The Bride Wore Alexander Wang—and 5 Other Looks—at This “Island Formal” Wedding at The Rockhouse in Jamaica

The bride wore Alexander Wang—and five other looks—at this “island formal” wedding at The Rockhouse in Jamaica.

1/25/2020 11:38:00 AM

The bride wore Alexander Wang—and five other looks—at this “island formal” wedding at The Rockhouse in Jamaica.

“I figured this was the one time in my life where I could really do and wear whatever I wanted!” Lauren Levinger says.

“My first memory of Lauren was at summer school before my sophomore year of high school in San Francisco,” director David Laven remembers of his now-wife, creative producer Lauren Levinger. “I’d bounced around a few schools at that point and was catching up on credits when she stepped on campus for her freshman year orientation. We’d be lying if we said sparks flew—I was a punk rocker with spiked blonde hair, a ball chain, and a pacifier, and Lauren was this cute pencil thin nerd with a sweet smile.” They crossed paths a few times in high school and dated mutual friends, but there wasn’t a romantic connection until they became reacquainted in New York City years later. He was going to The New School and she was visiting from the University of California Santa Barbara. “We went out with some mutual friends from San Francisco, and before I knew it, Lauren had tried her first beer bong, drunk me under the table, beat me in a game of Horse, and wrote her number with a sharpie on my living room wall.”

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They had been dating for seven years when David proposed the first time, and for about 10 years when she ultimately said yes. The first attempt was at David’s grandparents’ house in Hull, Massachusetts, with what turned out to be a cursed ring. After a two year split, proposal number two eventually arrived. “Lauren kept asking when I was going to do it, and I was literally about to do it, so I kept having to not do it so she’d forget,” David remembers. He’d framed all of the Polaroids they’d taken of each other over the years to send as save the dates for their wedding, and wrote “will you marry me” in small print on one of them. Then on October 23, 2018, David asked her to meet him at the park where sparks had first flown during that game of Horse many years back. “I handed her the framed photos, and that was it,” David remembers. “I didn’t get down on one knee the second time, but there were a lot of tears and someone made a layup right as she said ‘yes.’”

“This time it was with a new ring—that wasn’t cursed!” Lauren adds. “It was my great grandmother’s ring. I was named after her, and it was gift to us by my grandmother.”The couple had visited Jamaica when they looked for a venue the first time around, and immediately fallen in love with The Rockhouse, a hotel tucked away on a cliffside in Negril with access to the most pristine water. “From the food to the people to the overall vibe, it was just sort of a magical experience where I felt our love was really nurtured by the environment,” David says. “Our love is at its best when we’re in Jamaica, it just is—I don’t know how else to explain it.”

The couple worked with Alecia “Lici” Eastwood and Shanique Montague from The Rockhouse to plan every aspect of the wedding weekend. “David really took the reins when we were wedding planning, too,” Lauren says. “I would get really overwhelmed and am a natural procrastinator. He laid the groundwork for me to come in and add all the last-minute, albeit very important, details.”

Lauren’s wedding day look was the one thing she had no problem committing to. “Alexander Wang is one of my oldest friends,” Lauren says. “We went to high school together and would always play dress up. He would make these outfits—makeshift dresses and tops, and I would wear them out to dinner in North Beach. I was also a ‘model’ in Alex’s first ‘unofficial’ fashion show, so it was always in the plan to have him make the most important dress I would ever wear. I wanted something simple and classic, and since Alex was designing it, I wanted him to put his stamp on it too. I also wanted it to feel modern and gave him a lot of creative license. I have always loved how effortless Carolyn Bessette Kennedy looked when she got married. This is probably many, many brides’ inspiration, but how could she not be. She looked perfect!”

From the start, Alex had a clear vision for how to put his spin on the Carolyn reference. He wanted a clean silhouette, but one with structure, so he created an inner corset bodice. Then came the sleeves. “We went back and forth on this a lot,” Lauren says. “We both loved the idea of a long sleeve gown, but were battling the humid Jamaican weather. At one point, we were going to make the sleeves detachable, but we decided in the end to just go for it. It’s funny because it was humid the day of the wedding, but somehow I didn’t break a sweat.”

