Real Wedding | Lauren + Nathan

This one-of-a-kind couple threw a once-in-a-lifetime party when they turned their planned engagement party into a “surprise” wedding! Even the bride and groom’s closest friends were kept in the dark about the big plans, making the celebration all the more exciting. I love how Lauren described the way the spontenaity of the event kept the stress level down and the focus on the “I Do’s.” Just as it was meant to be!

Lauren + Nathan | February 25, 2012 | Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida

A note from the bride: We had a SURPRISE WEDDING!  Crazy? Maybe. Awesome? Definitely! All our guests thought they were coming to an engagement party where they would find out where our destination wedding (originally scheduled for May) was going to be. Our parents and siblings were in on the secret but that’s it (not even our bridal party). Everyone else found out when my brother-in-law welcomed our guests to the party.  It was the most wonderful, fun, and special day…way better than we could have ever hoped for!  It was completely stress free too!  The day was perfect because the focus wasn’t a huge wedding…it was our MARRIAGE!  Everyone was just so surprised and so happy that it made the day that much more special!  It was simple and sweet, just like I had always wanted.

The ceremony

After the announcement was made, everyone was guided outside to the ceremony that looked over the lake.  It took place at dusk, with only candles and lanterns for light and decor…making it beautiful and romantic.  It was a little chilly, so as a favor, we provided white blankets for our guests. Our pastor from college married us, Nathan’s sister sang.  It was very personal and I cried like a baby through the whole thing (which is very unlike me)!

The reception

Our reception took place in the clubhouse overlooking the golf course and lake.   We decided to have comfort food for dinner (BBQ pulled pork, mac & cheese, biscuits, grilled veggies, etc.). It was perfectly us!  We also had an incredible band that kept everyone on the dance floor all night! 

How Lauren found her dream wedding dress

I had no idea what I wanted when I first started looking.  All I knew that I wanted something simple and comfortable.  I had no clue what would shape would look the best on me, but I never imagined it would be a ballgown since I’m so petite!  I also thought it would be lace, but I ended up with tulle!  Overall I had a pretty open mind, and as soon as I put on my dress I couldn’t take it off!  It was such a beautiful, comfortable, and fun dress!

The way Lauren felt in her wedding dress

Timeless, elegant, beautiful

Why she decided to sell her wedding dress

I just finished getting my doctorate in physical therapy and I have A LOT of student loans that need to be paid off.  My husband and I have a goal of living debt free in less than 2 years, which will require a lot of sacrifice.  This was just one of many things I decided that I could live without if it meant reaching our goal.  It’s very sad to part with such a beautiful dress, but I hope that it will make someone else be able to have the dress of her dreams just like I did!

Lauren’s wedding dress: Romona Keveza, L257

Photography:Julie Cate Photography  Ceremony & Reception Venue The Plantation at Ponte Vedra Beach  Event Planning: Christina Kreations  Floral Design:  Floriade Florist   Cake: Classic Cakes