We sat down with another beautiful Wonderland bride to get her love story. Meet Lauren & Tommy, who were married July 30th, 2017.
When and how did you meet?
I was going to college in Fort Myers, FL when my Aunt who lived in Atlanta, GA asked me to come and visit during the summer of 2011. I decided it would be nice to get away while I was between classes, so I took a trip to Georgia without any clue that I would soon meet my husband! I told my Aunt that if I was going to stay for a few months, I would need to get connected with a church. That’s where I found 12Stone church in Lawrenceville, GA, and began attending on Tuesday’s college nights. I’ve noticed Tommy around, and remember thinking “He’s so cute! Maybe I’ll get to meet him one of these days!”. Well… One Tuesday night, after about a month of attending I was hanging with a small group of new friends that I had made. We were hanging by the bottom of the stair case at the front of the church, when Tommy made his way over. I noticed that he was talking to one of my new friends (but by the looks of it, someone he’s known for years), and kept looking my way. I’m not going to lie, I was getting giddy just thinking about finally meeting him! Next thing I know, he’s walking towards me, put’s his hand out to shake mine, and says “Hi my name is Tommy!”. I responded back, “Hi, my name is Lauren,” with which I am sure was the biggest grin ever! Little did I know, that was the beginning of our forever! Years later, Tommy admitted to me that the first thing he noticed was my back side. Then added, it was a bonus that my front side was just as nice, and that’s why he introduced himself. Yup, that’s my husband! (You might have guessed.. I had decided to stay in Georgia permanently). 🙂
How long did you date before he popped the question?
We dated for 3 1/2 years before he proposed, and we were engaged for a year!
How did he propose?
It was July 24, 2016, on Sunday morning. We were headed to church. The same church we met at 5 years prior. It also happened to by my moms birthday, who passed away back in 2013. Right after service, we went up to the pastor to say hi, and then made our way out. Keep in mind, this church is a huge church with hundreds of people.. As we were leaving, I noticed that it was extra crowded trying to get out. Tommy takes my hand and starts pushing through the crowd, walking faster and faster. I couldn’t figure out why. I thought maybe he just didn’t want to wait through it. As we make our way to the front of the church, all of a sudden I see a big opening in the crowd and as I look down, I notice rose petals on the floor where we met for the very first time. Immediately, I pulled back for a quick moment in shock, but slowly made my way to the spot where he would ask me to be his wife. I was shaking, and crying so much! He looked at me and said, “Are you ready?”, and I shook my head yes. He get’s down on one knee, and asks, “Will you Marry me?!”.. I said, “Of course I will!”. Later, I find out that he used my moms diamonds from her ring and Tennis bracelet to create my ring. I couldn’t have imagined a better, or more meaningful proposal!
Where were you married and how did you pick the place?
We got married at Castle McCulloch in Jamestown, North Carolina. Tommy use to work at Medieval Times as a knight, and he’s very much into the medieval era so I knew that we would want something royal like. I looked in Georgia first, but couldn’t find what we had in mind until we stumbled upon this venue. We instantly fell in love! It had a beautiful Castle, and a stunning ballroom with glass windows from the floor up that reminded me of the Beauty and the Beast ballroom (which is also my favorite movie). It was perfect for the both of us!
What theme and/or colors have you chosen for your wedding and why?
We had a medieval themed wedding with a touch of Beauty and the Beast. Our colors were burgundy, black and gold. Choosing our colors was probably the most difficult, but we decided that these colors worked together very well with our theme.
Where did you go for your honeymoon?
We went to St. Lucia!!! I miss it everyday! If you go, you must stay at the Grande St. Lucian. By far the best sandals property among the three that are on the island.
Why did you chose Wonderland Bridal for your dream dress?
My sisters live in Florida, so I thought it would be nice to go dress shopping with them while I was visiting. I came down during Thanksgiving, and we were actually not suppose to start dress shopping until we came back down for Christmas in December. However, my sisters convinced me to go to this one bridal shop that’s down the street from there house “just to get an idea”, but not to buy. So I caved. After a few dresses, I was worried it might be more difficult then I thought it would be. Then came the 7th dress. Let me tell you, there wasn’t a dry eye in the room! It was THE dress! With the help of the staff I was able to find a dress I had no intentions of finding. I am so happy that I decided to go that day. It also helps that Wonderland Bridal was so accommodating, and knowledgeable! They also did an amazing job making me feel special, and like I was a one of a kind Bride!
What was the best part of your wedding day?
Seeing the man of my dreams at the end of the isle as those doors opened up. I’m about to cry just thinking about it!
Any advice to future couples currently planning a wedding?
I thought that after reading many blogs and advice columns, WeddingWire, The Knot, etc; that I would know better than to stress. That was the biggest advice given.. to be IN the moment! Learn to breathe, and so on.. I thought I prepared myself to make it the happiest non stressful day ever. I mean I had months to prepare right!? Wrong! I still freaked out, ran out of breath, cried my eyelashes off before I even walked down the isle, and completely forgot that I was the bride and NOT a wedding critique. So now that I am past the wedding, I will go on to say what so many others did.. Breathe! Be in the moment, and most importantly, remember… it’s not about what went wrong, but what went right! And that’s having the man of your dreams standing up there ready to marry YOU! Not the flowers on the isle that ended up being the wrong color.. Because I wasn’t strong enough to keep reminding myself of all those things the advice columns kept telling me to.. Going back, I would of told my bridal party to make sure I don’t freak out. Telling them to make sure I breathe.. That is what they are there for, and tell them now so that you have the support system when your big day finally gets here! 🙂
Photos by Bert Reed Photography
Wedding Vendor Tips!
Flowers: I’d recommend seeing a picture of EXACTLY what your bouquet(s) will look like before your wedding day, save it, and make them sign off on it completely understanding what is expected. I ordered my and told them greenery and pointed to a picture. I guess they figured any greenery will do, and gave me what looked like dead awful greenery for my bridesmaids bouquets.
Cake: Again, just be extremely detailed with what you are wanting. Don’t leave any details uncovered.
Catering: If your caterer is suppose to bring you food during cocktail hour while you are taking pictures.. Ask that they make sure the food is warm and not cold.
Entertainment: Look at their reviews! If it’s a large company that is sending out a a DJ, find out as much as you can on that person as an individual, aside from the company.
Invitations: Make sure to proof read, and shop around! There are many companies that sell invites, and you can find some great prices! Or look into making your own!
Wedding Planner: Did not have one, but wish I did looking back.
Hair & Makeup: Don’t be afraid to say what YOU want! If you are doing a trial, take advantage and figure out what it is that you want! Don’t leave until you are happy with it.
Videographer: Make sure that if they make your video, and your not happy with something, that they are accommodating by making the necessary changes.