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!
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
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.
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