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Lauren & Michael

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Newlyweds Lauren and Michael Atkins met as elementary school teachers during Lauren’s first year teaching kindergarten. “Mike taught second grade, and I was paired with him as my buddy teacher,” smiles Lauren. “He helped me with behavior in my classroom and I went to him whenever I had first year teacher questions, which was quite often. We spent the year getting to know each other and when summer break came Mike asked me on our first date to a Rockies game.”

Lauren and Mike call summer 2014 “the summer of weddings;” she was a bridesmaid in three, he was a groomsman in one, and they attended two. Mike used it to his advantage! “I definitely wasn’t expecting my own proposal in July 2014 while I was so focused on being a bridesmaid!” Lauren laughs. “We attended a wedding in Vail and I should have known that something was up when Mike’s friends starting hugging me more than normal! We were driving home the next morning when Mike said he wanted to stop for lunch. We went to the Red Lion, my favorite restaurant there. It was not one of our best lunches; Mike was incredibly quiet and kept
checking his pockets. After lunch he insisted we go sit on a bench and after he paced around for a few seconds he got down on one knee and proposed. It was very special and that will forever be ‘our bench’ in Vail. He said we weren’t going home and took me to the Sebastian Hotel, where our room was set up with champagne and on the bed were two accessorized dresses that he had purchased, and I was to pick one to wear that night for dinner. He had thought about every little detail!”

The blissful couple tied the knot on June 20, 2015. Lauren’s sister-in-law, Jaclyn Dougherty, served as Matron of Honor; bridesmaids were Nicole Lindsey, Nikki Bendorf, Amber May, Jennifer Byxbe and Mike’s daughter, Dy’Mond Atkins. Mike’s Best Men were Jason Wright and his brother Chris Anderson; groomsmen were Dakari Box, Troy Ray, Michael Dougherty and Eric Swan.

“My uncle was our officiant,” reveals Lauren. “We spent a lot of time writing the ceremony with him, and it expressed every detail of our hearts and our words. We had a wine box during the ceremony; my mother and father, Scott and Amy, and Mike’s mother, Sherry, wrote us letters to open on our first and fifth anniversaries. Mike and I wrote each other letters for our tenth anniversary. We put our letters and a bottle of wine to be enjoyed on that specific anniversary into the box to be sealed until it’s time.

“My grandfather, to whom I was very close, passed away and I wanted to incorporate him also. The talented seamstress at The Bridal Collection sewed a piece of fabric from one of his shirts into my wedding dress in the shape of a heart, right by my heart, so it was very special to have that fabric as part of my dress.

“During our reception, Mike’s brother Chris sang John Legend’s ‘All of Me’ for our first dance; he is a phenomenal singer,” remembers Lauren. “We had a candy bar as favors for the guests, and a cake bar instead of a traditional cake. We also had a s’mores bar at the fire pit with signature bride and groom s’mores. People did not leave lacking their dessert fix!

“Mike also had the idea to write every guest a personal note as the name cards; each one sat in a cork on the tables, continuing our wine theme. This was a fun way to thank everyone individually and personally for their presence.” Lauren and Mike honeymooned at the Secrets Silversands Resort in Riviera Cancun. HLM