As modern love stories go, it started with technology and a photo. Sam Bloomberg liked a picture of Julie Dreyfuss on a dating app and opened with a simple, “Hi, Julie.” Instead of immediately responding to her potential suitor, Julie waited three days to reply. However, she wasn’t playing coy; she took pause because she instinctively sensed a deeper, future connection. Only a couple of days later, the pair met for dinner where neither of them focused any attention on the food and ended the evening at a book store selecting novels for one another. 

Years later, Julie’s love of books would play another important part in their love story. “My English literature background is in Book History, and I studied books as art objects, so Sam had contacted a designer in Paris to have a leather-bound book made with an old-fashioned style of binding,” she describes. “Inside was an inked poem on burnt paper with a ring placed in a cut-out compartment in the back cover. The answer was a resounding yes.” 

Since Julie loves to research, she thoroughly and thoughtfully curated her wedding-planning team. “I investigated everyone and everything,” she admits. “With my art background, I had a clear vision about what I wanted and how I wanted to make my guests feel.” Deciding on a luxurious high-end hotel that offers ocean views and a seamless flow from ceremony to cocktail reception to ballroom, the bride and her mother focused on big ideas for the florals, ambience, and an overall décor concept. 

Though the bride hadn’t initially settled on a color scheme, once she discovered her dream gown at Mark Ingram Atelier with its green-and-white floral embellishments, the dress became the inspiration for everything else. “The only time we introduced color was during the cocktail reception with the addition of orange flowers and neon light-up seating,” she illustrates. “My bridesmaids wore white – and I mean white; not ivory – all other décor remained fully natural, creating a secret garden motif with accents of silver and lots of lights where possible.” 

“[The ceremony] is the first taste for guests and the real moment that you become a couple, [so] I wanted an experience.”

Envisioning a jaw-dropping ceremony, Julie wanted the moment to be unique. “I know that it can be the shortest experience of the evening; however, as this part is the first taste for guests and the real moment that you become a couple, I wanted an experience,” she describes. 

Her floral designer created a bespoke trapezoidal acrylic chuppah – draped in florals above, around, and under the structure – where the couple ultimately decided to stand alone with the rabbi who conducted the service in English in lieu of Hebrew, but did choose to include the customary seven circles. Breaking from traditional Jewish rituals was a subject that the couple worked on closely together to create nuptials where they both felt respected and truly represented their union. 

Further using the bride’s wedding gown as inspiration, the reception space was transformed into a “woodsy fairy land” showcasing lots of string lights, trees, branches, thousands of candles, and even vines climbing the walls and luxe drapery. The floor plan was designed to create different seating experiences with flower arrangements that were specific to each location, alternating high and low centerpieces to create depth and dimension. “It was perfect,” confirms the new Mrs. 

Happy to have broken the mold in order to fit their personal style, including hookah at the reception, the tango as their first dance, and eliminating speeches, grouped dances, and the bouquet toss, the newlyweds encourage other engaged couples to be patient with each other while making decisions. “There are many factors and voices that can impact the planning experience,” says Julie. “At the end of the day, remember the most important thing is that you two chose each other… We just wanted a big party for friends and family and wouldn’t do anything differently!”

This real wedding was originally published in the expanded digital edition of the Winter 2024 issue of Inside Weddings magazine. 

To order a copy of the expanded digital edition of the Winter 2024 issue, visit our library of Inside Weddings back issues available for purchase.