When Lauren Levinson was invited to a NBA Finals watch party by her twin sister Emily and her sister’s now-husband Ben, she didn’t think much of it besides it being a fun evening out… that is, until she was introduced to the host, Adam Epstein.
“The connection was magnetic,” describes Lauren of their first meeting. “Adam and I sat next to each other the whole game, chatting and laughing.” Only a few days later, Adam invited Lauren on a date where their romance officially began.
In the summer of 2021, the pair walked along the beach and they landed upon a romantic beach picnic setup. Adam immediately dropped to bended knee. “I barely let him get the words out,” laughs Lauren, who admits she was as shocked as she was excited. “Both sets of our parents and siblings then ran down to the beach to celebrate.” That evening, the newly betrothed enjoyed an engagement party with their nearest and dearest at a luxurious hotel in Santa Monica, where only nine months later they would exchange vows.
Lauren was not prepared for the stress of wedding planning: “I had dreamed about my wedding since I was a little girl, which made it overwhelming. Every choice felt like a high-stakes decision.” The venue selection was one area, however, that brought the couple joy. They had spent a lot of time at the Fairmont Miramar, including their engagement party festivities, and fell in love with the idea of having their ceremony beneath the property’s famous fig tree.
Along with their planner, Linda Howard of Linda Howard Events, the bride and groom settled on a color palette of green, cream, champagne, and dusty lavender and crafted their wedding-décor design with the tree in mind, serving as the point of inspiration. The duo worked with stationers to create a custom invitation suite and ketubah featuring a gorgeous sketch of the fig tree.
The floral designers at The Hidden Garden constructed a beautifully well-thought-out chuppah. All four posts were made of wood and encapsulated in Lucite. “The juxtaposition of the spring colors and natural elements paired with Lucite gave our ceremony a romantic and contemporary vibe,” describes the bride. Lauren and Adam share that they come from “incredibly close-knit families,” so assigning roles to relatives was just as important as incorporating their Jewish faith and its cultural traditions.
“The juxtaposition of the spring colors and natural elements paired with Lucite gave our ceremony a romantic and contemporary vibe.”
The couple exchanged vows beneath the tallits of their respective grandparents, their aunts and uncles read the seven blessings, and their parents stood beside them during the service. Their beloved dog, Bailey, made her way down the aisle with Adam’s nephews just before the bride finally made her appearance. She looked elegant in a feminine gown featuring floral appliqués and lace accents, while her husband-to-be donned a classic navy tuxedo made complete with a white bow tie.
At the conclusion of the nuptials, Adam stomped on the glass and an explosion of white petals sprinkled down as the new Mr. and Mrs. exited. “It was such a special moment filled with so much joy; we were grinning from ear to ear and will never forget that feeling,” exclaims the bride of the captivating surprise that her dad arranged with her planners.
Lovely décor elements were carried over from the ceremony to the reception, showcasing lush floral arrangements that mimicked the style of the earlier designs, but this time around, they were presented in a variety of vessels and heights to create depth and make it even more visually interesting.
Each tablescape featured Lucite table numbers and napkin rings, as well as bullion-rimmed charger plates and sparkling glassware. Lauren’s parents’ wedding-cake topper was showcased on the cake table beside the gorgeous five-tiered confection adorned with fresh florals. “It actually was the same cake topper my grandparents used at their wedding!” reveals the bride of the sentimental piece.
Adam emphasizes that he and Lauren had envisioned an incredible day filled with romance, but what mattered most was enjoying a fun celebration with those closest to them. “For me, weddings are always the most fun when they are a big dance party, so I focused on finding amazing entertainment,” he says. “The live band was incredible and got everyone up and dancing from the beginning, with a range of music for everyone.”
As the merriment continued, the newlyweds looked around at the happy faces that filled the room and realized all of their hard work had paid off. “It was better than we could have even imagined!” concludes the groom.
This real wedding was originally published in the Spring 2023 issue of Inside Weddings magazine.