Simple Backyard Missouri Wedding

Sometimes simple is more than enough, as proven in today’s backyard Missouri wedding feature. Lauren and Brandon were still able to have the day they dreamed of despite the world wide pandemic. Their love story is so touching & definitely one thats rare from starting out together at such an early age. Surrounded by close family as they began this journey, their family’s support made the wedding day that much more special. With family taking on some of the rolls that couldn’t be filled by certain vendors, it allowed Lauren & Brandon to experience their wedding day as most other couples would without COVID19.

Also I think it makes it even more heartfelt because the people they love the most were involved in so much of their wedding day, making each memory that much sweeter. I hope you enjoy this feature as much as we have!

How did you two meet? What were your first impressions of one another?
“We grew up together in a small town in north east Missouri. So we technically met in preschool. We first showed interest in each other in the 5th grade and even dated for one day (we had to break up because I {Lauren} wasn’t allowed to date) It wasn’t until our junior year of high school that we finally started dating again. We’ve been together ever since! Over 7 and a half years.

{Lauren} My 5th grade first impression of Brandon was that he was very cute and really good at sports. {Brandon} My first impression of Lauren was that she was very athletic and pretty. (Clearly sports were very important to us at 11 years old) lol”

Tell us a funny story relating to your wedding day or relationship!
“Brandon and I first dated in 5th grade, but only for one day. We both had a huge crush on one another so Brandon sent over one of our classmates to ask me to be his girlfriend. I told our friend yes and they passed it along to Brandon. As the day went on I got a little panicked because I remembered that I wasn’t allowed to date and was worried I would get in trouble. (I was and still am a big rule follower lol) So later that afternoon, I had to tell Brandon we had to break up. We remained friends until our junior year of high school when we decided to give our relationship another shot!”

Describe a hurdle you had to overcome in your relationship or during your wedding planning.
“Brandon and I had a long distance relationship all throughout college. This was especially difficult because we had gone to school together our whole lives. It took some time to adjust to this new normal, but we made it work. Distance definitely makes the heart grow fonder! We got engaged in December of 2018 so by the time 2020 had rolled around, we had most all of the wedding planned. When the virus hit, we were worried it would affect our special day. We were very fortunate that our wedding was, for the most part, unaffected by the pandemic. Other than limiting our guest list some, we were able to have the day we had dreamed of!”

Any special ways you incorporated your family or family history into your wedding day?
“We were very fortunate to have so many close family members involved with our wedding. They went above and beyond to make sure our day was so special. Some of the roles they took on were: flower girl, day-of coordinator, cake cutting and plating, and photographer (Justine Wright is my first cousin!) We are so incredibly grateful to have so much support around us!”


What is the best thing you’ve learned from one another?
“Patience and compromise. Living with someone else really teaches you those things. This definitely isn’t something we’ve mastered by any means, but we’re always working towards it. We’ve also learned a lot about how to put each other first and work as a team. You go from being an independent person to making every decision along side your partner. Not only thinking of yourself, but of and for someone else.”

What is your favorite thing about each other?
“My favorite thing about Brandon is how thoughtful and kind he is. He is truly my best friend. I have never known someone so considerate and helpful. He makes my life better in all aspects.
My favorite thing about Lauren is her sweetness and kindness; not only to me, but everyone around her.”

What was your favorite part about planning your wedding?
“My favorite parts about wedding planning was definitely wedding dress shopping. Dress shopping was such a fun and special day that I got to share with my close girl friends and family. I had such a wonderful experience shopping in St. Louis. I found my dream dress at Mia Grace in Chesterfield – cannot recommend them enough!
Brandon’s favorite part was taste testing food for our reception dinner. It was such a fun (and delicious) experience that we were able to do together.”

What part of your wedding day was/is most important to you?

“Our first look was definitely one of the most special moments from our day. All of the nerves and excitement building up to this one moment. All of my nerves went away the second I saw him. It was the only part of the day where it was just the two of us. We loved having that special time to soak it all up.”

If you had one piece of advice for other couples, what would it be?
“I think some of the most important things for a successful relationship is to communicate, put each other first, and to always date your spouse. It is so important to make sure you both feel valued and heard in the relationship. Communication helps you keep connected to one another and allows you to continue to grow together. We make an effort to go out for date night at least once a week. Life can get crazy and sometimes the weeks go by so fast, we realize we’ve barely even had a conversation with one another. Taking time to sit down over dinner and catch up has been great for us.”


From the photographer “In the age of COVID-19, we’re seeing more and more couples having to adjust their wedding plans. With restrictions placed on even small social gatherings, couples are being forced to postpone, or, quite literally find space in their backyard to accommodate intimate nuptial celebrations. Lauren and Brandon tied the knot in their hometown of Canton, MO – a rural community along the Mississippi River. Their quaint ceremony took place at the Olive Branch, a nearby event venue with old, rustic charm. The bride, a hair and makeup artist, completed her own look that perfectly matched her stunning boho Willowby by Watters gown from Mia Grace Bridal. Her bridesmaids adorned gowns in soft gray, which perfectly accented their neutral arrangements of peonies from Lavish Floral Design. The reception took place within a building owned by a local family, which was transformed into a beautiful dance hall with airy draping and soft light.”  

What is the most honest thing you can say about love?

“Love is the best thing. It is rewarding, challenging, and inspiring. Love is one of the only things that can bring such incredible joy as well as so much pain, but it is always so worth it. You have to give it your all – 100% and nothing less. At the end of the day, it is the only thing that matters.”

Photographer: Justine Wright Photography / Venue: The Olive Branch / Floral Designer: Lavish Floral Design / Dress Boutique Mia Grace Bridal / Dress Designer: Willowby By Watters / Cake Designer: Underbrinks Bakery / Makeup Artist: Lauren Lee Beauty / Hair Stylist: Lauren Lee Beauty / Rentals: Celebrations / Film Lab: Photovision Prints

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