Fall Rustic Ranch Wedding: Jennifer + Luke

bride and groom

Luke is a professional bull rider – yep, a real cowboy! – so there were lots of cowboy hats in attendance for Jennifer + Luke’s fall wedding, but the overall vibe for the day was much more elegant with a rustic theme of pinecones, feathers, antlers and pretty white + green florals. Since they’ve spent nearly every birthday + holiday weekend at the quaint little log cabins at Big Cedar Lodge in Missouri, it was the only place they could imagine getting married. Taking most of their inspiration for the wedding from the resort, they threw a casual + rustic, but also elegant wedding.

As it was a destination wedding for almost everyone attending, and many of their friends + family hadn’t met each other yet, they decided to scrap the traditional rehearsal dinner and instead invite all their guests to a casual Welcome Dinner. From Jennifer, “It was a great icebreaker for our guests and also really fun for us – we got to spend time with everyone before the craziness of our wedding day.

Big thanks to Love is a Big Deal for the photos and congrats to Jennifer + Luke!

wooded invitation

wooden signs

ranch

giant name letters

first look

first look

feather boutonniere

bride and groom

bride

bouquet

bride and groom

bridesmaids

Processional: All I Want Is You – Vitamin String Quartet

Recessional: You Make My Dreams – Hall & Oates

First Dance: That's How Strong My Love Is – Otis Redding

ceremony

ceremony

Finally "seeing" our vows!

As soon as we got engaged, we agreed that we wanted to write our own vows. We would have a entire year to reflect about our relationship and craft these perfect, poetic vows – easy, right? Cut to days before the wedding & we were still struggling to finalize them. After a couple glasses of wine one night, I jokingly said that I'd have a much easier time writing his vows than mine - we both laughed & then realized it was perfect for us. We each wrote vows for the other to say & then sealed them in an envelope, not to be opened until the ceremony.

It turned out to be the most amazing moment of our entire wedding – I had no idea what I was about to say to this man, in front of all of our friends & family. It added a level of excitement and nervous anticipation that reminded me of our first date! And of course, they were absolutely perfect... heartfelt, funny - and a perfect window into the great little quirks of our relationship. Our guests loved the surprise element as well – they said it made the ceremony unique and fun for them to watch.

ceremony

bride and groom

bride and groom

antlers

feather vases

antler centerpieces

pine cone place setting

pine cone place setting

first dance

deer cake topper

sparkler exit

exit


Jennifer + Luke sent their guests off with personalized bottles of moonshine and plenty of memories! Congrats to the sweet couple!

Make the ceremony your own. We decided to write our own vows, but also wanted to say the traditional vows that our grandparents said. So we did both. Our pastor was kind enough to let us tweak most elements of the ceremony to make it feel more personal.

Don't underestimate the importance of a Day-Of Coordinator. Even if you assign the job to a trustworthy friend or relative, make sure someone is taking care of all the loose ends and last minute glitches so you can relax and enjoy yourself. No matter how well you've planned, a few problems will always pop up!

Hide! Steal away for a quick, private moment with your new husband right after the ceremony. It's so overwhelming and emotional to realize you're really married! Take a moment to let it all sink in, without an audience.

photography: Love is a Big Deal // venue + catering: Big Cedar Lodge Ridgedale, Missouri // event design: Julie Manna, some detail work by Sharon Taylor // event planner: Julie Manna // floral design: Ron Johnson, The Thicket // wedding dress: Lazaro // cake topper: MelaboWed // sash: Tati’s Hotties // bridesmaid dresses: Monique Lhuillier // hair: Jared Cluck, Studio 417 // makeup: Melissa Britt // groom suit: Black by Vera Wang // cinematography: Something Blue Cinema // invitations + paper goods: Tupy Boutique // cake: Big Cedar Lodge // music: Pearl

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Comments

  1. absolutely love all the details, especially all the antlers.

  2. Their ease and joy are so very palpable in these photos. What a clever idea for them to write each others’ vows, and I am especially fond of their advice to steal away for a few private moments directly after the ceremony. Queen Victoria & Prince Albert did this, and they are some of the most precious moments she records in her journal from that day.

  3. OMG, the gigantic Jen ♥ Luke sign is to die for! And of course, the vows…

  4. This wedding is so much fun! Wow, I just love it!

  5. Jen & Luke your wedding was absolutely beautiful! It was a joy to get to work with the two of you to help be a part in planning the wedding of your dreams!

  6. Love this wedding! Dying over the “J&L” above the fireplace and the wacky cake topper – absolutely loved it all!

  7. what a FABULOUS idea for the vows!

  8. What a great couple! You can really get a sense of how fun they are. I loved the vow story. This wedding had some amazing details and the photography is absolutely wonderful.

  9. This is so unique, beautiful!

  10. what a devine wedding ! Love the ranch ! My hats up : )

  11. Absolutely love this wedding, so many beautiful details!

  12. Dolores and bill Bauer on:

    We are so happy for you both;wish you a wonderful life together

  13. Thanks everyone for your awesome comments:) It was a great wedding and an amazing couple that we were blessed to be a part of!

  14. What an incredible location! I love all the rustic details.

  15. Wow – I love all the great details in this wedding. Especially the groom’s boutonniere. Lovely.

  16. Oh my! What an amazing wedding. The venue and the details are amazing!

  17. Umm…….. can I get married all over again? cause if I could do this, I totally would!!!

    great wedding, great images

  18. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful…….

  19. Beautiful Wedding! Congrats!

  20. Thank you for sharing this most special day with us bullriding fans. We are honored with being allowed a glimpse into your private lives.

  21. Thank you for sharing this wedding with your fans. It was truly an incredible day for you both. We want to wish you love and happiness forever. And enjoy your new ranch.
    Frances and Mike

  22. AH-mazing! We’re totally in love with everything… and just the fact that the groom is a cowboy… swoon-worthy! That Lazaro gown is beautiful, and that shawl is fantastic for a cold weather wedding. Hats off to the bride and groom!

  23. Beautiful,I love these! I am going to post a link on facebook! Its a have to share!

  24. Is there anything that hasn’t been thought about?! Can this be my wedding please?! Her dress is gorgeous – he looks incredibly dashing and the fur stole tops it off for me. Love it!

  25. Awesome cake! love the B&W’s. Outstanding photography!

  26. Love the unique boutonnieres! Love all the stumps and antlers, too.

  27. Wow just love this wedding. The fall colours are little details are amazing. Congratulations to the gorgeous couple

    Kathy

  28. What a beautiful, unique wedding. Some of the little touches on display here are just fabulous and I just love how the fur compliments the wedding dress.

    Those place cards are too cute as well!

    Thanks so much for sharing.

    Jessica x

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