Popping life’s most amorous question can be a daunting task, and that is especially true when one’s significant other designs gasp-worthy engagement rings for a living.
Robbie Hubbard, who is president of sales at Complete Synthetic Turf in Stuart, always knew that when it came time to propose to his girlfriend, Lauren Krestalude (now Hubbard), he would need to do something truly special. Lauren grew up in the jewelry business and owns LK Bridal Designs and Anchor Jewelers in Stuart. “I didn’t want to underwhelm someone who sees and hears a lot of great stories from guys who do a really good job [with their proposal],” Robbie says.
The couple first met on Facebook in 2017—Lauren made the first move. “I saw his picture in the ‘People You May Know’ section, and one of my friends urged me to friend request him with a message,” recalls Lauren. “She said, ‘What’s the worst that can happen?’ So I did.”
He replied, and they exchanged numbers. Two weeks later, they met up in person.
“He texted me, ‘I’m going to the golf course if you want to meet me there,’” Lauren recalls. “I replied that I had my daughter with me, and he was like, ‘Cool, I have my son.’ So we both brought our kids, who were both in kindergarten at the time, and met for the first time at Palm Cove Golf Course.”
It was a perfect pairing, and a year later, Robbie and his son moved into Lauren’s Port St. Lucie home. The following November, he proposed at Fort Pierce’s White City Park. “It was just before my thirtieth birthday,” Lauren says. “My best friend Jessica came into my store and handed me a manila envelope from Robbie with a note inside saying my birthday weekend was starting now and I had to turn over my car keys and get into Jessica’s car.”
Inside the car, she found a gift—a pair of Tory Burch sandals and an iPad containing a video with memorable moments from the past year that Robbie had personalized with music. For the next half hour, Lauren was on a scavenger hunt, making stops at boutiques like Monkee’s of Stuart, where gifts like a blue dress Lauren had once admired online and a diamond-monogrammed Yeti cup were waiting. When she and Jessica returned to the car, they found snowboarding goggles, ski passes, and airline tickets—departing to Breckenridge, Colorado in six hours.
The next stop on the scavenger hunt was White City Park, and as they made a loop around the lake, Lauren spotted Robbie standing there with both of their children. She didn’t notice the photographer hiding a few yards away: “The only thing I remember is looking at Jessica like, ‘Holy [expletive], is this happening?’ and her forcing me out of the car because I was frozen.”
It was there that Robbie proposed with a ring that Lauren had unknowingly fashioned for herself. “A few months before, I had attended a five-day jewelry conference in Louisiana,” she explains. “At the time, Robbie was helping me with marketing so he came with me.” In one of the sessions she attended, participants used computer-aided design to conceive the engagement ring of their dreams—and Robbie was paying attention. He sent her design off to be professionally cast. “I had no idea he had put the whole thing together,” says Lauren.
After the proposal, the couple headed to Casa Amigos in Port St. Lucie to celebrate with friends and family members before departing for their quick trip to Breckenridge. When they returned from Colorado, they agreed that the wedding planning would have to wait. The couple wanted to prioritize having their first baby together, whom they named Colby. Then they were busy moving into a larger home in Palm City. And then they learned they were expecting another baby—this time a girl, Spencer—in May 2022.
With a new home base and two new kids in their growing family, the couple was now ready to get down to wedding business. Robbie’s own parents had tied the knot at home, and he and Lauren decided a small backyard wedding was exactly what they wanted. To help them plan the perfect day, they turned to Jade Smith of Stuart-based Island Party Rentals and Unearthed Rentals, whom Lauren had known for many years and even designed her engagement ring.
For the overall design, the bride wanted an elegant and bohemian-chic aesthetic. “We included lots of natural colors and combined them with deeper hues like terracotta, rust, and slate blue,” Smith says. One important and unique element? “Market lighting!” Lauren says, referring to the trendy and delicate string lights. “They have a modern look that I absolutely love. My favorite elements were the lights and the neon sign with our name.”
On February 4, 2023, 200 of the couple’s closets friends and family members gathered under those market lights to celebrate Lauren and Robbie on their wedding day. As guests strolled into the couple’s backyard, local musician Alexa Kajangu performed Jason Mraz covers and soulful ballads by crooners like Jack Johnson. They nibbled on hors d’oeuvres from Chef’s Table and drank signature tipples served from a circular, 20-foot bar crowned with the couple’s last name in neon lights. In a boho-imbued lounge area, guests could mingle and relax, and a photo booth bus courtesy of Good Times Roll was parked on site to capture all the memories.
The bride, stunning in an A-line dress by Essence of Australia, walked down the aisle with a bouquet of roses, pampas, and wildflowers as Kajangu sang a tear-jerking rendition of Elvis Presley’s “Can’t Help Falling in Love.” The groom looked dapper in a light blue State & Liberty suit, floral necktie, and white Nike Air Force 1 shoes that matched his groomsmen.
Immanuel Lutheran Church’s lead pastor, Chad Fair, officiated the ceremony and delighted everyone with a humorous speech laced with golf jokes—and jabbed at the time it took for the couple to tie the knot. “It was a longstanding joke with Robbie’s mother, who said she wrote our wedding date in pencil because of how many times we changed it,” Lauren says, laughing.
After the couple exchanged vows, guests enjoyed a post-ceremony cocktail hour while the bridal party rushed to take photos before the last rays of sunlight dipped beneath the horizon. When they returned to the reception, it was time to party. As the bridesmaids hit the glossy dance floor edged with marquee letters, they waved glow sticks to the beat of Shania Twain’s “Man! I Feel Like a Woman!” Then it was the groomsmen’s turn, who formed a huddle before strutting in to the NFL Sunday theme song.
Dinner was a swanky, buffet-style feast with options like filet mignon carving stations, a live-action pasta bar, and a do-it-yourself mashed bar. Desserts included carrot cake, Funfetti, red velvet cupcakes from Publix Martin Downs, and a pint-sized layered masterpiece of lemon cake and raspberry compote. During dinner, the newlyweds shared their first dance, and by the time the father-daughter dance wrapped, everyone was on the dance floor.
When the festivities wound down just after 11 p.m., some of the bridal party and their spouses wanted to keep the party going at a local bar. Trying not to be party poopers, the exhausted newlyweds boarded the rented bus and headed to a pub in town. But with four young kids at home, they were out of practice with the late-night scene. “Normally, we go to bed the same time as our kids, so staying up that late was really a thrill,” says Lauren. “But Robbie and I were so tired, we made it as far as the Harpers parking lot.”
Flowers: Sarandipity Floral, Port St. Luci
Catering and bar: Chef’s Table, Stuart
Wedding cake: Desserts by Dominique, Stuart
Wedding rings: LK Bridal Designs, Stuart
Bridal gown: Nicole Maree Bridal, Melbourne
Bride’s jewelry: Anchor Jewelers & Rare Coins, Stuart
Bride’s hair and makeup: Salt Beauty Bar, Fort Pierce
Bridesmaid dresses: Revelry
Bridesmaid jewelry: Abundant Gems Co., Jensen Beach
Groom’s suit: State & Liberty, Miami
Groomsmen suit: Men’s Wearhouse, Stuart
Groom and groomsmen hair: Maxx’s Shaving Room, Stuart
Signage: Sign Jungle, Stuart
Marquee letters: De Gala Events, West Palm Beach
Photo booth bus: Good Times Roll Bus, Miami