The Lauren Weiss and Rich Fabrizio Wedding

May 29, 2010

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Photography by Ricky Restiano

Sometimes when love comes knocking, the timing just isn’t quite right. When teacher Lauren Weiss, 28, and music producer and engineer Rich Fabrizio, 33, met in 2004 at Black Bear Saloon in White Plains, they were both in the midst of major life transitions. Both were purchasing their first co-ops and Lauren was settling into a teaching job in the Bronx. The spark was there, but life—as it sometimes does—got in the way.

Until 2007, when Lauren noticed Rich’s car ahead of her on Harrison Avenue in Harrison and pulled into his driveway after him. Although they’d dated briefly in 2004, their busy schedules prompted them to decide to be “just friends.” Eventually, their contact with each other dwindled. But when Lauren saw his car that day, she remembered what a “great guy” Rich was and, hoping the house she followed him to did not also belong to his wife and kids, she turned in the driveway behind him (it turned out to be his parents’ house).

“We just kind of reunited,” Lauren recalls. Their reuniting was the beginning of a three-year courtship that was more secure than ever before. “It was just such a stronger relationship than it was before because we were more settled in our lives,” she says.

Ten months after moving in together in Larchmont, Rich proposed to Lauren on a star-lit beach at St. John’s in the Virgin Islands, offering his grandmother’s ring from the early 1900s.

Lauren did not see the proposal coming at all—but not because she hadn’t been dreaming about the moment her whole life. “I couldn’t believe he went on the airplane with a ring in his carry-on,” she laughs.

Wedding plans quickly started when they returned to New York. The decision to have their ceremony and reception at Westchester Country Club was “immediate.” Rich’s parents are members, and Lauren fell in love with the venue when the couple attended an engagement party there, just eight months into their relationship.

The planning process was almost perfect, with the help of wedding coordinator Mary Cuniff from the Westchester Country Club. “Everything went so smoothly, it was almost scary,” Lauren says.

The easiest decision was the gown. Lauren liked some from J. Crew’s bridal line and Vera Wang, but a strapless gown by Amsale brought her to tears when she tried it on, which prompted a Champagne celebration in the dressing room for Lauren, her mother, and her sister. The bottle-popping and tear-provoking dress is a trumpet gown that is elegantly simple—save for the floral embellishment at the waist that sets it apart from the rest. “I definitely wanted something different. I didn’t want a lacy look. I wanted something classic and beautiful,” Lauren says.

May 29 was an overcast day, and with a 60-percent chance of rain, Cuniff suggested moving the ceremony inside, but Lauren couldn’t be convinced. “I told her ‘No way; I know it’s not going to rain.’”

After a beautiful ceremony, the skies opened up and the rain poured down.

But the wedding party and guests were too busy to notice as they enjoyed cocktails under a tent, followed by an indoor reception.

Both bride and groom wanted their wedding to be “cool, calm, and fun.” The bridesmaids’ short strapless peach dresses from H&M in New York City matched the ties of the groomsmen. White calla lilies were the sole flower in both the bouquets and the centerpieces.

A photo booth added a “fun” element to the reception, and the pictures of the guests doubled as favors. A mix of ‘70s, 80’s, and Motown music from the Hank Lane Band created the lively party that the couple had in mind. To augment the main entertainment, the groom teamed up with the father of the bride to perform Wilson Pickett’s “ Mustang Sally” and Sam and Dave’s “Hold On, I’m Coming,” with Rich on guitar and Dad on drums.

Having promised 10-year-old Rita and 14-year-old Erica, whom Lauren has been babysitting for 10 years, that they would one day be flower girls in her wedding, Lauren asked the girls to be her “ring princesses” who brought the rings up to the priest and rabbi.
“I wanted them to feel not too baby-ish. I think they believed that was a job in the wedding, but I made it up!”

Though some may be fearful of the legendary bad luck when the bride and groom see each other before the ceremony, this break from tradition was Lauren’s most treasured moment of the day. After getting dressed, the photographer positioned Lauren facing the club’s golf course. As she gazed over the green grounds, Rich tapped her from behind. The couple began to cry and kiss as they looked at each other for the first time in their wedding attire. This small, quiet moment was the “best, best part” of the day.

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