Not every love story is a page turner from the beginning. Some need a couple of chapters to really get going, but the wait is always worth it in the end. “We met in college,” Lauren says. “I knew right away that I wanted to be with Lou. It took him a few more years to figure it out.”
We are excited to introduce Lauren, our Bride & Blossom Featured Bride for November. Lauren and Lou married on a picturesque day at Natirar. Here she shares the beginning of their Real BB Wedding Story.
Part 1: Proposal and Planning
“While we were just friends starting out, I had a huge crush on Lou. Of course, he always had a girlfriend,” Lauren recalls. “Finally, during my last year of college, we started dating and have been together ever since.” Fast forward seven years later and the topic of marriage had come up more than once in conversation. When asked if the proposal was a surprise, Lauren answers, “It was and it wasn’t. I wasn’t surprised that Lou proposed after being together for so long. But how and when he did it was definitely unexpected.”
The couple was visiting Lauren’s parents in Arizona for a relaxing vacation. One evening, they planned to have a nice dinner at a restaurant in the mountains. “Usually, if we were going to a nice place, I would do my hair and makeup just in case… but I had given up on waiting for anything to happen by that point.” Little did Lauren know that Lou had called ahead to arrange a romantic evening, complete with scattered rose petals and candles, that would end with them becoming engaged. She looks back and says with a laugh, “I didn’t even have a manicure, which I always have!” To top it off, Lou had Lauren’s best friend fly out the next day to celebrate.
“From day one, I knew that I wanted an all-white, cocktail lounge style wedding. This was in the back of my mind as we begin to consider venues.” Lauren’s initial search came up empty. “The spaces didn’t fit my style, or just felt cookie-cutter,” she says. Her parents suggested they check out Natirar, a sprawling countryside estate in Peapack, New Jersey. “As we drove down the road leading to the venue, I was immediately taken by how striking the surrounding property was. Then we saw the amazing view that ended up being the backdrop for our ceremony.” The overlook gives way to endless rolling hills and lush forest landscape. “We loved the feeling of being so far removed and knew this was where our wedding was going to be.”
The fully renovated 1912 Mansion serves as Natirar’s reception space. Mixing historic grandeur with modern luxury, it features a 5,000-square-foot ballroom with a 26-foot living greenery wall. “The interior was beautiful and didn’t feel like a space that needed to be covered or changed in anyway,” Lauren explains. “Yet, it was going to work with my wedding vision.”
Lauren was certain she wanted décor that was clean and white, but that was about all. “Rachel and the Bride & Blossom team really helped me figure out what I liked and didn’t like, ultimately bringing my ideas to life.” Florals were classically simple set in geometric vases complemented by glowing candles. Lucite chairs and mirror accents added to the minimalist chic aesthetic.
Stay tuned next week for Part 2 when Lauren shares all the details about her gorgeous Netta BenShabu gown and personals.
Couple’s Vendor List
Photographer: Pat Furey Photography
Planner: Socialife Events
Bride’s Dress: Netta BenShabu
Bride’s Shoes: Rebecca Minkoff
Groom’s Tux: Enzo Custom
Bridsemaids’ Dresses: Dessy Group + Bella Bridesmaids
Makeup: Makeup by Jenielle + Gabrielle D’Amato
Hair: Marissa Molnar Hair + Kelli Fahey
Invitations: Penn & Paperie
Music: Hank Lane Music
Lighting: Fabrico Productions
Rentals: Taylor Creative Inc.
Dance Floor Wrap: Shout