lattés extra hot, changed his shirt in the washroom, floored it to J.R.'s and they took off.
On the women Friends' fifth day out, concerned after the waving of a fellow tripper had a plane tipping its wings and landing, Ms. GUSTAVISON paddled at Olympic speed to shore -- assuming the pilot had misinterpreted the enthusiastic wave as an S.O.S. There, she was startled when Mr. CUMMINS emerged from the cabin and quipped, "Good morning, I brought you coffee."
Immediately after which he became unglued. "Tongue-tied, laboured breathing, stressed," he says, recalling how he felt. "Shelagh thought, 'Chris is nuts -- this is something he might do.' " However, he adds, she wasn't thinking along engagement lines.
When she took off with the pilot for an aerial spin, Mr. CUMMINS readied champagne and clued in the Friends, who hid with cameras. Then, as Ms. GUSTAVISON deplaned, he grasped her hand: "Was that flight an adventure?" he asked. He followed that with the question, "Would you like to go on more adventures with me?" Then he knelt and offered the ring.
Ms. GUSTAVISON, now a Branksome Hall teacher, and Mr. CUMMINS, an executive recruiter at Brock Placement Group, first clicked in March, 2001, when she returned from a teaching stint in New Zealand. But their romance seemed likely to be sidelined until his job offer with a medical products company in the United Arab Emirates disappeared. "We knew in the fall that we were not going to be separated, and [then] the relationship sky rocketed," she says, beaming.
At Rosedale United Church, on March 11, Rev. Doug NORRIS wed the pair. The reception venue, the same as it had been for the bride's parents, and grandparents' 50th anniversary, was the Granite Club.
The new Mrs. CUMMINS, 33, also serves on the advisory board of Hilde Back Education Fund. Mr. CUMMINS, 32, who volunteers as a community educator for the Heart and Stroke Foundation, says: "I am a sales guy. We go until we can't go any more!"

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TENENBAUM m@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2006-04-29 published
Jennifer Rebecca HERBERTSON and Peter Raymond GONDOS -- Match:
By Judith TENENBAUM, Page M5
Even as social networking has yielded to the Net and a currency of smiley faces has supplanted friendly cocktails, finding a cyber soulmate remains as chancy as a roll of the dice. And yet, Rebecca HERBERTSON and Peter GONDOS came up winners.
"The older you are," Ms. HERBERTSON believes, the less inclined you become "to pick up anybody at a bar or club -- and dating at work is not advisable." Her eventual solution was to dabble at two dating sites for almost a year. "I dated a lot, one-night dates, out for drinks, dinner, and nothing clicked. I saw a couple of people a few times, but we were trying too hard."
In April, 2004, a forthright profile and e-smile from Mr. GONDOS piqued her interest, but a less-than-complimentary arm's-length photo he had snapped of himself had her thinking twice. Two months later, disillusioned by "all of the inappropriate men" she was meeting and about to erase her bio, she noticed a familiar profile while having a last glance at her second site. "I checked out the picture, which had been updated, and it was indeed the same person [Mr. GONDOS]." With her remaining credits, she clicked hello.
For his part, the convivial Mr. GONDOS was still reeling from an encounter with someone else the previous week. He was stunned, but all the same, he recalls, "I thought I would just keep trying." New to e-dating, he had found personal encounters disappointing. On-line profiles were often so embellished that they scarcely resembled the individuals he'd meet.
After several e-mail messages and two long phone chats, wary but ever optimistic, they met on June 8, 2004. Mr. GONDOS bestowed a huge hug and long-stemmed roses on his date. "We popped into a local pub, held hands the entire evening, and it was like we had been together for years," says Ms. HERBERTSON, who is now 38. "When I met Peter, it was a coup de foudre, like a lightning bolt."
"We just knew," Mr. GONDOS adds, recalling the moment.
Over the next several months, the couple bonded with each other's families, found they shared a sense of humour ("on the dark side"), and enjoyed karaoke evenings at Mighty Mike's, a High Park pub where he DJ'd part-time.
By December, 2004, Mr. GONDOS, who is employed by Handyman Matters, had reached a decision: "I liked to hang out with her a little more than dating, so why not make it official?" On Christmas Eve, with some anxiety, he offered her two small gift boxes, both containing jewellery and one of them holding a diamond ring. "That's as close as I could get to a proposal," he says.
At the time, Ms. HERBERTSON, the office administrator for Fieldgate Developments, was saddened by two family deaths and further unnerved by a parent's illness, so she chose to delay a wedding. But then, as skies brightened, she was ready to forge a plan.
The "freckly redheaded" couple's April 1 wedding invitations whimsically proclaimed, "No more fooling around." Having first found silver-filigreed, lavender silk shoes, the bride banked on locating a matching gown, plus appropriate fabric for dresses for nieces Samantha, Erika and Alexandra SCHWAB, the flower girls. The bridegroom sported a lavender shirt accented by a pewter-and-purple tie.
Brother Mike, who built the wedding arch, was leery that an altar-shy Mr. GONDOS, 41, would actually stand beneath it. But he was proved wrong, and so Rev. Tina GABRIEL officiated before 51 Friends and family members at the Delta East Toronto Hotel.
