Lauryn & Joel
August 24, 2019
Years before Lauryn and Joel ever met, Joel’s mother, Alana, predicted they would get married one day. Lauryn, a massage therapist, became quick friends with Alana after they set up a weekly massage trade.
Alana would often joke about Lauryn and Joel one day meeting and falling in love. Lauryn assumed they were just joking -- she’d seen photos of Joel as a teenager and was not impressed.
Little did she know, Alana was serious. So serious, in fact, that she persuaded Lauryn to work with Joel on a music project, thus setting the wheels in motion.
“My mom often mentioned Lauryn, but honestly I always just pictured some lady around my mom’s age and was never sure why she wanted me to meet her so badly,” Joel says.
Lauryn is a classical pianist, and Joel was an amateur audio recording engineer, so the plan was for Joel to record Lauryn playing. Although a year of radio silence followed their initial meeting, Joel eventually asked Lauryn to meet up again.
“I asked Lauryn out to dinner to discuss business. No one believes me when I say this part, but I swear those were my only intentions: business and food,” Joel says.
Talking business turned into grabbing Thai food, a growler of beer, and heading to Locust Beach in Bellingham. After dinner, they built a bonfire and began playing their ukuleles. At one point, a passerby walked up and asked if they were on a date.
“I remained silent, curious to hear how Joel would respond,” Lauryn says. She was pleasantly surprised to hear him say yes.
Despite the romantic conditions -- bonfire, music, the water at night -- Joel didn’t make a move until later that evening when he dropped Lauryn off at her house.
“He came over to me for another hug,” Lauryn says. “He then asked if he could kiss me, which made an impression (a gentleman with courage!), and we had a super magical kiss.”
Three years later, on September 1, 2018, the couple returned to Locust Beach. “I noticed [Joel] didn’t eat much food, and seemed a bit nervous,” Lauryn says.
She had a feeling he might propose, but didn’t want to get her hopes up. Eventually, after they walked far down the beach, Joel played Lauryn a few songs.
Then he began singing a song she didn’t recognize; a love song that ended in a proposal.
“My heart exploded with joy and I believe my response was, “Fu** yes!” Lauryn says.
A little less than a year later, Joel’s mother’s prediction finally came true. Lauryn and Joel married at Alana’s house, the place where Joel had grown up and where Lauryn and Alana had met all those years before, during their massage trade.
The house sits on five acres of wooded land off Britton Road in Bellingham. Formerly an orchard, the property still boasts plenty of fruit trees as well as a pond full of lily pads and a garden everyone worked to build.
“We put hours upon hours (as did parents, friends, and family) making that property sparkle for our wedding day, and it was glorious,” Lauryn says.
On the big day, Joel and his brother arrived to the ceremony in Joel’s VW bus. Meanwhile, Lauryn waited in the woods with her dad, brother, and sister.
“Hearing the huge cheers erupt from the crowd [when Joel drove up] gave me a real boost of confidence, made me realize this is really happening!”
Her dad then walked her to the pond, where the ceremony took place. She recalls the moment she turned the corner and looked out to find a sea familiar faces -- some of them smiling, some crying -- all welcoming her to the ceremony.
Everything went smoothly from there, save for a few minor bloopers. “My sister and I totally forgot to carry our bouquets for the ceremony … I didn’t realize it until I was up at the pergola, and I heard someone say flowers. Then I realized we had both forgotten to carry them! I thought about running back but decided the show must go on.”
After the ceremony, guests filled up on pizza from Pizza’zza and six different kinds of cake, all courtesy of Pure Bliss.
“If we could give any advice to any couple getting married, get more cake than you think you need! It’s totally worth having leftovers later,” Joel says.
After the party, once everyone had gone to bed, Lauryn and Joel took their first stroll as a married couple.
They went down a trail illuminated by tiki torches and reflected on their night.
“It was so quiet, dark, and magical,” Lauryn says. “We got to the fairy meadow and couldn’t hear a sound. In silence, we looked up at the stars and reveled in the splendor of our special day.”
Dress: I Do Bridal
Venue: Private Residence: “The Mama’s”
Catering: Pure Bliss, Pizza’zza
Hair: Shiloh Kovac
Makeup: Breanna Sanders
Flowers: Wanderwood Farm
Photos: Katheryn Moran Photography
Music: Baby Cakes, Onion the Man