Lauren and Tyler met in the most unlikely of places: The hotel gym while their families were spending the holidays in New York City! "I'd spent the evening out on the town with my brothers, then got restless and went to check out the gym when we got back. That's where I saw Tyler. My best friend told me to go change into my running clothes and get on the treadmill to hopefully get a chance to talk to him," Lauren remembers. Tyler beat her to it, introducing himself and then asking her to hang out in the hotel lobby with her to talk. "My dad was not a fan of his 17 year old daughter talking to a 21 year old boy late at night," Lauren laughs. But the pair exchanged numbers before parting ways, then spent the next day steering their families to the same landmarks so they could see each other again. Eventually, Tyler's mom suggested that both families get dinner together before heading home (he to Florida, she to D.C.). Their moms became quick friends, and Lauren and Tyler knew things were going almost too well. Eight days after getting home, he was on a plane to D.C. to visit Lauren, the first of nearly a hundred trips the pair made over eight years of dating.
In June of 2013, Tyler knew it was time to propose. He designed a custom ring and searched high and low for an art gallery that would help with his plan, finding one in his parents' hometown of New Smyrna Beach, Florida. He talked Lauren into a weekend trip, adding that there was a gallery opening his parents wanted the couple to join them at. "Thankfully, we've attended several of these over the years, so Lauren wasn't suspicious!" says Tyler. They wandered the gallery, then ventured around the corner into the next room, where the wall was covered with enlarged photos documenting every stage of their relationship. "I was shocked and confused, and when I turned around, Tyler was down on one knee," says Lauren. She called her parents to share the news, and Lauren was surprised again when her mom abruptly hung up the phone. But moments later, her family emerged alongside Tyler's, and they all went out to dinner to celebrate.
They decided to wed on October 11, 2014, at Lauren's family home outside of D.C., a gorgeous estate that was the perfect backdrop for the couple's European countryside theme. Keep reading to see how they transformed the venue with the help of Pineapple Productions, and check out the gorgeous photos captured by Moshe Zusman.
Lauren chose a stunning Monique Lhuillier gown with lace and beaded sleeves. Her mom handmade her cathedral-length veil, finishing it off with an antique crystal brooch attached to the comb.
Tyler looked the part in a traditional English morning suit, the perfect match for Lauren's gown. Their formal look brought the garden theme to life.
Lauren's bridesmaids wore lace Amsale dresses in the silhouette of their choice, ranging from one shoulder to cap sleeves.
Lauren came down the aisle on the arm of her father. The trees that lined the aisle were a nod to the tree motif used on the couple's wedding invitations.
The bride and groom wrote their vows together, creating a modern update on the traditional phrasing.
Lauren's bouquet popped against her gown, combining roses in orange, purple, blush, and white with soft greenery.
At the tented reception, a floral chandelier of dahlias, hydrangeas, and greenery hung over the dance floor. Since Lauren's mother used to work as a florist, and her mother's close friend is a well-known floral designer in Salt Lake City, the two women took on the task of creating all of the centerpieces. Just two days before the wedding the pair headed to the local flower market to select the vibrant blooms. Small white pumpkins and accents of gold tied in the fall season.
"We had The Imperial Palms, a traditional Big Band, play jazz classics before a DJ took over for the late night party," says Lauren. "They were phenomenal!" Adds the bride, who headed to Bali with her husband for their honeymoon, "Keep a record of your planning process. I wish I'd kept a journal so that I could look back and reminisce about such a special time in our lives!"
Ceremony & Reception Venue: The Bride's Family Home || Wedding Planner: Pineapple Productions || Bride's Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier || Shoes: J.Crew || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Amsale || Florist: The Bride's Mother || Invitations & Paper Goods: Regas Studio || Music: Doc Scantlin and His Imperial Palm Orchestra || Catering: Occasions Caterers || Photography: Moshe Zusman
Can't get enough of this outdoor wedding? Then you'll love watching another couple's open-air celebration in the video below.