Tell us your love story!
Lauren and Katherine met at work, when Katherine was hired as Lauren’s consultant. Lauren didn’t keep that job for long, moving on to a bigger and better opportunity on the west coast. Fortunately, we stayed friends during that time primarily as devoted email pen pals, and ultimately realized that our relationship was so much more.
What about the proposal?
After two years of dating, Lauren took Katherine on a bucket list trip to the Yukon to see the northern lights. After a two-mile hike in -10 degree weather, Lauren proposed to Katherine at a frozen lake without a soul in site. She said yes!
When did you know that you were meant to be with each other?
It is hard to pick one instance, so we will give you some greatest hits. When we were early in our transition from friends to partners, we lived on different coasts. One night during that time we stayed on the phone for over five hours, and the time flew by! The next day I (Katherine) felt so lucky that I bought a lottery ticket using the exact hours, minutes and seconds of the call. I didn’t win any money, but there was something even bigger in our future. Within the next week we booked our first trip to see each other since Lauren moved to the west coast, and that turned into eight months of alternating coast to coast visits.
When we decided to move in together, we thought it would take at least six months for Lauren to find a new job in Atlanta. It took nine days! That was sign number two. The universe knew we couldn’t really wait six months. We embarked on the Great American Road Trip with our trusty black lab, Sadie, hanging her head out the window; starting our life together with an adventure exploring iconic sites across America.
Going into the wedding planning, what did you definitely know?
We definitely knew we wanted to enjoy our wedding venue for more than one night, so we built our dream backyard. Having your home as your venue is great because you can incorporate special touches that wouldn’t be possible in a traditional venue. Our dog was both the ring bearer and dog of honor during the ceremony, while our bird watched from inside. We were also able to take some special photos under a maple tree that Katherine’s grandfather planted in the 1980s. Finally, you can relive all the amazing memories of the day by simply walking outside. Seeing this type of wedding on the TV show, The Fosters, sealed the deal for us.
What surprised you during planning? What was easy, what was difficult?
Our most difficult decision came early in wedding planning. The number of guests dictated our venue, because we could only accommodate sixty people in our backyard wedding. Lauren’s full family guest list was approximately 60 people. Our main wedding wish was to have a backyard wedding, and we were forced to make some very hard cuts to the guest list. In the end, we tried to balance family and friends on both sides and sent closer to 80 invitations with the assumption that some people would unfortunately be unable to make it.
Building your own wedding venue is difficult. We thought building the deck and getting the yard ready would take two or three months, but it ended up taking nine! That took away from our time to do some of the traditional DIY wedding things like make our own bouquets or table decorations. Fortunately, we have some talented family, friends and local businesses.
We are so lucky to have special people in our lives who are landscapers, electricians, carpenters, and florists. Scott helped us implement the vision for our dream backyard from thrift store finds to pallets of petunias. Arica built us a farm table to keep! Trish and Teena made our bouquets and table arrangements spring to life. We were able to light up the evening because of Victor’s electrical skills.
Lastly, our wedding planner, Sun In My Belly, gave our dream backyard an intimate farm to table atmosphere with the final touches. We had our first look in our good friends’ beautiful backyard. It was a special moment with our best friends. We were married by Katherine’s BFF from high school who had all the right words to capture our love and that magical moment. Our families added thoughtful touches to the day by baking a custom wedding cake, preparing guest giveaways, and participating in the ceremony. All the nieces and nephews announced the brides and both of our parents walked us down the aisle.
Is there anything you wish you knew while you were planning your wedding that you know now?
We had two ways to get RSVPs for the wedding: electronic and by mail. It turns out that getting mail is really fun! For a few weeks before the wedding, we would get multiple RSVPs in our mailbox and would make an event of opening them together, guessing which guests were in the envelope, and predicting if they would be able to come. We also didn’t consider some of the interesting aspects of having a wedding at your home. At the end of the night, we gathered a small “Lost and Found” from every room in our house that included a blanket, empty clutch purse, purple sock, hangover cure, and children’s stockings.
Any advice for couples planning weddings now? Anything you would have done differently or anything you’d like to add?
It is fun to have a backyard wedding, because you can spend extra time adding those personal touches. We are glad that we kept it simple, but even a simple wedding needed a wedding planner. They were able to combine our vision with their expertise in weddings to make sure we had all of the details covered. The wedding planner also coordinated everything on the day of the wedding, so that we could enjoy the excitement of the day without having to direct our vendors.
What was your favorite part of your wedding day?
It is hard to pick a single moment, so we are choosing two: the first look and having all the amazing people in our lives in one place at the same time.