It seems like just about everyone has a friend who met their husband or wife on Tinder — including New York City PR maven Lauren Kucerak. “At first, I was not a believer in the app,” she says. “But my friend talked me into it, and I let her sign me up while I was driving back from the Hamptons!” And she had a stroke of luck right away, as her now-husband, Josh Dinstein, was her very first app-matched date. “I went on a few other dates, but Josh was always at the forefront of my mind. I knew right away that I didn’t want to meet anyone else!”
In February of 2014, both Lauren and Josh had to travel to Los Angeles for work trips to. “He planned for us to go on a hike in Runyon Canyon at sunset. But he almost called it off because I was so late!” Lauren says. Thankfully, he waited, and the couple was treated to a glorious sunset — and a perfectly timed proposal! “We sat on a bench and talked and kissed, then when we got back to our hotel, the room was full of roses and rosé champagne! I had no idea he’d planned all of that.” They followed up with a delicious dinner downtown, including a cake topped with printed images of the couple, as well as some of Lauren’s favorite icons (like Michael Landon in his role from Little House on the Prairie and Sylvester Stallone as Rocky!). “It sounds weird, but I thought it was amazing!” says Lauren.
They scrapped their initial idea of a beach wedding for one that represented the city where they met and the place they call home, at The Skylark in New York City. Stefanie Cove of Yifat Oren & Associates created a modern-meets-Art Deco celebration full of punchy pink details, while Abigail Kirsch created an inventive cocktail-style reception. With Belathée Photography behind the camera, we got to peek into this couple’s glam big city wedding on July 11, 2015 — take a look at all the great details, below!
Inspired by Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy’s sleek sheath gown, Lauren chose a simple, structured wedding dress by Le Spose Di Gio. “It’s hanging in my bedroom so I can see it everyday!” Lauren says. She also revealed a snafu that, (thankfully!) was fixed in time for her walk down the aisle. “I had my first fitting less than two weeks before the wedding, and the dress was huge — not to mention completely different than the sample I’d tried on! Luckily the friend I’d brought with me made sure a new dress was ordered and delivered in time!” She paired her ivory silk gown with a delicate crystal headpiece by Ellen Hunter and a custom ivory veil. Josh wore an Armani tuxedo with a white bowtie and Ferragamo loafers.
Shades of pink added feminine softness to the couple’s city nuptials. Lauren’s bouquet combined blush garden roses, peonies, and calla lilies with ranunculus and sweet peas. Josh’s boutonniere surrounded a white spray rose with hypericum berries.
Lauren’s two favorite accessories were both of her grandmothers’ wedding bands. “I wore my maternal grandmother’s 50th anniversary band on my index finger, and my paternal grandmother’s gold band on my thumb. They were both strong, smart, and loving women who had long marriages, and I loved having both of them with me on our wedding day,” the bride says.
Instead of choosing a single gown for her bridesmaids, Lauren invited her sister, niece, sister-in-law, and 16 girlfriends to choose their own chic pink dress. Their mix-and-match looks were paired with pink bouquets of roses, proteas, and astilbe.
There was a familiar face amongst Lauren’s 19 bridesmaids: model Molly Sims!
“It was really special to walk down the aisle with both of my parents,” Lauren remembers. “They have been divorced since before I could walk, so it was a moment I’ll always cherish.”
The couple’s ceremony took place beneath a white chuppah draped in peonies, roses, astilbe, and jasmine vines. There, Lauren and Josh exchanged traditional vows. “We would have choked if we’d written our own!” she laughs. “I still cried the whole time. Our rabbi was funny and so sincere, so we didn’t need anything more.”
Finding a venue with both indoor and outdoor space was a top priority for Josh and Lauren. “Our guests got to watch the sun set over Manhattan during cocktail hour!” Lauren gushes. Architectural displays of hot pink peonies were interspersed with globes filled with hydrangeas and floating roses.
Lauren isn’t a flower pro, but thankfully one of her best friends is: Mimi Brown of Mimi Brown Studio. “I told her to make it pink and make it modern, and the final result was beyond breathtaking,” says the bride. The arrangements perfectly complemented the venue’s Art Deco aesthetic, down to the hot pink spines of the design books on display!
Four courses of passed hors d’oeuvres were a foodie’s dream, ranging from mac & cheese cupcakes and grilled lamb chops to sesame noodle salad in takeout containers and truffled mushroom risotto. “We needed options that were vegan, kosher, and gluten-free alongside normal cuisine, and our caterers were so creative with it,” says Lauren. The two signature cocktails were aptly named the Josh (pisco, Lillet, yuzu juice and simple syrup) and the Lauren (tequila, strawberry purée, lime juice, agave & cilantro).
Abigail Kirsch Catering also created the couple’s chocolate and vanilla wedding cake, decorated with blush roses and surrounded by a wreath of roses, peonies, and astilbe in shades of pink. Of course there were passed desserts, too: Salted caramel brownies, chocolate dulce de leche tarts, carrot cake bites, and freshly-baked chocolate cherry chunk cookies, to name a few!
Instead of a guest book, the couple set out Polaroid cameras throughout the venue. “My 11-year-old niece took control of the project and captured some really amazing shots,” says Lauren. Guests were encouraged to take a few snaps and pin them to cork boards, which now hang in the couple’s apartment.
Lauren danced the night away in her shimmering Jimmy Choo peep-toes. Says the bride, “I never knew how sentimental and how fun a wedding could be until it was our wedding. It was the best day of our lives!” Her favorite moment? Getting to look around the room immediately after the ceremony and see all of the people who had gathered to celebrate with the couple. “Don’t worry so much about the number of guests,” Lauren advises. “If I could do it again I wouldn’t worry about it. It’s the only time in your lives when you’ll have everyone you both love in the same room to celebrate you, so go for it!”
Ceremony & Reception Venue: The Skylark || Wedding Planner: Stefanie Cove for Yifat Oren & Associates || Bride’s Wedding Dress: Le Spose Di Gio || Shoes: Jimmy Choo || Headpiece: Ellen Hunter NYC || Hair: Naoko Suzuki for Warren Tricomi || Makeup: Julie Tussey || Groom’s Attire: Giorgio Armani || Engagement Ring & Wedding Bands: Jimmy The Rock || Floral Design: Mimi Brown Studio || Invitations: Alpine Creative Group || Music: Royal Strings; DJ Jimmy Connolly for Blanc Noir Event Group || Catering & Cake: Abigail Kirsch || Photographer: Belathée Photography
Can’t get enough of this couple’s wedding? Then check out another gorgeous NYC bash in the video below.