When Austin and Lauren took a trip to Walt Disney World, Austin surprised Lauren with a proposal. Right then and there, the couple decided it had to be a fairytale wedding theme.
Date: October 21st, 2016
Venue: The H Hotel, Midland, MI. The H was the only venue I looked at and I knew that’s where I wanted to have our event. The space was so elegant and beautiful and I knew it would really “wow” our guests.
Photographer: Amanda Cooper Photography, Bay City, MI. I have known Amanda since 2006 when we were on the high school pompon team together, so my experience with her was totally comfortable. We were 100% happy with our wedding and engagement photos and her prices were very reasonable compared to others in the area. She was extremely flexible and always accommodated our schedules. We would choose her again in a heartbeat, and plan on continuing to choose her for our photography needs in the future!
Lauren and Austin first met through mutual friends at a baseball game, but Lauren was there with her (then) boyfriend. But after Lauren’s relationship broke up, the couple reconnected via Facebook in 2012.
How he proposed: On September 9th, 2015, we took our first trip to Walt Disney World together. I had been there many, many times before and had begged him to go with me for years, and he finally gave in! On our first night there, we took a bus down to Disney Springs to do some shopping. We walked around for a while and I noticed that Austin was acting strange. When we came to the bridge to the downtown area, he stopped, dropped to his knee and asked me to spend forever with him and become his wife. I was so surprised and absolutely elated! I have always thought Walt Disney World was a magical place, but now it is extra special for us. (After our first trip, Austin was hooked too – now we visit once or twice a year!)
Officiant: Pastor Andreas Teich – Messiah Lutheran Church, Bay City
Florist: G.T. Homestead, Bay City
Wedding Planner: Tammy, The H Hotel, Midland
Wedding Theme/ Design: Disney Fairytale-inspired Wedding
Wedding Colors: Mint green and silver
Caterer: The H Hotel, Midland
Makeup: LC Makeup Artistry
Hair: Fringe Hair Studio
Linens & Chaircovers: The H Hotel, Midland. White fitted chair covers, white linens with silver sequin runners on guest tables; Silver sequin linens on head table.
Cake: SugarHigh Bakery, Frankenmuth, MI
Wedding decor and Florals:
Bride’s Bouquet: White hydrangea, white football mums, pale pink roses.
Bridesmaids’ Bouquets: White hydrangea, baby’s breath.
Groom’s/Groomsmens’ Boutonnieres: Pale pink rose, baby’s breath.
Arbor Décor: White hydrangeas, baby’s breath, pale pink roses.
Table Centerpieces: The wedding featured 3 kinds of Disney-Themed centerpieces. “Maleficent”-themed pieces were the tallest, with willow branches, hydrangeas, and roses in tall vases. ”Beauty and the Beast”-themed pieces where medium-sized, with a single submerged rose in water and a floating candle in a cylindrical vase. “Cinderella”-themed pieces were smallest, hydrangeas, roses, baby’s breath and vines stuffed into little carriages.
Wedding Dress: David Tutera’s “Florine” – Ivory illusion back/ lace overlay gown
Shoes: Ivory lace peep-toe heels by Guess
Rings: Groom: Tungsten band; Bride: Neil Lane “Infinity” engagement ring and curved band
Jewelry: I wore some borrowed diamond/pearl earrings, a David Tutera bracelet, & Princess tiara ring.
What was your old, new, borrowed, blue? Old was a Ring from my mother, and new was a newly-gifted ring from Austin (his wedding gift to me). I borrowed a veil and earrings from two of my best friends that they had each worn on their wedding days, and Blue was some “I” and “Do” blue glitter stickers on the soles of my shoes.
Wedding Party: 4 Bridesmaids and 4 Groomsmen (including Maid of Honor and Best Man).
Bridesmaids Dresses: Mint green
Tuxedos/ suits: Light grey with mint green accents
Vows: Traditional Lutheran ceremony vows (“For better or for worse”).
You and your husbands’ wedding advice: Get a good night’s sleep the night before! We were exhausted by 10:00PM.
DJ/ Band: DJ Joe Fila, Active Entertainment, Saginaw, MI
First Dance Song: I Get to Love You, by Ruelle
Wedding Favors: Photobooth – SG Photobooth, Saginaw, MI
Honeymoon details and location: We took a 7-night Southern Caribbean cruise out of San Juan, PR with stops in Grenada, St. Lucia, Dominica, Antigua, and Tortola B.V.I. on Norwegian Gem.
Did you hand-make or DIY any wedding items? We made tags with little antique keys attached to them for escort cards. The guests used the tags to find their seats in the ballroom. We had a chalkboard sign set up that read, “Please find your key to the kingdom”.
Most Memorable moment: Seeing Austin’s face for the first time on our wedding day while walking down the aisle. I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house!! His expression was so sweet and is unforgettable.