"The Net is a great way of meeting people," enthuses the new Mrs. GONDOS. "And if you meet the man or woman of your dreams, good for you!"

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TENENBAUM m@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2006-05-06 published
Jillian WIEBE and Todd AMBACHTSHEER -- Match:
By Judith TENENBAUM, Page M5
Five years ago, Yael WOODWARD planned a barbecue, hoping that it would ignite a romance between her Friends Jillian WIEBE and Todd AMBACHTSHEER, who were until then only fleetingly acquainted. Unwilling to be undone by high-rise fire regulations, a resourceful Mrs. WOODWARD dragged home "a contraption that looked like a giant garbage can" and smoked a turkey all day in honour of the occasion.
After teaching English in Japan for a year, Ms. WIEBE had returned to Canada at loose ends, and that July, 2001, she was apartment hunting in Toronto. Mr. AMBACHTSHEER, a vegetarian and seemingly her antithesis, had nonetheless, by the end of the evening, sparked her interest -- which she subtly conveyed to her hostess. "Yael whooped for joy, did a little dance and said that was her goal."
After their official one-year anniversary of dating went unheeded by Mr. AMBACHTSHEER, Ms. WIEBE wondered if "he wasn't into me as much as I was into him." So her spirits soared that November, when he requested she pack a bag, then whisked her off to New York.
Tickets to Romeo and Juliet, a later gesture, also thrilled Ms. WIEBE, who had been a dancer for 14 years. The surprise bore additional fruit when Mr. AMBACHTSHEER developed a passion for ballet as a result.
The turnabout wasn't as successful when she joined a group of his Friends in Killarney Provincial Park for her first -- and so far, only -- camping experience. "I'd never canoed to camp and we were on our own, canoeing into the wind," Mr. AMBACHTSHEER recalls. "It was a bit of a baptism by fire." His admiration for his girlfriend, who never complained despite non-stop pelting rain, increased still more.
A 1999 graduate in film studies from the University of Western Ontario, Ms. WIEBE soon realized that work in her chosen field, though a labour of love, often resulted in poverty. Currently, she is a patient-care co-ordinator at the Institute of Cosmetic Surgery. With an added diploma in makeup art, however, she remains connected to her academic background, freelancing for stage and cinema.
A refreshing change from "neurotic, artsy" suitors Ms. WIEBE had previously encountered, Mr. AMBACHTSHEER made her feel "safe and secure." But for the honours B.A. graduate of the University of Western Ontario's Richard Ivey School of Business, who is presently a manager of transaction advisory services for Ernst and Young, a definitive commitment wasn't immediately on his balance sheet.
In September, 2004, a European holiday made Ms. WIEBE optimistic. "Every day that passed, momentous things happened. We were on top of the Eiffel Tower, and I thought -- now!" Nuptials unmentioned, the trip ended, and so she embraced the adage "expect nothing and you won't be disappointed." But by New Year's, when three other couples they knew had all announced their engagements, she drew the line.
"I rehearsed a calm, succinct speech," she recalls, and two days later she asked him about his intentions, including a request for a time frame. Little did she know that his cryptic "within the year" response was tied to another surprise he was working on.
Inadvertently, she set the scene by suggesting a Centre Island picnic, and as they basked on the grass, a sunny April 16 became memorable. "I want to look at you -- you make me very happy," said Mr. AMBACHTSHEER, who is now 31. Sensing an unfamiliar tone in his voice, she stared as he proffered a ring. Giddy with happiness, the two then tore off to play Frisbee.
A year later, on April 15, 2006, at the University of Toronto's Victoria College chapel, the two exchanged their vows before Rev. Tina GABRIEL and received guests at Biagio Ristorante.
"Todd and I are different, and we love debates, but we agree on all the things that matter," says Mrs. AMBACHTSHEER, 30.

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TENENBAUM m@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2006-05-15 published
Nevena SERGO and Bradley David SPENCER -- Match:
By Judith TENENBAUM, Page M5
Nevena SERGO and Bradley SPENCER were so content to watch the carnival of life parade by that it took 17 years for them to hop on the marriage-go-round. "People jump, and don't know what they are getting into. Some Friends, who are married, have kids and look worn out. Others, married only a few years, are getting divorced. But we've seen it all," Mr. SPENCER observes with a laugh. "Life is hard -- jobs, kids, finances."
"I wasn't one of those girls who felt she had to get married right away. We are comfortable with a Friendship that has love at its base," explains Ms. SERGO, who adds that, at 39, they are patient, stable and both ready, at last, for marriage and a family.
In 1989, Mr. SPENCER, an employee of Wood Gundy, encountered Ms. SERGO, a recent graduate of the University of Western Ontario, when he made security deliveries to her at what was then Canada Trust. Tall, blond and cocksure, he was seduced by her intellect and good looks, but his advances received scant attention until he arrived one day with his arm in a cast. Momentarily disarmed, she signed it and included her number.
When a cavalier Mr. SPENCER imperiously decided his break had healed, he cut away the cast and pitched it into the trash, only to scramble to retrieve the pieces -- and her phone number -- later. Shortly thereafter, he called with a lunch invitation, but Bay Street was bustling and Ms. SERGO declined. Ultimately, however, she succumbed to his rakish charm, agreeing to a brief meeting. "He brought me lunch. I thought that was sweet, and I guess that was when I started changing my mind."
