Wedding of the Week: Lauren and Balázs Novák

Unexpected events didn’t thwart this couple’s perfect day.

Emma Frankart Henterly
Columbus Monthly
Lauren and Balázs Novák married on Oct. 16, 2020

Oct. 16, 2020 | For many, a blind date is an intimidating prospect. For Lauren (Montebell) and Balázs Novák, it was the first step toward happily ever after. For their first date, set up by mutual friends, Lauren and Balázs watched the Game 4 playoff match between the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Tampa Bay Lightning. For those who don’t remember the April 16, 2019, game, the Jackets won 7-3. Lauren calls it “the most amazing first date” she’d ever been on, though we think the winning score is only partially responsible—the pair were engaged less than a year later. 

Fittingly, Balázs proposed on the ice at Nationwide Arena on Feb. 29, 2020. “We had the whole place to ourselves, so we got to skate around afterward,” Lauren recalls. “I couldn’t imagine a more perfect place.” 

Exactly 18 months after their first date, the pair were wed in an intimate garden ceremony at Franklin Park Conservatory—a Plan B venue, as the couple had to find a new location just a month before the big day thanks to COVID. The pandemic thwarted other plans, like Balázs’ family flying in from Hungary—they attended via Zoom instead—but the day was nevertheless “perfect and everything we wanted,” Lauren says. 


Ceremony: Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens 

Cocktail hour: Whistle & Keg 

Reception and caterer: Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse 

Flowers: Sweet Blossom Floral 

Photographer: Rachael Michelle Photos 

Bride’s attire: Mother’s wedding gown, altered by By Vesna; hair by Sarah W. Hair Design 

Groom’s attire: Indochino suit 

Rings: Brilliant Earth and Blue Nile