REAL BRIDE: LAUREN IN HUDSON GOWN WITH
DAPHNE TOPPER
MAR. 8TH, 2021
Oh the love in these photos from Lauren's gorgeous wedding day!

Our bride, Lauren in her Hudson gown with the Daphne Topper looks a dream on her wedding day! In fact, her whole ceremony featured stunning details with a beautiful nature filled backdrop! We honestly were in awe. Her big day took place on October 24th, 2020 at Nolichuckey Bluffs Bed and Breakfast Cabins and Glass Chapel, Greeneville, TN. Since the wedding was taking place during a pandemic, they wisely chose to keep it small, but keep reading as you'll see how BIG of an impact it made.

All of the below photos are from the talents of Rafferty Photo. We love so much how this husband and wife team captured the moments special to our featured happy couple!
How did you two meet?!
"Long story with probably too many details??? I'll probably give you too many details in all of these answers, but that's just who I am ☺ I had gotten out of a long term relationship in January 2018.

At the time, I had put off getting a new phone for a several months because I was fearful of losing everything from my ex that was on my phone. April 17th, 2018 at work, out of the blue, I decided I was going to get a new phone. I was two years overdue for a phone upgrade at that point. So there was absolutely no reason for me to go get a new phone that particular day, but there I went. I think I had finally decided I was ready to get back out there and that I was going to be ok if I lost everything from over the past years. I walked into Verizon and there stood this handsome, red-bearded guy who asked how he could help me. Of the ten or so staff members working that night, he was the one who just so happened to be free the moment I stepped in the door. He was so kind and funny and we had such a wonderful conversation over the next hour as he got me a new phone and transferred my data for me (which I later found out is something they don't actually do anymore, but he took the time to do it for me anyway). I text my friends as soon as I left the store and said "I think I really like Verizon Boy". I was so caught up in our conversation that I had paid zero attention to his ring finger while I was in the store, so I wasn't sure if he was married or not. I wasn't even 100% sure what his name was. After talking with my friends that night, I decided I was going to call the store the next day and ask some sort of stupid phone related question. I was so nervous the next morning, but luckily I didn't have to stay nervous for long. I got a text from Dustin on his personal cell phone asking how my new phone was working and if I had any questions. I thought to myself, hmmm, I'm pretty sure this isn't normal Verizon protocol. So I got brave and asked him if he would like to go get a coffee or a drink sometime, as long as he didn't have a wife or girlfriend of course. He didn't and we went on our first date one week later on April 24th. He sent me flowers to the other side of the world when I was in Thailand and Bali two months later and my friends told me we couldn't call him "Verizon Boy" anymore. He was officially my boyfriend. He moved in with me after 6 months, we were engaged after 8 months, and the rest is history. We always joke around and say "Thanks, Verizon".


    Did you have any major surprises on your wedding day (or weekend)? Good or bad

    No major surprises, except that we ended up running an hour behind time. That really ended up working out well, because we got to eat dinner on the river bluff by candlelight. Is was stunning.

    We weren't going to have any guests other than the four of us (me, Dustin, Lorali, and my mom Glenna). BUT we ended up deciding the morning of the wedding to ask two of our best friends (Ashley and Tyler) to come and spend the day with us. They came in jeans and spent all day and night with us. Having them there ended up making the day a lot more special for us all.

    How did your dress feel during the day? Anything you would have done differently or anything you feel worked out perfectly? (think bra choice, shoe choice, etc)

    "My dress felt wonderful. It fit well and was super comfortable. Except for the train, I almost forgot I was wearing a wedding gown all day! I wouldn't have changed a thing. It was perfection."

    Tell us about your ceremony. Was it religious? Did you choose your own readings, music, or write your own vows?

    "We had a "religious light" ceremony. Prayer was definitely included, but we didn't have any actual scripture read. We read and read and put a lot of work into our ceremony. We didn't want a generic ceremony, but instead one that really spoke to who Dustin and I are as individuals. I think we accomplished that. It was beautiful. Several of our friends and family said they held hands and a few cried while they watched our ceremony. I got nervous during the ceremony and had to ask Dustin which hand was his left hand before I put the ring on him. I walked down the aisle to First Day of My Life by Bright Eyes. We honored our parents who couldn't be there with us. We did a blessing of the hands during the ceremony, which was one of my favorite parts. We both wrote our own vows. They were short but heartfelt. We both ended our vows with the same sentences…..I am truly blessed to have found the truest of love with you, and today, I commit my life to yours. I pledge to love you for all time, and to stay faithful and true to you. I will comfort you in your pain and encourage you with your dreams. As our journey through life begins today, I promise that I will always be by your side and I will love you with all of my heart for all of my life."