Now an associate at TD Asset Management, Ms. SERGO is singular in her career direction, but she acknowledges, "When you work downtown, people are focused on their industry, limited, and don't socialize outside of a certain group. I work in it 12 hours a day, and don't want to come home to it for another eight hours."
Over the years, the free-spirited Mr. SPENCER became her counterpoint. He travels, relishing the outdoors, in his work as a geotechnical and environmental driller who extracts samples -- down to bedrock -- for analysis before construction projects can proceed.
He concedes that Ms. SERGO has moulded him, making him "a better person," introducing him to her cultural spheres, including the Royal Ontario Museum and the Art Gallery of Ontario. In turn, he has directed her to some of Toronto's tonier clubs and has introduced her to sailing and snorkelling. "What I do is completely different from what he does," she notes, "so we enjoy spending time together, talking about our days."
As time went by, Ms. SERGO admits, "we were enjoying our lives. We took trips without having a mortgage or any commitments that would require our energy." Yet, the tripwire was sprung in 2003 when they bought a house. As it happened, Mr. SPENCER was its sole occupant when Ms. SERGO's mother became ill and the dutiful daughter stayed with her as a caregiver.
By March 12, 2005, Ms. SERGO's mother had rallied and her "old school" father had given his consent. Across a table for two at Avenue, in the Four Seasons Hotel, Mr. SPENCER proposed. "I started crying when I looked at her, and she said I didn't have to get down on my knee," he remembers. Minutes later she blinked back tears as sequestered family members spilled forth bearing champagne and flowers.
On April 1, at St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Church in Brampton, Rev. Vitaliano PAPAIS wed the couple. Later, they celebrated with all those significant in their lives at the Royal Ambassador Banquet Hall in Caledon.
Mr. SPENCER adamantly espouses: "You get married; you wear the ring!" Planning to sport two bands, he believes his long-awaited marriage is as strong as the tungsten steel ring he'll be wearing while on the job.

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TENENBAUM m@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2006-05-20 published
Danielle Martin BERRY and John Douglas HARRISON -- Match:
By Judith TENENBAUM, Page M4
The Fox Goes Free pub in Pickering inadvertently lived up to its billing as a great place to meet when John HARRISON, a student working for the summer as a bartender, observed Danielle BERRY, a fellow student-cum-waitress, and did a double take. "I recognized her from the University of Toronto, but we had never had a chance to meet. I was immediately and totally enamoured with her," he recalls.
At the time, both were students in the faculty of music. Ms. BERRY, in the education program, concentrated on piano and won the Lloyd Bradshaw Prize in choral conducting, while Mr. HARRISON, in performance, specialized in clarinet, earning scholarships in the Opera Orchestra. "It's a very small faculty and strange we didn't cross paths," she says.
Back in the classroom, the symphonic Friendship that was initiated at work soon had the ivories and woodwind in perfect harmony. "We hit it off right away, became romantically involved because we were such a good match and have been inseparable since 1996," Ms. BERRY, 31, says.
On graduation, the couple's careers would digress. The prospect of a plethora of lengthy auditions preceding any performance contract disillusioned Mr. HARRISON and when a friend suggested he cast his lot with ING Bank, a financial institution launching in Canada, he changed direction and never looked back. Naysayers may refute music as a basis for world finance, but Mr. HARRISON counters, "In music, creative and logical thinking are important, and music has prepared me very well for what I am doing now."
Meanwhile, true to her discipline, Ms. BERRY continued on to the Glenn Gould School, earning various scholarships before beginning to teach piano and musicianship in association with the Yamaha Music School, while finding time to volunteer for the lunch ministry at the St. Felix Centre. She acknowledges family influence, but attributes her performance success to Mr. HARRISON, 33. "He felt I had it in me, and encouraged me in a way that I hadn't encountered before. I don't think I would have taken that step if I hadn't known John," she says.
Happily, the pair relish joint musical and artistic interests while savouring Toronto's diverse dining scene, but frequently find respite from the frenetic urban landscape by embracing the outdoors at his fourth-generation family property near Minden.
When he was dispatched to the United Kingdom in October, 2002, to assist in ING's start-up, Ms. BERRY joined him after honouring her teaching commitments up to June, 2003.
"I knew that I would have a life with John when we were together," she affirms, since "we had the confidence to be apart."
Their two years in London were magical as they drank in the world-class cultural scene and jaunted to the continent. A highlight was their venture to the original 17th-century Fox Goes Free pub, "which has special meaning for us," she says.
Just before their July, 2005, return to Toronto, she had begun to ruminate on what seemed like a delinquent proposal, but on a March mini-excursion to Greece the answer to her anxiety was tucked away in Mr. HARRISON's camera tote. As the sun set on Santorini, the volcano slept, and the ocean glistened like their future and the ring on her finger.
On May 6 at the Ontario Heritage Centre, a classical guitarist performed as the couple recited vows before officiant Antoine AOUAD. A meet, mix and dance cocktail reception followed.
