When Lauren Fitzpatrick and Justin Weitz went on a blind date in November 2019, neither of them was expecting to find their forever partner. After two of their closest friends took it upon themselves to play matchmaker, the couple agreed to meet up in Miami Beach. That first date marked the start of their love story.
Just one year later, Justin planned a surprise trip to The Four Seasons in Nassau, Bahamas. While vacationing on the Caribbean island, Justin popped the question, and Lauren gave an emphatic “yes.”
The duo couldn’t wait to tie the knot, so they started orchestrating their special day right away. At first, they aimed for a summer 2022 wedding date, but once people started getting vaccinated and restrictions were lifted, they pushed it a year earlier. So, they ended up planning their 350-person wedding in just five months. “It was very hectic but also so much fun,” Lauren says of the planning process. “Justin was so on top of everything. The guy didn’t miss a beat!”
To help execute their vision in the condensed time frame, the bride and groom tapped Elizabeth Slossberg of EKS Events. “The entire weekend was so smooth with zero hiccups,” Lauren reflects on working with their team. Of course, the pandemic presented some obstacles. But, the couple agreed that requiring Covid tests would maintain everyone’s health and safety and eliminate unnecessary stress.
A seamless part of the wedding planning process for the twosome was selecting their venue. “We always knew we wanted to get married in Aspen because that’s where we fell in love,” Lauren shares. “We knew we wanted our family and friends to come to our favorite place and experience the magic of it.” In fact, the bride unintentionally visualized saying “I do” at Chaparral Ranch, their wedding venue. Four years before her big day, Lauren created a vision board with a photo of her dream wedding. “I had a picture of a wedding setup and aisle at the exact same venue and spot we got married in,” she reveals. “At the time when I made the vision board, I had no idea what venue the picture was taken at, let alone what state it was in.”
On August 7, 2021, Lauren and Justin’s dreams became a reality at Chaparral Ranch in Aspen, Colorado. “We wanted the wedding to feel elegant but also understated,” Lauren summarizes. “We wanted all of our décor to highlight and connect to the surrounding nature.”
Read on to see all of the stunning details behind the couple’s big day, planned by EKS Events and photographed by Jose Villa.
The couple kicked off their wedding weekend with a scenic rehearsal dinner at the peak of Aspen Mountain at The Little Nell. For the occasion, Lauren donned a vintage Chanel dress, diamond jewelry by Corey Friedman Fine Jewels, and lace Jimmy Choo heels with a pearl accent. Justin sported a beige Eleventy dinner jacket, neutral Brunello Cucinelli pants, a white Tom Ford button-up shirt, and brown Gianvito Rossi shoes.
Guests took a gondola ride up to the top of the mountain, where they admired the views, watched the sunset, and ate a delicious dinner. The pair painted their venue in shades of desert yellow and sand. At each table, cheery yellow blooms popped against minimalist place settings.
For the next pre-wedding event, Lauren and Justin hosted a western-themed welcome party, inspired by Ralph Lauren, at Hotel Jerome. The bride rocked a long-sleeve lace Paco Rabanne dress with a high neck, a brown Kemo Sabe cowboy hat, vintage turquoise jewelry by Kemo Sabe, and suede Saint Laurent heels. Justin also dressed in theme with a long-sleeve jean shirt, a black cowboy hat, and a black leather belt with a monogrammed silver buckle.
The duo had the hotel’s courtyard transformed into the Wild West. To stick with the western theme, fur blankets and cowhide pillows were draped across wicker chairs. Yellow sunflowers in wooden boxes, bistro lights, and metal lanterns brought a rustic edge to the setting.
Lauren spent the morning of her wedding day getting glam. She chose a timeless and elegant makeup look, mainly using products from Ilia Beauty and Charlotte Tilbury. “I wanted to look like myself and keep it natural,” she notes. For her hairstyle, the bride wore her locks in glamorous waves. With a few coats of light pink Essie nail polish and a spritz of Eden-Roc by Dior, the bride was ready to say “I do.”
