Monday, May 28, 2012

Engagement Photos

One of my best friends (who also happens to be one of my bridesmaids) does some photography on the side.  Allison is so fantastic, and I was pumped to have her do our engagement photos!  Here are some of our favorite.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Wedding Update: Four Months

I absolutely cannot believe this is actually happening.  Hold on just one second.....Am I really getting married?????  Am I really getting married??????  I have to keep reminding myself that, yes indeed, I am getting married.  I'd love to hear from some of you who were older when you got married.  It's been harder, I think, for me because I'm older.  I've waited so long....I've had some anxiety about pulling the proverbial trigger.  I don't know if that makes any sense at all.  Regardless....that's a topic/battle that deserves a post entirely to itself.

The bottom line this isn't a dream.  YES I am getting married!!!  SOOO.....with so little time for this engagement, let me get you caught up on what has been accomplished so far.

Groom -  Michael Malone
Date - September 22, 2012
Wedding Venue - Raytown Christian Church (the church I grew up in)
Reception Venue - The VanNoy Mansion.  It's SOO pretty!
Colors -  Blue, White and Ivory
Gown - It's top secret....but I have it.  (I'm trying not to second guess my decision!!)
Flowers - Garden Roses, Peonies, Hydrangea and Lisianthius
Maid of Honor - Meredith (my sister)
Bridesmaids - Three of my best friends in the world!!  See here.  
Bridesmaids Dresses -  We picked them out and have them ordered! Read about it here.  
Best Man - Andrew... A great friend of ours!  He was a co-conspirator in the proposal plan.
Groomsmen - Jason, Matt and Greg  (Obviously...they're all friends of the groom.)
Florist - Amy Cason  (She's a friend of mine and is absolutely phenomenal!)  Check out her work!
Engagement Photos - We took them last Saturday.  My friend Allison (also a bridesmaid) took them for us.  Check back soon to see them!
Wedding Photographer - Soo...apparently I know lots of people in the wedding business.  My friend Allison Carenza is doing those.  Again...she's phenomenal!  Here's a peek at her work.
Flower Girls - Georgia, my friend Courtney's daughter; Michael's niece Kyndall.  I've picked out the dresses....buying them soon!
Food - We have a tasting next week....
Cake - Tastings next week...

Next on the agenda:
*Finishing the guest list
*Sending out Save the Dates
*Booking a caterer
*Booking a cake person

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


Saturday was one of my favorite wedding planning days to date!

11am -- Mani/Pedi
2pm -- Shopping for bridesmaids dresses
4pm -- Hair Appointment
6pm -- Engagement Photos

It was an absolutely wonderful day, thanks in large part to my beautiful bridesmaids.  And now... to introduce them to you!

Meet my Maid of Honor - Meredith

No explanation needed here.  She's my sister.  I wouldn't want anyone else in the world to be my Maid of Honor.  Plus...she always makes things pretty interesting.  And if you need proof of that, just read here.

Bridesmaid #1 - Shawna

Shawna and I have been friends since high school....although we can't remember just how we met.  Shawna and I went to rival high schools, but we were both in music....somehow our paths crossed!  Plus, she dated (and then married) a good friend of mine from high school.  Shawna was integral in the "Let's-Trick-Lauren-To-Get-Her-Engaged" plan.  I absolutely adore her!!!  (Things will never be quiet with the two of us together.....bring your earplugs!)

Bridesmaid #2 - Allison

This picture is from soooo long ago!
I discovered I have more pictures with Allison's kids than with her!
Allison and I were first year teachers together.  She was my art teacher, and I was her music teacher.  We laugh about our first year a lot -- we spent at least every other day crying in each others' classroom.  Allison is hands down the best elementary art teacher I have ever met.  She is phenomenal!  We haven't taught together for the past four (I think) years. So you can imagine how excited I am to know that we'll be reunited next school year!  We're back to teaching at the same building!!  In any case, I have loved Allison and her family for the last seven years, and I am so blessed to have her share these memories with me!

Bridesmaid #3 - Courtney

Courtney and I have known each other since elementary school -- seriously.  We grew up going to the same church.  Courtney likes to tell the story of us singing a duet together in our children's choir Christmas program.  I even sang in her wedding!  Courtney has been my spiritual rock.  She is absolutely in love with Jesus, and is the wisest 30-something I have ever known.  I absolutely love her, and I treasure our friendship.  (And her little girl, Georgia, is going to be in the wedding, too!)

Saturday's Fun:

My philosophy on bridesmaid's dresses is this:  wear something that looks good on YOU!  Having said that, I knew the most important thing to me outside of my girls feeling comfortable in what they wore was the color.  Our colors are blue, white and ivory.  I want my bridesmaids dresses to be all different shades of blue.
Looking at color swatches
These are the blues I chose:  Windsor Blue, Cornflower, Sapphire and Sailor
 I warned our consultant that we were going to totally overwhelm her.  We all have BIG personalities!  And we've never been accused of being too quiet.
Shawna and Courtney waiting for the fun to begin!
 So once I had determined the colors, I knew which designer offered those colors and in which fabrics.  I showed the girls the section of dresses they could choose from and the fabrics (chiffon and satin).  Then I basically said, GO! and they were off to pick out whatever the heck dress they wanted to wear.

