When you know, you know. In October of 2015, Scott Billings was checking into a fundraiser event in Washington, D.C., when he noticed Lauren Shalleck arrive—without a guest. “He saw it as a green light to come talk to me,” Lauren says. He asked her to join him at the bar, and the pair chatted all night before heading down the street for a nightcap. “We decided to split an Uber home after realizing we lived a few blocks apart, then Scott walked me to my door, got my number, and kissed me,” Lauren remembers. For the next six months, the couple was inseparable, especially during their Saturday morning runs on the National Mall. And in April of 2016, as they stopped at the Lincoln Memorial to stretch, Scott got down on one knee. “Scott’s mom always told me that she knew he’d move fast when he found 'the One,' ” says Lauren. “Boy, was that an understatement! A month after we got engaged, we found out we were going to be blessed with a surprise flower girl.”
With a baby on the way, Lauren and Scott put planning on hold. “I didn’t know how I’d feel or when we’d start sleeping again,” the bride says, laughing. But once their daughter, Elle, was five months old, they decided it was time to tie the knot—and reserved Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Maryland, for two months later. “We kicked it into high gear and, with help from our wedding planner Arney Walker, hired an incredible team and made everything happen so we could get married on July 1, 2017!” says Lauren.
Lauren and Elle matched in gold leather shoes—the bride in Prada peep-toe heels, and the flower girl in fringed moccasins.
The bride’s classic ivory lace gown, by Legends Romona Keveza, fit her perfectly. “The fewer dresses you try on, the better!” says the bride. Her ’maids wore a selection of soft pastel dresses from BHLDN, while the groom wore a navy tux (to match his blue eyes).
Baby Elle wore a white lace dress to match her mom. The older flower girls wore soft pink dresses with heart-shaped keyholes as they pulled their cousin down the aisle.
The bride and groom accessorized with beautiful flowers—his on his lapel and hers in a bouquet of peonies.
Elle made her entrance in a wagon fit for a princess, festooned in peach and yellow roses and pink peonies. Says Lauren, “ 'Somewhere Over the Rainbow' ” is her favorite song, so we made sure it was playing during the processional so Elle would smile!”
The couple wanted to be married by a Catholic priest so actually tied the knot the day before their wedding at Holy Trinity Church in Georgetown an hour before their rehearsal dinner. “Only our immediate families were there, and it was so special and intimate,” says the bride. And to make it even more special, Elle was baptized right after her parents exchanged vows.
On Saturday, a priest again performed the ceremony, this time on the patio at the Congressional Country Club. The lush arch—dressed in pink peonies, pink and white roses, strands of delphinium, and eucalyptus branches—made the perfect backdrop for the couple's vows.
“Walking back up the aisle with Scott and Elle as a family of three was a moment I’ll never forget,” says Lauren.
Inside the club, guests were seated at tables topped with blush linens and centerpieces of pink and white roses, garden roses, and peonies. “We love the history of the club," says the bride. "Every time we walk through the doors now, it feels extra special!”
After a surf-and-turf menu featuring Maryland crab cakes, the couple gave guests a real treat for dessert: doughnuts! But for the honorary cake cutting, they had a tier of lemon cake on top.
And since the Fourth of July was just a few days away, Scott and Lauren handed out red, white, and blue props on the dance floor!
After a whirlwind planning process, Lauren learned an incredible lesson.“Don’t spend a year planning if you don’t have to," she says. "You only need two months if you have the right team!”
Wedding Planner: Arney Walker Studio || Venue & Catering : Congressional Country Club || Bride's Dress: Legends Romona Keveza || Bride's Veil: Carine’s Bridal Atelier || Bride's Shoes: Prada || Bride's Jewelry: Boone & Sons || Hair & Makeup: Amie Decker Beauty || Bridesmaids' Dresses: BHLDN || Groom & Groomsmen Attire: Bonobos || Engagement Ring & Wedding Bands: Boone & Sons || Floral Design: White Magnolia Designs || Paper Products: Smitten on Paper || Ceremony Music: Sage String Quartet || Reception Music: The Bachelor Boys Band || Rentals: DC Rentals || Favors: Party City || Transportation: RMA Limo || Videography: Josh Gooden || Photography: Kate Headley