Lauren: A Bridal Portrait
I created this series of posts called Bridal Portraits as a way to showcase strong, beautiful women who are also wives. It is such a pleasure to talk to these amazing women, hear about their lives, and in particular to hear about their weddings and marriages. Please scroll to the end to see all vendor credits!
I like to choose a word for each woman that I interview for this blog series. Lauren’s word is true. She is true to herself, true in her relationships, and true in her wisdom.
Lauren is a Catholic high school Theology teacher by profession; she is a wife and mother by vocation; and a friend in every good sense of the word. Lauren’s interview about her relationship with her husband Sean, and about their wedding day, is full of her trueness through her thoughtful and joyful answers. She shared about their long-distance relationship that helped them both know they were ready to get married; about the ups and downs of planning a wedding from across the country; about planning a beautiful wedding Mass ceremony; and about always being your spouse’s teammate.
I hope you enjoy reading her thoughtful responses as much as I enjoyed the interview process!
Lauren did most of her planning long-distance for a wedding day in Maryland, relying on her mom’s help and guidance in choosing vendors from afar. Lauren also used her visits home as planning sessions, fitting in as much decision making as she and her mom were able to in those quick trips home. Lauren laughed as she was telling me about how she already had a trip home booked before she and her husband Sean were engaged, saying, “We got engaged on July 4th, and I went home the week after, and I wasn’t planning to jump into planning so immediately, but I did!”
Despite the challenge of planning a wedding from across the country, Lauren was able to choose and create many custom details for her wedding that she loved.
Lauren says that she especially loved her flowers and was glad that she was able to hire someone to design and implement them for her, saying, “When I think about my wedding, the flowers are what made my vision come together!” The other wedding professional Lauren is so glad they didn’t skimp on was the photographer. Since a wedding day goes by so fast, it is wonderful to have those photos to hold onto after everything is over. “Our photographer was really good and he worked really hard [on our photos]. I’m glad we didn’t cut corners there!”
When discussing what Lauren tackled herself, she said that she planned their entire ceremony herself. It was her favorite part of the day, because it was, “so personal, and so beautiful, and so meaningful.” Lauren says that she thinks couples are often so focused on the party and the celebration piece, but for her, she spent most of her time making sure that the ceremony was really meaningful. She also thinks that she is lucky, because she knows that not every bride having a wedding Mass has the option to make is so personal. She and Sean had personal connections with the priests who married them, as well as the amazingly talented musicians who played for the Mass. The ceremony was in the chapel of Lauren’s university, “that was not only a beautiful church, but was a place that was so meaningful to us. Sean and I had so many good memories there. I was just so full of joy!”
But don’t let Lauren’s answer about the ceremony fool you: she planned one heck of a party, too!
The photos show everyone from grandparents to bridal party to bride and groom having a wonderful time celebrating their marriage! Lauren’s advice to future brides in their wedding planning is to “do what’s you!” She says you don’t need to do what everyone else is doing for your day to be incredible. She also says that on your wedding day, make sure you aren’t thinking ahead to the next thing; just focus on the moment, because it will be gone so quickly!
At the end of our interview, Lauren and I talked about her marriage. She shared that she has loved Sean from the start of their relationship, soon after which he joined the military and they dated long-distance for a few years. It was during this time that Lauren says she knew she was ready to marry him. “Sean always had the saying about us, ‘whatever it takes.’” During their time apart, they were only able to see each other every few months, and “that short time together really made us realize that we wanted to be together forever.” Lauren also says that she was ready to start a family with Sean, to see him as a father, and to start a home together. Today, they reside back in their home state of Maryland with their six-month-old son. Lauren’s marriage advice started with a chuckle as she said, “I’ve never been asked this before as a young married woman.”
She says that she and Sean have been so blessed that they are friends, first.
She suggests trying to enjoy the day-to-day moments together and to focus on the good in one another, making sure that your spouse knows that you want him to be happy in the decisions that you make together. She also says that she and Sean strive to put each other first, letting others know through words and actions that you two are on the same team and that you have the other’s back, no matter what. She also says that her spirituality has played a strong role in their marriage, in that, “being married and being a parent makes you live out the virtue of self-sacrificial love, where part of being holy means putting the other person first. I think that we can grow together and grow closer to God through our love for each other and our baby, and that is such a beautiful thing!”
Day-of Coordinator: Provided through reception venue by The Links at Gettysburg
Floral Design: Koons Florist, The Flower Shop
Photographer: R Lawrence Photography
Videographer: Joe Hansbrough
Ceremony Venue: Mount St. Mary’s University, Immaculate Conception Chapel, Emmitsburg, MD
Reception Venue and Catering: The Links at Gettysburg, Gettysburg, PA
Wedding Cake: Cakes by Susie, Littlestown, PA