Lauren Cuggino Monroe and Richard “Rick” Allen met through a mutual friend, and they each immediately felt like they had just met an old friend. With shared passions and values, the couple seemed destined to marry, and Rick proposed during an outing in the Santa Monica Mountains in October of 2002.

The bride and groom were married one year later, after spending a solid six months on the wedding plans. Fortunately, Rick and Lauren had the rare experience of really enjoying the planning process, and they were surprised at just how much fun they had working on all the details together. As Lauren reminds future brides, “don’t take things too seriously!”

As the drummer for Def Leppard, Rick’s busy touring schedule would dictate the available wedding dates to a great extent, as well as the couple’s wish for celebrating their marriage under a full moon. They settled on October 10th, which proved to be an ideal choice, thanks to its spectacular Indian Summer weather. Firestone Vineyards in Los Olivos, California, was chosen for the ceremony and reception site, thanks to the incredible beauty of its natural surroundings, which would require little embellishment for the event.

Lauren and Rick exchanged vows in an evening ceremony that featured several unique touches, such as a traditional Chumash Indian blessing and a blessing of the ancestors of the land we live on here in California. The native blessing, received by Chumash ceremonial leader Julie Tamawiut, was made even more poignant as two red tail hawks circled above the bride and groom! The location itself made the wedding memorable and picturesque, with the ceremony site overlooking the vineyards as the sun was setting. The twilight lead to the magical glow of the full moon that the bride and groom had envisioned for their evening celebration.

Perfectly complementing the season and the natural environment, Lauren chose a fall-tone color palette that focused on deep reds, golds and oranges. The floral arrangements were garden roses in deep reds paired with purple wildflowers and tall winding twigs, and each arrangement was surrounded by white candles flickering in glass hurricanes.

The formal dinner reception featured an organic, vegetarian, harvest-themed menu. The autumnal meal was topped off by a white coconut and Italian buttercream wedding cake. True to their personalities and passions, Lauren and Rick had ensured that every element of the wedding captured their spirit, from the location to the music and the cuisine.

Rick and Lauren’s magical wedding day was a glowing success and a great reflection of their relationship. Now, with the event behind them, they have returned to channeling all of their energies into an equally passionate venture, The Raven Drum Foundation. Their charity, which benefits children, is their most rewarding project and a huge source of pride for the couple.