To understand my obsession with this wedding, you first have to understand my obsession with Lauren Kinsey Fine Art Weddings. Fine Art says it all, because Lauren's work is enough to give me goosebumps every single time. So when Lauren announced that this bride (coincidentally, also named Lauren) would be her sister if she had one I knew the goose bumps were going to carry over a hundred fold. But I didn't take into account that her wedding was going to be this beautiful. I'm completely obsessed. And a total, teary eyed mess.
From the photographer... I have to say, if I ever had a sister, I would imagine that she would be someone just like Lauren. It's funny to me that we share the same name and we are such similar people. Lauren is a book publisher for Simon and Schuester in NYC, and her husband Ken is in the USMC. Their wedding was a culmination of 13 years together, and I was truly blessed to be a part of it. Lauren & Ken live in NYC, with Lauren's identical twin sister Emily, but chose Mansfield OH because that is where they both grew up. They were married in the same gorgeous Catholic church that both sets of grandparents AND parents were married in. Their reception was held on the lush grounds of Kingwood Center, a historic plantation and landmark in central Mansfield. Lauren was inspired by old Hollywood for her wedding, and wanted a very elegant, but paired back, feel to her wedding by letting the details be minimal and guests to be inspired by the mansion. Mansfield is small town America, but attracts many movie enthusiasts to the popular Malabar Farm, where the rehearsal dinner was held - and also the site for Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall's wedding in 1945.
Lauren looked stunning in her Ramona Keveza gown and her sisters Emily and Molly served as her maid and matron of honor. She also made her own bouquet using wholesale flowers, and I think the results were truly beautiful. I will always remember Emily's toast to the couple at dinner as one of my all time favorites. Emily told a story about a journalism class that she and Lauren were in together while in college, and it was around of 9/11. The professor gave the class the task of thinking about how they would feel if they had to be the people in the building, knowing that they were not going to make it out, and what they would do if they were faced with the impossible decision to jump out the window, as so many people desperately did? But he imagined that there must have been great comfort in knowing that they were not alone in having to make that horrible decision, and that there were people who would go with them. Emily passed Lauren a handwritten note that said "I will go with you, wherever you are going." Lauren keeps that little shred of paper in her wallet, to this day. It this kind of connection that moves me so deeply about this family. This is just who they are.