As setups go, this one was pretty much a bust. When Rory Golod called Drew Damman for a first date, his message went directly to her voicemail. Drew, an active New York City fashion executive, never returned his call. Fast-forward several months to their mutual friend’s birthday party, where Drew watched Rory in action as host. “I realized he was a really smart guy with amazing energy and good looks and decided to give him a chance,” says Drew.
After a year of casual dating, they became an official couple, and at five years, the parental pressure was on. “I think Rory was getting a little push from both our mothers,” says Drew.
“I DON’T REMEMBER WHAT HE SAID, BUT THERE WAS A RING AND HIS WORDS BROUGHT ME TO TEARS.”
On Valentine’s Day weekend, the couple headed to Naples, Florida, where they were to meet up with both sets of parents over drinks at the Ritz-Carlton. When they arrived, Drew thought it was strange that though Rory had never been there before, he seemed to know exactly where he was going. As they passed a courtyard fountain, he dropped to one knee. “I don’t remember what he said,” says Drew, “but there was a ring and his words brought me to tears.” Witnesses expressed their approval with a round of applause.
The energy of the wedding day at the Breakers in Palm Beach was set high right from the start. “Guests expected something different and fun from us, because of Rory’s love of music,”= says Drew, and they got it. A ten-member white-robed gospel choir led the bridal party down the aisle singing and snapping their fingers to “Stand By Me.” “Our guests were laughing and cheering and clapping,” remembers Rory.
Kicking off the reception and feeding the festive ambiance, twelve waiters circled the newlyweds with sparkler-topped champagne bottles while the couple entered and danced for the first time as husband and wife. The two were inseparable the entire evening. “We made an effort to not get pulled in different directions,” says Drew.
A monogrammed black-and-white geometric dance floor was the center of action. “I love to dance at weddings,” says Rory, who is sure he never sat down for more than two minutes all night. With the majority of the crowd in their 20s and 30s, a party atmosphere prevailed. According to Rory, even the waiters swayed to the salsa music as they shouldered their trays.
Late in the evening, the groom picked up a guitar and jammed with the band. At midnight, he performed a solo. His father, who had encouraged him to play as a boy, beamed with pride. “You’d think he was sitting in the front row at a Rolling Stones concert,” says Rory.
After midnight, guests were ferried to a local bar by trolley, where a DJ and food fueled the after party. “It was a blast,” says Drew. “The whole weekend was like taking a vacation and bringing 200 of our favorite people with us.”
A two-week honeymoon, with stops in Hong Kong and Bali, gave the couple time to sight-see and relax. They took in the jungles, temples and waterfalls of the upcountry, and then finished up with five days relaxing at the beach. “Bali is a beautiful country with inspiring culture,” says Drew. “It was a magical experience.”
Location, Floral and Event Design, Linen, Rentals, Cake: The Breakers Palm Beach, Palm Beach, FL: Planner: The Planning Company, Palm Beach, FL; Wedding Dress: Livné White: Bridal Salon: Mark Ingram Atelier, New York, NY; Bride’s Send-Off Dress: Alex Perry; Groom’s Attire: Ralph Lauren Purple Label