It has taken me approximately 4 months to work on this blog. After putting the pieces together, erasing it all, and then starting from scratch for the umpteenth time, it has finally made it’s way to the internet. This wedding has been one of the most anticipated that I have done thus far, and I wanted it to be presented in such a way. I first met Tommy and Lauren in 2016 when Tommy’s sister, Hillary, scheduled me for family photos shortly after visiting her for a super cute (and desperately needed) hair transformation. Check her out -> here <- she’s amazing! I’ve known Hillary for years and happily accepted when she told me that her brother was coming home and planned on proposing to his girlfriend at the session. The proposal went off without a hitch and everyone was on cloud 9. It’s kind of funny because when you meet people for the first time you have no idea what will come of it. You might see them again, you might not. I had no clue how much this family would grow on me.
Hundreds of text messages, emails and heart emojis between Lauren and I, a handful of photo sessions, the purchase of a home and barn, renovation of said home and barn, wedding planning, college classes, work, one deployment, multiple flights stretching thousands of miles, happy tears, goodbye tears, hello tears and two years later – the big day had finally arrived.
Here is their story.
T O M M Y + L A U R E N
“Tommy and I met at just ten years old. We were in the same fifth grade class together. I wish I could say that it was love at first sight, but I cannot. Tommy had a burning desire to pick on me and make fun of me for the next three years. At one point, our sixth grade social studies teacher told him that he should watch out, because one day he would end up marrying me. In the eighth grade, I decided to come to terms with my adolescent feelings of love and tell Tommy that I liked him. His response was, ‘I like you too, but we aren’t going to date right now. One day in the future we will.’ Much to my surprise, freshman year… it was Tommy and Lauren forever.”
t h e v e n u e
“When I had started the venue search, I couldn’t find anything that had all the elements that we desired or had a reasonable price tag. Tommy and I have been known to share a certain simplicity. We didn’t want anything too extravagant. Shortly after the start of my search, my in laws purchased an 1800’s brick farm house with a 1900’s bank barn. I knew from that moment that we would be married there. We all worked really hard to make our wedding happen. I think that we all slept pretty good for the next month!”
t h e r e n o v a t i o n
The barn was in pretty good shape from the start. The previous owners had kept really great care of it. My in laws made the jump to paint the barn and I am glad they did. A “guy’s room” was installed into the lower level of the barn, complete with hall trees (to hang their suits), a liquor cabinet, a poker table and other “guy” things. It was a great place for the boys to hang out so we wouldn’t run into each other. In the barn we hung lanterns with led candles on the posts, two chandeliers, and strung lights – all of which gave off the romantic vibe I was looking for. We also hung ivory curtains to soften up the barn and add a touch of elegance. My dad and Father-in-law built a bar from old barn wood inside.
t h e a n t i c i p a t i o n
As mentioned before, this day was big in more ways than one. Everyone in attendance had the utmost respect, patience, and love for Tommy and Lauren. Their families had merged into one over the years and it was all becoming official. As we were taking Tommy’s portraits on the wraparound porch we noticed two faces smushed up against the glass door. Seeing him for the first time on his wedding day in his dress blues, Hillary swung the door open and ran out crying into her brother’s arms. Knowing how emotional the ceremony would be for their family and friends, Tommy and Lauren shared their thoughts and prayers with each other before it came time to walk down the aisle. As they took turns reading their handwritten notes you could see a roller coaster of emotion wash over their faces. Nerves, excitement, happiness, peace, and anticipation.
t h e c e r e m o n y
“Often, I think of standing outside of the barn doors, just me and my dad. Not much was said, just a little pat on my hand and a couple of “thank yous” between our unexpected tears. It was a moment I’ll never forget, especially since it preceded my dad stepping on my train as we were walking to the aisle. After Tommy and I were married, once we walked down the aisle and into eternal bliss, Tommy looked at me and told me that I looked so beautiful. It was a sweet moment for just him and I for the first time that day.”
What is one piece of advice you would give to couples planning their wedding?
“Tommy was living in Hawaii and was deployed once during our 2 1/2 year engagement. So, planning together could hardly be considered convenient. There were many times that I had wished he had been home to help, but I had both of our incredible families to help. I think that most important part of planning is accepting from the beginning that not everything goes the way you plan. Since our wedding had a lot of DIY elements, we had a lot of things not go according to plan. But, I have said this time and time again. Everything about our wedding was perfect. My family, his family, our friends… all came together and dedicated their time and love to us, that is what made it so perfect. Don’t sweat the small stuff.”
Venue: Family Home & Barn, Baltimore, OH // Dress: Henri’s Bridal, Columbus, OH // Bridesmaids Dresses: Vera Wang by David’s Bridal // Groomsmen Suits: Macy’s // Bride’s HMUA: Hillary Haughn, Canal Winchester, OH // Bridesmaids HMUA: Diane Myers, Lancaster, OH // Flowers: The Flowerman, Columbus, OH // Catering: Bob’s Backyard Barbecue, Lancaster, OH // DJ: Mike Walker, MasterMix DJ, Canal Winchester, OH