The gown’s train was inspired by the Met Gala dress the designer hadmade for Hailey Bieber. “I loved the shape of it, so we used it as the blueprint for mine,” Lauren says. Her earrings were from a collection he’d designed for Balenciaga, and to top it all off, Lauren wore white Wang heels with crystal accents. “I could not have felt more beautiful,” she says. “It was our best collaboration to date!”

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Guests were encouraged to wear “island formal” attire. “I have no idea what that means other than look good and dress tropical!” Lauren jokes. “We loved how seeing how everyone interpreted this. We had some people in marijuana print sneakers paired with tuxedos, others in brightly colored silk gowns, and others in see-through vintage pajama sets. We have a very stylish group of friends, and they did not disappoint!”

It rained right before the ceremony, but the sky calmed to a still gray by the time everyone lined up in rows of two overlooking the ocean at the furthest point of The Rockhouse. David and Lauren’s fathers are both Jewish, David’s mother is Indian and Hindu, and Lauren’s mother is Chamorro, Catholic and from Guam, so the couple worked to make the ceremony a multi-faith, non-denominational service.

“Before I knew it, Lauren was walking out from amongst the trees with her father to ‘You & Me’ by Penny & The Quarter,” David says. “I was waterworks all the way.” To honor David’s Indian heritage, they performed Saat Phere, otherwise known as the Seven Rounds, a northern Indian Hindu tradition. The seven rounds are performed around a fire—or candle, in this case—symbolizing the energy of the sun god, Lord Vishnu. The couple promises to be lifelong companions and the seven rounds of the Saptapadi around the fire denote that they will be united for the next seven lives. “[Our officiant] Ren had us do an extra round for good measure!” David adds. “It was so emotional—I couldn’t stop crying. It was everything I wanted to be. I love her so much it was hard to comprehend what was happening. We laughed, we cried, we kissed.”

The newlyweds made their grand entrance into the reception to Big Mountain’s “Baby, I Love Your Way,” before sitting down to a family style dinner. “After the ceremony, I squeezed in as many looks as possible,” Lauren admits. “I figured this was the one time in my life where I could really do and wear whatever I wanted. I love to shop—especially second-hand/vintage, so leading up to the wedding I was scouring the internet and consignment stores for things to wear.” On the night of the wedding, she went from her custom Alexander Wang gown to a vintage red Alaia gown, to a Givenchy see-through pearl dress to a matching airbrushed “Just Married” t-shirt that she had custom-made, to an after-pool-party bathing suit.

Somewhere between the outfit changes, the coconut and red velvet layer cake was cut, and reggae artist Taurs Riley’s band, the Silver Birds Steel Drum band, started playing dancehall music before closing with a reggae rendition of the Hora. Then DJ AMRIT took over. “My favorite part of the reception was surprising everyone with our choreographed Bollywood dance,” Lauren remembers. “We had managed to keep it a secret, so no one was expecting it at all, and David really went for it. You can see in the photos how much energy he put into the moves.”

The reception was followed by a dance party with lots and lots of disco. “We played a customary Bay Area wedding rap song—I’m only half kidding—‘The Thizzle Dance’ by Mac Dre,” David says. “And, we did the thizzle dance, ate late night snacks, and had a never-ending pool party. It’s safe to say not everyone was in a bathing suit by the time they entered the water!”

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Kristen Marie Parker1/67I always knew I would incorporate an Alaïa look into my wedding outfit lineup. This was a vintage gown I found during my search. It was just slightly long on me, so I had to wear lucite platforms underneath, which felt like a funny juxtaposition. But totally worth it! David wore this incredible pink Nehru Jacket with a matching pink kurta underneath to our welcome dinner. I love that he paired it with sneakers.

Kristen Marie Parker2/67The Silver Birds Steel Drum Band headlined our welcome party at Push Cart—a local dancehall music and restaurant on the Rockhouse Property. They were incredible performers and played renditions of Beyoncé, as well as Bob Marley favorites. Not only were they incredible musicians, they were fully choreographed. It was amazing to witness.

Kristen Marie Parker3/67 Read more: Vogue Runway »

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Love the dress, truly stunning❤️⚡️ Beautiful view Lovely♥️

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