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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!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
4 Comments
  1. avatar Emily reply

    This wedding truly looks like an unforgettable experience. And that cake is right up my classic aesthetic alley! :)

  2. avatar Kat reply

    I’m obsessed with all the lovely paper products; the stationary suite & reception signage are elegant & traditional while still fun!

  3. avatar Amy reply

    What a gorgeous venue! Love the white cake, too!

  4. avatar Huma Naqvi reply

    My friend is absolutely in love with the idea of the guests leaving ideas for marriage advice! I was wondering what the year 1 and year 5 vases said on the labels? As well as the wording for the main card? Any help would be greatly, greatly, greatly appreciated! Thanks!

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Before I can even dive into the gorgeousness of Lauren + Rob’s wedding, I have to say that I found myself tearing up when reading about their proposal. Rob proposed to Lauren with her mama’s engagement ring, which was passed down to her from her paternal grandmother. Unsurprisingly, she wrote that “it has a very special and sentimental meaning.” What I love even more about this story is that their jeweler even incorporated the platinum from her mom’s ring into the new setting. Swoon! How Rob actually proposed is a good story, too, so make sure to check that out below!

Now let’s talk details! Our very talented friends at Easton Events worked with Lauren (one of their own fabulous planners!) and Rob to create a modern and intimate design inspired by L + R’s favorite John Robshaw pillows from their home in D.C. I admire that they chose to incorporate things that they love in their own home into their wedding!

Special thanks to Jen Fariello for capturing this sweet soiree! Be sure to check back for part two and to check out the whole coral creation in print! Order your copy of V5 right here.

Oh my WORD! This stationery suite is just a vision!

The printed suite was definitely my most treasured design element of the wedding. Erika fantastically set the tone for the wedding from the first impression with the invitations and carried the lyrical aesthetic through to the programs, the menus and even our Mister + Mrs. chair signs. Erika also worked with us to incorporate cooking and the culinary world into the design of the wedding weekend! We have always enjoyed exploring restaurants in our own hometowns and our current town of DC, so each of our reception tables was named after one of our favorite restaurants we have frequented together! The story of our connection to each restaurant was explained on a description card at each guest’s place.

Holy Tara goodness, y’all! I think Lauren did Scarlett proud with this gorgeous plantation!

Our wedding fell on the weekend of the crazy derecho that swept the East coast this past June. The night before the wedding, hurricane-force winds and rain passed through Charlottesville, leaving fallen trees, debris, and power outages the morning of the wedding. Fortunately, we had generators to power the tent and thanks to our incredible wedding planners and team of vendors, the wedding went off without a hitch! The day was perfectly sunny and while we heard thunder rumblings and lightning throughout the ceremony, we didn’t feel a drop of rain all day. We did, however, have Texas-sized heat with temperatures over 100 degrees that afternoon!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress.  What is your favorite thing about it? My dress was a strapless lace fitted design by Romona Keveza. I loved the floral appliqués at the top of the dress—they added a touch of modernity to the simple style. My veil was a bit more traditional with lace and the perfect touch of sparkle!

Our incredible florist Southern Blooms crafted a stunning ceremony arbor of white delphinium, dendrobium orchids, and draping that set the scene beautifully for a romantic and chic celebration. Southern Blooms created a timeless magical ambiance with lush white peonies and hydrangeas and coral charm peonies added a brilliant dash of coral whimsy that we carried throughout the day with the cocktail florals and the bridesmaid’s bouquets. My bouquet was even more beautiful than I could have imagined! The bouquet was brimming with Festiva maxima white peonies and white sweet peas, wrapped in the lace and pearls from my mom’s wedding dress for my “something old.” The girls carried bright bouquets of coral charm peonies and garden roses that were so fun and festive for summer and the guys wore white boutonnieres tied with coral grosgrain ribbon.

Our bridesmaids wore TwoBirds Bridesmaid dresses in ivory. We chose this style because we had a wedding party of 10 girls and we wanted everyone to express their individual personality through their dress. The TwoBirds dresses can be tied in over 13 unique styles, which was perfect for our large group!

Dying over this sweet first-look alternative! I would have needed some extra waterproof mascara!

Rob and I love writing notes to one another, so instead of a first look, we planned a card exchange just before the ceremony. We wanted to keep with the tradition of seeing each other for the first time walking down the aisle, so we shared our notes from the balcony without seeing each other before the ceremony. It was so nice to have a moment together and come to center in the midst of the excitement of the day.

Who was one of the most special guests at your wedding? My maternal grandfather and Rob’s maternal grandmother are our only surviving grandparents. They both made the trip to Virginia from Dallas, Texas and Bowling Green, Kentucky, respectively, and we couldn’t be more thankful that we had the chance to dance with them at our wedding!
Tell me a bit about the wedding ceremony. The ceremony was far and away our favorite memory of the day. My uncle is a reverend and he presided, which was incredibly special. He worked with us on every detail of the ceremony from the readings to the homily and we can never thank him enough. Rob’s aunt and uncle have been amazingly supportive of our relationship and they are a marvelous inspiration for us in marriage–they have been together over 40 years! We asked them to read Soulmates by Richard Bach, which we felt was reflective of both of our relationships.
Who participated in your ceremony? My younger sister and best friend served as our Maid of Honor and Rob’s incredible older brother was our Best Man. Our family means the world to us, and we wanted to recognize them as our support system and our guides as we enter into this new chapter in life. We created a unity flower ritual as an alternative to the unity candle–each of our mothers carried flowers down the aisle that we combined together in a flower press to symbolize our families becoming one. We have saved the flowers to incorporate into a piece of artwork in our home–we are so lucky to have such a wonderful reminder of our special day every day.

