The 2023 wedding season is fast approaching and the betrothed are bemoaning the downright stressful task of wedding planning.
The place settings.
Carving stations or plated meals?
Buttercream or fondant?
You want my mother to sit where?!
You won’t find these two grooms bickering: Jared Seligman, an associate real estate broker with The Corcoran Group in New York City, confides he and his fiancé, investment banker Max Schapiro, are pressing the easy button, having hired a stellar wedding planning team to plan their fairy-tale wedding scheduled for later this year. Seligman, who got engaged to Schapiro in August 2018, initially wanted to elope and have a small wedding. With some convincing by Schapiro, their plans changed, and now the two are planning a lavish occasion.
“Because it’s so important to him, I’m just happy to plan the most beautiful day [that] hopefully many people will see,” he says. “Now that we have agreed on having a wedding, my philosophy is do it right the first time and do it well.”
Jared Seligman on Finding ‘The One’
“It was the longest process of my life. Picking my potential mate, and then the wedding planner,” jokes Seligman. “I would say they were each as time-consuming.”
A solid referral helped the starry-eyed duo each find their “one.”
“This team had done a couple of weddings of some mutual friends of ours,” adds Seligman.
Seligman and his fiancé settled on Fête, a highly acclaimed, full-service event planning firm that has been featured in the likes of Brides, Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Vanity Fair, and The New York Times. The firm also had the honor of designing the first state dinner of the Biden-Harris administration at the White House. “That was a huge accomplishment for them,” raves Seligman. “Fête is run by a woman named Jung Lee, who’s a Korean immigrant. She and her team have been incredibly amazing to work with. It’s a pleasure to work with people who represent the best of what they do.”
A key component that Seligman admired about the firm was its ability to be versatile, curating truly bespoke events for each of its clients. “I love the fact that each one of the wedding [photos] wasn’t stamped with a big picture of the design team on it. It was really a unique individual experience that just showed the taste, style, and aesthetic of each couple. I really like that, because I saw someone who’s able to transform from different styles, settings, and locations. It’s been an amazing journey.”
The credentials more than added up, but, just like in dating, Seligman admits, all personalities had to be a match made in heaven.
“I knew that a key point of [choosing our wedding planner], based on a renovation [that we recently did on our home], was knowing who my partner is. I had to get my partner equally as excited and trusting in this person as I was, and he had to believe that I trusted this team. Because when you’re paying someone [so] much money, you want to make sure they’re taking things off the plate, so you’re not micromanaging them [because] you don’t think they’ve gotten your taste right. Having a background in interior design makes that a little bit difficult. But we met with them and we’re both dazzled by them.”
An Uncommonly Discerning Groom
To that end, Fête has an uncommon groom on their hands. The award-winning associate broker has over two decades of interior design and real estate sales experience. His eyes have seen the wonders inside many of Manhattan’s ritziest multimillion-dollar homes. “Now that we officially have decided as a team to do this, I definitely would say I’m in charge of all the creative and visuals and what people will touch, feel, smell, and see,” says the broker.
Still, even with a solid wedding planning team, Seligman says stress is not nonexistent, and handling it all — with grace — is an art form.
“It’s been a useful exercise in learning the word ‘no,’” the real estate broker says. “I’m someone who comes from a place of ‘yes’ and wants to do everything as much as possible, but I think in this next chapter of my life’ no’ being a full sentence can really happen, too. I’m not able to do everything with everyone at every time. I’ve been able to work with an amazing team whom I’m able to turn to and utilize when necessary. So, as time-consuming as it is, we are relying on a team of people who dedicate their lives to making this day truly unbelievable, and I feel very blessed to be working with them.”
Love in the Time of COVID
Wedding planning amid a pandemic added another dimension. “This is an ever-changing time,” relates Seligman. “You can send a save-the-date and have no idea what’s going to happen. We’ve lived through this crazy set of circumstances that no one could have anticipated. But at a certain point you have to roll with the punches. We live in a new normal.”
Jared Seligman’s plate has been full, with his priorities being stretched between renovating the home he shares with Schapiro in Southampton, New York, brokering high-end real estate deals, managing the “I do” details, and making one-on-one time with his betrothed.
No matter what lies ahead before they walk down the aisle, Seligman says the duo have already weathered trying times with aplomb.
“We’ve lived together for almost six years now,” he adds. “And in that time, we bought a home together, and survived a renovation together all during COVID. Doing it all makes this wedding feel like more of an easier situation.”