“We were set up on a blind date and I thought he blew me off the first time we were supposed to meet!” jokes Samantha Miller.
Kevin Lawi had gotten her phone number from a mutual friend and suggested they meet at a small bar in Tribeca–except it was Halloween, Samantha had no idea what he looked like, and everyone in NYC was dressed up. Unfortunately, although Kevin waited for her by the door, they didn’t end up meeting that night.
“THE RECEPTION TENT WAS DRAPED IN NAVY BLUE FABRIC AND COVERED IN WHITE ORCHIDS WITH MIRRORED TABLES.”
Kevin felt so badly about missing each other that he made sure to follow up promptly. “Even though it was Hurricane Sandy and I was living on my cousin’s couch, I took Sam on our first date,” he says. The couple dated and were engaged in November of 2013. Not only did Kevin surprise Samantha by popping the question, but he organized an engagement celebration with both their families and best friends.
During the wedding planning process, the couple considered getting married in Manhattan and Palm Beach, but ultimately decided on hosting their wedding at Old Oaks Country Club in Purchase, New York. “We wanted to get married somewhere that was near both our families, but removed from New York City,” Samantha explains. “Plus, Old Oaks is where I grew up and it felt like the perfect place to bring friends and family together.”
Samantha and Kevin put a great deal of thought into the ceremony, which took place on a beautiful, sprawling green lawn–an ideal setting for their vision of having a traditional affair, surrounded by the people they love. “We had a Jewish ceremony; however, we spent a lot of time beforehand trying to understand the different components and only chose the ones that really meant something to us,” says Samantha. “Kevin’s father passed away in 2006, so it was very important to us that we incorporate and acknowledge him in our ceremony.”
On the wedding day, Kevin wore his father’s tallit and the couple honored their parents by having them stand under the chuppah with them. The ceremony also included vows that the bride and groom wrote for each other.
During the cocktail hour, Kevin surprised his bride and guests with a fireworks show, while everyone watched on the club’s patio. Samantha was speechless at the wonderful display, which was a fantastic complement to such a personalized event. “It was really important to us that not only every part of our special day feel like ‘us,’ but that our guests had a ton of fun,” she says. “We wanted each part of the evening to have its own feeling in a different space–that way, guests never got bored or were in the same space twice.”
The reception tent was draped in navy blue fabric and covered in white orchids with mirrored tables. After the live band stopped playing at around 1am, music started blasting from another room inside the club, keeping everyone dancing until 4:30am. “It was a night we will never forget,” says Samantha.
Location: Old Oaks Country Club, Purchase, NY; Caterer and Planner: Marcia Selden Catering & Event Planning, New York, NY; Event Design: SBK Event Design, New York, NY; Photography: Ira Lippke Studios
Cake: Ron Ben-Israel Cakes, New York, NY; Entertainment: Hank Lane Music and Productions, New York, NY; Entertainment: DJ Nick Cohen; Ceremony Dress and Veil: Rubin Singer; Reception Dress: Marchesa
Groom’s Attire: Giorgio Armani; Wedding Bands: Cartier