When a wedding has this much rustic, country charm, you know the bride and groom must have a strong connection to cowboys and moonshine. For Luke, 30, and Jen, 34, there was no question that their wedding would feature feathers, antlers, and plenty of cowboy hats. In 2009, Jen and Luke were both in Nashville for a Professional Bull Riding event. She was there to watch from the stands, while he was center-stage on the back of a bull. Jen quickly became familiar with the Professional Bull Riding world, falling in love with the sport as she fell in love with Luke.
In December of 2011, Luke got down on one knee in front of the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center in New York City. The couple got to work planning their dream wedding in Missouri's Ozark Mountains, heading to a place they've loved and returned to for years - Big Cedar Lodge. They let the resort inspire their wedding, turning to nature and cowboy style, dressing it up for their rustically elegant celebration.
Just six days after competing in the World Finals, Luke donned his cowboy hat and Jen put on a gorgeous gown for a memorable night full of love and laughter.
The forest-themed invitation suite let guests know they were in for a woodland escape.
Jen wore a voluminous Lazaro ball gown with an embellished bodice. She topped her dress with a fur stole in honor of her late grandmother. She wasn't able to find her grandmother's, but purchased a beautiful stole at a vintage store. The stole has a hand-embroidered silk patch inside with a mysterious set of initials. "I'd like to think it belonged to someone else's beloved grandmother," says Jen.
Jen's simple bouquet featured white roses, scabiosa pods, dusty miller leaves, and ranunculuses.
Luke paired his tuxedo with a black cowboy hat. His boutonniere featured two pheasant feathers.
Jen's bridesmaids wore strapless chiffon dresses and carried bouquets that matched the bride's. The groomsmen, like Luke, wore tuxedos and cowboy hats. Three of the groomsmen were also professional bull riders.
Jen had both of her fathers escort her down the aisle to the outdoor wedding ceremony. Big Cedar Lodge's terrace and sweeping Ozark views provided a gorgeous backdrop for Luke and Jen's vows.
Jen's sister was responsible for the majority of the wedding's décor. Clusters of candles, logs, antlers, and feathers helped create the feeling of a gentleman's hunting lodge.
Vignettes of saddles and rope, books, feathers and comfy, worn leather furniture kept the wedding as far as possible from a traditional ballroom feel. Cozy seating (and buckets of ice-cold beer) encouraged guests to wander and mingle throughout the evening.
A board covered in moss and edged with horseshoes served as the place card display. Guests' names were written on simple tags and hung with horseshoe nails.
The simple, elegant tables were topped with troughs that appeared to be carved from tree trunks. Antlers punctuated overflowing arrangements of white roses, hydrangeas and fresh herbs.
The three-tiered wedding cake featured freshly-ground almond cake with layers of strawberry jam. The cake topper was a nod to the hunting lodge motif, as well as the bride and groom's love of the outdoors.
Later in the evening, guests headed outdoors to make s'mores over the fire.
The bride and groom's getaway car was a vintage pickup truck, complete with strings of cans.
Jen and Luke's advice is to stick with what you know and love. "We spent a weekend at Big Cedar Lodge a few months after we started dating. We both remember that weekend as the one when we first fell in love. It only seemed fitting to return for our wedding," says Jen.
Ceremony & Reception Venue: Big Cedar Lodge || Event Design: Julie Manna, Sister of the Bride || Bride's Wedding Dress: Lazaro || Hair: Jared Cluck of Studio 417 || Makeup: Melissa Britt || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Monique Lhuillier || Groom's Suit: Black by Vera Wang || Groomsmen's Boots: Ariat || Wedding Bands: The Jewelers of Las Vegas || Florist: Ron Johnson, The Thicket || Invitations: Tupy Boutique || Catering & Cake: Big Cedar Lodge || Favors: Moonshine from Big Cedar Lodge || Photography: Love Is a Big Deal
For couples seeking out a wedding style that will stand the test of time, there's nothing better than gathering inspiration from a bygone era that is just as gorgeous now as it was then. This inspiration shoot, designed by Lindye Galloway and photographed by Jasmine Star, does just that, taking details grounded in the 1920's and making them fresh and modern, with a nautical twist.
The shoot took place at the Marion Davis Beach House in Santa Monica, California. Says Lindye, "it is a place full of history and architectural beauty, which made it the perfect home to which we could add our own 1920's wedding flair!" Muted sea green, cream, and gold--with touches of navy for contrast--combine with shell-inspired shapes to create a salt-weathered, airy, sunlit atmosphere. And when the venue is as beautiful as the Marion Davis Beach House before it's decorated, you know the end result will be stunning. The décor takes advantage of all the home has to offer, making this shoot a sun-kissed mixture of cozy and chic.
