Fittingly, designer Marysia Dobrzanska Reeves and Nathaniel Reeves, her husband and business partner on her luxury resortwear brand (she does the designing and he handles all of the behind the scenes), met at a surf shop in Dewey Beach, Delaware called East of Maui. “I went into the shop to buy a surfboard and an employee—Nathaniel—told me I needed a lesson,” remembers Marysia. “The rest was history!”
They didn’t date though. “We met. We surfed together a little, but then I immediately had to go off to college,” remembers Marysia. “I didn’t see him for three years because I was in school [at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandise in California].” A few years later, Marysia took a spring break trip to Miami with friends during her senior year of college, and Nathaniel came to see her. Three days later he proposed!
The two wanted to get married at the local church in Rehoboth, Delaware, near where they first met and where Nathaniel’s family has a beach house. “We chose St. Edmonds for the ceremony and decided on our family’s beach house for the reception,” says Marysia. “I wanted something very simple and chic. We had about 135 people in attendance, and I used a photo from Martha Stewart magazine as an inspiration image. I planned the wedding myself, and we had peonies on the table, a white checkered floor, and candlelight to set the mood.”
Wedding dress shopping was a little more intense. “I was young so I was talked into the first dress that I tried on at Kleinfelds in New York City,” says Marysia. “It was way too big, it practically fell off the day before the wedding. So, my aunt sewed on beaded straps to match. She saved the day big time! I wore simple diamond dangly earrings, a diamond tennis bracelet, and Giuseppe Zanotti embellished fish bone sandals. My ‘something blue’ was a garter. My mom had a salon so I went there beforehand and got eyelash extensions, a little makeover, and had the stylist give me a simple ballerina bun.”
Marysia’s bridesmaids wore custom dresses from a design studio in New York called Thread and pearl sandals.
The flowers girls were dressed as ballerinas, a nod to Marysia’s time studying ballet, with little leotards, pink fluffy tutus that Marysia’s aunt made, and slippers. Nathaniel wore a kilt in his family’s tartan plaid, a as a tribute to his Scottish heritage.
After the short version of a traditional Catholic ceremony, complete with a lovely reading in French by the bride’s sister-in-law, guests moved into a big white tent for the reception.
“We had a sushi chef who was Nathaniel’s friend making rolls, and we served mojitos and sangria to our guests. We had a DJ, but he was so awful. We gave him a list of artists and song recommendations we’d received from the whole family, but he didn’t play anything we asked him too. Once we heard ‘Lady Marmalade’ and ‘Voulez-Vous Coucher Avec Moi Ce Soir,’ we realized he wasn’t going to play what we wanted so we let it go and still ended up dancing the night away.”
The newlyweds made their debut on the dance floor to Norah Jones’s “Come Away With Me”—“the only song the DJ played that we asked for,” laughs Marysia. Late night, the party kept going. “We had an after-party at a hotel on the ocean with oysters and vodka—Polish style . . . a tribute to my heritage,” remembers Marysia. “We stayed up until the sun came up, dancing into the morning.”