Lauren and Ben
Most Sentimental Moment
We both really loved each other’s vows and wanted them to be the cornerstone of our ceremony – personal & heartfelt words. They were both unique & perfect just for us! We laughed, we cried, we nodded our heads in deep agreement with what the other one was saying. All of our guests said that they were the best vows that they’d ever heard at any wedding!
Favorite part with friends and family
We loved seeing all of our family and friends from different walks of life coming together and having a really great time! People we didn’t expect to be buddies are now keeping in touch, and that’s so special. We obviously felt like everyone there is an amazing person, so it’s nice that everyone gets to see just how wonderful everyone else is. We worked really hard on seating our guests at a table with other people that shared commonalities with them, and we think we nailed it! Seeing everyone important to you that you love having a great time is priceless.
We wouldn’t call this a “happy” surprise, but my sister (who was the MOH) realized as she was walking down the aisle that we forgot the special glass needed for breaking at the end of our ceremony. She told me when I got to the chuppah, and we went into a bit of a panic mode – all while keeping it seemingly cool on the outside. It took two bridesmaids and our wedding coordinator to find it, but they did! They snuck it to my dad during the ceremony, and it was there and ready to go when we needed it for the big finale. And none of our guests were the wiser!
We wanted to have a culturally Jewish wedding with many of the traditions, even though it wasn’t a religious wedding. Before the ceremony, we had my cousin lead our Ketubah signing ceremony (Jewish marriage contract) which he made funny & personal to us. For our ceremony, we had a beautiful chuppah that had a gorgeous floral design on its branches, which fit in perfectly with the outdoor venue location. My cousins and siblings read the Sheva B’rachot (Seven Blessings) during our ceremony, but instead of reading the literal translation of the Hebrew, we found non-religious alternative translations that beautifully encapsulated the meanings and well-wishes behind the prayers. As the bride & groom, instead of me circling around him 7 times as is traditionally done, we decided to each circle around each other once and then together once. This made our 3 circles a symbol of our independence and coexistence with each other. Ben stepped on the glass at the end of the ceremony and everyone yelled “mazel tov!” which is always really fun! After the ceremony, we spent our “Yichud” (18 minutes alone meant to be used to consummate the marriage) eating our delicious appetizers and drinking wine together officially as husband & wife! We had our coordinator make sure it was ready for us, so that we could enjoy some precious time alone and still get to eat & drink before things got crazy on the dancefloor. Last but not least, we had the BEST horah dance circle at our reception. Every single guest got involved, and they even managed to lift up my dad in the chair (which is by no means an easy feat)! We overheard so many people saying they had such a blast and they wanted to do that at their own weddings.
How we personalized it
We tried to do lots of things that made our wedding very personal to us – including special readings done by friends at our ceremony (one of them being the super cute book “I Like You” by Sandol Stoddard Warburg), walking into our reception wearing matching “JUST MARRIED” leather jackets that were passed onto us, and also a personalized stamp on all of the escort cards made by the groom’s sister to help people figure out how to pronounce our last name! Wherever we could have a personal touch, we did, like a friend designing our wedding programs, the boys wearing bolo ties since Ben is from New Mexico, and one of our besties officiating the wedding – she nailed it! The best and most important thing to us, however, were our photos on display. Instead of traditional engagement photos, we decided to re-create photos of our parents & grandparents. They turned out absolutely AMAZING and everyone said they’ve never seen anything like it done before. We had the 6 originals and our 6 re-creation photos, and although that’s much less than most engagement shoots, the photos held so much more importance to them. We are both nostalgic and love our families, and this was the best way to honor & show our respect to them. Plus, my sister was the photographer who took them!
