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Jewish Journal

When the Third Time’s the Charm

by Keren Engelberg

April 10, 2003 | 8:00 pm

It took Marc Zoolman and Asya Sedler some seven years and three proposal attempts to get to the alter. The love was always there, but their timing was another matter.

The two first met through a mutual friend about nine years ago. "I was attending University of Judaism [UJ], and a friend of mine knew Marc," said Sedler, the daughter of Ida and Leonid Sedler of Valley Village.

"We were friends for two years first," said Zoolman, the son of the late Yvonne and Herbert Zoolman of Woodland Hills. "A few months after she broke up with her boyfriend, we started going out."

Sedler, 27, was raised in the former Soviet Union and moved to Los Angeles with her family when she was 16. She has an undergraduate degree in finance from UJ and is a manager in the media department at Ronco Inventions, the company started by Ron Popeil, well-known inventor and "infomercial king."

Zoolman, 32, grew up in Woodland Hills and was bar mitzvahed at Temple Aliyah. He plans to graduate from CSUN with a bachelor's degree in marketing this May. He is a marketing assistant at Pharmavite, a vitamin supplement company, and plans to continue there after he graduates.

"Once we started getting to know each other better, we realized we had a lot in common -- like travel," Sedler added.

In passing, she'd once mentioned a desire to go to Italy.

"He gave me a Fodor's guide to Italy," she said. "That was the first hint that I got that he liked me."

That was seven years ago. The couple was engaged on Nov. 23, 2002. "Actually," Zoolman said, "that was the second time I proposed. I proposed the first time four years ago. She said maybe. She wanted me to finish school."

"I asked him if he wanted the ring back, but he asked me to hold onto it," Sedler said.

Then, this past summer, it was Sedler's turn to pop the question. Or so she thought.

"I almost proposed to Marc the summer before, but it didn't work out," Sedler said.

On a trip to England, the two stopped over in Paris to visit some of Zoolman 's relatives.

"I wanted to propose at the top of the Eiffel Tower," Sedler said.

But the trip's focus on spending time with the relatives meant they never got to the Eiffel Tower, nor to the proposal.

Things finally came together for Zoolman and Sedler this past November. Zoolman was the best man at his friend's wedding. When Sedler caught the bouquet and Zoolman caught the garter belt, it seemed like more than just a freak occurrence to the two of them.

"It was a sign, a definite sign," Sedler said.

Zoolman, now just a few months from earning his degree, felt the same.

"The heavens were aligned," he said.

The two of them talked it over again, and Zoolman asked for the ring back to have it cleaned.

Dining at their favorite restaurant, La Cachette, for their anniversary a month later, they ordered their usual favorite dessert, chocolate soufflé. This time, however, Zoolman wasn't eating it and Sedler was suspicious.

"So I'm eating it carefully," Sedler said with a laugh. She thought perhaps Zoolman had told the restaurant to put the ring in the soufflé. In truth, he was just too nervous to eat. 

"He looked really red," Sedler said. "I asked, 'Are you not feeling well?' So he dropped to one knee."

"And she said yes," Zoolman said.

She added, "and then he ate the soufflé."

Sedler and Zoolman will be married on July 20, 2003 at Sinai Temple in Los Angeles. Rabbi David Wolpe will perform the ceremony. They plan to honeymoon in Italy this summer, with Fodor's travel guide in hand.  

Say hello to The Jewish Journal's new celebrations section.

Due to the vast number of b'nai mitzvah, wedding, anniversary and birth announcements we receive, The Journal will now publish all of our readers' celebration announcements immediately on our Web site. We will unveil our celebrations Web page (part of www.jewishjournal.com) in a few weeks. You will be able to upload your announcements and photos onto the site, and send your best wishes and mazel tovs by e-mail directly to the person who is celebrating. We will run monthly expanded profiles in The Journal (like this one) on selected births, b'nai mitzvah, anniversaries and engagements, and a complete and up-to-date list will always be available at jewishjournal.com. We hope you, your synagogue or your family will keep us in touch with all your simchas through the Web (or by snail mail if absolutely necessary), so that we can celebrate with you and the entire community of 200,000 Jewish Journal readers each week. And mazel tov!

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