{A JLD Wedding} Love is a Big Deal

Where do I start with this one? This was the most logistically complicated wedding I have ever done. I get approached all the time from brides who think they are going to save a ton of money by having a wedding at home. I am here to tell you that unless you are having a very small (less than 50 people) affair, that you are very likely going to spend more than you would have if you had just chosen a venue. Wedding venues aren’t cheap and I used to think they were just price gouging because they could. But I now know that these venues usually cost millions to build, they need an entire staff of people to maintain it, and another entire staff to book events- give tours, answer brides incoming questions, etc. This bride (who shall remain un-named, see this blog post for reasoning) came to me knowing her wedding was going to take place at her father’s ranch, she also had pretty realistic expectations of what things were going to cost. She wasn’t surprised when her rental quote came in at over $10,000 or when we needed generators, lighting towers for the parking area, and a handful of other things that you have to think about when having a wedding at home. She was a total dream bride- very much involved, but still trusted me completely, her vision and taste were awesome, beautiful, timeless, and elegant, but with a very fun nod to the rustic Texas ranch. Cheeky rustic with large doses of elegance is what I would call this wedding. Most of the guests were coming in from out of town, so the bride and groom really had a fun time slapping them in the face with Texas every chance they got…in a good way of course. Almost a cliche over-the-top version of Texas too…you will see what I mean. Let’s get into it shall we?

Love is a Big Deal | Jennifer Laura Design | Rustic Elegance Ranch Wedding

Love is a Big Deal | Jennifer Laura Design | Rustic Elegance Ranch Wedding

Love is a Big Deal | Jennifer Laura Design | Rustic Elegance Ranch Wedding

Let me just start by saying that this ranch property was spectacular. The bride’s father lives here and he had taken an old church building, moved it here right on the water, renovated it, and added on to make his own home. If you look closely you can very much tell the main part of the house is a church- the beautiful bones are still there.

Love is a Big Deal | Jennifer Laura Design | Rustic Elegance Ranch Wedding

Guests arrived to the property and parked in a large area ranch hands had been clearing for months in advance. That’s another thing to consider for an at home wedding- parking space. Months before the wedding the bride and groom hired a company that would take care of a handful of things that needed to be done around the property- creating driveways into the parking area, leveling the reception floor space- which took place under a barn, cutting down weak pecan branches, clearing out a ceremony spot (waterfront) and even the week of the wedding they were doing things like drying out patches of wet land, spraying for mosquitos, and killing ant beds. Things that I’ve seen parents of the bride/groom doing before other home weddings. All things to consider if you want a wedding at home.

Love is a Big Deal | Jennifer Laura Design | Rustic Elegance Ranch Wedding

We created this little sign to direct guests around the property. It was a huge ranch so something like this felt pretty necessary.

Love is a Big Deal | Jennifer Laura Design | Rustic Elegance Ranch Wedding

Pre- ceremony drinks of different flavored aguas frescas, lemonade, and water  met guests upon their arrival. And yes, this is going down as my favorite drink station of. all. time. We rented barrels and a vintage door from The Borrowed Flea to create our table- then used some drink cannisters from my personal inventory, I’ve also slowly been collecting wine boxes. I tell Kris to bring them home from work all the time, and I am slowly building a collection of these gorgeous boxes. To simplify things we used a disposable plastic cup with a printed logo in gold ink. Sorry, can’t show since it has the couple’s names on it :)

Love is a Big Deal | Jennifer Laura Design | Rustic Elegance Ranch Wedding

These chalkboard signs led guests beyond the drinks and onto the ceremony area.

Love is a Big Deal | Jennifer Laura Design | Rustic Elegance Ranch Wedding

Love is a Big Deal | Jennifer Laura Design | Rustic Elegance Ranch Wedding

Love is a Big Deal | Jennifer Laura Design | Rustic Elegance Ranch Wedding

Love is a Big Deal | Jennifer Laura Design | Rustic Elegance Ranch Wedding

The Clarkes provided some of the best pre-ceremony music I have ever heard. They sang “hallelujah” as the bride walked down the aisle and it was completely breathtaking.

