When Lauren and Alex met at NYU, it was love at first sight. Though sparks flew straight away, the understanding that Alex was her person dawned over time for Lauren. “It was a realization that arrived gently and unassumingly. Truly from the moment I met Alex, a part of me already loved him. That love only grew stronger the more I got to know him – a love that was patient, kind, and unwavering. The day that I realized our love would last forever and that I was a better person because of it, was the day I knew Alex was “the one.”
Tradition and family are important to Lauren and Alex, and so as they planned their December wedding, they chose a beautiful church and Fiddler’s Elbow Country Club, both of which had the kind of magical seasonal ambiance winter celebrations are made of—think twinkling lights, candlelight, and decked-out evergreens. To that, they added meaningful touches such as a surprise photo montage of the two of them growing up that played during their father-daughter and mother-son dances. Meanwhile, Lauren, in her long-sleeved Cressida gown and faux fur wrap along with her holly-berry red wedding party, served serious seasonal romance!
More about their day and love story from Lauren, who honeymooned with Alex to Jackson Hole, Wyoming and then Hawaii:
How did you guys meet?
“Alex and I met while we were at college at NYU through a mutual friend who set us up. It was love at first sight since the day we met nearly 10 years ago. We made sure to give this friend a little shout-out at the wedding with a seat specially labeled “matchmaker.” He loved it!“
How did you know Alex was “the one”?
“There was no single marked event or grand gesture that signaled to me that Alex was “the one.” It was a realization that arrived gently and unassumingly. Truly from the moment I met Alex, a part of me already loved him. That love only grew stronger the more I got to know him – a love that was patient, kind, and unwavering. The day that I realized our love would last forever and that I was a better person because of it, was the day I knew Alex was “the one.”
How did you guys get engaged?
“Ocean Grove, NJ is a wonderful and unique little corner of the world, and it has always been a special place for us. It’s where we fell in love and where we continue to visit regularly to escape the hustle and bustle of Manhattan. We decided to make a quick trip down to Ocean Grove before we were about to embark on a 6-week adventure traveling throughout South America together. It was the first warm day of the season, so Alex and I decided to take a walk on the beach. The sun was setting, and we were the only ones on the entire stretch of sand and sea. Alex got down on one knee, pulled out the ring and I said yes to forever with him. It was the easiest decision of my life!”
Tell us about you found your gown!
“I knew I wanted something elegant and timeless. I’ve always loved lace for a wedding dress because it’s so feminine with such beautiful details. My mom and I went out for lunch with no plans of finding my wedding dress that day. We passed a bridal shop that had beautiful Lea-Ann Belter dresses in the window. I found my wedding dress within an hour of being at the store. I had spent more time searching for my prom dress! When I tried on the Cressida dress, it was perfect. And then when I put on the veil, we were sold. It was exactly the dress I had always envisioned myself in. I cried, my mom cried. The rest is history.”
Why did you decide to get married where you did?
“Our ceremony was held in a small, old stone church in Bernardsville, NJ. The wooden pews decorated with evergreen and pine made way to an altar surrounded by poinsettias with softly lit Christmas trees on either side. Alex and I wanted to get married in a church and this church around Christmas time was particularly magical.
We had our reception 20 minutes away at Fiddler’s Elbow Country Club. Fiddler’s Elbow is a unique and special place. Its fieldstone English manor house was the perfect setting for our wedding guests on a chilly December evening. Set on over a thousand acres of land, the rustic beauty of the surroundings rivaled the coziness and charm of the reception room that was illuminated by fire and candlelight. It was a dream.”
Tell us about your day!
“Our wedding day was truly the happiest day of our lives. There were so many meaningful elements and details that came together that made the day so special. We value tradition and wanted to make that an element of our wedding day. The walk down the aisle with my father, the first look at the altar, the exchange of our wedding vows, etc. are just a few that are seared in my memory and forever cherished. One element of our wedding that was a gift and surprise to our parents was a video montage of old baby photos and home videos that played while the band sang for our parent dances. I think all of these special elements reflected us as a couple because it emphasized what we value – family, tradition and love.”
What was your first dance song?
“Happy by Bruce Springsteen. I married a true Jersey boy – we knew our song had to be one by The Boss.“
One detail you couldn’t live without?
“The signature drinks! They were tasty, festive and calmed the nerves! Mine was a “champagne poinsettia” and Alex’s was an “apple spice margarita.” Delish!”
What was the most important aspect for you, in terms of planning your wedding?
“Alex and I wanted our wedding to be a day that not only celebrated our love for each other, but also the love we have for all of our family and friends who have encouraged us and supported us since day one. This was an important point that Alex and I kept coming back to, especially while planning all the little details of the day. We wanted everyone who is so special to us to feel special, too.”
What was the funniest moment of your day?
“Watching Grandma rock the dance floor.”
What was your something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue?
“Something old: My grandmother’s rosary beads
Something new: My dress!
Something borrowed: My mother’s pearl earrings
Something blue: My mom sewed in a blue ribbon into my purse the night before the wedding. Every time I looked at it I thought of her.”
Three words that best describe your partner:
“Lauren’s words for Alex: Humble, loyal, loving
Alex’s words for Lauren: Thoughtful, beautiful, and kind“
Any tips for couples getting married?
“Remember the meaning and purpose of the day. Be present. It truly is the happiest day of your lives, and the memories of this day will nourish your love and marriage for years to come.”
Lauren + Alex’s New Jersey Wedding Vendors
wedding dress: Lea-Ann Belter Bridal Cressida gown via Jessica Haley Bridal | photographer: Vanessa Joy Photography | videographer: SR Photofilm | church: Our Lady of Perpetual Help | reception venue: Fiddler’s Elbow Country Club | florals: Cassandra Shah Flowers & Event Design | band: Almost Easy Entertainment | strings: Violetta Maria Norrie | hair: Styles on Location | make up: Perfect Bridals by Christina | rentals: Magnolia Events | live artist: Katherine Gressel