"It seemed natural we would always be together," reflects Mrs. BERRY HARRISON, who advises others in long-term relationships: "Be oblivious to outside pressure, know what your timing is, and what you are comfortable doing."

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TENENBAUM m@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2006-05-27 published
Laura Brigitte LOIJENS and Jesse Adam CLARK -- Match:
By Judith TENENBAUM, Page M4
Romance is tested if two hearts beat to different drummers. In 1997, when Laura LOIJENS was introduced to Jesse CLARK at the pub in Clark Hall, a landmark at Queen's University, she mused at the nominal coincidence and saw him as "funny, intelligent" and not like so many of the other young men she had met.
"She was smart, pretty and nice. I called her the next day, and on our first date I was nervous and a total idiot," Mr. CLARK confesses. For all that, the couple were soon "mutually exclusive." After graduating in 1998 in honours English, Mr. CLARK quickly concluded that a writing career would be problematic. Coming from a musical family, he had exhibited talent in choirs and singing opera as a youth. "I've always loved classical music, and it got its hooks back into me," he explains, and so he entered the opera program at the University of Toronto, eventually launching a career as a performer.
Meanwhile, Laura LOIJENS, who earned the highest marks for 1998 in nursing science, heeded parental advice and, using nursing as a portal, gained acceptance into medicine -- also at the University of Toronto.
"Laura knew very little about English literature, and I knew less about nursing," Mr. CLARK says, laughing as he remembers their early years together. "In keeping with this theme, nine years later, Laura knows very little about opera and I know less about medicine."
Today, they continue to juggle careers and companionship. He tours with various opera ensembles and she adopts a locum approach to family practice. Locums provide relief for local doctors based in small or remote communities, and the underlying hope is that visiting doctors may enjoy their short-term stints so much that they decide to locate there permanently. "I like to travel and see new places in Ontario and around Canada. This way you set your own schedule," explains Ms. LOIJENS, who believes her locum work also provides an opportunity to explore diverse medical approaches.
"Our relationship is a work in progress. It's not always puppy dogs and ice cream," Mr. CLARK says. "The hardest part is what I call re-entry, when you get back from somewhere. In my business, you have this artistic high, and for the first couple of days [afterward] it's awkward being with another person, even though you love her. From an individual mindset to get back into that couple lifestyle is difficult."
"When you are apart so much, you have to trust each other, because you meet so many people," Ms. LOIJENS observes. "It takes effort and patience, but I love it. It would be so boring being married to another doctor."
In aid of this relationship philosophy, they manage to arrange mutual "vacations" -- and increase their understanding -- by occasionally spending time at each other's work locations. Both want children, but for a long time they felt that marriage was not a prerequisite. Until one day, completely on a whim, Mr. CLARK "woke up and thought, 'I'm going to buy a ring and surprise her.'"
On June 25, 2005, as they strolled through Kay Gardner Beltline Park, Ms. LOIJENS recalls, "We were chatting away, and suddenly I realized I was talking to myself. I looked around and Jesse was kneeling, holding a box, and he said I had to open it."
Fascinated by old bank buildings and seeking a funky and not exorbitant wedding venue, the couple were enamoured with the Ontario Heritage Centre on Adelaide Street, an authentically restored 1909 Edwardian banking hall.
"A modern civil ceremony is a public declaration and there has to be a certain grandeur, but it doesn't have to involve big, puffy, meringue dresses," Mr. CLARK says with a chuckle.
During the April 19 evening nuptials, before Rev. Tina GABRIEL, the bride became Doctor Laura CLARK. Now, if the newlyweds can find a Rossini opera with a role for a non-singing doctor, things will really come together.

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TENENBAUM m@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2006-06-03 published
Linda Anna Aminah DE WITT and Graeme Harris TURNER -- Match:
By Judith TENENBAUM, Page M6
As dragon boat crews marshalled on the docks of Ontario Place for the annual September competition in 2003, Graeme TURNER inched toward the beguiling, statuesque Linda DE WITT.
"I didn't notice Graeme until we were lining up. I remember thinking, 'He's a good-looking guy, but I'm not here for that,' " recalls Ms. DE WITT, a last-minute substitute recruit who crossed her arms, turned to avoid eye contact and focused on winning.
Unfazed, Mr. TURNER tapped her on the shoulder. "It was a defensive mode I was facing, and I had to have my wits about me," he laughs. With a quick query, he elicited her team's name, Who's Your Daddy?, shouted encouragement and added, "See you around."
When the preliminaries ended, scores of dragon boaters mulled about, and just as he abandoned hope of ever seeing his anonymous enchantress again, a teammate who knew he was smitten suddenly gestured frantically to Mr. TURNER. In megaphonic tones across the crowd he belted, "Who's Your Daddy?" Ms. DE WITT looked up, Mr. TURNER spotted her, and said, "See you tomorrow."
That comment cemented her decision to sub again the following day, even though she had originally planned to participate only once. Her team was bumped to the consolations and his advanced to the finals. In the interval between heats, he and his Friends took in a film at Cinesphere, while Ms. DE WITT, "on the hunt with her girlfriend," scoured Ontario Place for him. Just before race time, their paths crossed and their hearts leaped. "Picture, if you can, this guy walking with his right hand eagerly out for 10 feet ready to shake," laughs Ms. DE WITT, now 25 and the account executive with Food for Tots.
