They got married in the same month but chose very different venues, visions and vibes.
by Danielle Bouchat-Friedman
LAUREN & JOE BAKER
Wedding day: Sept. 30
Photography by Jessica Rodgers
Joe Baker was an experienced blind-dater. So when his sister-in-law set him up with Lauren in May 2015, he made sure he had an escape plan.
The couple met at On The Rocks Dockside Grill at the Cape May-Lewes Ferry Terminal at 7 p.m.—the bar closed at 8 p.m. “He told me that if he didn’t like me, then it would only be an hour,” laughs Lauren. But Joe and Lauren liked each other enough after an hour to continue their date at Bethany Blues BBQ.
Though it wasn’t love at first sight, Lauren says it was love after the first couple of months. She admits to drunkenly texting him at a wedding she attended without him. “I told him I was going to marry him, and he said, ‘Yeah, yeah, I think so, too.’”
Joe planned an elaborate proposal in July 2016. While Lauren was hiking with friends in Europe, she thought Joe was home in Lewes taking care of their dog, Leo. She believed that because every time she asked for photo updates of the dog, he readily obliged. But Joe had already taken several pictures of Leo, so he had them at the ready while he was overseas, actually scouting proposal locations in France and Zermatt, Switzerland.
After surprising Lauren in France at the end of her hiking excursion, she had a feeling a proposal was imminent. But Joe kept her on her toes.
The couple hopped on a train to Zermatt to hike and see the sights. On the last day of their trip, they were enjoying a beautiful lunch at a restaurant in the heart of the Alps. Joe excused himself from the table, so Lauren picked up her phone to snap photos of the breathtaking view. Then the server told her to take her phone off airplane mode. The moment she did, a text from Joe came through. It was half of a poem that he had written her. When she finished reading it, she turned around to see Joe down on one knee, proposing. “I sobbed like a baby.”
The couple love to travel, but when they discovered The Covered Bridge Inn in Lewes, they knew it was the perfect venue. “It is less than two miles from our house,” says Lauren. Joe’s family is from Milton, and my family is from Wilmington.”
The couple also knew they didn’t want anything traditional. “We didn’t want one day, so we had our rehearsal dinner on Thursday, a beach bonfire on Friday, the wedding on Saturday and a brunch on Sunday,” says Lauren.
Her favorite aspect of the wedding? The band. “We had the most awesome band (Kristen and the Noise). I wanted the dance party to start immediately, and they were amazing.”
Venue: The Covered Bridge Inn
Wedding planner: Elevee Events
Wedding dress: Irini’s Originals
Florals: The City Florist
Makeup: Eastern Shore Makeup Mary Beth French
Hair: Pin-Up Girls Salon
Tent rental: Dover Tents & Events
Music: Kristen and the Noise
Cake: Sandy Baker (groom’s mother)
Videography: Aircam Productions
Rehearsal dinner: Po’ Boys Creole & Fresh Catch food truck
Catering: Blue Moon
KATIE & BRIAN BRUGGER
Wedding day: Sept. 15
Photography by Bethany Rees
You could say the luck of the Irish brought Katie and Brian together. They met at McGillin’s Olde Ale House in Philly. Brian was celebrating his cousin’s birthday. Katie and her roommate just happened to be hanging out.
“He started a conversation with me and we exchanged numbers,” says Katie. But it was the spring of 2013, and she was engrossed in a very intense graduate school at the University of Pennsylvania. “He was trying to pursue me, but it wasn’t until that fall (when I got further along in school) that we started seeing each other,” says Katie.
After dating for more than two years, Brian finally got up the courage to pop the question. Katie’s parents live in Ventnor, New Jersey, so she and Brian—along with his folks—headed to the shore for the July Fourth weekend. They were all supposed to go out to dinner, but Brian said his parents were running late. “He suggested we make ourselves a drink and walk down to the beach,” says Katie. That’s when Brian dropped to one knee. Both moms were hiding in the dunes, snapping photos of the precious moment. The planned dinner turned into a celebration.
Katie and Brian figured they would wed in Philly, since it is where they met and where they live. “I was finding that a lot of the venues were upscale ballrooms,” says Katie. “I knew I wanted outdoorsy, a little more casual, but still very beautiful.”
Her brother recommended Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library. “We fell in love with it immediately.”
The couple said I do at St. Elizabeth Church in Wilmington, then held their cocktail hour around the reflecting pool at Winterthur.
Her favorite memory of her wedding day was her first dance with her husband. “We danced to The Beatles’ ‘I’ve Just Seen a Face.’ It’s an upbeat song, so the band (Pop Philly) made a slow version for us that we didn’t hear until that day.”
The couple enjoyed a whirlwind honeymoon in Europe and are now preparing for another big adventure: parenthood.
Ceremony: St. Elizabeth Church
Reception: Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
Florals: Theresa Floral Design
Wedding gown: Madison James from Tesi Bridal & Formal
Hair and makeup: Daneene Jensen & Associates
Band: Pop Philly of EBE Entertainment
Catering: Catering by Restaurant Associates
Cake: The Master’s Baker
Rehearsal dinner: Chelsea Tavern
Videography: Aircam Productions
Caricatures: Emily Byrne