It's the first day of our Road Trip, and right about now we're finally driving into the first region of the week: North Florida! I'm so excited that we get to kick off our week of weddings with a dose of lovely from one of our absolute fave photographers, Brooke Images. FSU grads Lauren and Philip were married at Christ Episcopal Church in Ponte Vedra Beach, and wove the 'Love Story' of their relationship into their gorgeously elegant TPC Sawgrass reception.
Lauren, an online engagement specialist for the Wounded Warrior Project, and Philip, a lawyer currently studying for the bar, both graduated from FSU in 2007. Their love story began during Lauren's last semester in Tallahassee (at Ken's Tavern, their fave local hangout), and although Philip had already graduated and moved to Atlanta, he came back every weekend until Lauren graduated. Although Phil had to 're-introduce' himself several times to win her over, says Lauren, "We have never looked back since our first date."
The groom shared their engagement story with us, which was so sweet and meanginful: It had to be a surprise! If you know Lauren - you know she wants to know everything - no surprises. Bound to keep this a secret, every Friday for months I took covert trips to St. Augustine looking for the perfect ring. I think I used every excuse in the book. ("You are studying on a Saturday morning AGAIN?") As I closed in on the ring, I learned that Lauren's family would all be together for the 4th of July (Lauren's favorite "non-gifting" holiday). One of the strongest values that Lauren and I share is the importance of family in our lives. I knew right away that this would be a perfect opportunity to share one of the most important events in our lives with the people who mean the most to us. As the 4th finally approached, I spoke with Lauren's father and told him of my intentions. A partner in crime, he agreed to assist and keep the secret. After enjoying a meal together at the family dinner table, I told everyone how much it meant to me that we could share this time together, looked Lauren in the eyes and told her how much I love her, and took a knee. She was surprised, to say the least.
I asked Lauren to share her favorite moment of the day: All the moments are my favorite, but I have to say there is one that stands out. We woke up in the morning and the weather forecast was 60% chance of rain and it was dark and gloomy outside. Needless to say, I was still very excited but still praying for sunshine! While we were in my church, you could tell through the stained glass windows that the weather still was not cooperating. But as soon as we said our "I do's" the sun burst through the stained glass windows and lit up our entire church! We rushed back to TPC to begin our photo session and had the most beautiful sun-lit photos! It was perfect. I will always remember the feeling I got when I saw the sunshine... perfect way to end our ceremony and begin our life together.
The couple chose a "Love Story" theme, and used tons of books throughout the reception. I just love how it turned out .. such a steal-worthy, inspiring idea!
From Lauren: I always say Philip and I have the perfect love story. From his final pickup line before we began dating ("I only came here to talk to you...") to our wonderful and meaningful proposal, I wanted to share this story with everyone at our wedding. So instead of table numbers, I wrote chapters. Starting at "Chapter 1 – Our meeting" to "Chapter 18 – Our Wedding," each table enjoyed a small glimpse into our love story. Samples:
Chapter 7: Philip Moves to D.C.
After four months of flying back and forth to D.C. from Atlanta, the decision was made that Philip was going to move to D.C. to be closer to Lauren. In December on 2007, the big move happened and since then, Lauren and Philip have never lived more than a few miles apart.
Chapter 15: Planning the Wedding
Philip and Lauren had an amazing time planning their wedding. Although it was crazy, it was well worth it. From finding the perfect venue that fit their personalities to picking the first dance song... it has all been an adventure. They have learned so much about planning a wedding in their year and half engagement, like anthodium is a type of flower.
Congrats, Lauren and Philip! And big thanks to Greg and Ashley at Brooke Images for sharing their talents with us!