Howdy! July’s Southern Bride of the Month is our first from Texas (yeehaw!). Lauren is also notable for her adorable dating history and the fact that she’ll be walking down the longest aisle in Fort Worth. Let’s get started!
Hi! What’s your name?
Lauren Ashley Hunt… soon to be Lauren Hunt Brogdon!
What’s your fiancé’s name?
William Blake Brogdon, but he goes by Blake
Engagement photo by Perez Photography
How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story.
We both began kindergarten at Fort Worth Country Day School in 1992 (when asked what he noticed first about me for a bridal shower game, Blake said, “Probably her lunchbox or something”!). Things really started to take off for us in sixth grade. At carpool one April day, Blake asked me to be his girlfriend and we stayed together for five months, talking on instant messenger all summer and going bowling with our other twelve-year-old friends. We finally broke up in September, when I decided that Blake didn’t talk to me enough!
Engagement photo by Perez Photography, taken at Lauren and Blake’s high school!
Fast forward to ninth grade, and we were together once again. On the night of the freshman Howdy Dance, Blake asked me to be his date to Homecoming and I said yes. Very soon thereafter we realized how much we loved one another, and we have been together ever since! Our relationship continued to grow and change as we went through high school, then graduated from Country Day and moved to Houston for college, then graduated from Rice and moved to New York!
Now tell us alllll about the proposal.
Blake’s parents were in town for the weekend, so we went out to dinner with them at one of our favorite Italian restaurants in New York, Caffe Cielo. We had our favorite dishes and some great wine there, and then Blake’s parents went to a Broadway show. After they left for the show, we tried to figure out where we should go since we were already out and about. Blake suggested we go sit on the steps in front of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Sitting on the steps on the Met at dusk was something I had mentioned very early in the summer, after reading an article in the New York Times about how romantic and beautiful it is at that time of day (not to mention that it’s a New York City icon!). So when Blake oh-so-casually mentioned going there, I jumped at the chance!
Our cab pulled up in front of those huge steps and we started looking for a place to sit. It was just as wonderful as the article had described- the sun was setting, there were not too many people around, and there was a saxophone player on the street serenading everyone with “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” I had only climbed up one or two steps, when I felt Blake pulling at my hand, so I turned around and he was down on one knee! The moment I had been waiting for for almost a decade was finally here. I’d like to say I held it together, but I was crying like a baby as Blake gave the sweet speech he had prepared.
When’s the big day?
August 20, 2011- the ten year anniversary of when we first started dating in high school!
Where might you two be tying the knot?
University Christian Church in Fort Worth, Texas. Our reception is at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth.
How did you pick your ceremony and reception venues? What do you love most about each space?
We both grew up going to church at UCC. My great-grandfather was the head of the art department at TCU and actually painted the designs on the rafters when the church was first built. It is such a beautiful space with so many memories for us. I’ve also heard it has the longest aisle in all of Fort Worth.
Not Lauren + Blake’s ceremony spot, but a long aisle nonetheless! Photo by A Bryan Photo.
Were you totally that girl who planned her wedding from age 5, or not so much?
Absolutely! It didn’t hurt that Blake and I met at age 5. When we got engaged, I pulled out a box of magazine clippings I had started when we began dating in high school.
Has your vision for your wedding changed or evolved over the course of your engagement? If so, how?
Not really! I have been much more decisive than I originally anticipated, and I’ve pretty much stuck to most of my original decisions. The only thing that seems to keep changing is I keep adding people to the guest list!
Have you picked your dress yet? How’d that go? What will you be wearing on the big day?
I have! I only tried on four dresses, and I definitely had that “Oh my goodness, this is it!” moment. I had planned to take advantage of living in New York and go shopping at all those boutiques you see on TV, but I also wanted to share the experience with my mom and future mother-in-law, so I made an appointment at Ocone’s Bridal in Fort Worth for a weekend I would be in town. The first few dresses I tried on weren’t quite right, but I ended up choosing a Maggie Sottero gown that fit my personality so well and brought tears to everyone’s eyes. I also have a “getaway” dress I’m changing into to go to the hotel after the reception. It’s by BHLDN and looks like a more casual version of my gown.