    Congratulations, Lauren and Dustin! We are so honored to have you as one of your brides and that you shared your special day with us. Reading it through made us cry with tears of joy, love and happiness and we wish the same for you both. Congratulations again, and thank you so much for being a Rebecca Schoneveld bride. Means the world.
    How did you choose your venue/date?
    "I couldn't sleep one night last year, so I was scrolling the internet trying to get sleepy. I ended up stumbling upon Nolichuckey Bluffs completely by chance in the black hole of late night Instagram. I wasn't even looking at anything wedding related when it fell into my lap."

    "Fall is our favorite season, so we knew that was when we wanted to get married. The changing leaves, the cool crisp air, the colors, and college football—what time of year could be better for a wedding? Especially in such a beautiful setting with a glass chapel."

    Tell us about your dress shopping experience. Where did you find your gown?
    "Because of COVID and my pro-level ADHD procrastination, I didn't have a bride's typical dress shopping experience. I did a decent amount of online browsing just to get an idea of what was out there, but I had never actually set foot inside a bridal boutique. I had been told about Loveliest Bridal by my hair dresser, so I started following her about a year and a half ago on IG. Last November, Loveliest posted some off the rack dresses she had available. That's when I first saw The Hudson gown with the Daphne topper. I instantly loved it. I was never the little girl who dreamed of her wedding, so I had no ideas set in stone about what my dress and my day would be like. Because of that, I was really able to come into the dress shopping experience with an open mind and heart to be able to find what spoke to me. And this dress spoke right to my heart. I couldn't get an appointment with Loveliest that fit both our schedules, so I just sort of forgot about it and assumed I'd find the dress that was meant for me another time.

    Fast forward to March and I had still not done any dress shopping. I decided I had to get serious about looking before I ran out of time. Within a day or two of getting down to official dress searching business, Loveliest posted my dress again. She still had it and it was my size. I still loved it as much the second time I saw it, so I contacted her and bought the dress right then without ever seeing it in person or trying it on. It just felt right. And it was right. It fit perfectly and the only alterations I had done were to take some length off the front. It was like it was made for me."
    What was your favorite part of the day?

    " Does it count if I say the whole weekend? We were able to get up early and watch the sunrise over the river each morning. We were able to just relax, spend time together, and take it all in; to really enjoy what your wedding weekend is supposed to be about. I'd say my favorite part of the day was walking down the sidewalk with Lorali to do our first look with Dustin. Seeing him standing there down the cobblestone path with his back to us, it felt like it took me a lifetime to walk down to him. My heart was racing, but so warm at the same time. He thought it was just going to be me standing there, so seeing his reaction when it was both Lorali and me was so special. Dustin says his favorite part of the day was our ceremony in the glass chapel. We really tried to personalize our whole ceremony so it was more special to us and it was truly beautiful."
    Do you have any advice to offer future brides?

    "Enjoy yourself. The things that are meant for you will find you during the wedding planning process if you leave your mind and heart open to them. Breathe, relax, and go with the flow because things will 100% not go exactly as planned. And that's ok. The day will absolutely fly by and you'll find yourselves asking how it's already over at the end of the day.

    Focus on the details and have it well – planned so that you can have the wedding day you want, but don't get so caught up in the minutiae that you forget to enjoy yourselves and soak it all in. This will be a once in a lifetime day and you want to be able to remember how it felt in those special moments with the people you love throughout the day. The wedding day is wonderful and magical, but your marriage is the important part. Find a partner who makes you feel beautiful and magical inside and a dress that makes you feel beautiful and magical on the outside."

      My engagement ring is a family heirloom of Dustin's family. It is roughly 130 years old from Scotland and first belonged to his great great grandmother. I am only the second woman to wear it as an engagement ring. It has been passed down through his family and made its way to me. It is so special that Becky allowed Dustin to share this ring with me.

      This isn't something we wore, but we had the idea to ask our friends and family to compile a wedding day playlist for us. We asked everyone to send us a song or two to add to that playlist. We ended up with almost 200 songs. It was so neat having each song come on and instantly have memories of the person who chose that song pop in your brain. It was like we could have them there and think of them on our day without them actually being there.

      We also did a Zoom meeting for our family and closest friends so they could watch our ceremony live. That's who you see us waving at and talking to at the end of the ceremony.

      Dustin had an artist hand paint a portrait of one of our favorite photos of ourselves as a wedding day gift for me.

      I had the inside of Dustin's band engraved with "Maybe we'll get 40 years" which is a line from one of our favorite songs, If We Were Vampires by Jason Isbell. That is also the song we had our first dance to.

      I don't have many things of my dad's at all, but I did have his old wallet filled with his old things and pictures of me growing up, so we had that there with us on the wedding day as well.

      I had a tie patch made for Dustin to wear on our wedding day. I gave it to him as part of his wedding day gift. It is a picture of his dad, him, and Lorali all together. That way we were able to have each parent represented in one way or another.


