Real Wedding: Lauren and Brad
From the very beginning Brad and I knew that we wanted our day to be a day that really reflected the people we are. We are not overly ornate or people who love spectacle. We are simple, fun and silly and we wanted our day to allow our guest to see that and how much we adore each other!
I am terrible at making decisions so wedding planning could have been an absolute disaster! (Luckily, Brad was a HUGE support during this and had quite a few opinions of his own!) One of the things that gave me the most trouble was deciding on a theme or colors. It seemed as if everyone on LIW had these creative and beautiful themes and color arrangements and I just couldn’t come up with anything that really fit us. I then realized that we wanted something simple and classic and really in my opinion, there is no more classic combination than “Black and White.” We thought we needed something else so we added a touch of pale pink just for a slight bit of color. Once we picked this, things just happened so easily! We then found ourselves LOVING black damask. Our invitations and menus all had damask patterns and had we stumbled upon this sooner in the process I would have really run with it!
Brad and I were very fortunate to have received help from our families in planning our wedding. When we started looking at places we knew that we wanted a place that was reasonably priced but offered a ton of stuff! Brad made an executive decision and said he wanted to get married by the water, which helped to narrow down our options! (Thank Goodness!) The minute we stepped into Chateau La Mer we were sold! The classy elegance of the rooms wowed us and the dock outside was simply stunning! We knew this is where we had to get married!
We used Burton’s for our flowers and they did a really nice job. We were clueless as to what we wanted but Bobbie came to our rescue! I loved the way she wrapped black ribbon with a white sash around our pink and white flowers to just tie everything in. Our centerpieces were branches with white orchids wrapped around them and tea lights hanging. We thought this gave a simple and elegant feel to our room!
Brad and I used Imagine studios for our photos and boy were we pleased! Lia suggested we take pictures at the Bayard Cutting Arboretum in Oakdale and it was just the most beautiful and serene setting. We got some gorgeous pictures on the water and in the woods that were beautiful but still allowed us to be ourselves!
Our ceremony was VERY important to us. Brad and I feel that sometimes people forget about what a wedding really is and skip right to the party. We wanted our ceremony to be personalized and really describe who and how we are in the world as well as the incredibly loving relationship we have. Rev. Deb Viola from Ceremonies of the Heart created a ceremony that totally captured the people we are. We had so many people rave about how unique and beautiful our ceremony was and looking back at our video it really was one of the most touching ceremonies I have ever heard (if I do say so myself! ?)
Brad and I are both music educators so we knew that the music we chose had to be spectacular. We couldn’t have been happier with the vendors we used for our ceremony, cocktail hour and DJ! Vintage String quartet was absolutely phenomenal. Not only did they sound incredible, they were just so accommodating. Brad and I couldn’t decide on the bridal party entrance music for our ceremony. Nothing jumped out at us so we asked Vintage String Quartet if we could arrange a piece for them to play. Fran said absolutely so Brad arranged one of our favorite pieces of music and his cousin was able to sing it at our ceremony. Then, in typical Lauren fashion, I couldn’t decide on the bridal entrance song. I didn’t want anything too traditional and I wanted something that really represented the person that I am. My favorite song in the world is “What a Wonderful World.” After giving up on this as my entrance song, Brad arranged it and sent it over to Fran and they played it! It was absolutely STUNNING! We felt so blessed to work with such talented musicians that would really take the time to make our wedding everything we dreamt of. We used Long Island Sound for our reception and they were FABULOUS! They played such a wide variety of music and really made sure we were enjoying every second! We decided not to do the garter or bouquet toss because we wanted everyone to get as much dancing in as they could!
Brad and I chose to have a photo booth at our wedding and we are SO glad we did! Our DOC (Gina from Bleu Diamond Events, who is FABULOUS!) brought a ton of props for our guests to use as they took pictures and this really helped make it a huge success! I know a lot of people would think the props are cheesy or tacky, but we are goofy, fun and silly people and we don’t take ourselves too seriously so this was perfect! We had a blast and some of our favorite pictures are actually pictures from the photo booth! Our guests loved it and so did we!
When we look back on that day, there are so many special moments. I remember waking up and realizing that this was our wedding day and just crying happy tears. I remember reading on facebook that for whatever reason Brad didn’t have shoes that fit him! I remember worrying about what shoes he would end up with! I also remember the ride to take pictures where I would see Brad for the first time that day, and waiting for him to walk around the bushes to come and meet me and how exciting that was! But if we had to pick the MOST memorable time Brad and I would both actually have the same moment in our heads. After the ceremony the two of us went downstairs to the bridal suite and our DOC asked everyone to leave so we could have some time to ourselves. Brad and I both got very emotional as we realized that this was forever and that we were blessed to know that we get to wake up and fall asleep next to each other everyday. It was such an amazing feeling to hear “my wife” and see that ring on his finger! Thank goodness the photographer was able to capture this as she snuck around without us knowing!
This brings me to my advice for future brides. Planning a wedding can be VERY stressful. The stress can be unbearable and can cause you to completely forget why you are planning a wedding in the first place. Never lose sight of the fact that your love for each other is what matters most. Plan a day that will make YOU and YOUR FIANCE happy regardless of what others may think. Everyone has an opinion and on his or her wedding day it is what counts the most. But, on YOUR day it is your opinion that matters. Plan a day that makes YOU happy. Plan a day that reflects YOU as a couple. Enjoy each step of the planning; don’t rush it away because it flies by! The day of the wedding will come and go faster than you think. Try to stop and breath and take a look around and realize that all of your guests are there because they love you and want to celebrate the people you are and the love you share. Don’t forget it!