Lauren and Mike @The Ritz Carlton ~ mkPhotography, Philadelphia Wedding Photographer

How we got engaged:
Since Lauren works from home it is no easy task to get her out of the apartment for an extended period of time. Mike needed about 30 minutes of preparation without her around in order to execute the proposal, so he had to come up with a diversion…

From the groom:
“I came home from work on December 12th and politely asked Lauren “What’s for dinner?”. She mentioned that she was thinking about having steaks but that we would have to run out to get them. I expressed my unwillingness to go grocery shopping while she reiterated that if I wanted steak for dinner I had to come along.

Thinking in my head that today would most likely not be the night to propose I let two hours pass by and then reapproached Lauren, this time from a different angle. I told her that a package arrived for her today and she could receive it this evening (it was the 5th night of Hanukkah) but I needed time to open it up to make sure everything was there and possibly set it up….she continued to hesitate.

Eventually, Lauren gave in and ran to the store on her own, giving me enough time to get out the 4,000 silk rose petals, lay them down the hallway and set them up in the bedroom along with candles galore. Once the scene had been set, I called Lauren to verify when she would be home as I didn’t want to light the candles too early and burn down the apartment!

Lauren walked in the door and had no idea what was going on; she eventually made her way into the bedroom where I was down on one knee waiting for her to say ‘YES!’.

While the first words out of her mouth were “YES!” they were quickly followed by a “Did you ask my dad?”. I told her of course I had already asked her parents for permission….and then proceeded to ask when my steak would be ready*!”

(*Mike ended up cooking dinner while Lauren reported the big news to family and friends!)

What was our “perfect wedding” vision?
Our perfect wedding vision was a traditional, elegant evening with an informal ceremony, good food, great music and fantastic company.

What were three unique details that we infused into our decor?
With the help of Lamsback Floral Decorators, we selected two unique tablecloths and had them alternating across the guest tables. One was a gold lace cloth infused with a metallic thread and the other was a sheer, silk organza-esque fabric decorated with small pearls.

We also decided on cupcakes instead of a traditional wedding cake because we both really enjoy a good cupcake! We chose two different flavors – sweet potato with a carmel-buttercream frosting, and tiramisu. At the end of the party, while our guests were leaving and heading for the lobby bar, Mike and I stole away five minutes and sat down at our sweetheart table to enjoy our cupcakes!

Another unique detail was Mike’s groomsman gifts. He ordered customized Nike sneakers for each of his groomsmen in the colors of their favorite sports teams. After the ceremony the guys immediately switched out of their uncomfortable tuxedo shoes and into their new sneakers.

What was our most memorable moment?
There are too many to list! We had such an absolute blast from the day-long preparations through the ceremony and party into the wee hours of the morning at the Ritz lobby bar. Thanks to our incredibly talented vendors, every moment exceeded our expectations.

What was on our menu?
Tri-color beet salad, mint mojito sorbet intermezzo, stone bass and lamb chops

What – if anything – did we DIY?
Says the Bride:
“Not a darn thing ;). I’m not a DIY kinda-girl!”

The Details:
Location: Ritz-Carlton, Philadelphia
Flowers: Lamsback
Hair and Makeup: Claudia Seyler
Invitations: Lucky-Luxe Couture
Band: EBE – Paris
Cupcakes: Van Earl’s Cakes
Bride’s Dress: Martina Liana
Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo
Bridesmaid Dresses: Saison Blanche
First Dance: Everything – Michael Bublé

See the Photographer’s Picks slideshow HERE
Take a look at Lauren and Mike’s engagement session with us HERE