Lauren Hope Marglous and H. Peter Rawson Steffen
When it came time to plan one of the most important days of their lives, Lauren Marglous and H. Peter Steffen wanted to celebrate what they knew was most important: their love for each other.
H.P. and Lauren met at a charity event in Chicago, where they both live. “Both our friends dragged us there,” H.P. remembers. “There wasn’t an expectation to meet someone, but we met briefly and I took an interest.” Lauren had to leave the event early, but H.P. followed up with an e-mail, and they began dating a few weeks later.
In December 2012, H.P. told Lauren he was taking her for a surprise night out. He picked her up with roses waiting for her in the car, and began driving to Chicago’s Waldorf Astoria, their favorite hotel. H.P. had flowers, caviar and Champagne ready in their suite, where he dropped to one knee and proposed. “We went to the restaurant there and told anyone who would listen that we had just gotten engaged,” H.P. says. For the next several weeks, which included Christmas and New Year’s Day, the couple celebrated with family before setting off on a pre-planned trip to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, with friends. “I think I drank more Champagne in a month than I’d ever drunk,” H.P. laughs. They set a date for September 28.
The couple wanted their wedding and reception, both held at The Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis, to be classic, elegant and warm. “We come from close-knit families, and just wanted to showcase our love for each other and for our family and friends,” Lauren says. To honor her father, who passed away four years ago, the bride wrapped her bouquet with her dad’s handkerchief to hold as she walked down the aisle with her mom. During the part of the ceremony in which the couple drinks wine, they used the same sterling silver goblet from which the bride’s father drank on her parents’ wedding day. “There weren’t a lot of dry eyes,” H.P. says. “I had to hold back my tears of happiness, too.”
An avid outdoorsman, H.P. designed the chuppah to have a rustic feel, and the couple had 300-pounds birch logs flown in from Colorado to make it. They loved it so much they had the finished piece rebuilt in the grand ballroom above the main table so they would get to enjoy it during the reception, as well.
Guests, encouraged to wear black-tie, enjoyed a sit-down dinner featuring a main course of shrimp and beef tenderloin, music from 10-piece band FatPocket and fresh-baked cookies brought in later in the night as a snack.
To relax after the wedding, the newlyweds stayed in the presidential suite at The Ritz-Carlton for two days. “The president of Bosnia was staying on the same floor,” H.P. says. “There were Secret Service guys everywhere, and they were joking, You were the ones that bumped the president of Bosnia from the presidential suite!” The couple then went on to honeymoon in Hawaii, at the Four Seasons Resort Hualāhai at Historic Ka’upulehu, as well as the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea.
“The wedding was our perfect day,” Lauren says. “We’d like to redo it! It’s fun now, looking at pictures and watching the videos, wishing the weekend had never ended. It was awesome. We are so happy.”
The bride is the daughter of Shelley Marglous and the late Steven Marglous of Frontenac. The groom is the son of Donna and Peter Steffen of Milwaukee, Wis.
THE DATE: September 28, 2013
THE CEREMONY: The Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis
THE RECEPTION: The Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis
THE MAID OF HONOR: Debbie Gorman
THE BRIDAL PARTY: Kimberly Cisel, Anne Zavarella, Debra Selip, Catherine Steffen
THE BEST MAN: Frank Dal Bello
THE GROOMSMEN: Kevin Wheeler, Eric Carlson, John Stoker, David Kerscher
THE DRESS: Judd Waddell from Fleur De Lis Bridal Boutique
THE FLORIST: Festive Atmospheres
THE CAKE: The Cakery
THE BAND: FatPocket
THE TUX: Men’s Wearhouse
THE PHOTOGRAPHER: Susan Jackson Photography
THE INVITATIONS: M. Haley Designs
THE WEDDING PLANNER: Simcha Lourie