Countdown to Bliss

Jonathan Doft and Melissa Kazanowski

Met: April 8, 2004 Engaged: April 8, 2005 Projected Wedding Date: April 1, 2006

Melissa Kazanowski, 27, valedictorian of her medical-school class at N.Y.U. and a plastic surgeon, plans to marry Jonathan Doft, 35, a director of his family’s eponymous investment company, at the Pierre hotel. She’ll be wearing a “simple, elegant dress,” Ms. Kazanowski said, “not something that really says ‘ Bride magazine,'” and a brand-new tummy tuck-kidding!

Mr. Doft, a part-time yenta, had successfully set up a female cousin with a friend from the University of Pennsylvania. At their wedding, the father of the groom suggested that Mr. Doft ask out one of his cousins: Ms. Kazanowski, a 5-foot-7 gamine brunette. There was one hitch: She had just been accepted into the prestigious plastic-surgery residency at the University of California, San Francisco.

Still, the tall, slim, dark-haired Mr. Doft arranged a date at his favorite restaurant, Five Points in Noho, turning up in his customary uniform of dark Armani jeans and a button-down shirt. “He’s very polished-looking,” Ms. Kazanowski said. She looked pretty fine herself, all in black except for a new dark orange Alvin Valley coat. “Sparkly eyes and sparkly smile,” Mr. Doft said.

After dinner, they went on a bit of a bender downtown, including stops at the Merc Bar and Von. “I usually go home by 9 or 10,” Ms. Kazanowski said demurely. “This was very unusual for me.”

A few days later, she flew to San Fran to scout apartments with her mother. “I’ve never seen you act so giddy around someone before,” commented Mama, after witnessing some of her daughter’s giggly phone conversations with Mr. Doft.

Upon her return, Ms. Kazanowski (a simple country mouse from Athol, Mass.) brought a loaf of zucchini bread to Mr. Doft’s parents, who live on the Upper East Side. “This completely won them over,” she said. “Home cooking in New York definitely works well.”

The smitten Mr. Doft planned a series of surprise weekend vacations for the two of them: New Orleans, Charleston, Monarch Beach, Calif., keeping the destination from Ms. Kazanowski until they’d reached the airport gate. “He’s unbelievably generous,” she gushed. “She likes to have fun,” Mr. Doft said of the hard-working doctor, “which was surprising.”

Since his girlfriend’s tragic move to San Francisco, Mr. Doft has been dipping into a lifetime stash of frequent-flyer miles, preferring to jet out West on Friday evenings so that, by 10:30 p.m. Pacific Standard Time, the two lovers are sitting at Delfina, an Italian restaurant in the Mission. “She may not have slept in days,” he said, “but we force ourselves to stay up because we have so little time together.”

Last winter, Ms. Kazanowski made the wise decision to transfer to the Columbia-Cornell residency program in New York, and will move into Mr. Doft’s apartment on 16th Street and Fifth Avenue. The couple celebrated their first anniversary with a bottle of Shirvington Shiraz at the Highlands Inn in charming Carmel, where Mr. Doft put on the Bruce Springsteen song “My Love Will Not Let You Down” (Mr. Doft is mildly obsessed with the Boss, having seen him in concert “umpteen zillion times”). “How would you like to spend all future April 8ths with me?” he asked, driving home his point with an Asscher-cut diamond flanked by two baguettes and set in platinum. “How about all the other days?”

Ms. Kazanowski put aside her steely clinician’s reserve for a moment and simply melted. “I was a science major,” she said. “I was very logical-to allow emotions into the picture was not my thing. I didn’t think that I would ever react so quickly to someone, and so fully.”

Andrea Reddy and Santiago Ferrer

Met: November 2003 Engaged: Dec. 3, 2004 Wedding: Dec. 30, 2005

During her childhood, Andrea Reddy’s family moved several times (Dad was an orthodontist in the Army), making stops in Germany, Colorado, North Carolina and Kentucky. Ms. Reddy attended Miami College in Ohio, but quickly grew fed up with the Rust Belt and boarded a plane for New York with a bunch of close friends. Together, they rented a two-bedroom in Park Slope as a sort of big-city crash pad. “I was looking to escape my previous life,” said Ms. Reddy, 24, a shimmery blonde.

She met her gypsy soulmate, a shaggy-haired Australian named Santiago Ferrer, in the now-defunct bar Ike. It was the birthday party of a man named-we kid you not-Mike Tits. Mr. Ferrer had lived in Spain, Uruguay and Canada (Dad was an ambassador) before getting a job as an associate officer at the United Nations in this, the most international city in the world. He was apparently a bit of a shape-shifter. “I thought there were, like, eight Australians in the bar that night,” Ms. Reddy said. ( Hic!) “At first, he tried to give me his card. I was like, ‘No, no, no, no, no-if you want to hang out, give me your number.’ He gave it to me, even though Mike Tits was passed out in my lap.”

Two weeks later, the couple was dining at Suba, a Spanish restaurant on the Lower East Side. A month after that, they were eating fried Mars bars on an impulsive trip to Edinburgh, Scotland. That’s where the besotted Mr. Ferrer, 24, first proposed. “I was drunk,” he said.

“I was like, ‘Not yet-not without the ring,'” Ms. Reddy added.

A few weeks later, Mr. Ferrer drunkenly proposed again … then again. After Rejection No. 3, the couple went window-shopping at Tiffany, but felt intimidated. “We’re so young and so stupid to spend ridiculous amounts of money on a ring when it doesn’t really matter to either of us,” Ms. Reddy said. Together, they chose a single-carat diamond ring from Bloomie’s, with 12 round-cut diamonds forming up a flat square. “I really like that it’s flat,” Mr. Ferrer said, expressing concern that if the gem protruded, his fiancée might lose it.

Sober at last, he presented Ms. Reddy with the ring on the bridge overlooking Wollman Rink in Central Park. “You make me the happiest person on Earth,” Mr. Ferrer told her. “I don’t want to spend a day without you. Will you marry me?'” (Later, he dismissed these words as “corny.”)

They have rented a one-bedroom penthouse duplex with a terrace overlooking the Peculiar Pub in the West Village (how convenient) and are to be married before 100 people at a Hyatt Hotel on the island of Kauai, Hawaii. Ms. Reddy, a graphic designer at Robert Siegel Architects, has designed invitations to resemble airplane tickets. “It just seemed cruel,” she said, “to make all these Australians and Uruguayans come out to Ohio.”

-Daisy Carrington

Born Yesterday

Cade Logan Curran Stow

March 3, 2005 12:59 am 7 pounds At home (East Village)

Glub, glub! Asha Curran delivered her fair-skinned, light-brown-haired second-born in an inflatable blue birthing tub decorated with a fish pattern in the kitchen of her apartment on 13th Street and Avenue A, under the supervision of a midwife and a doula. “It’s just a really nice way for them to be born,” said Ms. Curran, 31, herself a labor-support doula and program associate at the 92nd Street Y. “They’re very peaceful-they look around, they don’t cry.” It’s nicer for Mom, too, as Ms. Curran well knows (Cade’s sister, 3 1¼2-year-old Willa, arrived via Caesarean). Dad is Jonathan Stow, Ms. Curran’s husband of seven years, a project manager at a woodworking company who is thoroughly delighted with his latest undertaking. “He makes a sound like harrrrooom when he’s about to yawn,” marveled Mr. Stow, 34, who dutifully washed out the tub post-birth so that Willa could splash around, kiddie-pool style.

Countdown to Bliss