We took a mini-moon in San Antonio at the Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort right after the wedding which was perfect! It was such a relaxed, easy getaway where we could just enjoy each other’s company and finish up an amazing weekend. Since it was a Monday – Wednesday at the end of October, the resort was practically empty so it was like we had the place to ourselves! We got upgraded to the honeymoon suite with free champagne and wine, and we enjoyed a delicious celebratory dinner on our last night for both our wedding & Ben’s birthday. Lots to be happy about! We are planning a honeymoon to the Amalfi Coast & Barcelona for next summer.
Best part of the planning process
I loved getting to see all of the visions I had coming together and becoming a reality. It was a fun challenge to make every little detail specific and unique to us, which could be overwhelming at times but definitely worth it in the end.
What’s next for us
We can’t wait to keep enjoying each other’s company and we love our perfect family of us and our 2 dogs! We also look forward to starting a family with real kids someday too (but shhh, don’t tell our fur babies!). We know there will be lots of good food, good music, and good travel ahead of us.
Our Wedding Album
The happy couple
This was after the ceremony while everyone was at the cocktail hour. My dress had detachable sleeves, so I finally took them off and we were walking down the sidewalk swinging arms, we were so happy! The moon was out and it was a beautiful night.
My gals are such good sports – the florist was late and so we didn’t have any of our bouquets for photos, but they didn’t need them with those smiles! Plus, their bridesmaid dresses had pockets, so they weren’t too upset they didn’t have to hold silly flowers.
I was beyond in love with my wedding dress! I thought I’d have an impossible time finding one I liked since I’m picky, but it was the very first dress I tried on! I went through about 15 others, but I knew all along this was the one. I had them add detachable sleeves, which I wore during the ceremony and then got to take off during the dance party! Having them add the sleeves made me feel like my dress was unique and one-of-a-kind. And that matching veil? I die seeing it every time. I wish I could just wear the whole thing around the house any day of the week.
We came about our rings in a very special way. My best friend/bridesmaid’s mom works for a jewelry company, so she helped Ben design my engagement ring and helped me pick out my wedding band. It made the process so much more personal and stress-free! For his wedding band, Ben got to work with one of his groomsmen’s dad, who is a jeweler himself. He let Ben join in the process of taking his grandfather’s college class ring, melting it down, and turning it into his wedding band. How often does a groom get to actually make his own band with all that sentimental value attached? So cool!
Our ceremony was our favorite part of the whole day. It was so special and emotional and better than we could have ever imagined. Our dear friend officiated and she blew everyone away. We were also so nervous about the ceremony happening outside as planned. Austin had record-breaking cold temperatures and almost twice the amount of rain we usually see in October – it’s supposed to be the perfect month! It had rained for about 2-weeks straight leading up to our wedding, and then miraculously, the sun came out and it was perfect. The day after the wedding, it started raining again. The universe was definitely rooting for us.
We had a bit of a kerfuffle with the wedding flowers, as our florist was late and forgot some items. The flowers that did make it though were absolutely stunning! The deep burgundy with the green was exactly what I wanted.
A friend couple of ours got married in New Orleans earlier in the year and had these amazing “JUST MARRIED” leather jackets. They told us that a friend who got married had gifted the jackets to them, and they wanted to then gift them to us! We were so excited because they are so fun & cool. We did our grand entrance wearing them and they were a huge hit. Now we get to pass them on to our friends getting married next March! It’s like the Sisterhood of the Traveling Wedding Jackets.
Our favorite moment
This was right after the ceremony, and we had asked our coordinator to have wine & all of the cocktail hour appetizers set up for us. We spent this time alone, enjoying our moment as newly husband & wife, eating the amazing food we picked out and drinking delicious wine. It was really the only time we got to truly just be the two of us. Our photographers were amazing and caught this beautiful, candid moment through the window!
Our favorite wedding photo
Ben & I both love this photo from our ceremony because it perfectly sums it up. We giggled through the whole thing and couldn’t stop smiling. Kelli, our officiant, made such poignant, heartwarming statements, and was sure to bring up a lot of embarrassing stories from our time at band camp – where Ben & I met!