THE FIRST DATE
Jeff likes to say that he and Lauren met the old-fashioned way … on the internet. The two were living in Philadelphia and had chatted on OkCupid three different times before Jeff finally asked her out in the fall of 2015. They had their first date in Center City, Philadelphia at Continental Mid-town and sparks flew.
Fast-forward three years later, Jeff proposed to Lauren on her birthday as they were getting ready to go out for dinner. Because the two had recently discussed getting engaged in six months, Lauren was completely surprised by the proposal.
“I was taking my time getting ready for dinner, and waited until right before we left to open my gift from Jeff. There was a small box – not a ring box – inside of a gift bag that was slightly heavy. When I opened the box, there was a note that read Will you…? I was quite confused. I turned around and there Jeff was on one knee with a ring box,” reminisces Lauren.
PLANNING THE WEDDING
Quickly following their engagement, the couple began the wedding planning process in earnest. Because Philadelphia was where they first met and their relationship blossomed, Lauren and Jeff knew they wanted a formal, romantic, and classic wedding in the city. They fell in love with The Kimmel Center and chose their wedding date – October 26 – based on the venue’s availability.
From there, they knew they wanted their guests on the dance floor the entire night. The next priority? Selecting the best band for their wedding.
“My brother had gotten married a week before we got engaged, and had used a band through ECE. When we were in our wedding planning process, we got in touch with ECE to discuss options.
Kaitlin Sweeney spoke with us to learn about our vision for our wedding, as well as what we were looking for in a band. Shortly thereafter, she sent a list of some suggested bands for us to review. Jump Street stuck out to us. We were hooked! We shared their demo with our family, and we knew right away we wanted to secure them.
Kaitlin was great to work with. I had many questions along the way, including contract questions, day of questions, payment questions, etc., and she was always an e-mail or a phone call away. If she had to speak with the band leader, Hajji, she was always very timely in getting back to us with the answer,” shares Lauren.
With the band secured, Lauren and Jeff continued their quest of selecting the perfect wedding vendors for their Kimmel Center wedding. Lauren used Pinterest and word of mouth referrals for inspiration and guidance. She also attended a few bridal fairs. The highlight of the couple’s wedding planning was the food tasting provided by Garces Caterers.
“Our favorite part of the wedding planning process was the food tasting! We got to spend the day with our parents trying the variety of food and drinks that we’d be able to select for our wedding day,” gushed Lauren.
THE WEDDING DAY
Lauren and Jeff wed in the Hamilton Garden located on the top floor of The Kimmel Center. Several family heirlooms, including the Hebrew Bible passed down from the bride’s grandparents, added sentimentality to the traditional Jewish ceremony. The chuppah featured a fabulous floral design from Carl Ann Floral.
Following the ceremony, guests transitioned to the reception space for dining and dancing. Lauren and Jeff kicked off their wedding reception with their first dance to “Unchained Melody” – a song they frequently danced to in their living room. After that, Jump Street upped the energy with a string of favorite hits that had the dance floor packed.
“There were too many favorite moments! However, if I must choose, I’d say the first look. One of the hardest parts about wedding planning was not being able to share pictures or details of my dress to Jeff. I always ask his opinion on everything! The moment that he turned around for the first look is one that I will never forget,” shared Lauren.
ADVICE TO ENGAGED COUPLES
What advice does Lauren and Jeff have for couples starting to plan their own weddings?
“Put in order what is most important to you, and plan those details first. Additionally, get a Day-of wedding planner. Having someone coordinate everything and be on-site to direct everyone helped me keep calm and really enjoy my wedding day to the max,” advised Lauren.
SIX MONTHS LATER
Lauren and Jeff celebrated their six-month anniversary a little over two weeks ago. Scheduled to leave for their Italian honeymoon, the coronavirus pandemic derailed their plans. Instead the two celebrated with a romantic dinner at home, dancing in their living room to the same songs Jump Street played a few short months ago. Even with their plans upended, Lauren and Jeff remain hopeful and focused on each other. A true, modern-day love story.
VENDOR DREAM TEAM
Wedding Band: Jump Street | ECE Agent: Kaitlin Sweeney | Photography: Ralph Deal Photo | Event Planner: Arielle Davis of The Styled Bride | Venue: The Kimmel Center | Wedding Gown: Rosa Clará | Videographer: Live Picture Studios | Caterer: Garces Events | Florals: Carl Alan Floral Artistry | Groom’s Attire: Jos. A. Bank Custom Tuxedo | Bridesmaids’ Attire: Jenny Yoo from Bella Bridesmaid | Cake: Sweet T’s Bakeshop | Hair + Makeup: Daneene Jensen and Associates