Taylor Yacktman and Kolman Estreicher’s lives were forever changed when a chance encounter with mutual acquaintances led to their introduction. “You could say he swept me off my feet,” smiles Taylor. The next day, Kolman asked her on a date. “After two hours into our first date, I knew Taylor would be my girlfriend. About two hours into our second date, I knew Taylor would be my wife… I just had to wait a few months before I could share that information for fear of scaring her off!” he laughs. Taylor admits, “My family had called me the ‘runaway bride’ and for the first time in my life, I just wanted to run towards this relationship rather than away. That’s when I knew this was it!”
On a rainy day in Chicago, Taylor and Kolman were enjoying martinis at home before going out to dinner at the restaurant where they had their first date. “Kol had our favorite song ‘Shining Star’ by The Manhattans playing. He took my hand as we slowly danced in our kitchen, one word turned into the next, and there he was minutes later asking me to marry him,” she remembers of the special moment. “My mom always said to me, ‘The minute you meet The One, you won’t second guess it, and when he drops down to his knee, you will say yes before he can even ask,’ and well, she was absolutely right.”
The couple started the wedding-planning process near the end of 2019 and the beginning of 2020, when the world shut down. “Our options became increasingly limited as the pandemic progressed,” shares the groom. “We reduced a 400+ person guest list to 21 family members, and probably worked through at least five different iterations of the event before reaching our final version.” After a year of back and forth, cancellations, and waiting, they decided to plan an intimate, family-only wedding in just one month.
Desiring a destination wedding from the start, Taylor and Kolman were thrilled to find a luxury wedding venue in Palm Beach, Florida. “There is truly no place like The Breakers. It is pure magic,” confirms the bride, who hired Heather Lowenthal of Posh Parties to orchestrate a dream celebration. “Heather is not only an incredible planner and creative, but she is a friend and is truly honest, efficient, caring, and just overall the real deal.”
“It was as if you walked into Moulin Rouge; sultry, sexy, cool, vibrant, glamorous, unique, and moody.”
As a musician and performer for most of her life, Taylor wanted the wedding to tell a story and have guests experience an array of emotions and surprises throughout the night. To make it feel as though attendees were watching a show, they witnessed the ceremony from high-top tables arranged in the Mediterranean Courtyard of the venue. The ethereal setting, which was made more magnificent with romantic pink florals, felt as if family members were transported to a faraway location abroad for the vow exchange that honored the bride’s Catholic faith and the groom’s Jewish religion. “It was a very emotional ceremony,” affirms Taylor. “I got to marry my soul mate in front of my forever loved ones.”
Once Taylor and Kolman were pronounced husband and wife, a gospel choir sang in celebration for the duration of the cocktail hour. “The gospel choir was a dream!” shares the bride. “We also had food surprises for everyone and made sure the staff and musicians got a taste too. It just felt like everyone there was family!” An oyster shucker served guests the delicacy in their preferred style, miniature tacos were offered with personal Patrón tequila bottles, and additional fare was provided in a fun, interactive way.
Jaws dropped as everyone entered the ballroom. “The Breakers is an extraordinary venue and just about every aspect of the property is unique; however, the transformation of the room where we held our reception was nothing short of astounding,” confirms the groom. Velvet chairs and impressive tables were situated around a circular stage, vibrant lighting produced a spectacular ambience, and lush florals in pink, purple, and magenta created the chic setting the pair envisioned. “Sitting at long tables, I am never able to talk to anyone,” notes the bride, “but when you are in a ‘theater in the round,’ you can feel and experience emotions. I wanted everyone to be a part of a show as they ate dinner.”
Since a dance floor was not an option due to event restrictions, a variety of performances entertained loved ones all night long. A French-inspired jazz violinist played during the dinner service, a seven-piece ensemble group sang contemporary hits throughout the evening, and the couple surprised their guests with a burlesque dancer. “I am a sucker for surprises and show-stopping moments,” says the bride. “It was as if you walked into Moulin Rouge; sultry, sexy, cool, vibrant, glamorous, unique, and moody.”
While Taylor and Kolman initially thought they might regret not having all of the celebrations that traditionally lead up to a wedding, they were amazed by the immense feeling of gratitude they had for their individual experience. “What we might have lacked in a year full of pre-wedding events was made up for by the wedding we had… The love that transpired – especially after a year of grief, loss, and the unknowns – came to show us that all you really need is love and family,” muses the bride. “I am now married to the love of my life and my best friend. I am so excited for the future!”