Welcome back for part two of this beautiful summer soiree! Before I get started on the pretties below, I think I’ll let Lauren give y’all a little insight into their reception: It was an intimate summer white wonderland with dashes of coral charm, completely enveloped by candlelight. I’d have to agree! I also love how a change of plans lead Lauren’s family to open up their home for guests to cool down from the summer heat and enjoy the cocktail hour with cool fans. That sounds like Southern summer hospitality to me!
I know Emily would be sad if I failed to mention the amazing Sperry Tent that makes Lauren and Em “wedding tent twins”! (Make sure you check out Em’s Sperry here!)
What was the design inspiration for your reception? We had a really fun time working together with Easton to marry the classic architecture of our parents’ home and the Southern charm of a Sperry tent with the modern and clean lines that define our personal aesthetic. Our printed suite, inspired by John Robshaw, certainly helped guide the design vision for the reception as well with the menus and coral table numbers.
Describe some of the decorations or décor elements you used: For the tent, we chose bright white flowers, long mirrored vases, square and rectangular tables, and fantastic 5′ ivory drum shades to give the space a contemporary edge. One of our favorite design elements of the reception was our head table. We really wanted to honor our wedding party that traveled from near and far to stand up and support us on our wedding day, so we included our entire wedding party and their dates at our head table of 36! It was so special to have our closest friends right beside us throughout the reception and the bridesmaids’ bouquets added a brilliant touch of coral to our incredibly long table!
Describe your centerpieces: Our centerpieces were low, lush arrangements of white peonies, hydrangeas, and garden roses in modern mirrored boxes. We knew we wanted the flowers and the aesthetic of the reception to be timeless and the centerpieces hit this note perfectly.
If I had been a guest at this wedding, I would have carefully tucked away my escort card box and toted it home! The calligraphy is just lovely!
Love this idea, too — inviting guests to leave their marriage advice for different anniversaries!
There was a slight change in plans for our cocktail hour — due to the heat and minimal power, we opened the house for our guests to enjoy cocktails with the breeze of industrial grade fans! We passed poached Carolina shrimp, leek and Amish cheddar tarts with oven-roasted tomatoes, beef tenderloin on Parmesan crisps, gougeres with gruyere fondue, and classic mini New England lobster rolls as a nod to Boston for Rob and his family. Peter Richardson played Spanish-inspired guitar tunes to set a relaxing summer vibe. Aside from the traditional bar offerings, we also worked closely with a family friend of ours to select wines that would be special to our guests for both the cocktail hour and the seated dinner.
We carried our culinary passion through dinner to with our completely custom Italian-inspired summer menu. Working closely with our terrific caterer, Keswick Hall, we created a special meal of favorites for our guests of a warm heirloom corn soufflé and peach and baby arugula salad, followed by a course of ricotta gnocchi and sweet cherry tomatoes and a main course of grilled loin of grass-fed lamb with Parmesan potatoes and eggplant lasagna squares. Sumptuous summer ingredients at their best! The food was one of our top priorities in wedding planning as it has played such an important role in our years together and we wanted our guests to enjoy every bite of our first meal together as husband and wife!
What was Southern about your wedding? Our wedding was Southern in the sense that we wanted each and every one of our guests to feel very special, welcomed, and relaxed. Although our group was a large one, our goal was for the reception to feel like an intimate dinner party for all of our favorites! Hosting our guests in our home really accomplished this feeling!
What is the one thing that made your wedding different from anyone else’s wedding? Other than marrying the greatest guy I know, I think what made our wedding special is knowing that we will be the only couple to be married at our parents’ house. Every time we return to visit, it is a reminder of our special day, and that will always be so treasured. We also made an effort to really personalize all of the wedding details, from the welcome bags to the favors, to give our guests even more of a glimpse into our story together as a couple.
Our wedding cake was absolutely gorgeous! Kathy of Favorite Cakes designed a hexagonal crisp white cake with delicate hand pulled sugar flowers for a dash of soft elegance. We offered three scrumptious flavors to each guest: poppy seed cake with almond buttercream, lemon cake with fresh blueberries, and yellow cake with orange chocolate ganache! Delish!!
Tell us a bit about your first dance. I think our first dance was one of my fondest memories of the night — it really felt like just the two of us melting into each other in this cozy, magical tent. We danced to “Home” by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, which is a bit off the beaten path, but we adored the sweet lyrics. All of our guests clapped along to the fun tune, which kicked off an amazing night of dancing into the wee hours!
Were there any family traditions you included in the reception? We included my dad and Rob’s mom in a parent dance to “God Only Knows” by the Beach Boys. One of the most touching moments was when my mom brought her dad to join us on the dance floor together.
We’re so glad that Lauren + Rob’s bourbon burying worked to ensure a gorgeous wedding day!
Did you include any Southern traditions in your wedding? We did! Our most successful Southern tradition was burying the bourbon by the willow tree in our backyard. While we had the crazy derecho the Friday before the wedding, our wedding day was stunningly sunny! We heard thunder rumbling and lightning flashes throughout the ceremony, but the sun still peaked through and we credit this Southern tradition for our beautiful (very warm!) wedding weather! I also surprised Rob with cannoli as a personal take on a groom’s cake and a nod to his Boston hometown! Lastly, we sent our guests home with recipe books of Southern family favorites and my mom’s sugar cookies that we baked and decorated together the week before the wedding!
What was the funniest moment of your wedding? What was the scariest? I worked with Easton throughout the planning to hide a surprise cannoli for Rob to taste during the cake cutting. One of the funniest moments was seeing the shocked look on Rob’s face when I unveiled the cannoli for him to taste in lieu of cake—so precious!
What was the biggest challenge you faced when planning your wedding? I would have to say the biggest challenge was coordinating an outdoor wedding at our own home in the height of summer. One of the most special features of my parents’ house is the beautiful view of the Blue Ridge mountains, so we felt strongly about hosting the wedding outdoors in the calm, natural setting of the backyard. It took substantial planning, but we were incredibly blessed to work with a team of vendors that believed in our vision and made it a fantastic reality!
Did you try anything new or untraditional? Our wedding party made a grand and unexpected entrance to Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe,” which was fantastically fun! Rob and I followed to Rihanna’s “Where Have You Been,” setting a young and lively tone for the reception!
Did you toss the garter or bouquet? We did a bouquet toss from the balcony in front of the house before running downstairs for a sparkler soiree! We wanted to end the night on a fun note and we were shocked by how quickly the departure crept up on us!
Tell us about your grand exit. Rob loves to golf, so after the sparker soiree we drove off into the night on a golf cart with an adorable “Amore” sign!
What advice would you give to someone planning his or her wedding? Enjoy every moment — it is so incredibly unique to have your friends and family gathered in one place to celebrate, so relish in your time with them. As involved as you may be in the planning process, try to trust the professionals you have hired to execute your vision to ensure that you savor the day. If you are married to the man of your dreams by midnight, then your wedding really is absolute perfection.
Who was your favorite vendor and why? I can say with extreme certainty that Easton Events was our most outstanding and favorite vendor. Augusta Cole, Lynn Easton Andrews, Libby Woodard, and the entire Easton team created the most magical celebration anyone could hope for and all while juggling quite extreme natural elements! They took our vision to another level and truly created flawless excellence for our wedding day. I loved every minute of our planning experience and I am lucky enough to continue working with Easton as I will be joining their fantastic team this Fall to create many more beautiful weddings!