Michael + Lauren's Wedding | Catalpa Grove, Barnesville, PA


Lauren and Michael's wedding day was held at the beautiful Catalpa Grove in Barnesville, PA. Everything about their big day was well thought out and held special meaning to their story. From the venue, to the dress, the local eats, and their collegiate traditions, Lauren and Michael made sure that this special day encompassed the story of them.

Lauren and Michael met during their time at Penn State. While their paths had crossed a few times during undergrad, Michael and Lauren formally met during State Patty's weekend in 2015. Lauren was a junior and Michael had just finished grad school, and was back visiting for the weekend. During a summer in NYC and Westport, CT, Lauren and Michael got to know each other. The following fall they were official! After years of long distance, a Penn State Homecoming proposal, and a year delay, they became husband and wife at the beautiful Catalpa Grove!

Catalpa Grove is built on the old Lakewood Park grounds, which was an event center, lake, and campground until the 1980s. This venue holds a very special place in Lauren's heart. Her whole family on both her mom and dad’s sides spent lots of time there, growing up.

The engagement ring that Michael had made was designed with a European cut diamond. He knew that Lauren loved her Polish and Lithuanian roots and traditions. The wave-like structure below diamond represents Lauren's love for the beach. This well thought out ring was made by Emily Chelsea.

When Michael shared his favorite thing about Lauren he told us, "I love that Lauren is always so chipper and makes me feel loved. Whenever we FaceTime, she is always so excited to see me. I love that she is very passionate about people."

We couldn't agree more with Michael! Catherine had met Lauren In 2015 through THON, and It was Lauren's excitement that stuck out the most to Catherine. Catherine loved how contagious Lauren's joy felt. You could feel her excitement in the tone of her voice alone. Catherine also knew that Lauren's creative skills would be in high demand on their THON committee. WAIT until you see all of her crafted decorations!

I had never met Lauren until she inquired with us, but I could tell right away that this girl had a freaking heart of gold! Lauren is someone that cares for others incredibly well, and will go out of her way to make people smile. She deserves the world, and a lifetime partner that loves everything about her. We are so happy that she found that forever love in Michael.

Anyone that knows Michael will tell you about Micheal's fun-loving personality and his ability to make anyone laugh and smile. We loved seeing that personality come out during portrait-time and on the dance floor.

Something else that we quickly learned about Michael was his level of thoughtfulness. Michael met our oldest sister Maria through Catholic Campus Ministry at Penn State. On the morning of his wedding he spent time with Catherine just catching up and asking about how our family was. On a morning as stressful and busy as your wedding day, Michael and his groomsmen were so sweet and thoughtful.

Once everyone was ready, we headed to Holy Cross Church in New Philadelphia, PA. There, Lauren's hometown priest officiated the ceremony. Although he has been relocated to a new parish, he came back into town for the wedding!

Lauren rolled up to the Church in style in a red 1968 Pontiac GTO!

We loved this beautiful Catholic Church!

Lauren made these floral arrangements that decorated the end of each pew.

Lauren and Michael had their friends and family involved in their mass. Their God-Mothers did the mass readings and their two friends performed Ave Maria.

The new MR. AND MRS THEIN!!

When we asked Lauren her favorite thing about Michael, she shared, "I love that Michael balances me so well. He’s my voice of reason and shoulder to lean on whenever I am worried or upset. He knows how to make me laugh in any situation. We’ve been through a lot of big life changes over the past few years and have seen each other through all of them. Michael has a huge heart and is a wonderful friend and partner. He is also very clean and organized! He balances me in that way too. We push each other to try new things and keep an open mind. He is my best friend."