Less than three weeks before Lara Yunaska and Eric Trump were to stand in front of 450 guests to take their vows, the unthinkable happened.
After the couple first met in a New York City nightclub, it took three months for them to carve out time for a first date. “We went to a restaurant where we talked for hours before ordering dinner,” says Lara. “It was the best date I’ve ever been on.”
“WE TALKED FOR HOURS… IT WAS THE BEST DATE I’VE EVER BEEN ON.”
The bride, a veteran horse jumper, took a fall breaking both her wrists and requiring surgery. “If anything, it brought Eric and I closer,” says Lara, who recalls having a short “pity party,” realizing it could have been worse and deciding to not let the incident put a damper on their plans.
Five years later, on the 4th of July, Lara and Eric were walking their beagle Charlie near their Westchester County, New York, home when Lara noticed something on the ground up ahead. It looked like champagne, and as they got closer she also spotted a ring box. She opened and closed it quickly in shock, turning to Eric, who asked if she would marry him. She answered, “Yes.”
Eric, the son of business magnate Donald Trump, explains that they had a difficult time narrowing down which Trump property would host the wedding, but decided on The Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida, which has always been a special gathering place for the family.
The ceremony was held under a unique canopy of roses and hundreds of dangling crystals reflecting the last light of the day. With family being a strong theme for the evening, the two were thrilled to have their rites conducted by Eric’s sister Ivanka’s husband, Jared Kushner. The eloquent service told the story of the couple and their love for each other. “Jared knows us so well that what he had to say was heartfelt and especially meaningful,” says Eric.
Lara, wearing a full-skirted Vera Wang gown, was allowed to shed the soft casts on her wrists for the ceremony. However, as she changed into a sleek Inbal Dror dress for the celebration, the protective wear, camouflaged by fingerless gathered and bedazzled gloves, was donned once again.
The ornate ballroom was decorated in pale pinks, white and gold and featured an orchid tree in the center. “It’s a very elegant room,” says Eric, “but we were able to strike a perfect balance between formal and fun.”
Having attended more than their share of stuffy sit-down dinners, the couple chose to dine buffet style, keeping the energy high and making the most of the 15-member band. “Our guests could eat to their hearts content, but not be stuck at a table,” says Lara. One of the many food stations, featuring Southern favorites such as shrimp and grits and barbecue, honored the bride’s North Carolina roots.
An after-party turned into an impromptu karaoke club as Lara and guests sang along with every song the DJ played. Needing to downshift to less strenuous honeymoon plans because of Lara’s injuries, the couple headed to Cayo Espanto, a private island off Belize, where they relaxed and recovered before heading back to New York City and their active lives.
Location and Cake: The Mar-a-Lago Club, Palm Beach, FL; Planner: JZ Events, New York, NY; Floral and Event Design: Preston Bailey, New York, NY; Linen: Nuage Designs, Miami, FL; Ceremony Dress and Veil: Vera Wang; Reception Dress: Inbal Dror; Groom’s Attire: David August; Engagement Ring and Wedding Bands: Ivanka Trump; Photography: Donna Newman Photography, Miami Beach, FL