What was the biggest roadblock that you ran into while planning the wedding? We didn’t experience any major setbacks during our planning process. About 6 months before our wedding day, our original wedding planner at The H took a new job, and after that, we ended up working with her replacement, Tammy. Though we stressed out a little bit before the transition, Tammy made us feel very comfortable and helped the planning process run extremely smoothly.
Who/what gave you the most help in the planning process? Since our wedding was on a Friday, we had no problems getting the vendors and venue that we wanted. Also, we found that most vendors charge less for weekday weddings! Our wedding planner, Tammy, at The H Hotel was very instrumental in helping us plan for the big day. Also, our photographer, Amanda, helped us to get excited about our wedding by taking some beautiful engagement photos for us! Our parents were both extremely helpful and supportive throughout our planning process. We were very fortunate and very thankful to have all of their help.
How much influence did your family/ fiancé have in the planning process? Austin was very involved in all aspects of the planning process, apart from dress shopping. We went to all of our vendor meetings together, and made all of our decisions as a team. Either his mother or my mother went with us to most of the meetings as well. When we met with our wedding planner at The H Hotel, both of our parents always attended with us. When we went for our menu tasting, both of our mothers got to come with us – that was one of our favorite days during the planning process. (The food was incredible, and we got to share some time with both of our mothers!)
Which part of the process gave you the most stress? Overall, the planning process was not stressful. For us, the most complicated part was creating the seating chart in a way that would make everyone happy and comfortable. We used a seating chart because we served a plated dinner, and the guests had pre-selected their entrée options. When we made the seating chart, we used an Excel spreadsheet and placed each person individually at a table with others that we felt they would be comfortable with. It ended up working out great.
What did you do that you found helped out with stress the best? Having a supportive family and fiancé made the entire planning process so much fun. I had a very positive experience in planning my wedding, and the support of my loved ones definitely helped to make the process less stressful.
Is there anything that didn’t go as planned? If there was something that didn’t go as planned, I didn’t know about it! That’s the great thing about your wedding day – you spend months and months overthinking every single detail, and then on the big day, you overlook all those details anyway! If something doesn’t go as planned, don’t sweat it. It’s unlikely that other people will notice the small things, even if you do.
What was your favorite part of the experience/ event? Austin and I are foodies. We love to eat. The food served at The H Hotel was one of the highlights at our wedding, hands down! We offered three entrée choices for our guests: Scottish salmon with horseradish crust, served with rice pilaf and grilled zucchini; Petite filet of beef, served with garlic mashed potatoes and grilled asparagus; and a Vegetable ravioli as a vegetarian option. I cannot tell you how many compliments we received on the entrees served – they were all SO good. Also, our cake was amazing!! SugarHigh did a fantastic job giving us the exact cake that we wanted: an all-white elegant design topped with Cinderella’s castle. It was beautiful AND delicious!! The cake was four layers: chocolate chip cookie dough, carrot, dulce de leche, and sprinkle. I couldn’t even choose a favorite because they were all incredibly yummy.
Besides the food, the entire day was filled with “favorite” experiences for both of us. For me, some of my favorite parts of the day were seeing my friends first thing in the morning and having a mimosa brunch at the hair salon, putting on my dress and feeling like a “real” bride, dancing with my father and watching our slideshow together, watching my guests having a great time in the photo booth, and eating leftover cake in my hotel room with my new husband at the end of the night.
If you could go back in time, what would you have changed? I honestly wouldn’t have changed a thing about my wedding day. (Okay, maybe I would make the temperature about 10 degrees warmer!) My wedding day was my very own, and that’s what made it so special and memorable for me. Even if it would have rained, it would have been unforgettable because it was my own. Your wedding day is exactly that: YOURS! And no matter what happens during your special day, it’ll always be special to you.
What did you do to save money? We paid for our vendors over a period of 12 months. One month, we would put a deposit down for a florist, the next, we would hire a photographer. By splitting these milestones up and paying for them over the span of a year, it made things very affordable for us. For our honeymoon, we paid our deposit initially, then chipped away at it in smaller payments until it was paid off. This is typically our financial style when making large purchases, and has seemed to work for us in the past.
What was your biggest splurge? Our biggest splurge was the venue, by far. The H Hotel is an extravagant and classy venue known for its great food. Wowing our guests was very important to us, so choosing The H as our venue and caterer was a no-brainer. My dress was on the more expensive side as well, but I made the mistake of trying the dress on before checking the price tag. When the tears started flowing, I was sold even before learning the price! Having the dress of my dreams was very important to me, though. Our cake was a little pricier than other local bakeries too, but we were 100% happy with SugarHigh and would choose them again in a heartbeat.
What a beautiful wedding?! Lauren, thank you for telling your wedding story.
All Photos: Amanda Cooper PhotographyFollow