Creative consultant, strategist, and entrepreneur Lauren Perez met David Waltzer, an executive and partner at Electric Feel Entertainment, in New York City while she was visiting her best friend Maria in 2014. At the time, David and Maria both lived in New York, and she wanted two of her best friends to meet. “Sure enough, after we hung out, he asked Maria if I was single,” Lauren remembers. “The timing wasn’t perfect—but we kept in touch over the years.” 

In 2018, David ended up at dinner with Lauren’s brother Joseph. “Joseph recognized a potential spark and told David he should ask me out,” Lauren says. “David had always had a crush on me, so getting Joseph’s approval made him feel comfortable enough to ask. I love that David had my best friend’s and my brother’s approval before we even went on our first date. Something about that made it super special. Kind of old school, but I was into it.” 

In December of 2019, Lauren and David traveled to New York for a friend’s wedding. “I was not expecting or thinking about a proposal, even though I knew I wanted to marry him,” Lauren recalls. “The day after the wedding, we were in bed at the Mercer Hotel, a tad hungover, when he pulled out a pave diamond band, got on one knee, and joked, ‘Did you think I’d propose?’ I instantly replied, ‘No, but you have eight months. That’s long enough for you to get your shit together and will spare me bugging you about when you’ll ask.’ At that moment, David jumped on the bed, kissed my cheek, placed an engagement ring to the right side of the pillow, and asked me to look over. When I saw the little box, I still wasn’t sure what was happening and told him this wasn’t a funny joke. But when I opened the box and saw my beautiful ring, I was crying so hard that he had to ask me what my answer was. It was obviously yes!” 

Three months later, the pandemic hit just as the couple was about to start planning. They decided to take a year off to see what would happen, and during that time, they changed their wedding date about three times. “We also had issues with vendors and deadlines,” Lauren admits. “Ultimately, our invites got sent out two months before the wedding!”

November 11, 2021 was the final wedding date, and the couple worked with David’s sister Meredith Falk of Gldn Events Co to plan everything. “Meredith was amazing, but it still got super stressful at times,” Lauren says. “This was my first foray into planning any type of event, so I definitely learned a tremendous amount.  My favorite parts were—of course!—the dress shopping and selection process, working with my brother on designing the merch, and then all of the areas where I was able to collaborate with David and our wedding planner on the small but important creative details—from florals to decor to lighting.”

And while Lauren loved searching for a dress, initially she had no idea what she wanted. “I knew what I didn’t want,” she says. “But, I walked into Vera Wang pretty clueless. The saleswoman asked me, ‘What are you looking for?’ I remember telling her, ‘I know I want it to be simple but special. Something to make me feel like a bride and have my moment without feeling like something is wearing me.’”

The winning dress made Lauren feel like “a bride, a princess, but still simple and totally me.” Once that was settled, she called Jacquie Aiche for jewelry. “I went to her office and tried on a bunch of stuff with her team. They helped me choose the perfect pieces to go with my outfits for the whole weekend.” The bride’s makeup was done by Mary Phillips. “She was a dream,” Lauren says. “My bridesmaid knew I needed the best for my special day and helped set it all up!”

David opted for a custom Prada suit, and bridesmaids wore custom Bec and Bridge. “I worked closely with Bec and Bridgette to create a custom color and dress based off of one of their styles,” Lauren says. “I love how it turned out!”

The ceremony took place in a tent on Miami Beach with the ocean in the background. To ensure safety, everyone had to send proof of vaccination and a negative COVID test in advance of the event. A testing station was also set up at the hotel. 

“As David and I are both Jewish, we had a traditional Jewish ceremony, including getting married under a Chuppah, as our parents wrapped us in Tallit, which is a symbol of unity, and the breaking of the glass,” Lauren says. “We made sure to time our ceremony so that as the sun set, guests arrived, and as the ceremony concluded, the sun went down. Our ceremony began with a breathing meditation with our Rabbi, and David and I stood up there just the two of us—it was perfect. It felt like love was radiating around us. And yet, I remember standing under the Chuppah with my soon-to-be husband feeling like it was just us two. I think that’s how you know it’s right. I could hear my friends crying out of happiness, I could feel their joy, and still, I wasn’t nervous; I wasn’t scared. I was looking into David’s eyes. I was ready to marry him. It was so right.”

It threatened to rain, so after the ceremony the bride and groom moved their reception into the Ocean Grill Restaurant at the Setai Hotel rather than having it outside. “It ended up working well,” Lauren says. “When the service ended, the party quickly began. We are so fortunate that some of our dear friends who were guests, also happen to also be some of the best DJs in the world—Pedro, Zack Bia, Daniel Chetrit, and Dza. Needless to say, the dancing started right away, and didn’t ever stop!” 

After the first dances and speeches, Lauren ran back to her bridal suite and did a quick change into her reception look—a custom tailored Vivienne Westwood dress and bespoke Nike Air Force Ones—before a surprise performance by Fat Joe. “[It’s just over a week later, and] I’m still on cloud 9,” Lauren says. “I feel like no one ever warns you of the comedown, but it’s intense! I miss it all! I had the weekend of my life. I married my best friend, what could be better than that?”