LIZZIE + NATAS
I was living in NY, where I was born and raised. A close friend called to ask if he could put me in touch with his friend, Natas. He was coming to NYC en route to France and needed a place to stay. I was the Creative Director for a hotel group. We started emailing. Natas was really sweet and quiet from the start. He seemed different. When he got to NY, he called to ask me out for drinks, but I didn’t call him back, so he sat at the bar at Balthazar and drew me a thank you postcard of the view from his room and popped it in the mailbox. When it arrived a few days later I liked it so much I sent him a thank you note in return. After more exchanges, he invited me to go with him to Tavarua, a Fijian island, to celebrate Thanksgiving. I don’t surf but I did accept, which is wildly out of character. We went back and forth with postcards and texts and calls for two months until we met in person. It was love. Natas is really unusual. He’s the perfect combination of an introspective artist who still enjoys a rollicking dinner party.
Early on, Natas was on a surfing trip, where he didn't think he'd have cell reception. One night, I got a text from him that the boat was taking on water, the captain was ridiculous, they were reefed, and there was a ghost ship next to them. As a city girl and fan of Greek mythology, I clearly thought this was the end. I sent him a series of XOXO texts and then ‘I love you,’ which I think he pretended he didn’t get.
Eventually, I moved out West, and the process of remodeling our house naturally brought up the idea of marriage. He was never as enthusiastic about it as I was. It wasn't that he was against it; it just didn’t seem to mean the same thing to him as it did to me.
I was surprised, then, to discover he had been planning the engagement on his own. He had gone to our dear friend Irene Neuwirth, and she designed the ring, which he deemed perfect and I deemed beyond perfect. He proposed on our annual Thanksgiving trip. We were so excited and inspired that we got blessed and married by the Chief of the island a few days later in a tiny sunset ceremony.
Our NYC wedding was at Tribeca Rooftop. We knew the cast of characters would be the stars of the show- our combined groups of friends have so much personality- and wanted a room that held us all, but didn’t dictate a mood.
That morning, we did what we always do: sat around the kitchen of my family’s house in Cobble Hill and talked, and drank coffee. Cousins, aunts, and uncles came in and out. Natas rode his bike over the Brooklyn Bridge and picked up his suit from Seize Sur Vingt on Elizabeth St., then met friends at 60 Thompson. My mom and sister and I got dressed at Tribeca Rooftop and had champagne. We were married by our family friend, a judge, so it felt very personal. My dad walked me down the aisle. We had a string quartet playing.
At the reception, we had oysters and a sushi bar with a cocktail hour, then a formal sit down dinner - steak, salmon, and spring veggies. We had a cake of course, but I never even tasted it. I was so excited. There was dancing. I was so strange about the music, and I am not a wedding dancer at all, so I wanted to skip it, but my dad had taken dance lessons, so how could I? We had a big, elaborate trip to Italy planned for the honeymoon. Unfortunately, our oldest dog, Bonnie, got sick, so instead, we took a “mini-moon” with both our dogs -— an extended road trip up the California coast to Big Sur and Carmel, crossing things off Bonnie’s bucket list and just reveling in being a pack. We had her with us for the next four years! So lucky.