Emily knows me (and my love for all things formal and traditional) so well! As soon as Lauren + Jeff’s lovely Florida wedding came through Emily’s inbox, our uber-talented Art Director knew the elegant details and classic overtones of this black-tie affair would make me melt. Special thanks to Agnes Lopez for capturing and Heather Canada from First Coast Weddings for planning Lauren + Jeff’s glamorous soiree at the ultra-Southern TPC Sawgrass. While the groomsmen look strikingly handsome in their tailored tuxes, the bridesmaids’ floor-length gowns from Priscilla of Boston are wonderfully romantic and the perfect complement to Lauren’s classic Rivini alencon lace gown. The gardenlike bouquets and blooming centerpieces of peonies, hydrangeas and tiny roses from Liz Stewart Floral Design are enough to make me swoon! (How lovely are the blue hydrangea accents on the couple’s simple, four-tiered cake, courtesy of Jacksonville Beach’s own Classic Cakes?) Since I adore all things gold, I just have to point out the elegant place settings of delicate gold-rimmed crystal plates and luxe napkins. I guess we know what type of bride I’ll be when the big day comes! Want to tell me about your unique bridal style? Check out our September mega-giveaway!
How did the two of you meet? Jeff and I both grew up in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. We went to middle school and high school together but didn’t meet until our 10th grade chemistry class. Jeff and I remained friends at school but our relationship didn’t spark until senior year. Jeff asked me on our first date and then went to our senior prom together. After senior year, we went separate ways for college (Jeff to the University of Florida and myself to the University of Georgia), but we managed to date long distance all four years. After graduation, we both decided to take jobs in Charlotte, NC so we were no longer apart from one another.
Describe the proposal. For our fifth anniversary in March of 2008, Jeff took me to Chicago for a long weekend. With so many friends getting married and Jeff working all the time, I didn’t expect to get engaged that weekend, even though I wanted it to happen!. Little did I know, he had been planning the whole thing for a month, picking out the ring and asking for my father’s permission. On our first day in Chicago, Jeff and I went to Millennium Park where we went to a quiet area in the park. After a few minutes of conversation, Jeff was on his knee asking me to marry him. I couldn’t have asked for a better day.
Three adjectives that describe the day are: Fun, loving and breath-taking.
What was your favorite design element of your big day? The photobooth! My dad decided over a year ago that he wanted to have a photobooth at the reception. I had never seen this done before but it was a huge success. We now have some of the best photos and memories in our scrapbook!
Did you have a theme for your wedding? Simple, classic and reminiscent of a romantic English garden. I wanted our reception venue to look just a little different than other weddings and I thought a romantic English garden was perfect. Our florist tucked away little birds nests in the cocktail and reception area to really add a special touch.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was:Our favorite detail had to be the ceremony room and then the ceremony itself. Although the entire venue was decorated beautifully, the ceremony room was better than I could ever have expected. It was intimate with perfect lighting. I loved being able to see so many of our close friends and family in one place to share in such a special moment. My best friend’s husband, Chris, officiated the ceremony and did an incredible job. It was so personal and touching to everyone around.
Tell us about finding your wedding dress: Since Jeff and I were engaged for over a year, my mom and I went to several wedding shops to look around. As a low-key girl, my first vision was a flowy, Grecian style dress with little to no detail, but when I realized that a wedding only happens once, I ended up going in the total opposite direction. For the big day, I decided on the most beautiful Rivini alencon lace gown. I fell in love with it immediately and, even after ten more dresses, I knew it was the one! To make it more unique, Mom found a broach for the front to add a little sparkle.
Describe your wedding flowers: My favorite colors are blue and green so I knew I had to incorporate them in the wedding décor. When I decided on a peridot green for the girls’ dresses, the florist produced a sample bouquet for them with white roses, peonies, antique blue-green hydrangeas and some dusty miller. Not being a floral expert, I didn’t really know what to suggest but Tiffany from Liz Stewart Floral really created just what I was looking for! For my bouquet, I had always wanted an all white and round bouquet. I had a bouquet full of white peonies, hydrangea and garden roses. It was perfect. To top it off, I had my grandmother’s rosary tied around the stems for my “something old/borrowed” and to remember her on our special day. For the ceremony and reception, we had centerpieces of varying heights (tall wrought iron stands, mosaic glass and low potted arrangements) that had a mixture of blue, green, white and soft peach flowers.
Describe your wedding cake:Our wedding cake was a round, four-tiered cake with a simple three-dot design, pearl detailing and cascading antique blue-green hydrangea. It was a chocolate and vanilla cake with a chocolate butter cream icing in between the two layers. It was such a delicious cake that a friend ask if they had a mail service for birthdays!
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? My most memorable moment was walking into the ceremony room and seeing Jeff for the first time. We hadn’t see each other for the whole day and even though I was very calm, I felt so relaxed once I saw him and was standing next to him. Jeff says that his most memorable moment was seeing me walk down the aisle. I think we were just really excited to see each other!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future?We will be living and working in Charlotte, NC. We have been here for two years and are hoping to just be able to relax and spend some time with family and friends. Aside from taking trips together, we don’t have anything planned. We’ll see where life takes us!
Congratulations to the newlyweds! We hope you enjoy spending time together as husband and wife!