In the fall of 2008, Lauren Abramson joined her boyfriend, Matthew Mirman, at a wine-tasting class – and unbeknownst to her, Matt had planned a romantic surprise. “When we walked into the [winery], I saw rose petals and candles, and music was playing,” describes Lauren. “Then Matt walked me down an aisle and got down on one knee.” Much to Lauren’s delight, Matt had planned for both of their families to witness the proposal. “Our families were waiting in another room, watching it all unfold on a television monitor,” she says.

The couple set out to find a venue in New York City large enough to accommodate their 340 guests, which Lauren admits was not an easy task. The pair eventually chose a Fifth Avenue venue with a view of Central Park that was known for its classic and elegant ambiance. “Knowing that it was a well-known site that had been in business a long time was a comfort to us,” confides the bride. Lauren and Matt really wanted their affair to exemplify two things: luxury and a great party for all. With those concepts in mind, Lauren chose a timeless all-white color scheme with special details to make things out of the ordinary and fun. A dramatic chuppah fashioned from floral arches featured candles and a beautifully framed photograph of the groom’s late parents. “The image of Matt’s mom and dad allowed us to feel as if they were part of the ceremony, even though they are not with us,” shares Lauren.

Each bridesmaid held an all-white bouquet composed of a single variety of flower – a different variety for each maid – while the honor attendants carried arrangements that combined all of the blossoms. The bride fondly recalls her Maltese, Bailey, unleashing a bark as she descended down the aisle. “He was dressed in a crocheted yarmulke and bowtie, and was too shy to make it down the aisle [without barking]; however, he remained quiet during the vow exchange,” she says.

Attendees were served a French-themed dinner in the Grand Ballroom of the hotel, where stunning chandeliers, framed mirrors, and handsome draping from towering doorframes made for a regal setting. The beautifully designed wedding cake featured a piped design of delicate lace and six gorgeous tiers cascading with sugar flowers.

Centerpieces consisted of one of three alternating arrangements filled with white hydrangeas, roses, orchids, and calla lilies. “We tried to make them interesting by varying the shapes of the centerpieces and style of the vases,” says Lauren. “The arrangements were full and airy, which added some interest and drama, and we had huge floral canopies suspended above the dance floor.”

In lieu of traditional favors, the couple opted to make a donation to the Cure Breast Cancer Foundation, a charity that Lauren’s sister founded and to which the Abramson family remains dedicated. “It was a really meaningful element of our day,” confides the bride. When the reception concluded, guests danced until the wee hours of the morning in an after-party area. Although a sports injury threatened to sideline the groom before the big day, every aspect of the wedding turned out beautifully. “The only thing I would do differently would be to not play basketball right before the wedding!” Matt says. “In the end, however, our wedding day still ended up exactly as I had imagined.”