A Backyard Wedding at the Groom's Family's Historic Ocean-Front Home in Delray Beach, Florida
Lauren and Morgan met in New York City in 2014 through Lauren's roommate, who just so happened to be a high school friend of Morgan's. Four years later, in November 2014, the couple was living together in San Francisco. Morgan, who has a pilot's license, took Lauren on a sunset flight to celebrate their anniversary—and the celebratory flight quickly turned into a romantic proposal, as Lauren spotted the message, "Marry Me Lauren," along the shoreline.
The couple immediately began planning their February 8, 2020, wedding, which took place at McCauley House, Morgan's family's historic beach-front home in Delray Beach, Florida. "We looked at a few venues in the area, but we decided that nothing compared to how special it would be to get married and celebrate our biggest memory to date in a house full of memories with our friends and families," Lauren says.
Even though Lauren and Morgan both grew up in Palm Beach County, Florida, they live in California, which meant they had to prepare for their celebration from afar. To pull this off, they worked with the team at Masi Events, who helped them plan a seaside wedding that focused on the guest experience. Lauren is an interior designer, so she had a vision for the day's décor and made quick decisions about the design elements for the front yard ceremony and backyard reception. The pair chose a color scheme of pink, coral, lavender, purple, white, and yellow, then left the rest of the details to the professionals. When it came to the logistics of planning a backyard wedding for 200 guests, the couple relied on their wedding planners to come up with a layout that made everyone feel included.
A Colorful Preview
Morgan and Lauren hired Momental Designs to design and print an invitation suite that would give guests a glimpse of what to expect on the big day. The suite included colorful sketches of the front of the home, the backyard, and wedding details like the couple's custom wildflower cake; the floral border represented the flowers later seen in the centerpieces at the reception. As for the finishing touch? Berry-hued calligraphy courtesy of Tinta Y Tierra completed the suite.
Lauren got ready for the big day with her bridesmaids, who wore coordinating robes in varying pink tones.
The bride shopped for her wedding dress alone in San Francisco, because she wanted to keep the gown a secret; still, her mother and sister, who both live in Florida, joined in on the fun from afar. "After each day of dress shopping, I would send off the videos and pictures and summarize my experience to them over the phone," Lauren says. When she tried on the Mira Zwillinger "Chaz" dress, she began smiling from ear-to-ear. The ivory mermaid gown featured a corset and lead embroidered embellishments throughout. "The day I tried this dress on, I sent them the videos and pictures of me in it," the bride says. "Perhaps they could see on my face how happy I was, but it was a unanimous decision. This was the dress."
The rest of her look was comprised of several somethings borrowed: She wore her sister's veil, her grandmother's blue ring on her right hand, her mother-in-law's earrings, and Morgan's grandmother's pearl bracelet.
Lauren held a hand-tied bouquet in shades of cream, champagne, blush, and peach with touches of deep berry and coral. The florals included garden roses, dahlias, ranunculus, anemone peonies, and greenery.
The Groom's Attire
Morgan wore a blue suit paired with a pink tie with small sailboats (he's an avid sailor). He paired his suit with brown shoes and a brown belt.
The First Look
The bride and groom shared their first look at a friend's home ahead of the ceremony. "Overall, our first look was an extremely special moment that we both had dreamt of for quite some time," Lauren says.
Ladies in Red (and Pink)
Lauren asked her bridesmaids to select their own dresses, resulting in a unique mix of ensembles ranking from red to blush. "They all have such beautiful style, and I knew they would select the best dress for themselves," Lauren says. Each woman held a smaller version of Lauren's bouquet, with soft pink, peach, and yellow flowers.
The groomsmen matched Morgan in blue suits, brown shoes, brown belts, and sailboat-covered ties (theirs were yellow). "We wanted the look to be cohesive, but also wanted Morgan to stand out," Lauren says. Each groomsman wore a unique single flower boutonnière of multicolored ranunculus.
The couple and their wedding party hopped onto a trolley, which transported them—and their guests—to the ceremony.
The Escort Card Display
As guests made their way through the home's front yard and hedged path for the ceremony, they passed by an escort wall made of two sheets of plexiglass with greenery and flowers in between.