Love is a Big Deal | Jennifer Laura Design | Rustic Elegance Ranch Wedding

Post ceremony we had the cocktail hour waiting for everyone. Complete with open bar, lawn games, and a  longhorn photo booth.

Love is a Big Deal | Jennifer Laura Design | Rustic Elegance Ranch Wedding

Love is a Big Deal | Jennifer Laura Design | Rustic Elegance Ranch Wedding

I don’t seem to have any photos of it, but the bride and groom really took the time to make their bar special. This menu shows their specialty cocktails, but there was a lot beyond this- lone star beer by the bucket, a special root beer from Wisconsin (where the groom was from), and a schlew of other things specially chosen by the couple.

Love is a Big Deal | Jennifer Laura Design | Rustic Elegance Ranch Wedding

We also had lawn games sprinkled all over- corn hole, horseshoes, croquet, and bocce ball to keep everyone busy. They were a huge hit and me and my staff may have been spying Andy Samberg playing horseshoes. Don’t worry we didn’t gawk at him awkwardly or anything ;-) We provided score cards and pencils so everyone could keep tally.

Love is a Big Deal | Jennifer Laura Design | Rustic Elegance Ranch Wedding

Love is a Big Deal | Jennifer Laura Design | Rustic Elegance Ranch Wedding

We also sprinkled these furniture vignettes throughout the cocktail hour for guests to relax. This was my first go with hay furniture and I really wanted it to be done elegantly and  not scream rustic hay. I think we accomplished this by surrounding it with some real furniture pieces, beautiful custom pillows, and some rentals from Bourbon and Bloom like the lantern and barrel seats. Oh and the flowers by Without Wax Katy don’t hurt my eyes one bit either.

Love is a Big Deal | Jennifer Laura Design | Rustic Elegance Ranch Wedding

Love is a Big Deal | Jennifer Laura Design | Rustic Elegance Ranch Wedding

We also had tons of hors d’oeuvres going out during the cocktail hour. The bride had the idea for the servers to wear these shirts (that she bought for them) and jeans. It’s something that wouldn’t have crossed my mind, but now that we’ve done it here, I will want to do it all the time. Servers being on theme is my new favorite thing.

Love is a Big Deal | Jennifer Laura Design | Rustic Elegance Ranch Wedding

Love is a Big Deal | Jennifer Laura Design | Rustic Elegance Ranch Wedding

Here are the friendly longhorns for the photo booth. Another cheeky and over the top nod that we are on a ranch in Texas. We had handlers and a photographer on site and guests were able to climb on top of a longhorn and have their photo snapped and printed on site. This was one of those things that I really wanted to do- I love crashing the photo booth, but there just wasn’t time at that point in the evening.

Love is a Big Deal | Jennifer Laura Design | Rustic Elegance Ranch Wedding

We brought guests over to the reception by having servers walking around with a couple of these dinner bells. It was something that the bride had mentioned to me very eeeearly in the planning stages and then we kind of forgot about, I forgot to include it in her design proposal, she forgot to mention it again, and then I magically remembered while I was ordering for her a couple of weeks before the wedding. I decided to surprise her by ordering them anyway. So glad I remembered, it was a very charming touch.

Love is a Big Deal | Jennifer Laura Design | Rustic Elegance Ranch Wedding

This seating chart met guests on their way over to the reception area. As well as this large chalkboard menu.

Love is a Big Deal | Jennifer Laura Design | Rustic Elegance Ranch Wedding

Love is a Big Deal | Jennifer Laura Design | Rustic Elegance Ranch Wedding

Love is a Big Deal | Jennifer Laura Design | Rustic Elegance Ranch Wedding

Love is a Big Deal | Jennifer Laura Design | Rustic Elegance Ranch Wedding

Love is a Big Deal | Jennifer Laura Design | Rustic Elegance Ranch Wedding

The reception took place just beyond this barn. It was a large open structure and we had seating underneath the barn and then spilling out on both sides underneath the pecan trees.

