Jared Seligman, a real estate broker to Manhattan’s A-Listers, and investment banker Max Schapiro tied the knot in Palm Beach, Florida earlier this year in a modern Orthodox wedding.
Seligman and Schapiro didn’t intend make a point with their wedding.
“We didn’t go out to be the first or pioneers of anything, but I think it was important [because Schapir0] is a modern Orthodox [Jewish man],” Seligman said. However, he hopes that when they have children they will grow up in a much more accepting and freer environment.
“It was very important for him to have a religious ceremony,” Seligman said about Schapiro. “It was really important for him to have a very traditional wedding.”
Schapiro also wanted “a big over-the-top wedding,” whereas Seligman said he “wanted a very small private ceremony wedding” or to elope with a few friends and family.
As he did when they first met, Schapiro won over Seligman as planning got underway for their February 4 wedding at the Palm Beach Country Club in Palm Beach, Florida.
Seligman talked with Gay City News about their love story and wedding as well as about expanding his business from Manhattan to the Hamptons and West Palm Beach; planning home renovations and blending two very different styles; and his projects.
Seligman made a name for himself selling real estate to Manhattan’s young and monied set in his early 20s.
“I was very good at representing young people,” said Seligman, who got himself noticed listing Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen’s five-bedroom, 5,700-square-foot penthouse at 1 Morton Square in 2007, according to the New York Times. He also represented the late Adam “DJ AM” Goldstein and New York City’s hottest runway models at the time: Stam, Coco Rocha, Caroline Trentini, Hilary Rhoda, and Lily Cole, reported Curbed.
“They wanted someone that they could kind of identify with and that they could trust,” Seligman said.
Seligman started his real estate career on the casual advice of a relative at a family dinner when he was 18 years old. The native New Yorker’s friends were heading to college in 2004. That was the last thing Seligman wanted to do.
Seligman won “Rookie of the Year” during his first three years in business. He out-brokered his fellow record breaker and competitor by double. He was named in “Forbes 30 under 30 List” in his mid-20s. He appeared on the first episode of Bravo TV’s “Million Dollar Listing: New York.” He hasn’t looked back since.
He worked at a luxury real estate company, Douglas Elliman Real Estate, for nearly a decade, and returned to The Corcoran Group, one of the first agencies where he set his foundation in the industry.
Today, Seligman is setting his sights on expanding his business to the Hamptons and West Palm Beach in South Florida, and he is eyeing designing a homeware line.
Seligman took his interest in design from both of his grandmothers, whose unique styles were on trend long before they were popular. One grandmother liked bright splashy beachy blues and pinks with playful animals, like elephants and monkeys; the other grandmother mixed antiques and chic pop art of New York City’s downtown crowd.
“The [styles] are almost equally as relevant today as they were however many years ago,” he said.
He was also inspired by his own renovations and decorating at his homes, which led him to launch a design business that he ran for three years alongside his real estate business.
That diversity, flexibility, and ability to drive his vision and creativity to express his ethics and passion for his work not only got him through growing pains as a business owner, but he also gained loyal clients.
“I’ve always been able to see the potential in a lot of spaces and understand just how valuable great architecture is, minus whatever renovations are on the table,” Seligman said. “I think that my eye for design and architecture has always helped me communicate with clients as to the prospective value or lack thereof” of a property, he explained.
Seligman usually only looks forward. He rarely looks back at his accomplishments. When he does take a glimpse in the rearview mirror, he simply says, it is “really crazy.”
“I’m just lucky that I have very loyal clients that kind of follow me wherever I go and support me and that I’m able to really help,” Seligman said.
Seligman is currently focused on expanding his business from Manhattan to the Hamptons, where he and Schapiro bought their fixer-upper home, and Palm Beach, Florida, where the couple met and wed.
Schapiro has been the managing partner at Wolfson Partners for nearly four years, according to his LinkedIn profile.
The couple met around 2018 through mutual friends, but Schapiro had seen Seligman a couple of years before that on “Million Dollar Listing: New York” and tracked him down. Oblivious to the fact that Schapiro was his future husband, Seligman didn’t respond to his messages at the time.
Schapiro didn’t give up. He heard through friends that Seligman was going to be at a lounge in Palm Beach, Florida, and he went to meet him in person.
“I think it’s called stalking, but it’s a much more elegant way,” Seligman said with a laugh. Upon meeting, it clicked. Seligman knew. “I woke up the next morning after we met and I called my mother and my grandmother and I said, ‘I think I met the person I’m going to marry,’ it was just a weird feeling.”
“He is so smart. He is charming. He is incredibly handsome. He is just the hardest working person I have ever met,” Seligman said.
Schapiro and Seligman are the proud fathers of two dogs, Queen Elizabeth and Winston Churchill.
“The best part of a relationship is having someone who is by your side, through good times and in some more challenging times,” Seligman said. “It’s not all rainbows and unicorns.”
The couple was engaged soon after they met. Schapiro and Seligman put the finishing touch on their long engagement – six years to be exact – that included a personal crisis, a home renovation in the middle of a pandemic, and finally planning a wedding.
Through it all, Seligman and Schapiro were able to blend their Old World and New World styles and come out of the challenges together to throw a big gay Jewish Orthodox wedding on February 4.
It all came down to trust and compromise and keeping it kosher at home, Seligman said.
Building a life together
Creating their dream Hampton home wasn’t an easy venture for either of them. Schapiro wanted a modern home that was move-in ready and Seligman wanted something a bit older that had some character.
“We were finally able to basically bring me to this century and have him kind of understand what I meant by embracing some of the architectural details of the charm without totally destroying all of it so it just had a little bit of a sense of history and character,” Seligman said.
Both men pushed each other out of their comfort zones to blend their styles to update their Hampton home that Seligman estimated hadn’t been renovated since the 1970s.
“We were able to execute something that was totally unique and great,” he said. The house was transformed into “a home that we loved more than anything.”