Lauren O’Connell and Xavier Parra met during the summer of 2014, when Lauren had just moved to Portland, Oregon to start a job as an instructor at the Paul Mitchell School of Cosmetology. Xavier was also an instructor, and their working relationship grew into a friendship and, eventually, more.
“We became (and remain) each other’s best friends and have been inseparable ever since,” Lauren shares. “He proposed after a night at The Nutcracker Ballet on December 19, 2019.
“He knelt down in a rainy, downtown Portland puddle just steps from where we first met years before.”
He knelt down in a rainy, downtown Portland puddle just steps from where we first met years before. We initially planned a small destination wedding in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico for November of 2020, but Covid had other plans. The pandemic brought us to West Palm Beach, FL to be with family and to eventually have our wedding there as well.”
The wedding planning process began with hiring Naomi of Naomi Zora Events, which made the couple’s experience much easier and more enjoyable. Naomi also connected the couple to their other vendors, who all played an important role in creating a beautiful outdoor wedding at Castle La Florentia in Lake Worth, Florida. In celebration of the groom’s background, the wedding theme was inspired by a mix of beachy, bohemian, and Mexican culture.
Lauren and Xavier’s 8-year-old son, Olliver, did an incredible job as the Best Man, delivering a speech that left everyone in tears. The bride’s father walked her down the aisle to “At the Hop” by Devendra Banhart as the palm trees gently swayed in the Intercoastal Waterway breeze. With the couple’s friends and family traveling from all over to celebrate their big day, they couldn’t have been more grateful to photographer Joshua Kane for preserving so many beautiful moments in photos and film.
“As the sun set on our wedding day, many of our guests made their way to our waterside cigar bar and fire pit,” Lauren describes. “We could still hear the music from our awesome DJ, Roman Alemany of Red Elephant Entertainment as we sipped our Palomas (our signature cocktail of the evening) and danced barefoot in the sand. For our honeymoon, we traveled down through the Florida Keys then back up to Miami to stay at the Fontainebleau hotel. After returning home, we soon found out we were pregnant with our little girl.
Our honeymoon baby (whom we named Andorra Norma, after Xavier’s late mother) was just born on January 3, 2022. Our family is now complete, and our hearts and home are so full of love.”
Location: Castle La Florentia, Lake Worth, FL; Planner and Event Designer: Naomi Zora Events, Palm Beach, FL; Floral Design: Avant Gardens, Miami, FL; Catering: Thierry Isambert Culinary & Event Design, Miami, FL; Photography: Joshua Kane Photography, West Palm Beach, FL