lauren & chris | engagement | peoria, il.
Lauren and Chris are sweetness personified. I don’t mean this in the “aww, you’re so sweet!” way that people sometimes refer to others as, but rather that there is something wholly wonderful about the two of them – something simple and honest and not showy and kind, and it makes you want to root for them.
They first met in high school – they were a couple of teenagers in the same American Legal Issues class, and Lauren was a sophomore while Chris was a junior. They eventually started dating after that, and were together for almost eight years before getting engaged in 2019. I’ve always thought this was an incredibly wild thing, to date someone in your teens and love them enough to grow older and develop into a different version of yourself and realize you still want to be with them after all that time and change. How cool it is to see them grow up and go off to college and pursue passions and jobs and interests, and to know they’re witnessing these parts of your own life, too. Chris went to Macomb, IL after high school to study at Western, and Lauren eventually was off to Davenport, IA to pursue her degree at St. Ambrose, so they’ve been in a long distance relationship since while Lauren finishes her occupational therapy program.
Chris eventually proposed on Summer Solstice in 2019 – he asked Lauren to marry him and had both of their families there to celebrate with them afterwards. Lauren told me she often jokes with him about how great it was that he proposed on the longest day of the year, because it’s a day she didn’t want to end. And in a time now when gathering with our loved ones has had to temporarily lessen, imagining this day for them feels exceptionally rich.
The two of them booked me in 2019 and were already buckling in for a longer engagement pre-pandemic, and I realize how much now I value their excitement to marry one another being at no expense to the time and their patience. And now, we’re nearly here! It’s finally their wedding year, and I have no doubt that it will not only be worth the wait, but also that it will be another day that both of them find themselves hoping never ends.