Tara & Joe

How did the two of you meet?

The old fashioned way, over tequila at a bar!

Describe the proposal.

Joe proposed on Friday, March 28th, 2014, at our home in Arlington, VA. Joe walked home from work and rang our doorbell. When I opened the door, he was standing there holding out a custom-made ring, and asked if I would marry him. I was shocked!

Theme of the wedding?

Winter wonderland

Favorite detail of the wedding?

We decided we wanted to have great and memorable music at our wedding. The ceremony featured nontraditional music performed by The Missouri State Chamber Choir. The song list included: 1,000 years (Seating of parents), Christmas Cannon (bride entrance), Mirrors (unity candle), you’re my best Friend (Bride and Groom Exit), and Christmas carols (receiving line). We had Christmas Carolers in Charles Dickens time period costumes perform at the reception during the cocktail hour and dinner. Thrist N’ Howl performed at the reception during the dance. They played lots of 70s and 80s songs to which everyone could enjoy dancing!

Favorite moment during the day?

How can you pick one moment on the most magical day ever? EVERY MOMENT!

Worse moment of the day?

Having to wake up so early after a fabulous but tiring rehearsal dinner with 115 guests!

Finding the dress… explain the moment you knew it was the one.

I loved my dress; it was actually the first one I tried on! Although I went to multiple shops and tried on dozens of dresses, nothing compared to the bridal moment I had with the first dress.

Biggest challenge you had with planning the wedding?

Living in the DC metro area, and planning a wedding in southern Missouri made some of the logistics a challenge.

Words of wisdom to future brides.

To thine own self be true. Please don’t feel that you need the validation of others to follow through on your vision. This is one of the only times in your life where every detail can reflect your taste. Have fun and make your dream come true! We also provided transportation to and from the wedding and reception for our guests, which meant we didn’t have to worry about anyone having too much fun at the open bar! People seemed to have more fun and stay longer when they knew they didn’t have to drive later in the night.

Any unexpected funny moments?

My wedding party had to lift me over a fence to get a perfect shot (These photos are hilarious).

How was your wedding day? Everything and more?

When you plan every detail of a day, you have the biggest of expectations. Being able to marry the man of my dreams, and then have a flawless wedding was a dream come true! It was magical and surpassed all of my childhood fantasies!

tara-1tara-2tara-3tara-4tara-6-tara-7-tara-8tara-10Ceremony Location

Chapel at Integrity Hills, Big Cedar Lodge

Reception Location

The Stables, Big Cedar lodge


Big Cedar Lodge


Missouri State Chamber Choir (ceremony)

Christmas Carolers Best Live Entertainment (cocktail hour)

Thirst N’ Howl (reception)


Artistry in Bloom


 JDesign Studios

Wedding Cake

Sugar Leaf Bakery

Wedding Gown


Wedding Planner

Abby Mitchell Events

Hair and Make- up

Bride’s Hair by Evy Andra from Fringe Salon Wichita, KS

Bridal Party

417 Blow Dry Bar

Make up

Nikki Smith