The competition over, their beer-tent rendezvous led to a kiss on the cheek, and a call the next day. Mr. TURNER's heart was on his sleeve, he says. "I decided not to play the waiting game, but to let her know I was interested." Several weeks later, he e-mailed, "Exclusive?" and their lives meshed.
In a June, 2005, visit to the Netherlands, Mr. TURNER explored the scene of her first eight years, and when they moved on to Scotland she mixed with his relatives, observing where he had passed summers as a child.
"There was a lot of pressure on that trip for my getting engaged, from both families, but I wasn't about to let anyone tell me when to do it," chuckles Mr. TURNER, now 34, an office manager for consulting engineers Charles G. Turner and Associates. At the time, he envisioned a proposal at the upcoming September Dragon Boat Festival.
There, he was unable to row with his new teammate Ms. DE WITT because of a separated shoulder from a flag-football injury. Yet on the pretext of celebrating their anniversary, they heli-toured the cityscape, and looped the SkyDome to the cheers of Blue Jays fans. Their eight-minute whirl winding down, he pulled a ring box from his sling, and using headphones from the prepped pilot, made an unadorned proposal over the rotor's din.
An ecstatic Ms. DE WITT had the conundrum of dividing attention between her dazzling ring and the dizzying view. "I felt, 'How many times is anyone in a helicopter?' and Graeme was paying, but I didn't want to stop staring at my ring."
Friends, family and teammates who were let in on the secret cheered, and applauded their landing before trundling off for a lakeside champagne picnic.
Dutch tulips set the scene at Casa Loma on May 12, as the wedding party, the bridegroom and his groomsmen in kilts were piped before Rev. Sarah BUNNETT- GIBSON. Former professional ballroom dancers, "my parents can still cut a rug," Mr. TURNER says, and he and the new Mrs. TURNER twirled in their own celebratory dance at the reception that followed.

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TENENBAUM m@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2006-06-10 published
Shelley Lynn SCARROW and James Andrew HURST -- Match:
By Judith TENENBAUM, Page M4
Shelley SCARROW and James HURST learned how to take criticism from each other long before they became romantically involved. As co-writers on the television series Degrassi: The Next Generation, they sparred regularly over plot lines and character development.
"Being in the same room with a person when they are throwing out creative ideas and you are shooting them down is a recipe for disaster," Mr. HURST says.
Fortunately, Ms. SCARROW adds, "we conversed like co-workers, and it made romance a piece of cake because we had figured out communicating early on."
Their careers first intersected on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation series Riverdale in 2000, and a flirtation flickered. Later, Ms. SCARROW -- hired on to the Degrassi series, and fond of the savvy Mr. HURST -- recruited him to train her on scriptwriting software. Both were in relationships at the time, she notes. "It was sort of Sex and the City: the guy so sweet, and so taken, a completely safe crush."
By the show's second season, both were unattached, but Ms. SCARROW played it coy. "When he'd come round, I'd make rebound noises -- bong, bong -- because I knew if I fell for him, it would be eternal brokenheartedness, or marriage."
But a watershed moment came when he offered her two mix CDs. "With quotes and graphics, they were like works of art. The fact he spent so many hours on them was a little ding!"
Mr. HURST remembers being smitten during an early date when he touched her and "felt a magic thunderbolt." Still, they kept their romance a secret, lest it appear to compromise their creative efforts. "I needed to be able to say, 'James, that's the dumbest idea I've ever heard,' " she laughs.
But when both went to the hospital with food poisoning, a co-worker in crisis called his home looking for Ms. SCARROW. Since their secret was clearly in the open, the two "came out of the closet," she says.
Degrassi storylines and characters often paralleled their personal realities. "We wrote our own romance, in a weird, oblique sort of way, but I don't think we were aware," Mr. HURST says. "One episode Shelley wrote was so beautiful it blew me away. I'd like to think [that], in it, she was describing feelings for me."
With television movies and documentaries to his credit, he has won two Writers Guild of Canada awards and at 36 is an executive producer and head writer on the sixth season of Degrassi. Ms. SCARROW, whose Degrassi writing is characterized by raw and jarring subject matter, was a co-Gemini nominee with Mr. HURST. The duo, both B.F.A. graduates of York University, are social and environmental activists. They drive a Prius, support Amnesty International, the World Wildlife Federation and (in his case) the Green Party.
"James makes me laugh every day," she says. "I know if we got stuck in a cellar for 30 days, we'd never run out of things to talk about and there'd be a lot of giggling."
He counters: "Shelley's the best of both worlds, beautiful and brilliant, but we have fun and goof around."
On a showery Valentine's evening in 2005, a ring in his pocket, he visualized parking a block from the trendy Rain restaurant and huddling under an umbrella to offer a proposal. But the gods dissented, and when he was forced to wheel into a space right in front of the restaurant, the uber-cool Mr. HURST was flummoxed. "I ordered a large drink, couldn't eat, and the room was spinning. I was a nervous, babbling mess," he admits. But they joined the world of hokey hearts as he rattled off his proposal to the approval of nearby diners.
