Photographed by Robert Welsh

For Amanda and Lauren, it was not a question of if they would ever married, it was when. Shortly after the two began dating, everyone around them knew the two were made for each other.  “One month after we started dating,” Lauren said, “my mom was already going around telling friends and family about our future wedding.”  In absolute bliss, the couple simply dove into wedding planning — without a proposal! On a whim one evening, Amanda began researching wedding venues in South Louisiana and came across The Louisiana Castle. “I don’t know too many other castles hanging around in Louisiana,” recalls Lauren, “so we scheduled a tour of the unique venue space.”

“On our first tour of the castle, I looked around the room at the other interested brides and it struck me that you’re supposed to have a fiancée before you schedule a wedding,” said Lauren. Not wanting to spoil the evening, Lauren brushed off the thought and continued the tour with her parents and Amanda. Once the tour was complete, the two were quick to reserve the venue space.  Excited about the upcoming wedding, Amanda suggested taking some pictures by the beautiful castle doors before they left. The two made their way up the steps while Lauren’s camera-ready parents waited at the bottom.

“Before I could realize what was going on, Amanda, shaking with nerves, had turned to me with the beautiful ring in her hand. We both struggle to remember exactly what came after that, but it was something along the lines of  ‘So… will ya?’

The answer, of course, was ‘Yes!’”

With the venue already booked, Amanda and Lauren knew that they wanted their wedding to be stress-free and a genuine reflection of them as a couple. “I knew that I did not want to plan something so extravagant that it would stray away from us. I have heard so many brides say that they didn’t enjoy their wedding because they were too stressed, exhausted, or had too many obligations to fulfill that day,” said Lauren.

In late October, surrounded by loving family and friends, the happy couple took their vows. Lauren wore a beautiful gown from Bustle Bridal Gowns & Accessories, while Amanda opted for a suit from Dillard’s.  “The castle doors opened and I saw my soon-to-be-wife. I was immediately overcome by a sense of peace and love.  I could not stop smiling. I was so excited and I could see how excited Amanda was, too,” recalls Lauren.

The couple’s love of books was incorporated in the theme of the wedding. The bouquets were made out of book pages while the cake had script writing. A second cake paid homage to Lauren and Amanda’s pet cats. Guests danced the night away with music from Rock-It Productions.

To future brides, Lauren advises, “Stay true to who you are. I know that concept is going to be different for every couple, but I really think sticking to that will allow you to create a positive, enjoyable space for your wedding.”

Venue: Louisiana Castle in Franklinton, Louisiana | Caterer: Louisiana Castle | Bakery: Louisiana Castle | Hair: Sheila Mayeux | Makeup: Miss Meow Studios | Music: Rock-It Productions |
Painting: Pappion Artistry | Transportation: Gaten’s Adventures | Photographer: Heather Cantrelle | Photo booth: Fun & Foolish Photo Booth | Invitations: Zazzle | Wedding Favors: Zazzle; Etsy |
Lauren’s Attire: Bustle Bridal Gowns & Accessories (bridal gown); Natasha Marie Bridal (sleeves) | Amanda’s Attire: Dillard’s | Bridesmaid Attire: Alfred Angelo | Groomslady Attire: Dillards; JC Penny |
Post-Wedding Photo Session : Miss Meow Studios