Lauren Martina and Dr. Joseph Messina
September 14, 2013
William Aiken House

What happens when a wedding planner finally gets the chance to plan her own big day? For Lauren Messina, owner of Lauren M. Creative Weddings, the result was a meticulously elegant affair that beautifully blended her own New Orleans roots with her husband’s New York style.

Lauren and Joseph met while visiting Seattle on separate trips, instantly connected and dated long-distance for three years before getting engaged. Joseph, who was based in Charleston throughout their courtship, had his sweetheart’s proposal planned long before he even met her. “He had been to Lake Como, Italy, once before, and knew that this was the place where he would propose when he met that special someone,” Lauren says. “Fast forward years later, and he took me there, absolutely clueless about what was about to happen. He walked me through a beautiful garden off the lake, and that is where he got down on one knee, telling me the whole story about how he had been to the exact place before in the exact garden. It was a magical evening.”

Their wedding, held at the historic William Aiken House, was equally romantic. “Having a background in interior design helped me to appreciate the preservation and beautiful design of this house, and the location, King Street, was perfect for our fun guests!” she says.

The couple chose a menu that reflected their love of food and travel. “We wanted to make sure our guests ate and experienced some of our favorite things,” Lauren says. The menu included Pimm’s cups, mini muffalettas (Lauren’s father’s own recipe), and macarons to signify a memorable trip to Paris. Later on, guests were surprised with mini sliders, pizza and fries, a nod to Joseph’s NYC roots.

“Because I am a wedding planner and an interior designer, I am surrounded by beautiful weddings and design on a day-to-day basis,” Lauren says. “This made it that much harder to nail down our design of the wedding. It was hard work and I could not have done it without my mom helping me, however, it was worth it! Charleston has some of the most amazing vendors, and they truly made our wedding run so smoothly.”

Photography by Red Shutter Studio. Videography by Siegel Films. DJ/lighting/photobooth by EPIC Charleston. Rentals by Ooh! Events. Tabletop by Polished! Linens by Snyder Events. Flowers by Tanarah Luxe Floral (Little Rock, Ark.). Cake by Wedding Cakes by Jim Smeal. Makeup and hair by Blushair. Stationery by Mrs. Post (Memphis, Tenn.). Calligraphy and hand-painted map by Carolyn Milligan of Scribe Designs. Macarons by Christophe Artisan Chocolatier-Patissier. Rug for Cake Room by Pacific Rugs (Atlanta). Custom-made flower girl dresses by Rhonda McKinney.