The journey to the altar starts with one life-changing meet-and-greet

Well Versed in Romance

Meridith Rohana, 36, and Justin Marks, 31

How they met: Real life can be stranger than fiction, especially when you’re majoring in the latter at New York’s New School. It was there that Meridith crossed paths with Justin at a poetry reading in November 2003.

Their dating days: Literature ruled their relationship, so it was poetic justice that things really clicked for Meridith when Justin recited Denis Johnson’s poem "Sway" to her over the din of a book party. After a year of dating, the pair received their degrees, landed good jobs and began thinking about a future together.

The proposal: No formal "Will you marry me?" here, nor an engagement ring (Meridith finds it an antiquated tradition). Instead, the couple put their energy into planning nuptials that would suit their simple, academic style.

The wedding: Guided by 10-page programs written by Meridith and Justin, guests watched the couple’s candlelit exchange of vows in November 2005 at the National Arts Club, a historic 19th-century mansion where the Poetry Society of America used to meet.