It began over pancakes. Sara Hicks and Charles Malone were introduced by friends in 1996 while they were undergraduates at Wake Forest University in North Carolina. They spent their first date getting to know each other over pancakes, and began a courtship that soon became long-distance. In 2002, Charles flew to New York City to visit Sara for what she thought was a Valentine's Day celebration. "It was the most romantic day I've ever had," says Sara, and it ended with Charles proposing after dinner at an elegant restaurant.