Officiant Virginia Cresswell JONES married the couple at the Distillery District's Blue Dot Gallery on May 6. The new Mrs. SCARROW HURST, 35, looked like a torch singer in a Marcel wave and thirties-style trumpet skirted gown, complemented by her bridegroom in shadow pinstripe. "We felt Hollywood," she recalls, "a little Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald."

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TENENBAUM m@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2006-06-17 published
Leila Andrée SHENOUDA and Joseph PERSAD -- Match:
By Judith TENENBAUM, Page M5
When they started dating at the age of 15, Leila SHENOUDA and Joseph PERSAD had no idea they would build a life together.
She was a shy rocker chick in fishnets; he was confident and stylish.
"At first, I didn't think I'd want to be with someone like him," she says. "But we were such good Friends, and communicated so easily…. There were sparks, and that was it."
"I was a one-track person -- my way or the highway," Mr. PERSAD recalls.
"But Leila made me listen and look. I was set in one genre, and she made me more accepting about the world and what it had to offer."
Theirs was the classic high-school romance until she learned at 18 that, because of a medical condition, it was unlikely she could conceive. "Being a mother had always been a No. 1 goal in life," Ms. SHENOUDA says. "I dreamed of it playing with my Barbies."
With her maternal aspirations devastated, it was an improbable event when she found herself pregnant four years into the relationship. At 20, the couple were the proud parents of Zephan Shenouda PERSAD.
"His name is about the only thing we never agreed upon. I was flipping through the Bible and saw Zephaniah, and if you say it three or four times, Zephan works," chuckles Mr. PERSAD.
Their little miracle motivated Ms. SHENOUDA, then working at Royal Bank, to change her career.
"The day that I had my son, I realized I wanted to work with people on a real level…. My life had been touched and blessed, and from that moment I felt I owed the world and wanted to serve God and do good," she adds.
"But I think every nurse goes into the profession because they want to help."
Thus, with sacrifice and much support from her family, Ms. SHENOUDA became a registered nurse. She is now in the cardiology unit of the University Health Network at Toronto Western Hospital.
"Her job is gratifying. She comes home knowing she's helped people every day, and it shines on her," notes a proud Mr. PERSAD, now a compliance officer at Georgeson Shareholders.
His first marriage proposal, in his parents' basement at 17, was a little premature, he says with a laugh.
The second came years later, in October, 2004, when Ms. SHENOUDA helped him choose a ring and then went on to foil his candlelight-and-wine plans, asking: "Aren't you going to give it to me now?"
But the marriage would wait until all their ducks were in a row: her education and career change a fait accompli, a new home purchased in June, 2005, and their son attending school.
The Canadian-born couple had already bridged their cultural differences he is Catholic, with a Trinidadian background and Hindu grandparents, while she was raised Coptic Orthodox by her Egyptian father and French-Canadian mother.
"We've learned to embrace all of that throughout the years with religious events, different foods, and family gatherings," she says.
On April 23, at Bluffer's Restaurant in Scarborough, the pair, both 26, recited personal vows, including one to the ring-bearer, Zephan, who lit his own unity candle.
"Neither one of us wanted to convert," says the new Mrs. SHENOUDA- PERSAD, "and Sarah" -- Sarah BUNNETT- GIBSON, a non-denominational minister -- "offered us something unique, just as our relationship has been."
"Leila trusted me and my groomsmen to decorate. We had flowers, butterflies, doves, stars, and glitter," Mr. PERSAD jokes.
"I was in black and silver. I wanted blue and white -- but it didn't matter, the Leafs weren't playing."
The honeymoon was classic: a trip to one of the seven wonders, Niagara Falls, with the eighth, their son Zephan, in tow.

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TENENBAUM m@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2006-06-24 published
Bonnie MORTON and Charles SCOTT -- Match:
By Judith TENENBAUM, Page M6
For 15-year-olds Bonnie MORTON and Charles SCOTT, Canada's 1967 Centennial was the genesis of a relationship that would take four decades to reach its apex.
Ms. MORTON, a native Nova Scotian from the Annapolis Valley, was on her annual summer excursion with the family of her friend Linda Ogler, tenting on Prince Edward Island -- where the girls lingered one evening at famed Stanhope Beach. With his Friends, a tanned Adonis-like Mr. SCOTT breezed along "to check out the chicks," and the reserved fair-haired Ms. MORTON was agog. Her pluckier friend sauntered over and pitched to the redheaded Mr. SCOTT: "There's a cute little blonde who would like to meet you."
A summer romance flourished for the pair, until school beckoned in September. "Charley lived in Charlottetown, so a lot of late-night calls and letters, 10 and 20 pages," kept them in touch, Ms. MORTON recalls.
Over the next several years, however, distance and distractions intervened. In 1972, after both had graduated, Ms. MORTON decided to drive out in her first car to Prince Edward Island, where Mr. SCOTT was working, to reconnect with her "first love." She knew he might have a girlfriend, but continued undaunted. "The other girl's heart broke. I sort of left her standing there," Mr. SCOTT remembers. But following a two-week rendezvous the couple parted, apparently leaving their future behind them.
