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Two Garden-Inspired Wedding Ceremonies in One Weekend on the East Coast

By Shayna Seid | Photography by 

Weston Wells

Lauren Fuchsman, a brand marketing manager for partnerships at Ralph Lauren Corporation, and Max Fuchsman first met when he transferred to her high school during their senior year. “He was the mysterious new kid in town with the cutest dimples,” she recalls. They became best friends and both ended up attending Fairfield University. They made their relationship official in their sophomore year of college.

After eight years together, Max proposed on the roof of their new Upper West Side apartment on the day they moved in. The engaged couple always knew they wanted an intimate wedding. The two love finding hotels outside of the city for weekend getaways, and Max found GrayBarns in Norwalk, Connecticut. At their site visit, they immediately knew it was perfect for their 70-person event.

The wedding aesthetic was inspired by a spring garden, with a color palette filled with white and green. The itinerary included an outdoor ceremony, cocktail hour on the patio overlooking the river, dinner in the tavern, and dancing in the barn. Having a background in events, Lauren spearheaded the planning and design with coordination from Beth Marie Events.

Since Lauren was raised Christian and Max grew up Jewish, it was important to represent their faiths in their wedding. A church ceremony with immediate family at Christ the King in New Jersey was scheduled for Friday, May 20, 2022, followed by a larger outdoor service and reception on Saturday at GrayBarns.

“I am a devotee of sourcing vintage [fashion],” the bride says. For her church ceremony, Lauren sourced a cream Ralph Lauren halter gown, pink heels, and a lace crochet shawl. Afterward, she changed into a linen white blazer for a more comfortable feel. Max looked dapper in a made-to-measure ensemble.

On Friday, Lauren drove with her father to the church in his maroon vintage 912 Porsche through the backroads of her hometown—a summer tradition they have long had. After the ceremony, led by Father Brian Sullivan, the group caravanned to The Inn at Pound Ridge by Jean-Georges for lunch. Lauren and Max led the way in a car strung with flowers—arranged by the bride’s friend Bria Arguedas of Laura Clare Design—and a “Just Married” sign. 

Before the outdoor ceremony on Saturday, Lauren got ready in an off-white La Perla nightgown and a vintage 1920s dressing coat from Gossamer, as Aura Flores applied her subtle bridal glam. “I have known Aura since I was a teenager,” the bride shares. “She even did my hair and makeup for high school proms!”

Lauren then changed into her diamond duchesse-satin Emilia Wickstead wedding dress. “I spent a few years of my early childhood living in London, and my parents always imagined they would take me back to London to search for my wedding dress,” the bride shares. “Due to uncertainty because of Covid, we didn’t get to do that, so wearing a London-based designer felt right.” The design was tailored to perfection by Lauren’s dearest family friend, Bettina Bierly, who does wardrobe for the New York City Ballet.

The bride’s “something blue” was her grandmother Phyllis’s gold and aquamarine bracelet, which features Lauren’s mother’s birth stone. Her “something borrowed” was a pair of pearl and gold butterfly earrings that belonged to her grandmother, MaryAnn. Lauren’s grandfather gave them to her grandmother when she was in her late 20s. “It was so special to wear something from my grandpa, as he passed away last year,” Lauren says. And finally, the bride’s “something new” were the Manolo Blahnik Carolyn 70mm satin halter pumps that were a gift from her Aunt Heather.

Lauren and her parents walked down the aisle to Highline String Quartet’s rendition of “Can’t Help Falling in Love.” “I wanted a piece of my grandfather who recently passed away with me, and Elvis was his favorite,” the bride explains.

The ceremony was officiated by Max’s uncle, Gary, and to honor Max’s heritage, it was concluded with the Jewish ritual of breaking the glass. Immediately after, guests gathered across the street in the garden for Champagne and cocktails. The reception commenced in the tavern, where a candlelit dinner setting was waiting. Flowers and other live plants in aged silver julep cups, glasses, and terra-cotta vessels, arranged by Sarah Worden Natural Designs, were scattered around the room.

The newlyweds love sweets, so they decided to have three wedding cakes. The three-tiered gluten-free coconut confection was created by The Artist Baker from Lauren’s hometown. The cake that Lauren and Max cut together was their favorite coconut cake from the city. The bride remembers, “Once we cut the cake, the song ‘Dela’ by Johnny Clegg played—a favorite song since I was a little girl, from the movie George of the Jungle.”

After dinner, everyone was welcomed to the barn, which was strung with lights and had more desserts on candlelit farm tables. Before joining in on the dance floor with DJ Aaron McMickle, Lauren changed into a vintage white vest and silk long shirt. “I truly felt so much more comfortable…It was perfect for the unseasonably warm spring night we had,” the bride shares.

Lauren reflects on another enjoyable part of the evening: “One of my favorites and most memorable moments was dancing to Coldplay’s, ‘A Sky Full of Stars’ with my family and friends. It was bittersweet thinking about how the night was almost over, but how thankful I was for the entire experience.” Once the reception came to a formal close, Lauren and Max left the barn through a sparkler exit and made their way back to the tavern for the after-party. There, loved ones enjoyed cocktails, sliders, club sandwiches, french fries, and an amazing playlist curated by the groom himself.