After meeting and falling in love while in college at the University of Florida years earlier, Lauren Arcoleo and Isaac Schamis visited her family in New York over the Christmas holiday. On their way to a romantic dinner, the taxicab suddenly stopped to let them out at the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir in Central Park where Isaac had secretly planned to get down on bended knee. After Lauren happily said yes, she then discovered her photographer brother had captured every moment of the proposal. Isaac had also arranged for a surprise engagement party with loved ones, immediately following.

Initially wanting to marry at an estate in Malibu, even putting a deposit on one in particular, Lauren and Isaac ultimately decided that it wasn’t for them. “After considering the logistics of bringing everything in and getting guests up the canyon, it was starting to become too much work for the both of us who have full-time jobs,” explains the bride. When the couple met with their photographer at a small seaside luxury hotel in Santa Monica, they quickly fell in love with the property. “Thankfully we were able to get our deposit back from the estate and quickly handed it over to Casa Del Mar to secure our date,” shares Lauren. “We loved the idea of having the ceremony on the same beach where we spend so much of our time.” 

Once they settled on their venue, they began to research other areas of the celebration. From flowers to color scheme, they explored every option as a team, and eventually enlisted the aid of Tessa Lyn Events. “I learned how indecisive I am!” admits the bride. “It made me realize that when it comes to making decisions, it is important to take your time and to have a supportive partner you can talk everything out with.” Adds the groom: “We were really trying to make sure the wedding would be a memorable experience not only for us, but also our friends and family.”

For the summer evening ceremony, the bride desired a bold, colorful aesthetic, full of textures, including succulents and pampas grass. “We also wanted a few oceanic elements – such as driftwood – since we were getting married on the beach,” says Lauren. ‘[Our florist] Lilla Bello was able to put everything I liked together and make it feel like one cohesive theme.”

Preceding the bride down the aisle was the ring bearer, Lauren’s nephew. “He was too young to walk, so instead we had him cruise in a remote-control convertible car, driven by my brother!” she smiles. As “Here Comes The Sun” by The Beatles began to play, Lauren appeared. She was a vision in a gorgeous couture lace gown with sleek cutouts. Her bouquet consisted of a vivid mix of coral peonies, fuchsia roses, and light-blue delphinium blooms, as well as eucalyptus, dahlias, and succulents.

Having recently converted to Judaism, Lauren felt it was important to be married by a rabbi under a chuppah for the big day. “We also had Isaac’s dad give the blessing over the wine and challah, something that is traditionally done during the reception but we thought would be special at the ceremony,” reveals the bride of the modified custom. 

The garden-beach theme carried over into the ballroom décor for the evening festivities. Guest tables were covered in light-blue linens and decorated with centerpieces composed of driftwood, succulents, and vibrant florals. Additional blooms and pampas grass lined the stage, while a greenery hedge with a neon-pink “All You Need Is Love” sign served as the backdrop for the photo booth. 

Following a seated dinner, Lauren and her closest friends took to the stage for a surprise performance. The group sang “Take It Easy” by the Eagles as a nod to the bride’s late father. “We sang his favorite song, followed by shots of his favorite drink Jack Daniels and Coke®,” illustrates Lauren. Isaac admits the moment was so moving that everyone began to sing along. “I really felt like he was there watching over me, and it was incredibly special,” confides the bride. 

To keep family and friends energized and on the dance floor, generous slices of wedding cake were served. The five-tiered confection alternated between delicious confetti vanilla and tasty chocolate peanut butter cake. An adorable custom bobblehead topper featured Lauren in her gown, Isaac in his tux with a Florida Gator T-shirt peeking out, and the couple’s Chihuahua puppy Honey.

As planned, dancing continued late into the night due to the dynamic entertainment that the newlyweds arranged. “We paired a DJ with live musicians – a percussionist, violinist, and saxophone player – so we had the songs and energy we wanted mixed with the fun of a band,” explains Isaac. The couple felt so grateful to see their dream day finally come to fruition. “We worked so hard on every detail, and it really was the best weekend of our life!” muses the bride. Isaac confirms: “It was above and beyond even our own expectations.”