Vanessa & Robert: Coming Soon in 2020

Vanessa and Robert celebrating shortly before getting engaged in New York, New York.

Vanessa and Robert met in New York City during the summer of 2009 while working at Davis Polk & Wardwell, one of NYC's preeminent law firms. Vanessa was a summer intern prior to starting her first year of law school at Columbia, and Robert was a summer associate who was going into his final year of law school at Harvard. Throughout the summer, they would see each other around the firm, but it wasn’t until one afternoon when Robert knocked on Vanessa's cubicle to introduce himself that they actually spoke for the first time. Vanessa recalls immediately recognizing that she had just met someone incredibly special – reserved, yet confident, and clearly one of the most intelligent people she had ever met. Robert was drawn by Vanessa's inviting smile, cheerful demeanor and witty sense of humor. They were friendly to one another throughout the summer, but their interactions remained professional. At the end of the summer, Robert returned to Cambridge, MA to finish his law degree at Harvard and Vanessa moved to Harlem, NYC to be close to Columbia's campus in Manhattan. Over the next few years they would occasionally check-in with one another over email, run into each other in Harlem (where coincidentally they ended-up living just one block away from each other) and bump into each other at the neighborhood gym, where they were often working out at the same time. By late 2010, Robert was working as a full-time lawyer at Davis Polk, while Vanessa had made plans to start her career at another law firm.

But, as fate would have it, shortly before Vanessa was to begin her career at the other firm, an executive from Davis Polk offered her a position as a lawyer there. She started in the fall of 2012 and that's when Robert and Vanessa's long-budding romance began in earnest. It started slowly – stopping by each other’s office every now and then, which quickly turned into a daily occurrence, and jointly taking afternoon reprieves from the rigors of work by going to the gym together. Their first real date – dinner at a NYC hot-spot called Buddakan, where, admittedly, Robert was trying to impress Vanessa with the restaurant's beautiful decor and "cool-kids" vibe. Their chemistry was undeniable and, despite working grueling hours most days, they would forego sleep for the opportunity to spend free time together – cooking, talking and laughing late into the night. They fell in love and after a year of dating, they moved in together and ultimately purchased a condo in the heart of Harlem, where they currently live together with their adorable 8-year old beagle, Quincy.

From an outsider's perspective, Vanessa and Robert may seem different than one another. Vanessa is outwardly playful and chatty, while Robert is measured and pensive. But their distinct personalities blend seamlessly, allowing them to often banter about everything from sports or reality TV, to substantive legal matters they may be working on or, one of their favorite pastimes, engaging in philosophical discussions about random topics, during which one of them inevitably proclaims to have solved one of life’s longstanding mysteries. It’s not unusual to find Vanessa dancing and singing around the house. While Robert doesn’t often join in, some of Vanessa’s favorite moments are when she catches him watching her, always with a smile on his face. They admire each other’s quirks, respect each other’s personal needs and have grown together in a partnership that is founded on a desire to make each other happy.

On September 8, 2018, Vanessa woke up to get ready for a day out with her mom and sister (or so she thought). She met up with them at a spa in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan and, after a morning of pampering, they set out for a brief walk around the neighborhood, stopping to grab a cup of coffee (because, unbeknownst to Vanessa, Robert needed a bit more time to set up), before looking to find a restaurant to grab a bite to eat. While walking, Vanessa’s sister had casually (and quite inconspicuously) led them to Buddakan. Vanessa had doubts that the restaurant would be open so early in the day, but the three nonetheless walked in. The restaurant was quiet and empty, except for two women waiting at the hostess stand. Vanessa’s sister pretended to ask for a table for three, but at the same moment, Vanessa turned her head and saw Robert, surrounded by flowers and candles, standing next to the table where they had their first date years earlier. In complete shock, Vanessa walked over to Robert. As he grabbed her hands and began confessing his love for her, Vanessa saw her dad step out from around the corner. She remembers thinking – 'to have included my family in such a special moment, he’s perfect.' As Vanessa’s tears flowed and both of their hearts beat out of their chests, Robert got down on one knee and asked Vanessa to marry him. She said ‘yes’ and they're now excited to be planning a wedding and looking forward to spending their lives together.

Vanessa was born and raised in White Plains, NY. She is the youngest of three children and is incredibly close to her family. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Duke University, having majored in economics and received a minor in Spanish, and earned her law degree from Columbia Law School. She is currently in her seventh year as a lawyer at Davis Polk, focusing her practice on corporate finance.

Robert was born and raised in Las Vegas, NV. He attended Cimarron-Memorial High School in Northwest Las Vegas, before earning his bachelor’s degree from UNLV and his law degree from Harvard Law School. He is currently a lawyer for The Blackstone Group, a private equity firm.

Their wedding will take place in Las Vegas during the Spring of 2020.



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