A few weeks ago, I got the sweetest email from a groom turned fantastic husband requesting that I take a look at his wedding pictures. And if I liked them, could they pretty please go up on the blog December 5th for his beautiful wife’s birthday? Well, that just about won my heart, but then I laid eyes on the stunning day, planned by the bride + Elizabeth Bailey Weddings & Events. Renee Michele’s images stole my heart and then some. Happy birthday Lauren!
From the groom… My beautiful, sweet and kind hearted wife Lauren’s birthday is on December 5th, and I thought it would be a great way to show her how much our wedding day meant to me, and also surprise her on December 5th with a Real Wedding submitted by me. I know Style Me Pretty well because this was Lauren’s go to for ideas.
Here’s some information about our wedding that was July 6, 2013. Lauren is from Baltimore, Maryland and I am from Vicksburg, Mississippi. We met through mutual friends while both living in Washington, D.C. after college, and then moved to Denver, Colorado together. It was important to Lauren and her family that we get married where she’s from. I was the typical groom, and sat back and let Lauren and her mom do their thing. I knew I was marrying the woman of my dreams, but Lauren went above and beyond incorporating southern touches in our wedding to make me and my family feel not so far from home. On July 4th we greeted my friends and family with a crab feast, our rehearsal dinner the next night had Ole Miss (where I went to school) decorations, and we had a raw oyster bar. At the wedding, the groomsmen and I had cotton boutonnieres, there was cotton and spanish moss in our centerpieces, the cocktail hour had mint juleps as our signature drink in pewter mint julep cups, miniature tomato sandwiches- a staple in the south, shrimp and grits, guest gift bags with an equal number Maryland snacks to Mississippi ones, and at the end of the night our late night snacks were skewers with chicken and waffles and syrup.
We love the outdoors, so it was important to us that we were married outside. We had a sunny day, but it was about 100 degrees at 5pm. The ceremony location had trees all around and was perfect despite the heat. Lauren had a creative idea to incorporate something else that is important to us, music. Our fan programs had a schedule of the evening and Lauren asked me to help her pick song lyrics from songs we love as titles for each part of the evening (example: “My Sweet one, I’ll call you my sweet one – Half past five, wedding vows in the garden” ; “How Sweet it Is to be love by you- Half past nine: cutting of the cake”). We had a string quartet that played modern music, during the ceremony examples: “In my life,” by The Beatles, and a few others and Lauren walked down the aisle to “Stand by Me,”by Ben E King and then after we were married we walked down the aisle to “Happy Together,” by The Turtles.
We decided to move our cocktail hour inside though since it was so hot. After the cocktail hour, we had a seated dinner. Our wedding planner and florist had the idea to flip the two rooms at the Baltimore Country Club. One is usually used for dining, and it has a much more formal look. The other room across the way is usually for dancing. Because our taste is a little more laid back and rustic, the mostly wood room was used for dinner. We were told by many guests that the whole evening felt just like Lauren and Michael, and the decorations looked like us. Lauren surprised me with a record player grooms cake and a lyric from one of my favorite bands the Beatles.
After dinner, the dance floor was hoppin! We had a 10 piece band with a few horns and they played a lot of songs that are special to us.
I love Lauren for so many reasons, but her selflessness won me over! It was obviously a special day for her, but she made sure the day wasn’t just about her. I cried during our first look because I felt so lucky that moment. Later during our wedding night as I watched Lauren speak with guests and laugh, I was blown away by her grace. Lauren was so laid back throughout the whole process, and I know she was really thankful for her mom’s amount of work and the awesome people that worked with us. Every detail was great, and our night was perfect. It was great receiving so many compliments about the night, but the greatest thing we were told was that everyone could feel the love– that will stay with us forever.
Photographer: Renee Michele | Wedding Dress: Jenny Packham | Cakes: Sweets by E | Wedding Planner: Elizabeth Bailey Weddings & Events | Bridesmaids/Bride makeup: studio of makeup | Ceremony & Reception: Baltimore Country Club | Florist : Victoria Clausen Florals | Painter: Laura Swytak | Save the dates & Programs: Natalie Kilgore