A Backyard Barn Wedding in the Woods: Lauren + Bud

frame ceremony backdrop

Lauren + Bud never viewed their wedding as a wedding – to them it was a big party to celebrate the start of their new life. :) They choose to get married around the corner from Lauren’s parent’s home in Missouri. It was a special location to them and they got to build the venue into their own unique creation. When they first started the barn was filled with scrap metal and the weeds were as tall as they were! The entire ceremony site was a complete reflection of all the hard work put in by their  families and was a total transformation. I just love the giant frame they had built that they were married in front of! Such a perfect backdrop for the ceremony, right?!

Thanks so much to Alec Vanderboom for the photos and congrats to Lauren + Bud!

first look

first look



Processional: Wedding Party: Such Great Heights – Iron & Wine; Bride: Canon in D

Recessional: All You Need Is Love – The Beatles

First Dance: Thank You – Led Zeppelin

We had such a hard time deciding our first dance song. We went back and forth between The Beatles and Van Morrison for an entire year. Finally a week before the wedding my husband played “Thank You” by Led Zeppelin and it was a no brainer. That song represented every part of us and that day. “And so today, my world it smiles, your hand in mine, we walk the miles, Thanks to you it will be done, for you to me are the only one”

flower girls


frame ceremony backdrop



The most memorable moment for both of us was after the ceremony when we joined the cocktail hour. There was so much anticipation because we had not seen the venue since it had been set up. As we walked in a wave of happiness came over us and everything came to life. The flowers, the jazz music, the rustic feel and all of our loved ones surrounding us – It was so surreal.

Can I have another? :) My favorite moment of my husband was when he hopped on the drums with the band and began to improvise “Heard It Through The Grapevine”. Everyone loved it and went wild – they thought he had practiced for months. I love his spontaneity and this made my night!

wedding party



bride and groom

bride and groom


Bud’s favorite part of the planning was picking out the late night snacks – chicken fingers and queso (a representation of his bachelor days). Since Bud is from the East Coast, I was really excited to introduce local moonshine to all the New Yorkers flying into small town Missouri. We arranged for Copper Run Distillery to come down and serve our favorite moonshine margaritas during the cocktail hour. We also passed out mini bottles of champagne and confetti poppers to pop when we were announced husband and wife. It’s the small stuff!

rustic wedding

cigar bar

rustic wedding

rustic wedding

rustic wedding

And their wedding film by Something Blue Cinema

Fun Tip: Don’t be afraid to make a weekend of your wedding! Our guests loved participating in karaoke on Friday night and brunch on Sunday. It keeps them entertained and gives you a way to pay back for their travels. It gave us so much more time to catch up with friends and relatives and meet new ones. We weren’t trying to fit everyone in the night of our wedding and that made it so much more relaxing.

Don’t focus on things you can’t control! The week before my wedding I was stalking the forecast and worrying about all the guests arriving safely. I was getting so upset as the weather changed every single day, would it rain, would the sun come out, would it be too cold? I frantically ordered cute umbrellas and matching rain boots and at the end of the day it didn’t pour down rain until later that night. It made the whole experience so much more memorable and we heard some great stories at brunch the next day.

photography: Alec Vanderboom Photography // venue: private property, Missouri // event design: Jim Faulkner of Encore Gallery, Gabe Jackson, Los Angeles, CA & Swept Away Rentals // event planner: Gabe Jackson, Los Angeles, CA & Gracious Occasions // floral design: The Thicket // wedding dress: Enzoani, Dimitras Bridal // hairpieces: Fascinating Creations // shoes: Glint – Nordstrom, Cowgirl boots – Lucky Brand // bridesmaid dresses: their own selection to reflect their personal style // hair + makeup: makeup by Ty Harshman, hair by Chelsea Gregg, Swank Salon // groom suit: Karl’s Tuxedo // cinematography: Something Blue Cinema // paper goods: Posh Paperie // catering + cocktails: Infused Catering // cake: Beth’s Bake Shoppe // music: The Stanton Strings , The Galaxy Band

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  1. My favorite weddings are the forest ones and this one is super cute!

  2. The flower girls’ dresses are too cute. I also love the pictures of the couple behind the giant picture frame..amazing!



  3. Every detail of this wedding was FLAWLESS! I seriously could not love the frame behind the vows more! They brought in so many warm, personal touches; not to mention, her dress fits her like a glove! BEAUTIFUL!

  4. This wedding is just fantastic (and such an inspiration for what I’d like to do)! I love the hanging lanterns used in both the ceremony and reception! Any idea where those are from?

  5. Hey Lauren! The lanterns were made by Jim Faulkner at Encore Gallery in Springfield, MO. He customized several pieces and is so talented!

  6. Love the gigantic frame! Super cute!

  7. first time i saw a wedding with a forrest background. great concept. also cool song from themusicbed on the vimeo sample.

  8. Absolutley beautiful wedding! I am dying for a venue just like yours but I can’t seem to find one anywhere here in California! Anyone know of a similar venue?

  9. Love your venue. I grew up in Ozark, MO and have been living in NYC for 17 years. Hope to have my big day back in MO and am starting the planning. Was your venue a family property or available for rental? Cheers!

    • Susan, Isn’t it a beautiful venue! I helped coordinate this event with Martha from Gracious Occasions. This specific spot is a family owned property, but there are a few places around Ozark/Springfield that are similar. Shoot me a line if you want more info!

  10. Beautiful setting and I love the bridesmaid’s dresses! Mismatched is adorable but still cohesive. Stunning photos, very well done!

  11. This is an absolutely gorgeous wedding- it’s perfect! This is exactly what I would like for my wedding. I see oboe that you told Susa that there are similar places like this in Springfield/Ozarks. Could you give me some information on that please? I’d love a place like this for my wedding in October!

  12. Callie harcourt on:

    where did u get the flower girls dress?! They are adorable!!



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