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Lauren Brandt, our Midwest Magnolia, and fiance Alex are planning a June 2020 wedding in Omaha. They had engagement pictures taken in Louisiana.

Why, hello there! So happy you’re here. Grab a Scooter’s, hit the couch and settle in, my lovely “brides to be.”

I'm Lauren, a 29-year-old Home Goods addict and avid traveler. I’ve cuddled koalas, kissed kangaroos, had tea at Downton Abbey and frolicked in the Caribbean Sea. I’ve been to three continents and 10 countries, and I’m always looking for my next adventure (#DisneyBachelorettePARTY).

I'm a first-grade teacher who dreams of being a personal shopper and singing backup for Michael Bublé. I’ve been performing my entire life and have had the opportunity to sing at both the Orpheum Theater and the Holland Performing Arts Center here in Omaha, as well as Carnegie Hall in New York City. I also teach piano and voice in the Omaha metro area.

To say I have a lot of hobbies and interests is an understatement.

I’m engaged to my very own Clark Kent, my fiancé Alex. I’ve called him my “Superman” from day one, because Alex spends his day fighting cancer as an oncology pharmacist at UNMC. He is a former college football player, an avid fisherman and a complete foodie. He’s everything I ever dreamed of and more.

I'd been dreaming about meeting Mr. Wonderful since I hit preschool. I had a kindergarten boyfriend for goodness sake. Yet, I found myself single over and over and over again as I went through college and into my career. I dated until I was blue in the face, both online and in the wild (ya, know … the old-fashioned way).

Swipe, swipe, swipe. It never seemed to end.

But after a summer spent in the South Pacific with my two best gal pals, we ditched Bumble and decided to dive head first into the app “Coffee Meets Bagel.” Cute, right?!

First guy that popped up was a medical professional and former college football player. TOTALLY my type (other than the beard ... but that's an easy fix). The smart jock. I was SOOOO in.

So fast forward a few days and I find myself at Blue Sushi Sake Grill. I scan the place for the bearded Coffee Meets Bagel wonder. He's nowhere to be found, but there is this guy in a red dress shirt that looks like he walked straight out of a Ralph Lauren catalog: dark hair, clean-shaven, the kind of build that makes every clothing item on his body appear small, just due to the sheer size of his shoulders and arms. I was standing there attempting not to drool.

We make eye contact. I smile. So does he. All I can think to myself is how much I wish that tall drink of water was MY date.

I approach the hostess stand and ask for "Alex." The girl turns around and points to the table directly behind her ... the one where Mr. Incredible is sitting, where the man I've been ogling for a solid 30 seconds is sitting. (He had shaved his beard!)

Oh. My. Lord. EGG ON MY FACE moment. I swooped down to the table and played it cool.

We had the usual awkward first-date small talk. I sat there thinking about how intelligent and handsome he was, and how silly I felt about the events of the evening. We walked out in the rain and said our quick goodbyes.

I called to tell my mom and my girlfriends about the rigmarole of the evening. It was met with a lot of laughter and a sermon from my mom about how I “absolutely needed to see him again.”

So I did indeed see him again. And again. And again. AND AGAIN.

Our first date was Sept. 20 last year. Our first kiss, Oct. 5. First "I love yous," Dec. 7. We bought rings in April and moved into our first house in June. On July 6, he popped the question in the still of the morning at his parents' lake house.

To put it simply, he was worth the wait.

I so look forward to sharing our wedding planning journey with you. This process is a massive undertaking, and I hope that reading my experiences, thoughts and ideas will make your process a little bit easier. Our planning is already in full force: June 27, 2020, at the Orpheum Theater. It’ll be the bee’s knees; all the glamour of the 1920s with the joy of air conditioning.

Stay tuned, y'all.

– Your Midwest Magnolia

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