Pinning the dresses to try on later

I think they pinned every chiffon and satin one there was.
 My girls were absolutely WONDERFUL!!  Poor Courtney is 36 weeks prego and went right along with the fun while we shoved her into dresses.  That's why I love them so!!!

This was round #1

More dresses!
Finally, we narrowed it down to our top four-ish dresses.....

We were really struggling to make a decision.  When it came down to it, though, it seemed that everyone really liked the same dress.  (Seriously?!  I tell everyone to get whatever the heck they want and they all like the same one?!)  

And the winner is....

The girls all looked so cute in this dress!!  It really was a no-brainer.  I'm so excited to see it in all of the different blues!  The little flower on it looked kind of sad, so we'll be spicing that up with a rhinestone broach.  (I found some classic/vintage-y clip on earrings at Charming Charlie that we're going to sew on.)  

And if I haven't said it enough in this blog already....

                 I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE these girls!  
I am SO blessed!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

The Proposal

From the beginning of our talks about marriage I've told Michael that he wouldn't be able to surprise me.  I'm just a tough person to surprise.....I seem to usually have an idea when something is happening.  I will be the first to admit, that this time, I was wrong.  He definitely surprised me!

Here's the Reader's Digest version:

Michael and I had plans to have dinner with a married couple that I've been friends with since high school.  Shawna and I were going to go to the plaza to get manis and pedis.  Michael and Andrew were going to hit golf balls.  Then we were all going to meet up at 7:30 for our dinner reservations at Brio on the Country Club Plaza.

So....that's what least, that's what I thought.  Shawna was 45 minutes late to my house (!).  She blamed it on her baby.  (I came to find out later that she was intentionally late.)  That poor baby boy.  She blamed a lot on that kid.  :-)

We finished at 7:00.  Our reservations were at 7:30.  Shawna wanted to go to Forever 21 to shop.  I wanted to go have a drink at the bar.  She was adamant, though, about needing to go shopping (again, blaming her baby for not being able to go shopping anymore).  So I obliged.  We drove down to Forever 21 and before I knew it, it was 7:25 and I was in a dressing room trying on clothes.  When I realized how late it was, I made Shawna head to the counter to pay.

We finally made it out of the store and headed to Brio -- remember....we had reservations there at 7:30. I texted Michael and told him we were running late.  He said they were, too.  Which made this Type-A gal a little stressed about potentially losing our reservation!  It was prom the plaza was BUSY!  We  drove around looking for a parking spot for what seemed like forever.  Finally, we found one and headed to Brio.  When we walked out of the parking garage, Andrew and Michael were standing on the sidewalk across from the garage.  My immediate thought was, "Why aren't they saving our table?!  We're late!!"  Shawna assured me that our reservation would be fine.  When we walked over to them Andrew said he had some bedding he wanted Shawna to see.  (Bedding?!  I'm hungry, I have to pee and we're late for our reservation!!!)  Thankfully, I only thought those things and didn't actually say them!!'s what happened next.

When we turned the corner, I genuinely didn't recognize anyone there.  I saw a group of people, but it was prom on the Plaza!  It was nuts there anyway!  It wasn't until Michael pulled me away from the window that I realized what was happening.  I saw my sister first.  But I was still dumb/confused about it. I remember the next person I saw was Michael's grandma.

And that's when I figured out what was happening.  :-)

These pics are from before I got there....when the surprise was being set up!
My mom, Noah (best friend's hubby), my sister Meredith

My Daddy

Bestie Courtney (she's just a little pre go), friends Carrie and Orrin

Michael's sisters, Grandma and Grandpa and Aunt Angie

Some more of the crowd -- Michael's dad is in the black shirt

Some of my friends!

More of my friends!

Pics of the actual Proposal:

After the actual proposal, it was so fun to see all of our friends and family that shared the moment with us!!  ( favorite part of these pictures is to see the faces of everyone in the background!)  Apparently the people on the balcony of Brio cheered for us, too.  The whole thing was a blur.  I have no idea what Michael said to me.  I didn't even remember him getting down on one knee!

Anyway...after the proposal, we headed back to my parents' house for an engagement party!  On the way there, Michael finally spilled his guts about the planning he'd been doing for the last two months.  He even showed me the FB event page he had created!!

Here are pics from the party!

Noah and Courtney
The oh-so-tricky Shawna

Andrew and Lauren....He helped Michael so much!

My sister loves this pose for some reason.

Our new family!

 Being silly
Even sillier.  Actually, Michael looks scary!
My cousin Debby and me

Jon and Allison Carenza -- Allison is going to be my wedding photographer!

Michael's sister Stephanie and me

Michael's siblings and their spouses

Michael's new family

The future Mr. and Mrs. Malone