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Lauren & Joe's Stunning Parisian Elopement

Posted on 11 Mar, 2016
Lauren & Joe's Stunning Parisian Elopement



How did you meet your (now) husband? My husband I “met” while we were actually 7000 miles apart. My “little” – in birth order only – brother is in the U.S. Army and had deployed in 2012. While he was away, I was his emergency contact and as such I asked that he introduce me to one of his deployment close friends in case, God forbid, anything were ever to happen to him during his deployment. Well, my brother, whose name is also Joe, was strategic – he introduced me to his best friend in the Army…a man who he so happened to think was “perfect” for his big sister. In fact, I have since learned that my brother actually told my now-husband that “you need to meet my sister and if you do you’re going to marry her.” Suffice it to say, he knew us both well. Long story short, “met” online and started writing back & forth as friends – initially, I just wanted to thank him for looking out for my little brother. Overtime, we became good friends at a distance and Joe worked up the courage to ask me for my number. I actually gave him the wrong number by accident at first! Thankfully, he asked again J And I’m so grateful that he did. We met in person at the airport when he returned from the deployment and we’ve been together ever since. Truth be told…we were both smitten before we even met face to face & just needed to meet in person to confirm that we were in fact crazy in love J  

How long have you been together? We became FB official three months before he returned from deployment (crazy, I know!) – so June 2012.

Do you have a proposal story? Joe proposed to me at the finish line of a 70.3 Iron Man race. He had the ring with him the whole time! When he went down on one knee, I actually thought he was passing out! I was completely surprised. He proposed a year to the day that he knew he wanted to marry me… which was June 2012, before he had even met me in person! Brave man ;-)

The Wedding

What was your wedding date? June 22, 2015

Location (Ceremony and Reception)

Where?   Paris, France – near Pont Neuf

What made you choose there? After my fiance and I were engaged, we started talking about the kind of wedding that we would like to have. When we agreed to spend the rest of our lives together, we promised each other that we would embrace adventure, cultivate romance, and put our relationship/marriage first even if that meant taking an unconventional route at times. We desired a wedding that would personal, intimate, meaningful, and, honestly, not so stressful/caught up in the details that we missed the real meaning of the day. Having a small, intimate ceremony in Paris – the city of love - simply made sense.We're pretty sure that left a part of our hearts in that city and we look forward to returning many times...someday with our children :)

How did you find it? We picked the city where we wanted to get married and honestly didn’t choose the exact location until we arrived. We wanted the whole experience to be a romantic adventure – indeed it was!

How was the weather on the day? It was actually rather chilly and overcast at first! Thankfully I was so overwhelmed with joy that I didn’t pay too much attention to the temps,

What made you decide to get married on this particular date? Like Joe’s proposal, our wedding date was significant – it was 2 years to the day that Joe first knew that he wanted to marry me. He told me brother this – of course I didn’t find out for sometime. 

Bridal Party

Bridesmaids – ? Two dear friends, Rebekah Pizana and Micah Yousefi. My sister would have loved to be there, but she had just had a precious little baby. 

My brother was the honorary groomsman – at the last minute, he wasn’t able to come due to work obligations he couldn’t get out of.  

Wedding Gown (the most important part!)

What made you decide to come into Karen Willis Holmes? While looking for dress ideas online, I stumbled across a few KAREN WILLIS HOLMES dresses and was so impressed. I knew that I wanted to see them in person.

Where have you seen our gowns before? I believe that I first saw KAREN WILLIS HOLMES  dresses on Pinterest. There was an Elie Saab dress that I adored (white with sequins) – when I searched for that dress, the Anya gown showed up…

How many gowns did you try? I think I only tried on 3 gowns at KAREN WILLIS HOLMES…as soon as I tried the Anya gown on, I knew it was the one. I had some girlfriends with me too and they confirmed my feelings.

Where did you purchase your gown from (which store or stockist)? I purchased the gown from the NYC boutique. The girls at the bouquet were darling, patient with my busy schedule, and so sweet. I tell all my girlfriends who are getting married about the bouquet – can’t speak highly enough of them.

What did you especially like about your gown? Ah, where do I start? Until I tried on the Anya gown, I had never once worn a sequin or anything sparkly in my life. I grew up a tomboy and while I now enjoy fashion, I am still a “less in more” kind of girl. I adored how the Anya gown was both classy and simple while being exquisite and glamorous. The fit was/is phenomenal. As my husband said, “wow, that dress fit every curve of your body perfectly – it’s so feminine and sexy in a tasteful way.” While feeling completely glamorous in the dress, I didn’t feel overdone. And it was comfortable! I promise! I walked all over Paris in that gown! As I’ve mentioned before, it is my goal to wear the gown again one day when we renew our vows one day…in Paris…with our future children. 



Who is your bridesmaid dress supplier?  I let my girlfriends choose their dresses and honestly don’t know where they ended up getting them. I simply requested that they be black, long, and formal. My girlfriends have excellent taste, so I trusted them completely.

Where did you get the groom and groomsmen’s suits? I honestly have no idea of the brand - I'm sorry! We were both so busy leading up to our wedding. I know that he found it at a DC boutique on sale :)

What accessories did you choose to finish your gown? I opted to keep my jewelry simple & sentimental. As I mentioned, I'm a "less is more" kind of girl, so I thought that the dress had enough sparkle on its own. As a result, I only wore earrings - no necklace or bracelet. The earrings were a gift from my darling sister - another reason why I chose to wear them. I'm all about the meaningful little details :)

Where did you get your shoes from? My shoes were Steve Madden and I am happy to report that they have survived 6+ months without being eaten/torn apart by our dear 1 year old golden retriever, Charli :)


What advice would you give brides organizing their wedding? Focus on what the day is about rather than getting caught up in thousand small details. Pick some details that you really care about and make them your own. Ultimately,  your wedding day is about celebrating your love and starting your life together – don’t let anything rob you of that focus.

What advice would you give brides searching for their wedding gown? Go to KAREN WILLIS HOLMES Seriously, this may not be a popular thing to say, but I would avoid the huge stores that many brides flock to. Find a designer that fits your personality and your budget. You and your husband will be happy with the result – I promise. 



Florist – Yours truly

Photographer – Brian Wright of French Grey Photography. He was amazing! Truly, he was so patient and understanding as he worked with me from afar before the big day. And on the day, he made us both feel so comfortable and just captured our personalities and our love for each other. We loved him & the pictures.

First Dance – We danced along the Seine while boats of people passed and cheered until we kissed

Menu – I wish I could remember the name of the small Parisian café where we ate after because it was delicious. I actually had an amazing burger as my post wedding meal! It had goat cheese on it and it was pretty much heaven J

Cake – My darling friend Rebekah brought Macaroons that we promptly enjoyed after saying “I do”

Hair & Make up Harold James – he was an angel! Seriously, I adored him. He was such a sweetheart and very professional too. His magic on my makeup especially was needed after a long flight, jet lag, and not sleeping a wink before the wedding because I was sooooo excited