By Dan Snierson
Updated February 21, 2013 at 08:21 PM EST
Parks And Recreation
Credit: NBC

One of the great sitcom romances on TV today is at the heart of tonight’s special episode of Parks and Recreation: Ben Wyatt (Adam Scott), that pragmatic-yet-thoughtful nerd, and Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler), our Optimist Prime, follow a gut feeling and try to join together as a legally wedded couple at an already-in-progress fundraising gala, months before their planned nuptials.

“This is the culmination of a three season-long romance that has had a lot of different phases,” executive producer Michael Schur tells EW. “They started off hating each other and then they grew to respect each other, then they fell in love and were kept apart, and then they got together. They’ve had a pretty wild ride… The point of the episode is their vows — the things they say to each other at the moment that they’re actually getting married. It’s the summation of their entire relationship, and that to me is probably the most important moment of the entire series.… It was very rewarding to write it, to see it performed and to edit it, and I hope it’s as rewarding for fans of the show to watch it.” And now, if there are no objections, Schur will give away ten hints about “Leslie and Ben,” which airs at 8:30 p.m. on NBC. (A second Parks episode, directed by Nick Offerman, follows at 9 p.m.)

1. “Leslie loves planning events. That’s her bread and butter. And there is something exciting to her about the basic challenge of: ‘Can I pull off this thing that is the most important thing that I’ll ever do in two hours?’ She has the feeling early on that this is destiny, that she’s reading the signs. She feels like this is it for her, so when she gets that feeling, there’s no slowing her down. Ben feels the same way.”

2. “Of the many guests at the wedding, one of them is a very special visitor from Leslie’s past who she thought she would never see again… It’s one of the most surreal images we’ve ever done on the show.”

3. “The quest for wedding rings plays a big role in the episode. If you want to learn where they actually came from, make sure to watch the tag.”

4. “There’s a lot of obstacles to overcome in order to plan a wedding in two hours, and the one that they didn’t count on was the intervention of a drunk Councilman Jeremy Jam (Jon Glaser). It’s my favorite Jam moment of all — and there are many for me personally.”

5. “Tom’s (Aziz Ansari) role is to be the officiant, and he really sees it as his chance to shine, which may or may not include a large number of quotes from the movie Hitch.”

6. “Jerry (Jim O’Heir) gets so excited he pees his pants. That actually happens.”

7. “In the 8:30 episode, Andy (Chris Pratt) gets the very bad news about his professional life. And in the 9:00 episode, still reeling, a new path opens to him.”

8. “Something happens at the wedding that gets Ron (Offerman) gets so worked up, law enforcement officials have to get involved.”

9. “For the first time, the show will feature Retta’s real professionally trained operatic singing voice. [As Donna], she gets to sing two different songs — and in two very different styles.”

10. “If you were not previously already in love with Rob Lowe, wait till you see him in a tuxedo and perfectly-combed Cary Grant hair. It’s insane.”

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