The Wedding Story of Lauren McMahon and Ron Sandlin

Photos ByIvan & Louise

Not only did Lauren and Ron meet while Teach For America corps members, they taught right down the hall from one another at KIPP Indy Middle School. Ron proposed on the steps of the Monument Circle in downtown Indianapolis on January 1, 2016. “We were on our way to a New Year's day brunch with friends and he made up a story about needing to stop at the downtown Starbucks,” Lauren explains. “We parked and he commented how we were the only ones there and suggested we get a photo on the steps. We walked up and then he said wonderful things before getting down on one knee to ask. I said yes, of course!” Lauren’s oldest friend and her boyfriend secretly captured the entire proposal, and the newly engaged pair celebrated afterward at Café Patachou with their closest family and friends.

Lauren and Ron landed their ideal venues for their fall Indianapolis wedding with the Indiana State Library for their ceremony and The Speak Easy for their reception. “We decided on our venues which ended up dictating the exact date and then we signed on with Jessica Dum Wedding  Coordination and they shared great planning resources with us,” explains Lauren.

The couple was wowed by both the ceremony and the reception locales—The Indiana State Library for its beauty and grand yet intimate warmth and The Speak Easy for its cool industrial style and vendor flexibility. When describing the library, Lauren says, “It’s a hidden treasure in the city, and it was something our guests continue to talk about almost a year later.”

In many ways, Lauren knew what she wanted—a fun celebration highlighting the life she and Ron had already built. However, she also knew she had to be realistic about the budget since they were funding their own wedding. She says, “We worked together to decide on what we wanted to prioritize and how to get creative in getting the most out of our budget.”


Who does a girl turn to for planning advice? Their girlfriends, of course (and bonus if they work in the industry)! Lauren says, “I had a Pinterest board saved, and I also have been continuously inspired by friends of mine who work in the wedding industry such as Caitlin Sullivan and Jessica Dum. I am also very fortunate to have an amazingly smart, savvy and supportive group of girlfriends who were recently married and ready and willing to share their tips and tricks.”

Lauren says of her gorgeous gown, “My dress was Jenny Yoo’s ‘London’ gown, and I bought it at M.H. Pomander’s (now LUXEredux Bridal) sample sale off the rack. I knew I wanted an elegant, classic and clean look and it was one of five dresses I tried on. The belt I chose added a special detail and the design reminded me of a Celtic braid—one of the many details I incorporated as a nod to my Irish heritage. My grandmother sent me a veil and it turned out the aged color of the once white veil was then an exact match to my ivory dress. Sara Knochel from Something Wonderful made the dress fit like a glove.”

This wedding was overflowing with special touches. Lauren explains, “The bridal entrance was to ‘The Countess Cathleen’ which is an Irish slip jig. I was a competitive Irish dancer for 16 years and the slip jig was my favorite dance. Our string trio played it and it was so special.” The couple also surprised guests with a bagpiper who led the recessional. “Rufus Campbell is a good family friend, and I grew up dancing with his daughters,” Lauren says. “Another nod to my Irish heritage.” In addition to the signs throughout the wedding designed by the bride herself (also a hobby and small business endeavor), the celebration featured a delicious cake made by Lauren’s mother-in-law and small jars of honey that Lauren bottled at her mom’s friend’s apiary. Lauren also designed the couple’s invitations by hand!


This wedding was full of classic, white flowers and lots of greenery that were complemented with navy, gold and ivory hues. “The Empty Vase was wonderful to work with,” says Lauren. “They used open white roses, ranunculus, and other white blooms along with Italian ruscus, Green Pittosporum, and magnolia leaves for the personal flowers. The tables were draped with greenery and lots of candles.”

Advice From the Bride

Lauren provides some pretty solid advice saying, “Work as a team. Stay true to yourself and who you are as a couple. The love and commitment is the most important part…The wedding is only how you celebrate that love.”


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