A Rustic, Romantic Wedding at Smokey Glen Farm in Gaithersburg, Maryland
Lauren Ratzlaff (28 and a home remodeling designer) and Stephen Weber (28 and a government contract officer) met in sixth grade at their local church's dance. "He was my first slow dance, and he even worked up the nerve to ask for my number at the end of the night," says Lauren. The two remained friends throughout the years, and they always joked about that first dance together. After college, they began casually dating, and it wasn't long after that things became serious. After a year and a half of dating, Stephen proposed onstage in front of a crowd of 800 people during a dance performance that Lauren was partaking in. Their rustic, romantic fall wedding took place at Smokey Glen Farm in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Due to inclement weather, Lauren and Stephen were forced to move their ceremony indoors to a nearby pavilion. Nevertheless, the ceremony was beautiful and warm, with string lights lining the aisle from above and an illuminated backdrop flanked by barrels with vibrant flower arrangements. The barn reception also featured string lights and draping across the wood beams above. Farmhouse-style dining tables were decorated with burlap runners, candles, pumpkins and flower arrangements with carnations, coxcomb, dusty miller and garden roses. Lauren and Stephen gave their guests honey favors, which doubled as their escort cards, and they enjoyed a scrumptious meal of brisket and barbecue for dinner. "The entire day was full of love," Lauren says. "I believe that guests take their cue from the couple, so as long as we were stress-free and having fun, so were our guests!"