A DIY Autumn-Inspired Wedding in Indiana
Lauren and Benjamin
Lauren Maus and Benjamin Kaufman met through their church youth group in Indianapolis when they were 17. They clicked over their shared love of music (she played the harp and he played the violin), and shortly thereafter went on their first date -- swing dancing and root beer floats at the Fountain Square Diner. Their romance continued through college in Nashville (where they currently live) and a year before graduating, Benjamin popped the question. Fourteen months later, on October 29, 2011, they tied the knot in their hometown, with an event full of vintage touches and autumnal elements.
Laurel Hall, a 1916 Jacobean Revival mansion just outside downtown Indianapolis, boasts a dark wooden staircase that leads up to the white chapel, spacious ballrooms, and checkered-floor solarium perfect for dancing. “The moment we stepped inside, we knew it was where we were going to get married,” Lauren says.
A Quiet Moment
The couple, who wanted to save their first glimpse of each other for the ceremony, held hands around a corner before the day began.
Lauren and her great-aunt, a former wedding-dress maker, designed her gown using muslin and vintage lace found at a yard sale. The bride accessorized it with a cotton sash and a headpiece from Posie Patch Bridal Superstore. Her "something borrowed" was an opal necklace her dad had given her mom on their wedding day.
The fashionable couple posed for photographer Austin Gros before and after the ceremony.
The small bunches, made by Lauren, included tweed, burlap, canvas remnants, twine, feathers, and antique buttons.
The Bridal Party
The best man and groomsmen donned gray Merona suits paired with brown ties and oxford shoes.
The Ring Bearer
When Caleb, who Lauren used to nanny for, asked the couple if he could wear his Harry Potter uniform down the aisle, they wholeheartedly agreed. "We loved the whimsicality," Lauren says.
The Flower Girl
Gracie, who Lauren also used to nanny for, wore a dress from Flower Girl Dress For Less and a wreath she made with the bride.
Silhouettes of the couple and their bridal party, along with fun facts about Lauren and Benjamin, brought lots of personality to the ceremony pamphlets.
The Ceremony Location
With its vaulted Gothic arches and herringbone hardwood floors, the dramatically designed chapel was an ideal setting for the late-afternoon service.
Once all guests were seated, a violinist, cellist, and hammer-dulcimer player performed "Gymnopedie No.1" by Erik Satie to set the mood. The bridesmaids entered to the groom’s arrangement of "Staralflur" by Sigur Ros, one of the bride’s favorite songs. And for Lauren's walk down the aisle with her father, the trio played "The Gravel Road" by James Newton Howard from "The Village," the first movie she and Benjamin watched together.
The couple kept the Christian service sweet and simple: They joined in a short sand ceremony, took Communion, exchanged traditional traditional vows, and joined their guests in singing an a capella rendition of “Be Thou My Vision” by Eleanor Hull.
The Happy Couple
After the pronouncement of marriage and an exuberant first kiss, Lauren and Benjamin walked back up the aisle to "Concerning Hobbits" by Howard Shore amid cheers from friends and family.
With help from her mother, Lauren scoured stores for inexpensive vases and jars to fill with autumnal details like white pumpkins, twigs, acorns, nests, mosses, and pinecones. Leaf-shaped confetti, punched out by hand, was scattered across the burlap-covered tabletops.
The pair's 200 guests dined on an array of hors d'oeuvres prepared by Hoaglin Fine Catering. The menu included sliders with avocado crema and bacon, mini chopped salads served in baby cucumber cups, six-cheese ravioli with roasted red peppers, and shooters filled with cream of roasted-garlic soup.
The First Dance
The newlyweds started dancing to “Come Away with Me” by Norah Jones, and segued into Europe’s "The Final Countdown" -- a fun reference to their favorite show, "Arrested Development." After their initial spin on the dance floor, the guests’ favorite songs ruled the night (Lauren and Benjamin created a Dropbox account and had friends contribute their most-wanted tunes).
As the newlyweds departed, they were surrounded by their loved ones holding celebratory sparklers.