Meanwhile, Mr. SCOTT attended the University of Prince Edward Island and then the University of New Brunswick, found a job in the airline industry and relocated to Calgary, where in 1997 he earned an M.B.A. He was married, with daughters Jennifer and Christine, but eventually the marriage ended.
All the while, despite their separate lives, he insists Ms. MORTON was never out of his mind. "I'd be thinking about her. Where was she? Was she okay? What was she doing?"
For her part, Ms. MORTON who had remained in Nova Scotia, married, had a son Nathan and a daughter Michelle, and eventually also divorced. After which she ventured to Red Deer, where her daughter was working, and later, to Calgary, to "start my life over."
Fate intervened at the end of one work week in May, 2002. Intrigued by a barrage of classmates.com pop-ups, Mr. SCOTT risked e-mailing a Bonnie MORTON from Kings County Academy in Kentville, Nova Scotia, seemingly to no avail.
Ms. MORTON, who was without a home computer, was unable to view his e-mail until the following Monday at her office. Astounded, she burst into an adrenaline-spiked frenzy. "I screamed, ran around the office, and the girls asked what's wrong?" she recalls, laughing.
Her reply, with area code included, had an ecstatic Mr. SCOTT realizing that they lived on opposite sides of the same tiny hamlet of Spruce Meadows, and he sped to meet her that night. "I couldn't stop shaking, I was so excited to see him," Ms. MORTON says.
Affirming their commitment, they shared a Calgary condo until changes at his job forced a move to Toronto, where he is now a senior consultant for Oracle. Ms. MORTON tagged along and became office co-ordinator at Food for Tots.
In a Scottish pub in Markham, Ms. MORTON received a first engagement ring from her Prince Charley. Then, on May 6, with flourishes of the Scott tartan, the couple, both 54, were wed by Rev. Jean WARD in Prince Edward Island's Cornwall United Church, the bridegroom's family parish. Says the new Mrs. SCOTT, "We missed 30 years together. We treasure the time we have."

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TENENBAUM m@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2006-07-08 published
Christine CHO and Jamie PARK -- Match:
By Judith TENENBAUM, Page M4
For Christine CHO and Jamie PARK a platonic test cruise soon had their transmissions in overdrive.
They met at church, where she played softball on a co-ed team that he coached. Eventually they became part of a group that explored the Toronto scene.
On Valentine's Day, 2002, their paradigm tilted. "About four of us were all single at the time and decided that we'd hang out, have a nice dinner and enjoy each other's company," recalls Ms. CHO.
The following day when the pair, who rarely chatted on MSN, connected, she confessed that as a girlfriend she would be difficult -- high maintenance, and with lofty expectations. Risking a wounded ego but looking for validation, Mr. PARK suggested a week-long experiment, in which he "would play her boyfriend."
Despite misgivings about spoiling a great Friendship, Ms. CHO agreed: "Both mature adults, we'd test the waters and wouldn't tell any of our Friends. Because if we broke up they might feel awkward having to choose sides."
Early that summer, Mr. PARK recalls, "I meant to say I like you," but instead his heart spoke, "I love you." Two weeks of torment ensued as Ms. CHO pondered her response. "I didn't want to say it unless I really meant it," she explains, adding, "Jamie was extremely patient, understanding and concerned with my being happy."
Born in Etobicoke, Ms. CHO, who is a prodigious violinist with virtuoso potential, exhibits many exceptional attributes. She was Canada's representative in the Miss World competition in 2000, and as the first woman of Asian descent to win the Miss Canada International title in 2001 she was feted here and in Korea.
After an honours B.A. in English from the University of Toronto, she considered a masters degree, but pursued a certificate to teach English as a second language instead. "Teaching new adult immigrants made me more appreciative of being Canadian and the immigrant struggle."
Meanwhile, when her mother began O'Happy Day Daycare, Ms. CHO again switched direction and became its administrator. Accustomed to rendering support to family enterprises, she observes: "You plan your future, but you have to be flexible."
A financial planner at Scotia McLeod, born in Korea and with a Bachelor degree in Science from York University, Mr. PARK, 35, says, "I knew Christine before and after she ran for the pageants. It was an accomplishment for her, her family and the Korean community, but never a deciding issue as to why I was attracted to her." Their philosophical interconnectedness includes respect for their Korean heritage, faith as their bedrock and volunteering at Mil Al Church and the Woodgreen Red Door Shelter.
Playing on her empathy for the underdog, Mr. PARK concocted a tale about sharing a lonely friend's birthday, luring Ms. CHO to a table set for four at the Fairmont Royal York's Epic restaurant on June 10, 2005. Asked to critique the spelling on the birthday card, which included the question "Will you marry me!," she noted he'd used an exclamation mark in lieu of a question mark -- and then accepted the proposal.
On May 20 at Garden Korean Church, personal vows were exchanged before Rev. Danny CHUNG. "It was a good exercise to think about why you are marrying and what you promise. It wasn't just to ourselves but to God, as well," says the bride, 27, who designed her ivory lace gown and the yellow silk charmeuse bridesmaids dresses.
