Brittany Wurzak and Benjamin Hakimfar met in the spring of 2009, when they were at a Friday night dinner in Washington DC. At the time, Brittany was studying at The George Washington University and Ben was interning for a non-profit organization. Not having any mutual friends between them, it was nothing more than a chance encounter when Ben spotted her across the room and wanted to meet “the only blonde at the Shabbat dinner.”
Although Brittany wasn’t one to entertain many suitors, Ben soon won her over. “We had an instant connection and, although we were complete strangers, I felt like I had known him for years,” she says. “He was my first boyfriend, and that first summer together was so amazing. We traveled, explored DC, and spent time getting to know each other.”
“HE WAS MY FIRST BOYFRIEND, AND THAT FIRST SUMMER TOGETHER WAS SO AMAZING. WE TRAVELED, EXPLORED DC, AND SPENT TIME GETTING TO KNOW EACH OTHER.”
Ben began law school in New York City that fall, and a year-and-a-half of maintaining their long-distance relationship eventually led to a momentary break. By the time Brittany graduated and moved to New York City, neither of them had spoken for months. But once again, fate intervened and the two ended up bumping into each other on the corner of 11th Street and 6th Avenue. After one dinner, their relationship was rekindled and they both moved to Los Angeles together a few months later when Ben passed the California Bar.
Six years after their first encounter, 270 friends and family members gathered for Brittany and Ben’s destination wedding in Palm Beach, hosted by the exclusive Mar-a-Largo Club. “When we went to look for venues, we kept feeling like nothing was quite special enough,” Brittany describes. “And then we came to Mar-a-Largo, and couldn’t believe the scale, detail, and how ornate everything was. It was like a piece of history.”
Their wedding day was graced with clear blue skies and the beach in the background. As guests sipped cocktails and enjoyed hors d’oeuvres, a string quartet played while the sun was setting. At sundown, the Jewish ceremony began, which featured a masterpiece of a Chuppah. “I saw it for the first time when I came down the aisle, and it was more incredible than anything I could have ever imagined,” says the bride. “The ceremony was so heartfelt and meaningful, I couldn’t have asked for anything more special.”
After the ceremony, guests were led into the ballroom, which glittered with the glow of candles reflecting off the chandeliers. A twelve-piece band welcomed everyone and didn’t stop playing until the end of the night. White orchids adorned the tables, and an eleven-tier wedding cake served as one of the room’s focal points.
With the groom coming from a Persian Jewish family, it was important to incorporate a few Persian songs into their set list. This ended up being one of the highlights of the night, as everyone gathered on the dance floor to celebrate. After midnight, a DJ took over the music for an after party, and waiters passed around champagne sparklers to keep the festivities going until the wee hours of the morning.
Location: The Mar-a-Lago Club, Palm Beach, FL; Planner: Bianca B. Inc., New York, NY; Floral Design: Louis Konstantinos Floral Decor and Design, New York, NY; Cake: Cake Craze Miami, Miami, FL; Wedding Dress: Vera Wang ; Groom’s Attire: Tom Ford; Photography: Donna Newman Photography, Miami, FL