an ethereal fairytale
Lauren Koch and Michael Crosby met as students at Florida State University. They were both at the same club when Lauren’s friend dropped her phone. Michael immediately helped them find it and after the club had closed, Lauren found him and gave him her phone number and a quick kiss goodnight. “I fell for him right then,” she admits.
Lauren wanted to wait to get married until she had graduated. Because she ended up on the extended plan, she made him wait a little longer than he might have anticipated. She had one more semester left and on Christmas day, still in her pjs due to being sick, she came downstairs to find a card she had not seen that morning. “I started reading and realized he was proposing to me through the card. Before I could fully process what was going on, I looked up and Michael was on one knee in front of me holding a ring,” Lauren says.
Lauren’s family had a tradition of going to West Baden Springs Hotel in French Lick during the holidays. In awe of the renovated hotel and the beauty of the dome, she knew that was where she wanted to get married. With the dome once touted as the “Eighth Wonder of the World,” who could blame her?
Vera Wang was the designer for Lauren. She knew it from the start and went to a Nashville, Tennessee boutique for an appointment. While trying some on, she noticed some commotion as the store employees started unpacking a dress that had just arrived. “The store manager explained to me that she wanted me to try on this dress the minute I described what I wanted. They pulled the dress out of the box and I was immediately in love.”
Garden roses with other lush flowers to match the theme and colors were Lauren’s pick for floral. Ivory roses were predominant in the ceremony space and bold garnet roses in low vases dotted the reception tables.
WEST BADEn DETAILS
The architectural details of the resort were significant to the overall décor design. The main medallion in the dome not only graced the 36-foot-custom dance floor but was on a coloring book page to entertain the children! Stationery design incorporated the medallion and other striking architectural gems.
When the monogram banners hanging from the balconies and the dance floor appeared to be something that might need to be cut for budgetary reasons, their planner was determined and managed to make some changes in other areas. “I have to say she was right in fighting for those things,” Lauren adds. "Those two things made all the difference!”
A SPECIAL MOMENT
Lauren wanted to honor her dad who had passed away in 2010 but didn’t know how to make that happen. Her mom and the wedding planner devised an “important men in Lauren’s life” dance and everyone at the reception held a candle encircling the dance floor as she danced with her brother, uncle and two dear family friends. “Needless to say, there were plenty of tears,” she adds.
Because Lauren and her fiancé both work at Holiday World, they decided to have treats inspired by the popular park. Mini-burgers, french fries and red velvet funnel cakes were a fun surprise for guests.
While Lauren had envisioned a classic black, ivory and gold theme, her planner Monica Richard, encouraged a little more color added as a surprise. They ended up with ethereal gold and white colors for the ceremony with dramatic garnet, gold and black tones throughout the reception space under the ornate dome. The garnet and gold just happened to match Florida State’s colors, too.
What we love
The laid-back, late-night theme park snacks created a fun contrast to the elegant, ethereal decor and the grandiose venue.
Advice from the bride
“Hire a wedding planner,” says Lauren. “I don’t know how I would have made it without Monica. Monica made sure that not a single detail was missed and kept everyone in my family as well as Michael’s happy!”