Vogue special events director Cara Sanders and tech startup entrepreneur Peter Brand always ran in the same circles. “My high school friends went to college with him, so we’ve known of each other for a really long time,” she explains. That said, they hadn’t seen each other in ages until early one summer morning when they were reunited on a Jitney headed for the Hamptons.
Cara boarded with a friend and was seated across the aisle from Peter. The two instantly reconnected and talked the whole time. “Somehow it came up that I had just broken up with my boyfriend, and he kindly said, ‘Sorry to hear that,’ ” Cara remembers. “Then he paused, looked out the window, turned back to me and said, ‘Actually, I’m not sorry to hear that at all.’ He then looked away, and my friend Allison and I were like, ‘Oh my god—did you hear that?!’ ”
Nothing really happened from there though, and a year later, Peter moved to London, and Cara to L.A. They later saw each other again at a friend’s wedding in New Orleans and reconnected again. They dated long-distance (between London and L.A.) for a year, but the stars didn’t fully align until they both relocated to New York City for good.
The two had been dating in the city for about two and a half years when they got engaged one Friday night. “His brother and sister were in town visiting and the plan was for us all to meet in the late afternoon,” Cara recalls. “We were going to leave work a little bit early and just walk around and hang out.”
Cara ended up getting stuck at the office though, and Peter kept anxiously calling to find out what her e.t.a. was. “He said that he and his brother and sister were just walking along the river on the west side and that I should walk up. But, when I got to the meeting point, he was by himself on a bench. My antenna immediately went up. He then jumped up, hugged me, said I love you so much and then some sort of segue, and got down on one knee.”
Perhaps because event planning is Cara’s day job, the two haven’t spent a ton of time planning their wedding yet yet—but they’re thinking it will be in February or March of 2019. As special events director at Vogue, Cara is the mastermind behind the Met Gala and in charge of staying on top of every detail surrounding the fashion world’s party of the year. Because of this, she wants her wedding to be relaxed above all else. “I want it to be unique, special, and meaningful,” she says. “I’m really just looking forward to getting married. As an event planner myself, I know what goes into parties and how they can be stressful and you can get bogged down in the details. So I just want to focus on how we’re getting married and that’s the most important thing.”
What about the second most important thing . . . the fashion? “I kind of started to look a little bit, but I don’t think I want a traditional wedding gown,” Cara admits. “Although I’m saying this without ever having tried on a wedding dress. I’m really down to wear color though, so I’m thinking I’ll look at ready to wear, rather than traditional wedding dresses.” And what could be more unique, relaxed, and modern bride-esque than that? With this in mind, we spent the day hanging out with Cara in the Hamptons while the bride-to-be tried on dresses from NET-A-PORTER’s Modern Bride collection in search of the one—click through our slideshow above to see more of her favorites and shop everything below.