Our Vintage Lakeside Wedding and What Started It All

A few weeks ago, when I asked you guys to chime in what you’d like to see more of on this little blog, I was really surprised that some of you wanted me to share more of the personal stuff. Somehow I get locked into “design, DIY, craft, repeat”, and I forget to take a moment to step back from that every now and then.

Several of you mentioned that I’d talked about our wedding before in past posts, but I’d never really shown pictures of it. WHAT?! How did I let that one slip by me?

Our Vintage Lakeside Wedding
Credit: Brandywine Photography / Cassie Leigh Photography

Even though our current season makes absolutely no sense to share our spring wedding, I didn’t want to forget. Plus, now that our bathroom makeover is finished (eep!), I have some juicy details for our next room that I’m marinating on to show y’all next week.

If you’ve never read about Robert’s and my backstory, you can read all about it here and here. In a nutshell, God knew what He was doing when He gave me my best friend.

We got married on April 23, 2011 and it was during the wedding planning that I first started to realize how much I liked rustic/vintage decor.

I wish I could tell you that on the morning of our wedding I felt like this…

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Credit: Brandywine Photography

or this…

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Credit: Brandywine Photography

or this…

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Credit: Brandywine Photography

But y’all. I had a total of three hours of sleep thanks to a hopping night club next to my hotel room and was greeted by the biggest pimple on my face that I’d ever seen in my life.

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Credit: Brandywine Photography

And when my feet hit the floor that wedding day morning, I said to myself, “Self, something will go wrong today, but the end of the day, as long as you’re married to your best friend, the rest of it doesn’t matter.”

During our year-long engagement in the wedding planning process, a bird theme somehow morphed into place, so I fully embraced it. My mom and I DIYed almost everything- the birdcage centerpieces, the invitations, the table numbers, almost all of the decor.

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Credit: Brandywine Photography / Cassie Leigh Photography

And whatever she and I couldn’t make, we recuited other friends and family members to help with our wedding cake, ceremony arch, even ceremony and reception music.

Credit: Brandywine Photography / Cassie Leigh Photography

A colleague friend of mine hand painted our guestbook on canvas- a tree for all of our guests’ thumbprints for leaves.

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Credit: Brandywine Photography / Cassie Leigh Photography

And Robert’s father handcarved and painted our cake topper.

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Credit: Brandywine Photography / Cassie Leigh Photography
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Credit: Brandywine Photography / Cassie Leigh Photography

To pay homage to my ballet dancing days, I wore shoes reminiscent of my old ones.

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Credit: Brandywine Photography / Cassie Leigh Photography

To help out with the budget a little, I even bought my wedding dress pre-owned at half price.

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Credit: Brandywine Photography / Cassie Leigh Photography

My mother-in-law gifted her sewing skills by making my garter out of lace remants from both her and my mother’s wedding dresses.

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Credit: Brandywine Photography / Cassie Leigh Photography

The whole first half of the wedding day involved me driving five bridesmaids from downtown Charlotte to my hometown 45 minutes away, and I got lost three times. Who let the flustered bride drive? But we survived. 🙂

The six of us got our hair done, sipped mimosas, and had a big breakfast together with my mom, mother-in-law, and grandmother to laugh and cry and laugh some more.

When we got to our wedding venue, I was not nervous at all and so eager to “do this thing”.

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Credit: Brandywine Photography / Cassie Leigh Photography

We all did our makeup together and my mom and mother-in-law hoisted me into my dress.

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Credit: Brandywine Photography / Cassie Leigh Photography

This thing weighed a ton but I never felt so pretty in all my life.

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Credit: Brandywine Photography / Cassie Leigh Photography

Our photographers Brandywine Photography and Cassie Leigh Photography did a beautiful job of capturing the day…like this one of my mom a.k.a. my bestie.

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Credit: Brandywine Photography / Cassie Leigh Photography

We took a minute to get a four generation ring shot too with my sweet 94 year-old great-grandmother’s hand on the very bottom.

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Credit: Brandywine Photography / Cassie Leigh Photography

Annnnnd…more pictures. These five and I had so much fun together all day long.

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Credit: Brandywine Photography / Cassie Leigh Photography
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Credit: Brandywine Photography / Cassie Leigh Photography

Meanwhile, this is what Robert was doing.

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Credit: Brandywine Photography / Cassie Leigh Photography

Causing mischief as usual. No one makes me laugh like him.

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Credit: Brandywine Photography / Cassie Leigh Photography

But he kept his cool.

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Credit: Brandywine Photography / Cassie Leigh Photography

Finally, when the music started and all of the bridesmaids left the bridal room and the photographers took their places near the altar, it was just me all by myself for just a few minutes while I waited to step outside to greet my dad at the aisle.

I’ll never forget this moment that is still to this day so vivid in my mind. I closed my eyes and talked to God and thanked him for letting me marry my best friend. I prayed for a long, happy life together but most importantly asked that we honored Him through everything in our marriage- to remain forgiving and trusting and loyal. Because if He is at the center, nothing that comes our way can break it.

