- February 24, 2016
John Vincent Wohlwend and Lauren Elizabeth Graham have slightly different versions of the their first meeting.
He says they met in downtown Sarsaota at her 30th birthday party, when he went for a bold — and unsuccessful — approach.
“The first words out of my mouth were, ‘Hi, my name is John, and we’re going to end up dating each other,’” he says. “Lauren declined and immediately got into a taxi and headed home.”
She says it wasn’t until a few months later, at a mutual friend’s birthday dinner, that they sat next to each other and began talking.
Either way, after that night, John’s bold prediction became reality. The two began dating, and John says he knew right away she was the one. In January, he arranged dinner at the Ritz-Carlton Beach Club, where he proposed on the beach at sunset.
The couple was married Nov. 21, at the Church of the Palms, Lauren’s childhood church, and they held their reception at The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota.
Lauren says they wanted an elegant, romantic ambience to the wedding, which featured lots of white and neutral colors in the flowers, bridesmaids dresses and linens. After the ceremony, the couple had a sparkler exit before departing in a 1965 white Rolls Royce, complete with a driver and bottle of Champagne.
Honeymoon: Napa Valley and San Francisco
First dance song: “Someone Like You” by Van Morrison
Floral design: Tiger Lily Flowers: Patience, white, mondial and sahara roses, hydrangeas, white peonies, stephanotis and white trillium
Wedding Coordinator: Choreographed Events, Maria Brady
Cake: Heavenly chocolate and vanilla butter cake with vanilla cream cheese frosting by The Ritz-Carlton Sarasota
Dress: Vera Wang
Favors: Mini cinnamon-sugar doughnuts
Something new, borrowed, blue: “The diamond earrings, which served as both my something new and something blue, were given to me by John as a surprise gift on the day of our wedding,” says Lauren. “John’s mother brought them over, and as soon as I saw them, I knew I wanted to wear them instead of the diamond earrings I had planned on wearing that day. I gave John silver Tiffany monogrammed cufflinks, which he also wore on our wedding day. For the borrowed and old, I wore my mother’s diamond tennis bracelet, which my dad gave her for their 20th wedding anniversary.”
Lauren’s parents: Braun and Jeanne Graham
John’s parents: Dave and Lisa Richardson; Steve and Liz Wohlwend