Meet an HHE Couple- Lauren & Ben

As the 2017 couples keep flooding in, we are so happy  to introduce you to them and let you hear some of their story as well as thoughts on the wedding planning process! Meet Lauren and Ben, marrying in June at the Womans Club of Portsmouth. We have already enjoyed so much getting to know them and can’t wait to continue that!echard_wheeler_taylor191-1

Let’s start with an easy one first, how did you lovebirds meet?

Lauren’s Side of the Story- On the afternoon of Saturday, July 25th, 2009, I was working as a manager of a pool at the time, and my friend came to pick me up saying that I had to go with her to her mom’s friend’s (Colleen’s) picnic, because Colleen had invited her son’s soccer coaches (Ben and Brandon), knowing that we’d get along. On the way there, my friend’s mom told us there was a “cute funny one” and a “hot one.” I immediately claimed dibs on the cute funny one, of course. I had no make-up on and was still wearing my swimsuit from swim team practice that morning with typical soccer shorts and my friend’s tank top. Shortly after we got there, I met Ben and Brandon, and I kept looking at Ben hoping he’d notice me or make eye contact. My friend and I walked around to the back of the house to see the new goats that were only 3 days old! Ben and Brandon met us back there, and Ben and I kept entering into little side conversations, laughing at each other’s jokes. Soon, we joined the kids in their World Cup soccer game – Ben said I was Switzerland and he was Greece. He kept blocking me from the ball saying he was a “stone wall,” we were laughing so hard and having so much fun with the kids. Afterward, knowing I was about to leave to go back to work, he came over and asked me, nervous and stuttering “do you have a phone?” Giggling, I gave him my phone number and then left for work. He texted me only a few hours later saying that he was on his way to come see me at work that same day! They waited around, and after I got off of work, we went to Brandon’s house, then they walked us down to the playground. Ben and I spent hours playing on the spinning things, laughing and talking. We walked to the James River edge and dangled our feet off the edge, looking out to the golden lights of the James River Bridge. He didn’t even try to kiss me – what a gentleman! That was the best night of my life. I had just gotten out of another relationship recently, because I knew there was someone out there who was a better fit for me. I had been praying for God to take over my relationships and to place someone in my life when it was the right time – I certainly wasn’t expecting it be less than a week between my break up and meeting Ben! Ben and I couldn’t get enough of each other. We saw each other every day, and he started asking me to be his girlfriend only 2 days after we met! I told him that I needed time to pray and make sure this was what God wanted, and that I wasn’t just jumping into another relationship. He asked me to be his girlfriend every single day, even introducing me to people as his girlfriend before I said yes. Within the first week of us meeting, he told me that he was going to marry me. I agreed to be his girlfriend August 1st, 2009.

Ben’s Side of the Story- I first met Lauren at Colleens house on July 25th, 2009. I had been helping coach Colleen’s son with my friend Brandon, so she invited us to a cookout at her house. I had nothing better to do. I went. Before long, two young women joined the festivities. I noticed one of them because she was so beautiful and unique. What I mean is, she had no make up on, was wearing just a t-shirt and shorts, and she had the most confident nature about herself. It was as if she had planned everything out and nothing was unknown to her. I remained at a distance watching her and her beautiful smile. I watched as she interacted with others and observed how much love and compassion she had for people. So I had to get to know her. I was nervous. I eventually made my way over to her while she was playing with some kids (of the goat variety). I started with a few subtle jokes and loved her quick wit. Some human kids then came over and wanted to play a game in soccer called World Cup. I chose to be the Greeks and promptly gave her the Swiss. I don’t know why I gave her the team name Switzerland, but I did. I quickly and mercilessly defeated her and the children with my “stonewall” defense. After the game, we talked. As she was about to head back to work, I decided to ask for her number. I asked, with all the charm I posses, “D-d-d-d-d-do you have a phone?”. She initially answered with her big laugh. However, despite my best effort, she gave me her phone number. To this small gift of a phone number, I will always be indebted. It changed my life in the most wonderful way. That evening, we met up in Hilton village. We went on a walk and because of both of our playful natures, we ended up spending hours at a playground on the James River. It was wonderful. We spent most of the time laughing and learning about each other. If after that night you told me that some day we would be married, I wouldn’t have been surprised in the least.

Tell us a little something about you guys that others may not know.

Our favorite way to unwind together is while drinking hot tea, without any distractions, deep in conversation with each other.

What has surprised you most in planning a wedding?

All of the little details and decisions

What has been the biggest challenge along the way?

Being in a long-distance relationship!

Do you have any advice to offer current brides?

Really research your vendors and wedding planner! We spent so much time researching and speaking with different people, and we’re SO glad we did. Knowing we have such a strong team of experienced, kind, and well organized people has really made this whole process enjoyable! I honestly don’t know what this would have been like without Hannah as our full wedding planner.

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Hannah Hildebrandt is the founder and lead planner at Hannah Hildebrandt Events! Learn More

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