Under the Banyan Tree
McCauley House has a huge banyan tree in the front yard, so Lauren and Morgan decided to use it to their advantage; they set up their natural wood chairs underneath the tree in a semicircle formation.
The Banyan Tree
The big tree was adorned with white orchids to create a backdrop for the couple's vows; the aisle was covered in wildflower petals. "We used white orchids in this tree only to complement my dress," explains Lauren. "The other banyan trees around the property had bright pink, purple, and yellow orchids."
Putting the Guest in Guest House
Fitting their 200 guests in the front yard was arguably the biggest logistical dilemma of the day—so they found a creative solution. Several guests watched the ceremony from the guest house's balconies.
All You Need
Morgan is Jewish and Lauren is Christian, so the duo wanted to make sure to honor both religions during the ceremony. To do so, they gave readings from the new testament and broke glass at the end of the service, which was officiated by the couple's close friend, Eduardo. "Having him up there with us was one of the most special moments of the day," Lauren says.
As the newlyweds made their way back down the aisle under a shower of flower petals, a pianist played The Beatles' "All You Need Is Love."
The bride and groom skipped the first part of their cocktail hour to take photos with family, but joined the rest of their guests in the courtyard halfway through. A pianist played as guests enjoyed Champagne and an open bar. Passed appetizers included churrasco, miniature tuna tartare, pan-seared crab cakes, and goat cheese and watermelon cylinders.
They worked with Sperry Tents to build a custom pergola for the backyard, which was adorned with bistro lighting, flowers, and greenery garlands. "It not only served as a focal point for the backyard reception, but was the solution for fitting a larger guest count in a unique layout while making everyone feel equally included," says the couple's planner from Masi Events. The pair also set up a clear-top tent, where the 10-piece band and dance floor were set up. Rattan lanterns and glass candle hurricanes were placed around the pool for texture.
A mix of long and round tables were dressed with muted pink tablecloths and paired with cushioned brown chairs. Each table held unique centerpieces that mimicked the bride's bouquet; florals matched the pink, coral, lavender, purple, and yellow color scheme. Glass votives and candle holders held white tapered candles, as well.
Each place setting included a rattan charger, pale pink plates, and gold flatware. White linen napkins were wrapped around the printed menus; a bougainvillea bud was placed on top. In addition to clear wine glasses, green water goblets were placed at each spot for a pop of color.
For dinner, guests started with a salad topped with goat cheese and candied walnuts. Then, everyone had their choice of entrée: grilled vacio with avocado chimichurri, fish corvina papillote with fingerling potatoes, or vegetarian leek and eggplant potpie with warm tomato.
The First Dance
Lauren and Morgan shared their first dance to Van Morrison's "Days Like This." Lauren shared a dance with her father to "My Girl" by The Temptations, and Morgan shared one with his mother to "Loves Me Like a Rock" by Paul Simon. "Morgan's mom asked for all mothers and their sons to join them on the dance floor—a very special moment!" the bride says.
One of Lauren's favorite moments of the entire day? "Dancing the night away under the full moon! The band was incredible and everyone was on the dance floor surrounding us," she says.
The couple's three-tiered confection featured vanilla cake with dulce de leche and vanilla buttercream. "The cake was everything I dreamed it could be," Lauren says. The cake was embellished with edible wildflowers that spoke to the event's palette.
Throughout the evening, the couple enjoyed speeches from the father of the bride and the best man—and then the groom took the mic. "Although I knew Morgan was giving a speech, the first time I heard it was that evening as I was standing next to him in front of all our guests," Lauren says. "It was a proud moment to stand next to Morgan as his wife and hear him express how lucky we were to have the love and support from our families and friends."
Photography, Gianny Campos Photography
Event Planning and Design, Masi Events
Videography, Hopemedia Video
Flowers, Simply Events Design
Invitations, Momental Designs
Calligraphy, Tinta y Tierra
Bride's Gown, Mira Zwillinger
Hair and Makeup, Carolyn Jones Makeup
Music, Tropics Entertainment
Catering, Thierry Isambert Culinary Design
Cake, Earth and Sugar
Rentals, Atlas Event Rental; Nuage Designs; The Mix Dish
Transportation, Molly's Trolleys
Lighting, CBK Events
Tent, Tent Logix
Custom Pergola, Dance Floor, and Stage, Sperry Tents