Lauren and Hank Roberts’ love story gets an A+ from us. The pair met while going through training at the Oklahoma school where they had both recently been hired as teachers. They were seeing other people at the time, but Lauren and Hank became best friends—and when they were finally both single, they took the leap and decided to pursue a relationship.
Cut to an evening in Moline, Kansas, home to a rodeo arena where the couple loves to watch the sunset. Hank suggested they have dinner at a restaurant Lauren wanted to try and then head to their spot. Lauren noticed he was hurrying through dinner, but thought little of it. When they reached the arena just in time to watch the sun go down, Hank began telling Lauren that he wanted to marry her someday and wished he could afford a ring because it would be such a perfect night to propose.
Then he reached into his pocket and pulled out a ring box. “And I yelled at him, ‘Hank Roberts, what is that!?’” Lauren says. Shocked and happy, she accepted his proposal.
Lauren envisioned a big wedding, and the couple set to work planning the affair. During a weekend with her sister, who lives in Kansas City, Lauren went searching for a dress. Her sister had a full day at area stores planned with Savvy Bridal slated to be their last stop.
By the time they got there, “I had already found a dress that I was in love with, and I thought, ‘We’ll just go for fun,’” Lauren says. “But the dress I found at Savvy was the very last one I tried on and I didn’t want to take it off.”
She loved the dress’s lace and simple elegance. “My husband is very country and I’m kind of rustic-chic, so it was a good combination of both of us,” she explains. Most importantly, she felt instantly comfortable in the gown.
But as time went on, Lauren found that she wasn’t so at ease with the rest of the wedding she had planned.
“We had the venue and we had the dress and everything, and I just got super impatient,” she says. She wanted the day to be about their marriage, not the wedding, so after convincing Hank she wouldn’t have regrets about trading in their big celebration for a more intimate affair, the couple eloped in Eureka Springs.
“It was super romantic because it was something that was just between us,” she says. “There was no pressure.”
With the vows exchanged, they decided they still wanted to celebrate with family and friends and hosted a rustic reception, complete with wildflowers in mason jars, at The Lodge at Bridal Creek in Sperry, Oklahoma.
After stepping back from the wedding she thought she wanted, Lauren loved how things turned out and encourages other couples to trust their instincts when it comes to their nuptials.
“My advice would be breathe and think about what you really want,” she said. “It’s OK to change your mind.”
Dress: Allure Bridals from Savvy Bridal Boutique
Hair: Amber Taylor
Make-up: Julie Gott