Did you write your own vows? One of our top rules in life when presented with two equally fabulous options, is to always do both. We knew we wanted to include the traditional vows that our parents and grandparents have promised to each other for generations. However, we also decided to share a few personal words with each other before exchanging our formal vows. So the week before the wedding we went to our first date spot, Jaleo, and wrote the framework for our personal vows together. My favorite piece of Rob’s vows was, “You brighten all my days. I always want you to be happy, because when you’re happy, then I’m happy, too.” Rob’s highlight of my vows to him was, “Dr. Seuss said it best–“You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.” I know our future together is incredibly bright, just because you’re my mister, always.
Did you try anything new or nontraditional? Our “do both” rule also came into play with the ceremony music! We wanted to incorporate a bit of tradition, so our family processed to Brandenberg Concerto and my dad and I processed to Canon in D. We spiced it up with our wedding party processional to Journey’s Don’t Stop Believing and our recessional to Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit! The music was really a reflection of us and Encore String Quartet was wonderful in working with us to strike the perfect balance.

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story.  (From the groom) We crossed paths during our time at Duke through overlapping circles of friends, but never really spent much quality time together. After graduation, we both moved to DC (along with a sizable portion of our graduating class). A year later in the fall of 2008, a good friend of ours celebrated his birthday at a downtown restaurant and I was lucky enough to get a seat next to Lauren! We enjoyed each other’s company and found many shared interests. Another good friend of ours noticed the chemistry and was convinced there was something more between us, so he devised a plan. He invited each of us to his company holiday party setting each of us up with colleagues he thought we wouldn’t be interested in. Everything went just according to his scheme: we ditched our dates, spent the whole night dancing together, and after many, many nights of Top Chef and vacations from the South of France to San Francisco, we couldn’t be more excited to be together forever!
Describe the proposal: As a wedding planner myself, Rob knew he would need to get crafty in order to surprise me with the proposal! Last Halloween, he called me and told me to get ready for dinner at one of our favorite local tapas restaurants and our first date spot, Jaleo. The reservation was just an hour later, so he knew I wouldn’t suspect too much. We had a fantastic Spanish dinner and then Rob took me on a drive throughout the city to visit all of the apartments we have lived in since our time in DC (which after a few years, is actually quite a few!) We reminisced and watched cute trick-or-treaters in the different neighborhoods, talking about all that we have to look forward to together. By this time it was about 11:30 and we headed home for what I thought would be calling it a night. Then, Rob sneakily asked me to come up to the roof of our building to help him check out the grill (we had trouble with it when we barbequed over the weekend). I obliged and to my surprise, under the hood of the grill Rob had a box waiting for me! My dad proposed to my mom over hamburgers on the grill, so it was very thoughtful of him to incorporate the grill into his sweet proposal. I am incredibly lucky!
Tell us about your beautiful engagement. Rob actually proposed with my mom’s engagement ring, which was passed down to her from my paternal grandmother. It has a very special and sentimental meaning. A few days after proposing, Rob took me to a family jeweler in Great Falls, Virginia, where we reset the stone and made it our own. The jeweler even incorporated the platinum from my mom’s ring into the new setting. We feel very lucky to have a ring that my mom wore for 34 years and we can now share with our children through many more lifelong marriages to come!
Tell me all the basics of your wedding! We chose Charlottesville, Virginia for our wedding because my parents have lived in the area for almost ten years now and you can’t deny the splendor of the surrounding Blue Ridge mountains. Not only is Charlottesville a breathtaking and charming city, but it’s where Rob and I fell fast in love over long weekends of cooking and relaxing with family. We wanted to host our friends and family in the place that we hold most dear, at my parents’ house. So in true, Southern style, our ceremony and reception were held in my parents’ backyard on June 30 at 6:30PM.
Three adjectives that describe the day are: Modern, lyrical, magical, intimate (I couldn’t choose just three!)
How many guests attended your wedding? 164
What was the design inspiration for your wedding? The design inspiration originated from the collection of John Robshaw pillows in our home in DC. Pillows are a slight obsession of ours and John Robshaw’s designs are fantastically modern and fanciful! We worked closely with the wonderfully talented Erika Jack to create a custom printed suite inspired by our pillows and the printed pieces set the tone for the entire wedding design. We even incorporated some of our favorite pillows for a touch of whimsy at the reception!
What were your wedding colors? A palette of neutrals and gold with the perfect punch of coral!
How did you spend the morning or afternoon before your big day? I spent the morning having a wonderful girls’ day of hair and makeup, music, and fun with all of my bridesmaids, my mom and my sister. We indulged in delicious Southern finger sandwiches and salads as well as plenty of Diet Dr. Pepper for fuel! Rob spent the morning with his groomsmen as well, but unfortunately without any power or running water due to the storm! They made runs to the Boars Head for showers and getting ready. Once they arrived at my parents’ house before the ceremony, things were much more relaxing as the guys enjoyed snacks and sang along with the string quartet.

marissa Written with love by Marissa
9 Comments
  1. avatar Sharon @ Red Poppy | Pink Peony reply

    Beautiful wedding! I love the coral and the calligraphy, and the venue is gorgeous!

  2. avatar {The NotWedding} reply

    This wedding is just a southern dream! We LOVE every aspect of this special day. Congrats to Lauren and Rob!

  3. avatar Nicole Saffron reply

    The bride’s dress is stunning! I love their sweet card exchange with out seeing each other!

  4. avatar Jen Fariello reply

    Thank you all much for sharing this wedding! xoxo

  5. avatar Emily reply

    Oh my, that paper suite is just killing me! A vision, indeed!

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  8. avatar Amy reply

    Totally adore those invites! What pretty stamps!

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