“We owe it all to Cassandra,” is how the couple begins their love story. Lauren Herring and Ted Disabato were introduced by Cassandra Sanford, a mutual friend who initiated an email introduction between the two, and so began their journey together.

“Ted is an overachiever – an attorney, an entrepreneur and a proud dad to his little girl, Kennedy. I hope you two will grab a drink or even just coffee. You both are impactful members of our community and, if nothing else, should at least know one another,” Cassandra told Lauren. These were appealing descriptions to Lauren, an accomplished businesswoman herself with a heart of gold.

Lauren, chief executive officer of IMPACT Group, a leadership development and career coaching company, and Ted, managing member of TdD Attorneys at Law and broker at TdD Premier Real Estate, shared their first date at Oceano Bistro in Clayton. The couple calls their initial connection “serious interest at first sight,” and after a few glasses of wine and shared appetizers, the couple relocated to 5 Star Burgers for boozy shakes for dessert. After, Ted took Lauren home, but both didn’t want the evening to end – Lauren offered some mint iced tea she had brewed from her garden, and the two sat in Lauren’s backyard, continuing to pique each other’s interest. The evening ended with a hug and a second date set.

The story of their proposal was somewhat unconventional. The couple went on a trip to Busch Gardens Tampa Bay (amusement parks are “Ted’s juvenile passion,” according to Lauren), where she lost her diamond stud earring on a roller coaster. Shortly after their trip, the two found themselves at Genovese Jewelers to find a replacement. Lauren found a great deal and upgrade on her earrings, and president Joe Genovese suggested the couple check out “some other merchandise.” Ted jokes that ring shopping came out of left field for him; Lauren says that based on previous conversations, it was fair game.

In the meantime, the couple booked a church and venue, and Lauren found a dress – and 2½ months later, they walked out of Genovese Jewelers with a forever ring. Ted proposed to Lauren with a picturesque backdrop while on a mountain hike during a vacation to Lake Tahoe.

From the beginning, the couple made their wedding a family affair – sister-in-law Kate Disabato designed and oversaw all the invitations and paper products for the big day. Kennedy’s inclusion in the ceremony was also important to the couple – she was a flower girl, and Lauren and Ted included a special rainbow cake for her at the reception. “Overall, I think the most important aspect of our vision for the day was celebrating friends and family, so this really guided all our decisions,” Lauren says.

Wedding planning was a collaborative project, with both Lauren and Ted wanting to center the ceremony around their mutual commitment to God. Having the Rev. Gary Braun from the Washington University Catholic Student Center officiate their ecumenical ceremony was also very special to the couple. “The fact that Ted was willing to write our own vows, as I wanted, goes to show how much he loves me,” Lauren recalls.

For the reception at the Missouri Athletic Club, Lauren enlisted local band Push the Limit to set the elegant, fun vibe. “I think the fact that they rotated and never stopped playing is really cool,” Ted says. With more than 350 guests, the couple still wanted to maintain a sense of intimacy. “We wanted our guests to feel the night was about them enjoying just as much as we were,” Lauren says.

After a honeymoon on Molokai and the Big Island in Hawaii, the couple has made their home in Clayton.

THE DATE: July 30, 2016

THE BRIDE: Lauren Herring

THE GROOM: Ted Disabato

THE BRIDE’S PARENTS: Mike and Laura Herring

THE GROOM’S PARENTS: Dan and Karen Disabato

THE MAID OF HONOR: Elizabeth Friedman

THE BEST MAN: Andrew Disabato

THE OFFICIANT: Rev. Gary Braun

THE CEREMONY: Christ Church Cathedral

THE RECEPTION: Missouri Athletic Club

THE WEDDING DRESS: Rivini

THE MAKEUP: Danielle Style

THE HAIR: Danielle Style

THE BRIDESMAIDS’ DRESSES: BCBG

THE RINGS: Genovese Jewelers

THE FLORIST: Festive Couture Floral

THE CAKE: MAC

THE BAND (MUSIC): Push the Limit

THE PHOTOGRAPHER: L Photographie

THE VIDEOGRAPHER: One Fine Day Productions

THE INVITATIONS: Kate Disabato

THE WEDDING PLANNER: Kate & Co.

Denise is a contributing writer at Ladue News. She is a Chicago native, wife to Vince, mama to two and Chicago magazine dining team alum. She hopes to one day live in a world where semicolons are used responsibly.