Lara was born in Washington, D.C. but spent most of her youth on the shores of Pensacola Beach, Florida. Lara graduated with honors from Carnegie Mellon University and studied art and design at Yale University. Her successes are wide-ranging: Lara has worked as a celebrity personal trainer in Manhattan and served as a contributor to Shape magazine. Lara wears many hats within her parent company, Lara Casey Media. She currently is the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Southern Weddings® magazine, founder of the Making Things Happen movement and a noted branding expert. Lara frequently speaks on branding, marketing and taking action on your dreams. She has been a speaker at such noted events as Engage!, WPPI, WedSmith, The Total Package, Pursuit 31, The Influence Conference, Americasmart, and on the Making Things Happen Tour, which recently completed its 40th national tour stop. She is currently writing her first book with Thomas Nelson Publishers. Lara lives in Chapel Hill, NC, with her husband Ari, and loves to garden, sing old hymns, and explore local farms with her two-year old daughter, Grace.
Hometown: Pensacola, FL, but I was born in Washington, D.C.
Birthday: December 27, 1979
What fires me up the most: Learning about God’s heart through the Bible and prayer and seeing Him do amazing things with my life! Read more about my whole story here.
You would be surprised to know: I have a degree in music theatre and dance.
Claim to fame: Eating about 5 Luna or Nugo bars a day, in addition to regular meals. I eat a lot : ) Oh, and I love chickens!
Favorite class I took in college: Oh, don’t laugh. My curriculum consisted of classes like, “Clowning 101″ and “Rhythm.” But, my favorite – and the hardest class for me – was ballet. It was pure discipline, but I’ll never forget long days dancing to live piano, 4-5 days a week. What a joy!
How I met my husband: I was working out at the gym (and was a personal trainer at the time). Ari came up to me one day and asked me for workout advice : )
My favorite memory from my wedding is: Ari going into our hotel room to put his coat down and then coming back out to the hallway to carry me over the threshold… only to find out he locked us out of the room! It was hilarious! We had to wait for an hour for hotel security to come and let us back in.
How I came to work at Southern Weddings: Too long a story for this tiny space. Ask me over coffee sometime. How I started the magazine is a little easier to condense… I always wanted a place to showcase what fired me up. This all started when we launched the Southern Weddings daily blog in 2007. It was a place for me to share what I loved in weddings, what was inspiring me and to show Southern brides that there was more to telling their unique love story than tulle and stuffed chicken.The blog caught on like wildfire, and people got so excited about a modern look at weddings in the South. The print magazine was born out of the incredible feedback from the blog. I am so grateful for the work we do because our job is to tell these authentic love stories. I love my “work.” We’re not corporate or owned by some big publishing house. We do the layout, write the editorial, organize the advertising – and everything else – ourselves. We are self-published, which is a rarity nowadays. We’re really, really small. We never want to grow to the point where we can’t give personal attention to what matters most. We are really grateful for that.
Favorite Southern Weddings editorial ever: Family Heirlooms is definitely my favorite shoot of all time for a billion reasons. Read the article in V5 for more on why this shoot carries my heart!
Best part of my job: knowing we are making a difference in people’s lives. Our goal is to inspire brides to cultivate a life full of love – celebrating their families, the rich culture of the South and what matters most to them – and then to draw from that rich well to create a meaningful beginning to married life.
What I do in my spare time: I paint, sing and chase my toddler : )
The cause/organization/charity that most captures my heart: I am known around the office for my love for fine feathered friends. Heifer.org allows you to purchase chicks and other animals as microloans for impoverished villages so they can have food. I buy chicks for friends as donations for Christmas and it always makes my heart full knowing they are providing eggs for years to come!
True love is: Aligning your heart’s with God’s heart.