Love is a Big Deal | Jennifer Laura Design | Rustic Elegance Ranch Wedding

Love is a Big Deal | Jennifer Laura Design | Rustic Elegance Ranch Wedding

Love is a Big Deal | Jennifer Laura Design | Rustic Elegance Ranch Wedding

The flowers by Without Wax Katy were spectacular and really put the finishing touch on everything. That girl is pure talent. We did a garland on the head table and wildly organic centerpieces filled with dahlias, ranunculus, hedera berry, and a ton of greenery on all of the other tables- we also mixed in rustic metal punched lanterns, red candles, and hexagonal beeswax taper candles.

Love is a Big Deal | Jennifer Laura Design | Rustic Elegance Ranch Wedding

Love is a Big Deal | Jennifer Laura Design | Rustic Elegance Ranch Wedding

Love is a Big Deal | Jennifer Laura Design | Rustic Elegance Ranch Wedding

Love is a Big Deal | Jennifer Laura Design | Rustic Elegance Ranch Wedding

Place settings were adorned with a fern leaf, a bit of oxblood red ribbon, and a hand lettered place card by Ladyfingers Letterpress.

Love is a Big Deal | Jennifer Laura Design | Rustic Elegance Ranch Wedding

Love is a Big Deal | Jennifer Laura Design | Rustic Elegance Ranch Wedding

This cake makes me happy on many levels. We ordered a simply frosted buttercream cake and then had Katy deck it out. I ordered a very special brass cake stand that I still can’t believe I scored, I was in a bidding war on Ebay for that thing. I just had to have it for this wedding.

Love is a Big Deal | Jennifer Laura Design | Rustic Elegance Ranch Wedding

Love is a Big Deal | Jennifer Laura Design | Rustic Elegance Ranch Wedding

The bride provided this vintage cake topper that is pretty special and somewhat classic. And now for a few headless shots for ya :)

Love is a Big Deal | Jennifer Laura Design | Rustic Elegance Ranch Wedding

Love is a Big Deal | Jennifer Laura Design | Rustic Elegance Ranch Wedding

Love is a Big Deal | Jennifer Laura Design | Rustic Elegance Ranch Wedding

Love is a Big Deal | Jennifer Laura Design | Rustic Elegance Ranch Wedding

Love is a Big Deal | Jennifer Laura Design | Rustic Elegance Ranch Wedding

Love is a Big Deal | Jennifer Laura Design | Rustic Elegance Ranch Wedding

And in case you were wondering if we had enough lights to see the ranch from space…yes. yes we did. Our lighting plan was quite an undertaking- we had someone do our lighting plan for us and then come in and hang all of the cord for the lighting- then another company (Aztec) come in and hang all of the lights on top of that. It made for really spectacular lighting. I don’t think pictures will ever do lighting justice though.

So there you have it, one of my favorite weddings ever. I really can’t write enough words to do this wedding justice. It was just really special- the couple involved, all of the details, the property. It was a really magical spot. Thanks for looking :)

{Vendor Credits: Venue- Photography- Love is a Big Deal, Pecan Acres Ranch, private residence, Event planning, design, and coordination- Jennifer Laura Design, Florist- without wax katy, Rentals- Aztec Events and Tents, Vintage Rentals- Bourbon and Bloom and The Borrowed Flea, Table Numbers- Six Pence Press, Staffing- Austin Wedding Helpers, Invitations- Ladyfingers Letterpress, Signage- Jennifer Laura Design, Bartending- Bartenders on the Go, Catering- Goode Co., Longhorn Photobooth- J&D Entertainment, Bridesmaid dresses- BHLDN, Coffee bar/favors- Greenway Coffee Co. , Photobooth- Smilebooth, Wedding Cake- Central Market and Dream Slice Cakes, DJ- Daniel with The Wedding Show, Videography- Parizeau Productions, Hair and Makeup- Adorne Artistry}

Comments

  1. says

    I absolutely love everything about this wedding! It’s weddings like this that make me truly love my job. That dress though….I need it.

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