“I had long hair, so I doubt she was into me,” Joshua explains as to why it took five years for him and Lauren to go on a first date. “We reconnected in 2014, and I had shaved my head, so she gave me a shot,” he jokes. Once they went out together it was clear there was something special between them – they talked for four hours until the restaurant closed – and about two years later they returned to the same spot on Lauren’s birthday. Though she was irritated that her sweetheart had a meeting scheduled, she still dressed up and met him at the site of their first date. She was led to a private room with flowers everywhere and balloons that spelled out “Marry me?” Josh was already down on one knee in the center of a heart formed with rose petals. “It was the best birthday I could have ever dreamed,” Lauren gushes.

The couple knew they wanted a destination wedding, but didn’t want to put anyone at risk of the Zika virus, which was at a high point. Thus, Southern California looked to be the perfect location for the New Yorkers to tie the knot. International Event Company helped to put together an extravagant, yet personal, wedding weekend for the couple. The festivities started on Thursday, with a relaxed welcome party followed by a white-themed rehearsal dinner the next night that included carnival games, performers, and treats. And each day featured a new goodie bag of favors in the hotel rooms of the guests, which attendees thought were fun surprises.

Finally the main event arrived. Just after sunset, in accordance to Jewish custom, the bride walked down the aisle with her parents at her side. She stunned onlookers in a gown with long illusion sleeves and three-dimensional floral details. A treasured sapphire ring of her grandmother was her “something blue.” Lauren and Josh exchanged vows underneath a lush chuppah filled with white blooms, featuring the tallit from the father of the groom’s bar mitzvah. The couple decided to forgo a full bridal party, instead choosing to have Lauren’s sister serve as matron of honor while Josh’s brother was the best man. “It was so intimate and magical,” affirms the bride.

The reception blended classic elegance with contemporary playfulness. Guests found their seating assignments on a large wall created by Revelry Event Designers that had every guest’s name inside a different colored heart. This matched the backdrop of neon lights behind the band and complemented the graffiti-style dance floor that read “Josh loves Lauren.” Meanwhile, the dinner space was awash with ivory – from the roses suspended overhead to the luxurious seating in a variety of styles. No two corners of the room looked alike: there were circle, serpentine, and square tables each with a different centerpiece. Elements of the arrangements included candles, hydrangeas, and orchids – all in a vanilla hue. Instead of using linens, the bride and groom got creative with the tablescapes. The circular tables had flowers below, in addition to the centerpieces on top.

After a rousing performance by the live band, a DJ kept revelers dancing until 2:30 a.m. Lauren changed into a silver flapper-inspired frock to fit the festive mood as everyone got their groove on with some glowing props.

Waking up as a married couple for the first time, the newlyweds and their nearest and dearest celebrated with a laid-back brunch – an ideal capper to the fabulous weekend. Reflecting on their big day… or three, Lauren and Josh agree that they wouldn’t change a moment. “Everything went a lot more smoothly than expected,” the groom adds. They also both note that the small details are not what matters in the end. Confirms the bride: “The most important thing is to make sure your guests are happy and to have a great night.”