When Brett Lacher organized a group of people to share a summer home on New York’s Fire Island, he had no idea that he was about to spend the weekend with his future wife. Though Farrell Rafkin was also from Dallas and living in New York City, it took several degrees of separation to connect the pair. “Farrell was invited to join the house by a coworker, who was invited by her roommate, who was invited by her best friend from college, who was invited by me,” explains Brett. He was mesmerized as soon as he saw her green eyes. It wasn’t long before they were a couple, and four years later Brett once again organized a weekend to the beach destination, this time with Farrell’s closest friends. After a proposal on the beach at sunset, it was revealed that both their families had flown in from Dallas to join the celebration.
“Brett and I are both from Dallas, Texas, so it was only natural for us to get married in our hometown even though we reside in New York City,” explains the bride. They selected a luxurious hotel as the venue, which also provided comfortable accommodations for the many out-of-town guests. The ceremony was filled with personal elements, including Farrell’s childhood rabbi presiding over the service, a branch from a tree planted when she was born displayed within the chuppah, borrowed items from the mother of the bride’s wedding day, and the tallit that belonged to the late grandfather of the groom being wrapped around the couple. “The rabbi did an incredible job capturing and describing our relationship,” Brett shares. Rather than the typical four poles or columns, the pair exchanged vows beneath a chuppah that was suspended from the ceiling. The team from Jackson Durham Events created a dense arrangement of roses, hydrangeas, stock, Casablanca lilies, and orchids in soft hues of ivory, champagne, blush, shell pink, and sand.
After witnessing the pronouncement of husband and wife, guests enjoyed cocktail hour before sitting down for dinner. A statement floral wall showcased the escort cards that led everyone to their seats – where centerpieces continued to make an impression. Though the ceremony was filled with pale blooms, the reception tables featured a bit more color. Long tables were adorned with low crystal vases of white hydrangeas and roses, with cocktail votives in clear and mercury glass scattered between each arrangement. Crystal candelabra elevated on Lucite pedestals added height to the display. The round tables instead had tall glass vases topped with garden and tea roses, along with orchids, hydrangeas, and lilies. Gilt candlesticks held pillar candles aloft and votives brought guests’ eyes down to admire the chic blush linens.
Not wanting to limit the stunning chuppah to the ceremony, the wedding cake was displayed below the lavish arrangement of flowers. The five-layered confection was frosted in pale pink and featured rose gold peonies stenciled on the tiers to mirror the lining of the envelopes in the invitation suite. Fresh blossoms also topped the dessert, and guests were offered “to-go” boxes with another slice to take home as their wedding favor.
The band had everyone on the custom rose gold dance floor, from young cousins to grandparents. “I felt like I could have kept dancing until the sun came up,” Brett notes. The night instead came to an end at 12:30 a.m., with a nod to the bride’s maternal family. They originally come from New Orleans, so a “second line” was created for the grand exit. The lively band led everyone to create a tunnel of sparklers as the newlyweds walked through.
Though neither the bride nor the groom would have done anything differently, Farrell does wish there was a way to slow time. She encourages couples planning their own celebration to enjoy it all – from the proposal to the finale – because everything goes by so quickly. She exclaims, “Everyone we love the most in the same room at the same time made it the best night of my life!”