Real Bride Spotlight: Lauren
Updated: Mar 13
After meeting the night of her 21st birthday, Lauren and Ryan quickly became inseparable! Read all about their amazing love story and beautiful, rustic wedding in Johns Creek, GA.
It was the summer of 2012 and Ryan was working at Cellairis with my best friend, Marissa. Marissa had a picture of her and me on her desk and Ryan would walk by and ask who the "blonde girl" was in the picture. But, Marissa knew I was about to enter my senior year of college at The University of Alabama and I was not interested in being tied down. However, Ryan was relentless and he knew he had to meet the blonde girl in the pictures one day.
Soaking up one last summer of college, I came home for summer break and my friends and I began celebrating my 21st birthday out in Buckhead one night. Ryan and a few of his friends decided to meet us out. When Ryan and his friends got to the bar, I remember seeing him for the first time and all I could think about was, "Gosh, he is good looking! Tall, brown hair, brown eyes, great smile…totally my type!'" I was smitten already.
But, if you know me at all, I have a hard-to-get mentality which wouldn’t let me show any interest towards Ryan. Little did I know; that plan wouldn't work out quite so well.
The funny thing is, I was then pulled onto the dance floor by some random guy at the bar who happened to lead me through a wet spot on the floor where someone had just spilled their drink. And there I went, straight to the ground… right in front of Ryan! Ryan being the gentleman he is, ran over and asked if I was ok but before he could even help me up, I was back on my feet dancing like it never happened, even though I knew I’d be seeing some serious bruises the following morning! We all danced the night away until the lights at the bar came on and it was time to call it quits for the night.
And that was the start of our love story.
That night, I knew there was something different about Ryan and I had a feeling that he was going to be a big and amazing part of my future. The rest of the time I was home that summer, Ryan and I were inseparable.
As summer break ended, and I headed back to Tuscaloosa, it hit me... I knew I was falling in love with Ryan. There wasn't a moment where I wasn't thinking of him. Ryan would come and visit me almost every weekend that year and when he wasn't visiting, he was sending me flowers and gifts just to let me know he was thinking about me. I had never met a guy that made me feel so special and loved in my entire life. When I graduated college, I was so excited to start the next chapter in my life, because I knew Ryan was going to be a part of it.
We've been through the good and the bad, the ups and the downs. But we are a team and we will never let go. That is what true love is and we are so incredibly blessed to have found that.
On September 1st 2017, we made it official after five years. Ryan popped the important question and of course, without a doubt, I said, "Yes!"
My overall wedding theme was rustic chic. Our ceremony was in my church, Johns Creek United Methodist, and the reception was at the Country Club of the South. Our reception venue already had that rustic vibe, complete with wooden beams and a stone fireplace, so it worked out perfectly. My colors were plum, white, and lots of greenery with silver accents. The bridesmaids dresses were plum and the groomsmen all had plum pocket squares. The flowers were also all focused around the color scheme, tying everything together. It was beautiful.
Honestly the whole day was perfect. I know that sounds cliché but it’s so true. If I had to pick my favorite memory from that day, I think it would be whenever Ryan saw me during our “first look”. I have never been so excited to see him in my whole life and I will never forget the smile he gave me when he turned around to see me. It was magical.
Dress shopping was so much fun! I love to shop, so I had a feeling I would have fun with this part of the wedding planning. This was one of the first things after I got engaged and picked our date. We went to three different dress shops and I probably tried on 100 dresses. Once we arrived at Wedding Angels I was a little overwhelmed at first going through all the dresses… but that’s when I met Leslie.
She and I just clicked, and I knew that I could trust her to find the perfect dress to fit what I was dreaming about. But the funny thing is, I went in thinking I wanted a fitted gown with lace long sleeves and a sexy back… and what do you know I get the complete opposite. The dress I chose was the very last dress I tried on and as soon as I looked in the big mirror with it on- I knew, this was the one. I felt like a princess and a bride. I thought back to all the other dresses I had tried on that day and there was no way any of them could top the one I had on. The only thing that threw me off was the illusion top and how the flowers just stopped right above the bust. Well, leave it to Leslie, as she said “we can fix that.” The next thing I know she is pulling lace from a back office and pinning it on my dress so it looks like I had straps coming up and around my shoulders. It was absolutely perfect.
My favorite part of my dress was how it fit me… it was tight and fitted up top which gave it a little bit of a sexy look to it, but the bottom was flowy and comfortable so I could still move around and dance in it. Also, the fact that we were able to add pieces of lace to the top to make it look like it had “straps” was truly amazing… it’s like my dress was custom made just for me- but it didn’t cost me an arm and a leg to do that (which makes it that much better).
I absolutely LOVE Wedding Angels. Everyone that worked there was so nice and helpful. Anytime I went into the shop I felt like I was going to see my second family! They all knew me by my name and would ask me how wedding planning was going and just made the whole experience fun. No matter who I was working with throughout the entire process they would bend over backwards to make sure I was happy… and that means a lot. I can’t thank the staff at Wedding Angels enough for all they did for me and for helping me pick out the most gorgeous dress.
The advice I would give to other brides is to keep an open mind. You may go in thinking you want one thing (which is fine) but why not try on some other styles… just to see. You only get the chance to try on wedding dresses once, so have fun with it! Also, you know what looks best on your body.. so if you don’t like something you try on but your entourage loves it… SO WHAT! Remember, this is your wedding day. Don’t try to please everyone else, because when it comes to your wedding dress, truly the only opinion that should matter is your own.
Venue: Johns Creek United Methodist and Country Club of the South