      What was your "Old", "Borrowed" and "Blue"?

      Old: my ring. We used my grandmother's (mom's mom) table for our cake and her 50th anniversary china as our dinner plates. We used my other grandmother's (dad's mom) wine glasses that were given to her when she was married. We served our vendors dinner on my dad's mom's china as well. We purchased vintage silver and had it stamped with our wedding date that we ate with.

      I had my florist include some blue accents in my hair comb for my something blue. My dress tailor also included a hand sewn blue patch on the inside of my dress with mine and Dustin's names and our wedding date.

      New: my dress and shoes. Also, our florist had just had a new baby, sweet Willa Mae, and she as there with us the whole day sprinkling good vibes all around. So I count that as our something new too.

      Borrowed: we borrowed our cake plate and several vases and brass candlesticks from our florist that day. We struggled to find something borrowed to wear that day.

      "My dress felt wonderful. It fit well and was super comfortable. Except for the train, I almost forgot I was wearing a wedding gown all day! I wouldn't have changed a thing. It was perfection."
      "I believe with all of my heart that the universe will bring you the things that are truly meant for you and our wedding and relationship have been a true testament to this so far. The way we met one another and how every single vendor and thing for this wedding fell organically into our laps. A quote from our wedding that we love from The Alchemist…….So, I love you because the entire universe conspired for me to find you."
      How did Dustin propose?
      "We had gone to a nice 5-course dinner in Knoxville on New Years Eve 2018. After dinner we took a stroll through Market Square to enjoy the lights and people and then headed home. We missed getting home to watch the ball drop by about five minutes, so we decided to stay up and watch the ball drop in the Central time zone instead. We popped a bottle of champagne and settled into the couch to watch the festivities. Just before the ball dropped, Dustin completely surprised me by pulling out a ring and asking me to marry him right there in our living room. Just the two of us and our cats, Lucy and Mason. We had discussed getting engaged so I knew it was coming eventually. Plus he's terrible at keeping secrets. But I was caught off guard that night. Apparently he had been carrying the ring around in his pocket for weeks, waiting on what felt like the right time to ask me. He had debated asking me at dinner and on our stroll that night, but decided to wait until we got home. I'm not one for making a spectacle, so having him ask me here at home was perfect. New Years may be a cliché time to get engaged, but it was so special to be able to start off our new year in such a wonderful way together."

      Tell us about you two!
      "I am originally from Kingsport, TN and Dustin is from Tazewell, TN. We now live in Talbott, TN. I am a pharmacist for a locally owned independent pharmacy here in Morristown. I went to school at the University of Tennessee and East Tennessee State University. Dustin is a former banker (and Verizon salesman, of course) turned repossession agent. He went to school at Carson Newman and Univeristy of The Cumberlands. Dustin and I enjoy anything outdoors—hiking, camping, parks, lakes, rivers. You name it, we love it. We enjoy traveling often to see new places and have new adventures. We can't wait until COVID is managed worldwide so we can take our honeymoon to his homeland of Scotland. We may have to wait a while on that one, unfortunately. We are music lovers. It speaks to our souls even though neither of us has any musical talent. We love going to concerts and shows and try to make live music a regular part of our lives. We also love food, a lot, so we enjoy trying new restaurants and cuisines as often as possible. We both share a huge love of all things Harry Potter, probably too much for people our age. The bottom of my wedding shoes had a quote from the movies…"After all this time…..Always". "

      Where did you find your dress and how many gowns did you try on before you said Yes?

      "1, Loveliest Bridal. One and done ☺"

      Was the gown you said yes to what you imagined you'd pick when you started out?

      "I really didn't have anything in mind, other than a slightly boho theme, nothing too structured, and nothing white. My dress fell into all those categories and was so much better than I could've ever imagined."

      Did you choose to wear anything sentimental on your wedding day?

      "
      My mom is the only living parent Dustin and I have between us. My dad passed away when I was 19 and Dustin's dad passed away about five years ago. Dustin's sweet momma passed away this February after a year-long battle with liver disease. We were so hopeful that she would be able to make it to the wedding, but unfortunately it didn't work out that way. We wanted to honor all three of our parents who have passed on. After Becky's funeral, I saved some of her flowers and had Lorali and I some jewelry made from them. I had us each a bracelet and pair of earrings made. The earrings I wore and the bracelets Lorali and I both wore in the wedding were the ones made with Becky's flowers. While Becky was in the hospital, she would ask me questions like how I was going to wear my hair and what color my dress would be, etc. I think it comforted her to know what we were planning because she knew she likely wouldn't make it long enough to be there with us on that day. So it was so special to have part of her here there with us in the wedding. As Lorali and I put each other's bracelets on, we talked about Grammy and how much she would've loved being there with us that day."