Lauren stunned in a tulle and lace custom Elie Saab number featuring a deep V-neck, cap sleeves, embroidered guipure, floral appliqués, and pearl and beaded detailing. Since the couple decided to host their wedding a year earlier than they first planned, Lauren had to change directions with her dress. “When I started looking for dress options, I actually put down a deposit on a dress from another designer. But, something didn’t feel right,” the bride admits. “I kept trying on other dresses and fell in love with Elie Saab. I canceled the other dress and never looked back.”
Lauren paired her gown with a floral-embroidered veil by Elie Saab, flower diamond earrings by Corey Friedman Fine Jewels, and a diamond bracelet from Justin’s great grandmother. She also carried a bouquet of chamomile flowers. “They are chic and simple, and the smell is so calming,” she explains.
We did it surrounded by rows and rows of Aspen trees and couldn’t stop smiling and laughing the second we saw each other.
The bride and groom set aside a few minutes before the ceremony to share a first look. “We did it surrounded by rows and rows of Aspen trees and couldn’t stop smiling and laughing the second we saw each other,” Lauren reminisces.
For his attire, Justin wore a midnight blue custom Brioni dinner jacket with black Tom Ford pants and a matching bow tie. He also chose Tom Ford for his fragrance.
Lauren’s bridesmaids all sported various floral dresses in neutral hues. “I loved giving everyone the freedom to choose their own dress, and it all really came together perfectly,” she recalls. Her squad also held arrangements of white flowers with pops of dusty rose and lavender.
The duo swapped vows underneath a floral chuppah with a backdrop of a serene lake. A hedge of purple and white blooms paired with greenery lined their aisle. “We really wanted the flowers, altar, and runner to complement the natural setting and color of the surrounding mountains and the lake,” the bride explains.
After Lauren’s parents walked her down the aisle to a live band’s rendition of “Angel Dream (No. 2)” by Tom Petty, the couple’s rabbi, Phil Rothman, led the ceremony. “I converted to Judaism leading up to the wedding, and Phil taught me everything I know,” Lauren says. “He’s like family to us.” The couple incorporated a few Jewish wedding traditions, such as wrapping the tallit to symbolize their union.
Instead of reciting personalized vows, the pair decided to exchange heartfelt notes in private prior to their ceremony. “I’m a little shy and would have also cried too much if I read my vows during the ceremony,” Lauren shares.
After sharing their first kiss as newlyweds, Lauren and Justin recessed to “Beautiful Day” by U2. Before making their way over to the reception, they relished the moment and snapped a few photos.
For their reception, the couple embraced a romantic setup with “lots of green trees for an enchanted forest vibe, string lights, and candlelight,” Lauren describes. Lush floral arrangements in neutral tones and white votive candles lined the wooden banquet tables. Gold-rimmed lucite chargers and simple menu cards sat at each place setting. Everyone dined and danced beneath a ceiling engulfed in greenery and gold lanterns.
Justin changed into a white dinner jacket for the next phase of wedding festivities. Then, the newlyweds spun around the dance floor to “This Year’s Love” by David Gray for their first dance.
“We love having fun, and it was so important that all of our friends and family had the best time and ate the most delicious food,” Lauren says. “Justin is the biggest foodie of all time, so he spent so much time curating every single bite throughout the weekend.” For dinner, guests noshed on lamb chops and bites from a caviar hand-roll bar and a peking duck station.
That evening, the dance floor saw the most action. “We made sure to avoid any slow pauses throughout the night and made sure the band played upbeat songs nonstop,” Lauren recounts. The only time friends and family sat was during dinner and for two speeches, which was a huge highlight for the couple.
Lauren and Justin took a break from dancing to savor a slice of their six-tier white cake decorated with a cascade of flowers.
The celebration didn’t stop there. Next up was a speakeasy after-party in a hidden corner of the barn. “Once the reception was over, the lights went off, and a spotlight led everyone to the entrance of the after-party,” Lauren details. They spent the rest of the night dancing and making memories with their favorite people.
The couple’s wedding weekend was such a fulfilling event because they immersed themselves in the moment and savored every minute of it. “Try not to get bogged down in the details, and remember to have fun,” Lauren advises. “Everyone says it, but it really does go by so fast. Also, make time to take lots of pictures—that’s what you’ll have to look back on forever.”