Having just graduated law school and completing her bar exam, Lauren went out for an evening of celebration with a friend. It was in a lower Manhattan club that she "locked eyes with a cute guy" across the crowded bar. As if irresistibly drawn together, they continued sharing glances and soon found themselves completely engaged in conversation, lost in each others company. The rest of the evening flew by as they learned how much in common they shared - their connection growing deeper with every sentence and smile. Finally they exchanged numbers and though Lauren was living in DC at the time and Jonathan in the Bronx, he knew no distance would be too far, and they were soon setting up a first date - placing them on the path to their own happily ever after...
Read all about Lauren & Jonathan's love story, romantic proposal in Spain, and experiences in their beautiful botanical garden wedding in Toronto.
Bride & Groom: Lauren & Jonathan
Occupations: Immigration attorney & Financial manager
Wedding date: 8.18.18
Wedding location: Toronto, Ontario (Canada)
How did you meet? After graduating law school I took the bar exam in July 2014. After being locked in the house all summer studying, I went to New York City to celebrate finishing the exam with one of my girlfriends. We went out partying in lower Manhattan. I locked eyes with a cute guy in a crowded bar and we spent the rest of the night trading stories about our travels. We exchanged numbers, but I was living in DC at the time, while he was a Bronx native, so I didn't expect I would see him again too soon. But we kept texting, and he asked me out right away. We agreed to meet in Philly for our first date to split the hundreds of miles between us. He took me dancing in Old City to end a perfect first date, and the rest is history!
Tell us about the proposal. Over the years we've been together, Jonathan and I have made traveling a priority - we've been to every continent together except Antarctica. He always knew that Spain is my favorite country in the world, and that I hadn't had a chance to return there in years. So on our third anniversary, he flew me to Barcelona. We had a layover in Sweden, and we missed our connecting flight. He was furious about the missed flight, and I couldn't understand why he was so upset about a delay of just a few hours. But I later found out he had planned on proposing to me that night once we landed in Barcelona, and that missed flight had ruined his plans! He ended up proposing in the street after dinner the following night, and then took me to Formentera (an island off the coast of Spain), where we spent the rest of the week eating Italian food and relaxing on the beach.
Wedding Style: I wore an Enzoani crepe dress. The dress was originally strapless, so I took it to a seamstress to have off-shoulder straps added to give it a bit of an old Hollywood feel. I'm also a lifetime natural-haired girl, so I didn't want to cover or pin up my curls. I wore my hair down, and instead of a long veil, I wore a short pearl-trimmed birdcage veil that just covered one eye. After the ceremony, I removed the veil and added pearl hair-clips that I designed and had made on Etsy. I designed my shoes myself, and had them made on Shoes of Prey to be a nice nude with a hint of "something blue." My jewelry was all pearls, to complete the classic look.
I live in New York City but I wanted to have that essential dress-shopping experience with my mom, so I flew home to Chicago to go shopping with her. But I actually found the dresses in Chicago to be more expensive than in New York, and the salespeople were a bit more pushy. I ended up picking a few styles I liked in Chicago, and then found that same dress in Manhattan at a bridal shop right next to Central Park, for $600 less than they charged in Chicago!
Did you incorporate any culture into your wedding? Yes! Jonathan's family is Dominican, and many of his family members speak only Spanish. So we did the ceremony in both English and Spanish to be sure everyone would understand. And the reception was a mix of bachata (Dominican music), salsa, and hip-hop mixed together. Everyone was dancing all night!
Ceremony entrance song: Pachelbel's Canon
First dance song: "The Point of It All," by Anthony Hamilton
What is your best memory from your wedding? The best moment of the day was our first look. The day really goes by so quickly, and I was so stressed from planning and worrying about everything going perfectly. The first look helped us both to calm our nerves and relax before it was time to walk down the aisle in front of our friends and family. It was a great moment for us to just be by ourselves, talk to each other, and remember that at the end of the day, the wedding is just a party, but what was really important was our love for each other.
What is the best wedding advice you can give to engaged couples? Wedding planning can be a stressful process, and you'll be receiving opinions from everybody and their mother. At the end of the day, you and your partner just need to remember that your relationship is what matters most and work together as a team throughout everything.
Wedding Dress Designer: Enzoani
Wedding Dress Salon: RK Bridal
Shoes: Shoes of Prey
Ceremony Location: Allan Gardens Conservatory
Reception Location: The Drake Hotel
Photography: The Love Studio
Wedding Planner: Blush + Bowties
Florist: J'Adore Floral Boutique
Cake:The Drake Hotel
Groom's Attire: Suit Supply; Paul Smith