Lauren and Jack’s Westmoreland Country Club wedding is so beautiful, it’s like a dream! The club, with its immaculate landscaping and tent with twinkling lights was the perfect choice for the couple’s late summer event. Filled with the most beautiful blooms and greenery, the overall feel is romantic and sophisticated with just a touch of whimsy and the reception tent feels like a hidden secret garden! Lauren is a vision in a flowing Mikaella gown, beautifully accented with a colorful, lush bouquet designed by Four Finches. There’s not a single detail we aren’t completely smitten by, and it’s all captured beautifully by Bonphotage!
How did you meet?
We met in 2009 at Denison University where we both attended college. When I was a sophomore and Jack was a senior, we were both at the same party and started talking. We continued to date through Jack’s graduation, my study abroad in London, and two more years of long distance.
What is your proposal story?
Jack had just gotten back from a ten day golf trip to Ireland with his Mom and brother. So that Friday night, we had dinner reservations for the four of us which certainly wasn’t out of the ordinary…we frequently met his family for dinner and I was especially eager to hear about their trip! We had about 15 minutes to kill before dinner, so Jack suggested that we go for a walk through the park by our apartment (Jack also grew up in that area, which made this even more special.) Mid-walk, with no one around, he suddenly got down on one knee and I was shocked! Little did I know that this ‘family dinner’ was actually going to be celebrating our engagement. Afterwards, all of our friends met us at our favorite rooftop bar to celebrate. It was perfect!
What was the most important to the two of you while planning? Was there anything that you chose to splurge on or skip?
Transforming our ceremony space was extremely important, so we definitely splurged on the florist. She created a floral masterpiece as the focal point during the ceremony, so it was well worth it. We decided to skip some of the more ‘traditional’ aspects…like the bouquet/garter tosses, as well as a photo booth. After dinner, we wanted our guests to get out on the dance floor ASAP!
What were your favorite parts of the day?
For Jack, he loved spending time with his groomsmen before the ceremony in Westmoreland’s library, sipping on Macallan. For me, the ceremony was incredibly special. We wrote it ourselves, so every element was important. My Grandfather did a reading, and he ended up reading a love sonnet that he wrote himself. It’s something that I’ll treasure for the rest of my life, and I’m so thankful that I have it. At the end of the ceremony, I was so excited that we were finally married, that I started hopping up and down. I ended up hopping right out of my veil! That celebratory recession was also something that Jack looks back at fondly. Finally, at the end of the night, we had McDonalds delivered. The looks on our guest’s faces were priceless! The fries, chicken nuggets, and cheeseburgers were all a huge hit and just what everyone needed to cap off the night. On our way out the door to the buses, the amazing Westmoreland staff had to-go cups of water for everyone.
Describe any DIY, handmade, or personal details.
Where to start? We wanted to make our wedding as personal as possible, so these details were extremely important. Since we had so many out of town guests, we put some thought and effort into the hotel welcome bags. A few things that we included were personalized koozies and water bottles, along with a handwritten note. I also made and decorated sugar cookies in the shape of Illinois with a heart where Chicago would be. One of my bridesmaids designed all of our card/gift signs, and we printed the table numbers ourselves, including a different literary quote about love on each table. The menus and bridesmaids bouquets had beautifully colored ribbons that my Mom dyed herself…in her kitchen! She also painted an absolutely stunning banner that was the focal point of our entire ceremony…it would not have been the same without it!
Do you have any advice for couples planning their weddings now?
Absolutely have a day of coordinator. We didn’t have a wedding planner, but Sandra at Westmoreland Country Club was our coordinator that weekend, and she was incredible. Everything ran smoothly and we didn’t have to worry about a thing. And as Jack says, it’s the biggest party you’re ever going to throw! Since wedding planning can certainly be stressful and overwhelming, make sure to remind each other often about the big picture…at the end of the day, you’re going to be married…and that’s all that really matters! But you should also truly enjoy your engagement period, as well. It’s not worth it to be extremely stressed the entire time. Just enjoy it :) OH, and spreadsheets should be your best friend. I’m not sure how I would have stayed organized without them.
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