When any little girl imagines her wedding day, she undoubtedly expects not only to be wearing a white dress while holding a beautiful bouquet; she envisions her family standing as proud witnesses to one of the happiest days of her life.
While Lauren Kuhn undoubtedly pulled off picking the perfect gown and flowers with ease, the latter part of that vision wasn’t possible for her when she married the love of her life, Rob, in 2012. Lauren experienced tremendous loss for such a young woman when she tragically lost her brother, his girlfriend, and her mother within two years of each other. Finding herself engaged just two short years after losing her mom, Lauren struggled emotionally with how to plan a wedding without her mom’s involvement.
Lauren describes her brother, who was only 22 and a music student at Hocking College when he died, as “that goofy kid [who] loved to play practical jokes and have fun with his friends.” Her mother had an equally vibrant personality, drawing in everyone around her with a magnetic and warm disposition. Lauren actually remembers coming home from school or work to a house filled with friends who were there to visit with her mother rather than simply wait for their friend to arrive home.
Lauren knew she wanted to find a way to honor three of the most special people in her life on her big day, so she decided to do it using her wedding day style. Being that Lauren’s dad taught landscaping classes for over thirty years, she sought his expertise regarding her flowers instead of consulting a professional florist. The two devised a plan to arrange several meaningful heirlooms into a vibrantly colorful bouquet so her lost loved ones could walk down the aisle with her in spirit even if they couldn’t be in physical attendance.
With elegant purple ribbon, Lauren’s dad tied into her bouquet a small framed photograph of her brother, a ring her brother had given to his girlfriend, and a delicate heart-shaped locket that reminded her of her mother. “My brother had saved and saved and was so excited when he could finally buy his girlfriend that ring, so when her mom had it for me at her funeral, it really meant a lot to me,” Lauren explains. While the locket didn’t belong to her mother, Lauren was instantly reminded of her when she happened across it at a small paper boutique after her death.
Now happily married, Lauren keeps the ring in her jewelry box and wears it on days when she can’t seem to stop thinking about the void in her life that only these three “truly wonderful” individuals could fill. Lauren keeps the other parts of the bouquet in a decorative box in her room for easy accessibility.
With life comes loss, and Lauren Kuhn’s story is a prime example of how we can never “get over” losing someone who is an integral part of our lives. However, Lauren has shown us how we can use our style to honor those individuals from the past in the monumental moments of the present and future.
Photo Credit: Jesse Fox