The simple invitation suite sets the scene. A graphic blue pattern, reminiscent of rolling waves, ties into the seaside location and adds Art Deco sensibility.
A scalloped pattern, made of gold sequins, covers the three panels that form the backdrop of the altar. Tables topped with lush floral arrangements complete the vignette. And how creative (and comfortable) is the seating? Vintage sofas, settees and armchairs are a fantastic upgrade to the traditional options, and also help to bring the ceremony back to a time past. Overhead, a crystal chandelier harkens back to the Roaring '20s.
Golden and white roses, white chrysanthemums and dusty miller leaves create a soft, warm color palette. Hints of gold, from brooches on the vases to the base of the side tables, add a touch of modern shine. The use of vintage furniture for the ceremony seating heightens the antique, timeless atmosphere.
Roses, hydrangeas, chrysanthemums and dusty miller are wrapped in lace and finished with a vintage-inspired gold brooch. The subtly shimmering décor is perfect for a formal ceremony.
This beautiful Jim Hjelm dress will definitely stand the test of time. The textured skirt and shimmering belt keep it current, while the elegant low back, sweetheart neck, and modified ball gown skirt will never go out of style.
A white rose boutonniere is a classy, timeless addition to a traditional tuxedo. Arrangements of gold and white flowers in the foyer create cohesion by bringing the color scheme from the ceremony through the home and into the reception.
Vintage furniture lends a cozy vibe to an intimate wedding reception. The dining room's alcoves provide sweet spots to display additional floral arrangements, while floor-to-ceiling windows let in the sunshine.
Low centerpieces ensure that guests can see one another across the table. Golden roses stud arrangements overflowing with white hydrangeas, warming up the sleek table. Tall gold bottles and gilded votive holders give the centerpiece some shine.
Printed menus tie in the wave-inspired motif from the invitation. A similarly textured tone-on-tone placemat is a playful update on a neutral. Treat your guests to something unexpected with gilded flatware, gold-rimmed dishes and luxe golden napkins.
1920's cocktail culture inspires the menu. Passed bites–from dressed-up deviled eggs to a modern take on potato pancakes and caviar–are tastily traditional. And for the cocktails themselves, the addition of fresh fruit puts a colorful spin on classic flavors.
The 1920's were all about glitz and glimmer. Here, a few statement pieces, like these tall gold bottles and gilded votive holders, create a vintage vibe, while the shape and texture are all modern.
Accents of lace, texture, and soft flowers make the table a refreshing combination of antique and contemporary. Dusty miller leaves, overblown chrysanthemums and hydrangeas blur the sharp lines of the vases and bottles.
The use of a love seat for the bride and groom ensures that they'll be close together all night, and is a great way to add more vintage furniture to the room. A few pillows bring some color to the neutral-hued chairs.
A display of arrangements in varying heights creates a beautiful tableau and dresses up the room without overwhelming the table with blooms.
Shades of cream, gold and brown unify the dessert display and dress up simple sweets like cupcakes and cookies. Pearlescent macarons, glitter-topped cake pops and chocolate-dipped cookies are sure to satisfy every sweet tooth. Boxes, trays, and stands on shelves are a fresh take on the dessert bar.
The pièce de résistance is this white and gold wedding cake. Scalloped fondant adds a touch of nautical, while strands of sugar gems are incredibly opulent. The square shape is a beautiful mix of Art Deco and modern.
Simple, elegant makeup, a soft up-do and vintage-inspired jewelry make this a wedding day look any bride would be happy to look back on in the years to come. That mini cupcake? An absolutely delicious (and adorable) sign of the times.
Location: Marion Davies Guest House || Design: Lindye Galloway Design || Production: The Bridal Bar || Florist: Peony & Plum || Invitations, Menus, Place Cards & Paper Details: Laura Hooper Calligraphy || Rentals: Found Vintage Rentals || Cocktails & Catering: GOOD GRACIOUS! Events || Cake & Desserts: Vanilla Bake Shop || Wedding Dress: Jim Hjelm || Headpiece: Yana Beauty Studio || Belt & Jewelry: Maria Elena Headpieces & Accessories || Bridal Shoes: CHROMATICgallerie || Hair & Makeup: Melina Ruiz, Reign of Beauty || Tuxedo & Shoes: Men's Wearhouse || Models: Susy Diab of Q Model Management, Alejandro Rojas of Wilhelmina Panama || Videographer: Cloudless Weddings || Photographer: Jasmine Star Photography