Real Wedding | Lauren + Sam

Updated: May 6, 2021

Tell us a little about yourselves!

Lauren is originally from San Francisco and Sam, from the suburbs of Detroit. We met in 2011 in college at University of Michigan, and have been pretty much inseparable ever since! We got married on our 9th anniversary of the weekend we first got together.

Why did you decide to get married where you did?

When we thought about our favourite place, there was almost no question it is Pt. Reyes. It has a special energy and we knew that it would be the perfect spot for us to celebrate our marriage. There is an incredible 7-room hotel there called Manka’s Inverness Lodge. A real hidden gem — it doesn’t really even have a website! — and it’s a place we would sneak off to for weekend when we’d be in town visiting family in SF. The folks that run Manka’s are also incredible chefs and have an amazing little restaurant called Sir + Star. We thought it would be perfect to wrap everything up in one spot and really get to relax and share this special place with our closest people.

How many guests did you have?

We only had 13 people! Just immediate family members and a few close friends we’ve known our whole lives.

Tell us about your outfits.

We threw together the whole wedding in about 2-3 months, so I really didn’t have a lot of time to find something. And being the middle of the pandemic, going to try on dresses wasn’t the easiest. I knew I didn’t want anything super “bride-y.” I wanted something simple, timeless, comfortable, and above all, to really feel like myself. I ended up just scouring the internet and saw this silhouette. I hadn’t heard of the designer La Collection before but the whole vibe was right up my alley. I ordered it online and it fit like a glove. As for the shoes, I felt like I had to go classic Manolo’s!

We knew it would be chilly, so I wanted to go long sleeves, and Sam wanted to go with a little thicker suit. He went with a black classic custom suit from Suit Supply paired with black suede Tod’s loafers and belt. He wanted a classic white shirt, a little unbuttoned. Think he nailed what he was going for, and was a lot warmer than I was that evening!

What was the most important aspect for you, in terms of planning your wedding?

Number one was a great photographer to capture it all. Meg Smith was a dream, and made us feel comfortable in front of the camera.

Number two was all about the food and wine. We shared some of our favorite dishes and pairings with the chefs and they whipped up a menu that touched on all of our favorite things. It’s a dinner I’ll always remember!

And lastly, was to keep an element of wabi sabi! We tried not to sweat the small stuff, and there were a lot of things we just let fall into place without trying to control it too much. It’s a special moment, but what makes it special is the people and the monumental feeling of the moment vs. the flower arrangement on the table…

The cake, however, did need to be chocolate, and it was the best chocolate cake of my life!

Were there any elements that were important for you to incorporate?

For us, we probably spent the most time thinking about the ceremony. We wanted to make it feel ours; not plan a wedding, but plan our marriage. Sam’s brother was the officiant and he included our parents by asking them to share a little advice and words of wisdom for the road ahead which was fun. We wrote a ”contract” of sorts for what we were promising to each other, that we read to the group, and which we plan to revisit every year on our anniversary!

I loved that we got to incorporate a bunch of family things. Like I wore my mom’s veil, we had my parents old school cake topper, and something that ended up being really special is that we used all this candelabras that have been in my parents house forever; family heirlooms that honestly were never used. It was special to see them on the table all lit up. All the family history was there!

Any tips for couples getting married, particularly during the pandemic?

Do what you want, pandemic times or not! We hadn’t really planned anything for over a year of being engaged, because if we’re being honest, we didn’t really want to plan a big wedding, but didn’t want to necessarily elope either. In some ways COVID gave us some permission and confidence. to do exactly what we’d always wanted to do, although it would have been nice to have few more of our close people with us! But obviously you don’t need a pandemic to give you permission…I would just encourage people to do whatever they want without feeling pressure to do otherwise. It’s your day!

Photographer : Meg Smith @megsmithphotography | Ceremony and Reception Location : Manka’s Inverness Lodge Boathouse | Celebrant : The groom’s brother, Ellis | Entertainment : John Steiner | Planners : The Bride + her mother | Flora : Manka’s Inverness Lodge | HMUA : Liz Babb | Catering, Beverages + Cake : Manka's | Sir & Star | Guests Gifts + Stamp on Invitations : Lea Carey @leancarey Bride's Dress : La Collection @maisonlacollection | Groom's Suit : Suit Supply @suitsupply | Rings : Tiffany & Co. | Bride's Shoes : Manolo Blahnik @manoloblahnik | Groom's Shoes : Tods @tods | Earrings : Drop Diamond Earrings | Tennis Bracelet : Rocks with Soul | Veil : Bride's mothers wedding veil