The Sound of Love
This STL couples tale of fate rings to the tune of a classic love song.
THEIR STORY Call it love at first sight, or a predestined plan, but when Caleb Hoskins first laid eyes on Lauren Verhel, he swears he could see the sparks. The pair's simple and sweet love story began while Caleb was working at the Apple Store just two years ago. Lauren needed emergency computer repairs and Caleb was eager to assist the brunette beauty, who immediately captured his full attention. Caleb struck a chord with Lauren when, during the wait for the repair, the conversation came to music. “She began telling me that she was teaching piano lessons and I was quick to use that to my advantage to get her business card,” Caleb says. “I knew I had to figure out a way to see her again.” Although Caleb admits that he immediately knew Lauren was “the one,” she was more reserved. “I thought he was cute, but I was so distracted by other things, I didn't think much of it,” Lauren says. “It was one of those situations that you wouldn't expect to be in when you meet the man you will marry.”
Less than a week later, the pair met up for their first date at The London Tea Room. “If you're smart, you plan a breakfast date with a girl that could turn into lunch,” Caleb says jokingly. The plan worked, and after instantly hitting it off, they strolled over to Blondie's Coffee & Wine Bar for lunch. Within weeks after the first meeting—and several more conversation-filled dates—Lauren had a chance to visit her family for a two-month stint in her hometown right outside of Duluth, MN. She kept in touch with Caleb, and they spoke for hours on the phone each day, developing a deep bond that led her to the realization that they were meant to be. After 10 months of dating, Caleb popped the question on paper, adding a page titled, “October 19, 2013: The Day Caleb Proposed To Lauren” to a memory book they were creating. The confused Lauren was speechless as Caleb offered her a custom-designed engagement ring to seal the deal.
MUSICAL MUSE The nuptials took place just six months later at the Music Stand pavilion in Tower Grove Park. The quaint venue and blooming gardens served as the perfect backdrop for the pastel hues of the chiffon bridesmaid dresses, which ranged from shades of pink to pale gray. The bride wore a fit-and-flare gown by Mori Lee, accented with delicate beadwork flowers. Although fairly traditional, the bride and groom were sure to add in some signature flair. Local band, Zigo, performed Katy Perry’s “Unconditionally” and “All of Me” by John Legend while the soon-to-be newlyweds read each other private vows. “He made me crack up laughing in the middle,” Lauren says, smiling from ear to ear. “It was funny, sweet and very personal.”
A TALE OF TWO TASTES The reception was a blend of two very different styles that came together seamlessly. Caleb’s modern industrial sensibilities met Lauren’s antique garden theme in a breathtaking event that took place at Plush’s posh fourth-floor penthouse. The raw, minimalist space was the perfect blank canvas for the pair, allowing the bride and groom creative freedom to handcraft an environment that truly felt like home. “We knew right away that it was the perfect location,” Caleb says, who was struck by the room’s size, open and airy layout, and the friendly and accommodating staff. Both Lauren and Caleb worked with their families on the decor. Rich gray linens accented the vintage-inspired centerpieces, which consisted of antique books topped with mason-jar-turned-vase floral arrangements and pieces of driftwood collected from the bride’s family home near Lake Superior. To achieve a combination of old and new, the pair decorated the walls with curtains made of paper cones filled with family members’ wedding photos from years’ past. They also created conversation areas by clustering the space’s existing collection of contemporary furniture around various parts of the room.
SWEET DETAILS The reception was sprinkled with special details that made the event memorable for the nearly 150 guests. Lauren’s mom, Mary, who was a large part of the wedding planning process, created a homemade iPad photo booth complete with a stage and props for loved ones to capture the moment. Attendees also made their mark by leaving messages and well-wishes on wooden Jumbling Tower blocks in lieu of a traditional guest book. Dinner was prepared by the venue in partnership with the couple and consisted of upscale fare, including chicken breast stuffed with spinach, fig and gorgonzola with Madeira sauce, and grilled salmon with tomato-caper relish. McArthur’s Bakery supplied the cake, while La Bonne Bouchee provided macarons; family friends and members of the wedding party pitched in bite-sized desserts that proved to be the perfect nibbles. The newlyweds danced the night away to a variety of meaningful tunes—including their first dance song, Erykah Badu’s “Orange Moon”—as the sunset appeared through the wall of windows in the penthouse. To seal the deal, Caleb surprised Lauren with a romantic weeklong honeymoon in Cancun, Mexico.
Photo credit: Jaidev Jyotis