A lovely, lacy Maggie Sottero, photographed by Meredith Perdue
Who is your favorite vendor you’ve booked so far?
Chrissie Stuntz of Chrissie Stuntz Events has been my fairy godmother and guardian angel through this whole process. There is no way I could have done any of this without her.
What do you love most about Southern weddings?
I think the two most important things in life, God and family, are also the two greatest things about Southern weddings. There’s nothing like going to a wedding in a Southern church, big or small, and listening to hymns and Scripture about love. People always do such a great job of honoring their families in the South too, and I love seeing family heirlooms incorporated into weddings. At our wedding, I will be wearing a headpiece that my great-grandmother made for my grandmother to wear at her wedding in 1951. My grandmother gave it to me before she passed away last November. I’m so thankful I will have a part of her with me as I walk down the aisle.
Do you have a favorite Etsy store you’d love to tell us about?
Alter Designs makes beautiful monogrammed jewelry (great for gifts), and Woomi has absolutely gorgeous headpieces and ring pillows.
Gorgeous country club reception inspiration Lauren found on The Knot!
If you had to pick three top priorities for your budget, what would they be and why? Are your fiancé’s priorities different?
The most important things to me were the location, the dress, and the photographer, Perez Weddings. I just love how the engagement pictures and bridal portraits turned out. The engagement photos were taken in downtown Fort Worth and at our old high school, and the bridals were taken at Joe T. Garcia’s in Fort Worth, where we are having our rehearsal dinner. Cesar Perez has such a great eye for a beautiful photo, and we love his style of working with couples, which isn’t too posed. He just puts you somewhere and tells you to “interact” while he snaps away!
Blake has been pretty laid-back with the planning, but we did end up budgeting quite a bit for our groom’s cake (a model of the Met Museum where Blake proposed) and on a scotch and cigar bar at the end of the night, which Blake and his groomsmen are very excited about! We’ll even have mint juleps for the ladies.
Tell us about the one that got away.
Peonies are my absolute favorite flower and they won’t be in season for our wedding! Our florist, Bridal Blooms by Kelly Norvell, was so great, though, and was able to get me a peony bouquet for my bridal portraits, and is making a bouquet to resemble peonies for the big day.
Gorgeous white peony bouquets, a favorite of brides everywhere! Photos clockwise from top left: Jose Villa, Generation Photography, Brian Adams Photographics, Next Exit
What has been the biggest challenge so far in wedding planning?
It was difficult figuring out how to incorporate NYC, where we live now, while still having a Southern wedding! We decided to have our groom’s cake made to look like the Met where we got engaged, and our favors are mini black and white cookies served with coffee in those famous blue NYC paper cups.
What are you most looking forward to on your wedding day?
Becoming Mrs. Brogdon! I have doodled that name on notebooks and things for so long that I can’t believe it is actually finally happening!
Now it’s your turn to ask for advice – is there anything you’d like to poll the SW readers on?
I would love to hear sweet ways people have honored their families on their wedding days. Our moms, dads, grandparents, siblings, and extended family have done so much for us through this process, and we are looking for cute and creative ways to show them our appreciation.
Thank you so much for playing along, Lauren! Readers, if you’d like to apply to be a Southern Bride of the Month, check out this post for all the details! If you’ve already emailed me, you’re still in the running for future months!
Love meeting our Southern brides? Check out these ladies from past months:
Alison, planning an outdoor wedding in Georgia with cotton bolls and milk glass
Katie, planning a garden wedding in Charleston with a pie bar
Kelly, planning a destination wedding in Savannah with an adorable and sentimental favor
The Southern Bride of the Month header was designed by our Assistant Art Director Sierra, with illustration by Curious & Company!