Lauren Hawkins & Joe Larsen
February 2, 2014 Trinity United Methodist Church & Boone Hall Plantation
While at church during her first week living Chicago, Charleston native Lauren spied Joe sitting in a pew across the chapel. “Despite my best efforts to put myself in his path, it took almost a year for us to engage in a conversation,” she laughs. A few months after that, Wisconsin-born Joe took Lauren out for a first date and kicked off their two-year courtship. For their first vacation together, the couple traveled to the Holy City, and, “on a long walk along the Battery, we both realized that this could be it,” recalls Lauren. When Joe later proposed in the Windy City’s Lincoln Park, the pair knew just where to marry.
On the Big Day, the bride’s father—a military chaplain fresh off a tour in Afghanistan—officiated the ceremony at Trinity United Methodist Church. After swapping vows, the couple and their guests headed to Boone Hall Plantation, a gem of a venue that Lauren had loved since visiting with her family as a child. (You might remember it from "The Notebook.") Tartan plaid details (his tie, her riding coat) brought warmth to the cool-weather reception, while pineapples (“the classic symbol of Southern hospitality,” notes the bride) dotted tablescapes. To cap off the evening, slices of old-fashioned yellow cake with buttercream icing baked by the bride’s Grammy Sue were dolled out: a sweet bookend to the sweetest of days for this couple.
When a belle of an old-guard Charleston family opts for a pre-ceremony “first look” with her groom, it means times are changing. See why a sneak peek worked for Kathleen Hay and Andrew Hagood, and why you might follow suit