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Credit: Brandywine Photography / Cassie Leigh Photography

And when I stepped outside and hugged my dad, I couldn’t have imagined a more perfect day…

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Credit: Brandywine Photography / Cassie Leigh Photography

with the birds chirping, a bright blue sky, and Robert smiling up at me. For those few minutes, I saw only him and the rest was a blur.

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Credit: Brandywine Photography / Cassie Leigh Photography

And then my dad whispered, “I’m not wearing underwear” to keep me from crying. Job well done, Dad.

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Credit: Brandywine Photography / Cassie Leigh Photography

I’ll never forget that twinkle in Robert’s eye. (He swears he didn’t cry but I got a front row seat that told differently.)

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Credit: Brandywine Photography / Cassie Leigh Photography
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Credit: Brandywine Photography / Cassie Leigh Photography
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Credit: Brandywine Photography / Cassie Leigh Photography

We said our vows. Well…I squeaked mine out. And in our usual fashion, we made googly eyes at each other.

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Credit: Brandywine Photography / Cassie Leigh Photography
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Credit: Brandywine Photography / Cassie Leigh Photography

And then we discovered Robert’s ring was too tight and cut off the circulation to his finger. Oops. So he got a fancy pinky ring for the day instead.

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Credit: Brandywine Photography / Cassie Leigh Photography
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Credit: Brandywine Photography / Cassie Leigh Photography

Then we sealed it with a kiss…

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Credit: Brandywine Photography / Cassie Leigh Photography

…and some air guitar. (Although, we saved this pose for the “formal” pictures.)

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Credit: Brandywine Photography / Cassie Leigh Photography

We sipped sweet tea and laughed with our bridal party and I remember thinking, “No way it can get any better from here.”

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Credit: Brandywine Photography / Cassie Leigh Photography
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Credit: Brandywine Photography / Cassie Leigh Photography

Then we boarded our vintage trolley for one last photo-party-before-the-party.

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Credit: Brandywine Photography / Cassie Leigh Photography

We hit the reception hall and prayed, ate, hugged so many loved ones I lost track…

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Credit: Brandywine Photography / Cassie Leigh Photography

and then we hit the dance floor. We took a couple of dance lessons for fun to use during our first dance together. Our song was “Marry Me” by Train since the lyrics reminded us so much of how we met. (I was his waitress at a restaurant. We got to talking and somehow never stopped. The rest was history.)

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Credit: Brandywine Photography / Cassie Leigh Photography

Not a soul stayed in their seat the entire night. Even my great-grandmother in her wheelchair took a spin around the floor.

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Credit: Brandywine Photography / Cassie Leigh Photography

Our family can bust a move.

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Credit: Brandywine Photography / Cassie Leigh Photography
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Credit: Brandywine Photography / Cassie Leigh Photography
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Credit: Brandywine Photography / Cassie Leigh Photography

A little bit softer now. 😉

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Credit: Brandywine Photography / Cassie Leigh Photography

And we closed out the night with Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin'”

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Credit: Brandywine Photography / Cassie Leigh Photography

and more air guitar. Because really it’s physically impossible to listen to Journey and not play air guitar and sing off-key at the top of your lungs.

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Credit: Brandywine Photography / Cassie Leigh Photography

In that last dance I remember trying to hold onto every second to stop the party from ending.

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Credit: Brandywine Photography / Cassie Leigh Photography

But then I remembered every day is a party with this guy around. (Side note: Bird seed sticks to sweaty faces like glitter sticks to glue.)

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Credit: Brandywine Photography / Cassie Leigh Photography

At the end of the day, I thought back to what I told myself when I first woke up that morning, “Something will go wrong today, but the end of the day, as long as you’re married to your best friend, the rest of it doesn’t matter.”

I think about that so often because the wedding isn’t the hardest part. But in our marriage, whatever obstacles we face, whatever challenges we endure, something will go wrong. At the end of it all, as long as I’m married to my best friend, the rest doesn’t matter.

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Credit: Brandywine Photography / Cassie Leigh Photography

If we could handle living with my parents for nearly two years when we were dirt broke, if we can handle home improvement projects with smiles still on our faces, we must be doing something right. And if an argument ever arises, the instant cure is a good laugh.

P.S. Brandy Wine Photography and Cassie Leigh Photography were our paparazzi for the day and they were amazing! If you’re in the Carolinas, I highly recommend them.

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10 Comments

  1. Beautiful pictures and a great love story……one that is blessed by God and where He is at the center. Thanks for sharing…..
    Lanita

  2. What a beautiful wedding! You were such a pretty bride. I love all the pictures, but the one with all the generations of hands with wedding rings is precious. I love that from the start you knew that the marriage was the big deal, not the wedding. We’ll be married 21 years this December and although I loved my wedding, the marriage has been the real blessing. Thanks for sharing your special day!

  3. Aww Lauren, you bought tears to my eyes. Such a beautiful bride, with a glow on your face. All of the photography was exceptional. May you live many happy years together with your best friend. Thank you for sharing such a private part of yourself with us, but of course I feel like I am family, (your aunt who lives far away but loves you much).

  4. Absolutely beautiful wedding! You were a gorgeous bride, …and my favorite picture was the the one in which you were wearing pointe toe shoes, precious! Thanks for sharing your special day! ~Rhonda