Jennifer Berger and Michael Weller
Jennifer Berger had found her perfect man: Michael Weller. The two had been inseparable for the past seven years, and lived together in Carmel. Everything was wonderful...
He just didn’t want to get married.
The two had met in 2005, when Jennifer was 23 and Michael 26. Although they’d attended rival high schools—she Walter Panas High School, and he Lakeland High School—they never crossed paths until they both visited in New Orleans. She was there to celebrate her girlfriend’s 25th birthday; he for a bachelor party.
“My girlfriends and I were standing in line for a trolley ride, and he and his friends were behind us,” Jennifer recalls. “He asked if we were from New York, and we realized we lived fifteen minutes from each other. We fell in love that weekend. It was instant. I told my girlfriend, ‘I’m going to marry him.’
They fell in love but had to overcome their differences.
“I come from a very religious family, and my parents have been together for thirty-eight years. Mike comes from a divorced family,” Jennifer says. “He had no problem being committed to me, but just didn’t want to get married.” She did. It became a sore subject. She stopped bringing up the topic of marriage completely.
“It came to a point where I just gave up,” said Jennifer. “I had no doubt he wanted to be committed to me forever, but I thought, ‘Maybe I’m just not meant to be married.’”
Fast forward to February 2012. Jennifer had just celebrated her 30th birthday, and her sister-in-law told her she would be taking her to a local spa for some birthday pampering. When her sister-in-law met her there, she told Jennifer she had to return some Tiffany & Co. champagne glasses that she and Jennifer’s brother had received as wedding gifts. After the two entered the store, the saleswoman asked how she could help, and they said they needed to make a return.
“The sales rep said no problem and then asked me if I would mind sitting in a private room while she processed my sister-in-law’s return,” Jennifer says. “I said, ‘Sure.’ The saleswoman opened a sliding door to a private office and then quickly shut the door behind me. I only had a moment to view the room: Champagne on ice, strawberries on a platter, and white roses—dyed Tiffany blue. Then I felt hands on my shoulders. I turned around to find Mike, standing in front of me. He got down on one knee. I choked back tears, and of course said yes!”
“Would you like to see your ring?” Michael asked her, Jennifer nodded, Michael slid the office door open. Standing in a tuxedo, holding her ring in a box set on a pillow, was her father.
“Then my whole family came cheering in,” Jennifer says. “I cried and cried.”
But since Michael had never wanted marriage, the two had never even discussed ring styles. So he had a solution up his sleeve—he made an arrangement with Tiffany, where he pre-selected five different options to customize Jennifer’s engagement ring, and she could choose her favorite right on the spot.
At lunch with both families at The Castle in Tarrytown that day, Michael handed Jennifer a mini backpack with a Disney princess on it—packed with all her favorite snacks and some bridal magazines. At the bottom of the bag? Two tickets to California for that evening. The two flew to Disneyland for a romantic weekend.
“Mike told me the whole day was princess-themed because I am his princess,” she says, and adds, “We must never give up, especially on love.”
The two plan to wed in December 2013, plan to invite about 120 people, and have their sights set on Hollowbook Country Club in Cortlandt Manor.