Beyond Expectation!

“Give in to the virus, but don’t give up on the wedding!” That’s my advice to brides these past few months.  One of the best who embraced that concept was Lauren and Jacob on their planned date of June 6.


Even after the most gorgeous ivory moiré invitations, addressed by the famous Michael Sull, went out…the wedding of 300 was restructured.


First intention was huge church wedding and Inter-Continental reception with all the trimmings that go with having 10 bridesmaids.


Second glance was to transfer the celebration to the spot of the proposal: Big Cedar Lodge and reduce it to 24 people and one attendant.


I scooted down to Ridgedale, Missouri for a site visit three weeks prior and met with all the new vendors.  In one afternoon, we had it all planned and it was going to be Level 10 fabulous.


The bride wore a silk shantung plain gown and I designed a veil to remember i.e. 10’ wide and 15’ long and filled with gorgeous lace.




In one afternoon in KC, she did hair and make-up, her final fitting and I delivered her gown to Strauss-Peyton for her formal pre-bridal portrait.  It was a whirlwind!


Then I lost my mind.


Though I hired the best florist in Springfield, Missouri, The Thicket, I was displeased with the china, flatware, chargers’ rental options in Branson. Thus, I called Marquee Rental here in KC and had it all delivered to my house the morning prior to the wedding.


Packing all those portraits, and the rentals (personal luggage) was enough…but then I decided this sweet bride should not be deprived of a Cheri Elder cake…so that was delivered to the house as well!  We looked like the Clampett’s headed into the Ozarks! I was never so glad to unload in my life!


The day of the wedding in the Top of the Rock chapel was like a movie set. Tyler Wirken traveled too to photograph this wonderfully authentic couple.




One of the coolest moments (and a first for me to witness) was the blending of soils from each family’s farm. The fathers brought Mason jars of dirt and mixed it together in a planter box.



The mothers then added blooming plants to the mix.



The families then gathered in a circle with this symbolic blending in the center, the back drop of the lake behind them and enveloped this couple in blessing and prayer. It was a powerful moment.



Upon recessional…all the diners on the balcony at Top of the Rock who were enjoying the sunset, started cheering as the couple walked onto the lawn.


One of my favorite moments was when I was able to slip the MOB into the “State Dining Room” before the guests entered. It really was a miniature of a royal lodge.The details were “scaled down,” but certainly not “watered down!”






We danced to every genre of music until nearly midnight and floated out of the reception knowing that “THIS” was the way this wedding was supposed to happen.



The wonderful anticipation will be the Anniversary Ball on the same weekend at Inter-Continental. It will open with a processional and vow renewal and then the most magnificent larger scale party of the year. This was truly a point of joy for everyone lucky enough to attend.


Cake: Sweetbliss Cakery

Calligraphy: Michael Sull

Florist: The Thicket

Linens: BBJ Linens

Photography: Wirken Photography

Wedding Portrait: Strauss Peyton

Rentals: Marquee Event Rentals

Wedding Planning: Michael Nolte

Venue: Big Cedar Lodge