She fell down, then fell in love


Jennifer Hagey And Michael Tamberino

April 16, 2000|By Joanne E. Morvay | Joanne E. Morvay,Special to the Sun

Walking out of a crowded Towson pub, Jennifer Hagey was inadvertently tripped and landed at Michael Tamberino's feet. Jennifer had no idea she'd just met her future husband.

She might have taken a clue from family history. Jennifer's maternal grandparents were introduced in the same fashion in 1938 when her grandmother Jennie tripped at a wedding reception and Matthew Giordana helped her to her feet.

On the summer evening in 1996 when Jennifer and Michael met, Michael helped her up and said, "You're cute. Can I take you to dinner?" She gave him her telephone number. And then he didn't call. That was fine with Jennifer. She had plenty going on in her life.

A 1995 graduate of Washington College in Chestertown, Jennifer was working full time for a local real estate company and in addition was a live-in nanny for a family in Towson.

Michael, who had graduated that May from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Ala., was enjoying a summer vacation before looking for a "real" job, and living at his family's home in Lutherville.

As summer turned to fall, Jennifer and Michael often passed in Towson nightspots. Many of their friends were acquainted, but the couple didn't know each other beyond that first introduction.

That fall, Michael was hired as the mid-Atlantic sales representative for BDP International Inc., an import-export firm based in Philadelphia. A month later, Jennifer was having dinner with someone they both knew when Michael stopped to say hello. Hearing that Jennifer had won tickets to the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra through a radio station contest, he talked her into letting him escort her.

The couple began the evening with dinner in Little Italy -- Michael's treat. After the concert, they talked and found they shared values and interests. Both have tight-knit Italian families with whom they enjoy spending time. Both like outdoor sports such as skiing and boating. And both are known among their friends for their fun-loving nature and blunt manner.

("She does sugar-coat things a little better than I do," Michael says. "But only a little," Jennifer admits.)

That night, when Jennifer razzed Michael for not calling her after their initial meeting, he had an explanation.

It was his summer to have fun before settling down, and he wasn't ready for a serious relationship, he said. And he knew from their first encounter that "she was the 'one.' "

Returning home from their third date, they found an abandoned dog on the side of the road and decided to adopt it. Jennifer often joked that if they broke up, Michael would always have a dog to remember her by. Within six months, though, she knew Michael was the "one" for her as well.

In 1997, Jennifer was hired as a regional sales representative for Wyeth-Ayerst Pharmaceuticals. She stopped working for the real estate company and as a nanny, and got an apartment of her own. That December, Michael bought a home in Perry Hall.

Last June, Michael surprised Jennifer by proposing in front of family and friends as well as the rest of the audience at a downtown Baltimore comedy club.

On April 8, Jennifer, 27, and Michael, 26, were married in the chapel at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Hydes. The 150 guests included Jennifer's parents, Mary Catherine Hagey of Baldwin and Henry Hagey, also of Baldwin, along with Michael's parents, Anthony and Sharon Tamberino of Rocky Point.

It was the bride's birthday -- another family tradition, begun by Jennifer's paternal grandmother, Margaret Hagey, who married on her birthday. The 90-year-old, who attended the wedding, believes her birthday wedding brought her love and luck.

At their reception at the Grand Lodge of Maryland at Bonnie Blink in Hunt Valley, Jennifer and Michael honored another couple whose love has inspired them. The newlyweds presented the bridal bouquet to the longest-married couple in the room: Michael's grandparents, Wilfred and Katherine Johnson, wed for 63 years and counting.

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