After a luncheon at the Mandarin restaurant, dinner at Kleinberg's Copper Creek Golf Club was revved up by the Lady Kane band and surprise pyrotechnics. "Initially, we both thought that it wouldn't work. But when a relationship is meant to be, a lot of things just fall into the right place," says Mr. PARK.

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TENENBAUM m@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2006-07-15 published
Barbara Catherine FAIRBANKS and Gordon William PIERCEY -- Match
By Judith TENENBAUM, Page M4
In February, 2004, Gordon PIERCEY scored and then acrobatically slammed into the boards during a parent-offspring hockey game while visiting his son Adam, who was a student at Neuchâtel Junior College in Switzerland. However, a concussion, broken ribs and 11 stitches did not deter him four days later as he poised on a glacier and pledged his troth to Barbara FAIRBANKS. "He was looking a little funny; something wasn't right. He dropped on his knee, and I thought, 'How am I going to get help on a glacier?' Ms. FAIRBANKS laughs about it now, although she remembers panicking at the time.
The encore, with a ring, took place that spring, capping an almost 30-year saga that began when both sat on East York Collegiate Insitute's student council.
In 1976, a bewitched Mr. PIERCEY had his train derailed when he learned that Ms. FAIRBANKS was dating another. Wistfully, he settled for a Friendship.
"Our lives just spun in different directions," he says. He graduated from the University of Toronto in 1980 with a Bachelor of Commerce and embarked on a career with Toronto-Dominion. Contemplating marriage, he invited Ms. FAIRBANKS to his engagement party the following year.
"You never know who you are going to meet. Single at the time, I took my girlfriend along -- we had four parties to go to that night," she explains.
Despite attending his wedding and then a dinner to celebrate the birth of his daughter Allison, she lost contact with Mr. PIERCEY after 1984.
"I was in another phase of my life, going out, dancing -- different from an accountant with a family," recalls Ms. FAIRBANKS, who at the time was more coquettish than career-minded, although eventually she would join the Laurentian Bank.
In 1999, Mr. PIERCEY was transferred, with his family, to London as Toronto-Dominion's European finance director. Three years later, he surmised that their high school would celebrate its 75th anniversary and there would be a reunion.
To reconnect, he called Ms. FAIRBANKS's mother's home, where a familiar voice answered: After her mother's death several years before, Ms. FAIRBANKS had inherited the house and the phone number. She was ensconced with a partner at the time, and yet she was receptive. An exchange of increasingly gut-spilling e-mail messages revealed that both were in the midst of tenuous relationships.
By September, when Mr. PIERCEY flew back to Canada for the reunion, the two were unattached. "We danced a few times and were the last couple on the floor." When he returned to London, he notes, "we started to communicate a little more. I remember she'd said there was a cute guy at the gym, and that gave me a wake-up call. I really liked her, so I came back in December. It was a whirlwind situation."
In May, 2003, Ms. FAIRBANKS, who had never married, took leave of her home, dog and job to join him near London, until his tenure was over. "I was never one of those who had a list: six foot, dark and earning so much money. I wanted a nice guy. 'Nice guy' encompasses many things -- a sense of humour, kindness, a good attitude, generous and sweet," she explains.
"It was exciting and gave me new energy after a very difficult period. Barb is attractive, understanding, compassionate and passionate about her Friends," Mr. PIERCEY explains.
On May 6, at the Old Mill, the couple, who are both 48, recited vows before officiant Robert TRIMBLE. Suitably, their first dance together was to I've Got You Under My Skin.
"Gordon is a positive person, always happy, and adores his family. I've often said, 'I wish you were my dad,' Ms. FAIRBANKS laughs.
This is the final Hatch Match Dispatch column. Thanks to everyone who shared their stories with us.

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TEPPERMAN m@ca.on.york_county.toronto.toronto_star 2003-02-15 published
Howard And Heather DAVIDSON, and Howard and Roz ENGLISH are proud to announce the engagement of their children Joanna and Aaron. Also thrilled are siblings Larry and Erin, Steven and Marnie, Nisa and Avi, Shira and Rafi, and Naomi. Ecstatic grandparents are Harold and Bunny DAVIDSON, Lily TEPPERMAN and Dorothy ENGLISH. Joanna is the beloved granddaughter of Morris and Bunny SHOOM of Blessed Memory.

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TERPSTRA m@ca.on.grey_county.artemesia.flesherton.the_flesherton_advance 2007-01-10 published
LINTON / POST -- Engagement
Delbert and Judith LINTON are pleased to announce the engagement of their daughter Angela Eva Christine LINTON to Hendrick Craig POST, son of Janette and Peter TERPSTRA and Craig POST Wedding to take place in September at Playa Pessquero in Holguin, Cuba,
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TERPSTRA m@ca.on.grey_county.artemesia.flesherton.the_flesherton_advance 2007-11-14 published
RIDDELL / TERPSTRA
We would like to thank all of our family and Friends for attending our "surprise" engagement party on October 27, 2007. It was so nice to see everyone talking, laughing and having fun. A special thank you to Patty, the bridal party, and family who worked so hard to make it all happen. It certainly was a party to remember always.
- Janette and Ed.
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