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There’s nothing sweeter than high school sweethearts reuniting at the altar. And few things more Southern than a ranch-inspired wedding. True story. The horses trotting in the open field during the newlyweds’ portraits look straight out of a movie, and the cozy, lantern-lit reception almost makes me love these colder months. (Almost!) T + C cut into a red velvet confection from Lorraine Lim Catering before boogying the night away. A big yee-haw to California photographer Braedon Flynn for sharing!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress: Ah, this was interesting, it was such a strange fabric and I loved it, but could not figure out how to style it. It had a large flower that was supposed to go under the bodice, but that I ended up sewing it right into the middle of the dress while I was wearing it! I cut out the beading and added more homemade “petals” to it, literally while wearing the dress to make sure it looked good. I was happy with the final look, which I am sure was one of a kind! At the reception we couldn’t find the loops the bustle, so we ended cutting it off with scissors! No one noticed, though!
Describe your wedding flowers: The flowers were gorgeous. We decorated our long wooden tables with flowers, lanters and candles. We used cabbage roses, crespidia, rannuculas, succulents and even some peonies! Everything was loose and romantic.
Describe your wedding cake: My cake was red velvet with fluffym sugary frosting. I LOVE frosting.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Getting the ceremony barn ready. We not only had to clean out tons of wood and old vehicles that didn’t run, but also had to get an inspector and add some structural elements, and we had to store the hay in another location for awhile, since the barn is still a working barn.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? The day was set for 90% chance of rain, but it didn’t rain a drop! I really enjoyed my wedding day. I had a flip camera and was filming everything. I am so glad I had it, because it helped me remember everything. I filmed going to bed the night before, my thoughts in the morning, getting ready with my girlfriends andright before I walked down the isle. I was so glad I had it!
Did you write your own vows? It was very important to us to have traditional biblical vows, vows that recognize that men and women do have different roles in marriage.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to? Life. Playing together ☺ We are pretty ridiculous people, so we love life. We will have kids in a few years, we just want some time together first.

Written with love by Katharine
  1. avatar Tweets that mention Details: Tara + Chris, Part II « Southern Weddings Magazine — reply

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Marissa Kloess, Southern Weddings . Southern Weddings said: This cozy, lantern-lit reception from @BraedonFlynn almost makes us love these colder months. (Almost!) […]

  2. avatar Jenny reply

    Yellow flowers add a great energy and fun color to the cake. I really want to know what kind of fabric her wedding dress is made of. Thanks!

  3. avatar Kristin Nicole reply

    Love the veil

  4. avatar Jillian {Pretty Little Weddings} reply

    I think the lounge area built out of stacked hay bales is genius! Thank you for sharing such a great idea.

  5. avatar Weekly Round-Up « Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] wedding complete with crowns here and here. Tara + Chris’s lovely barn wedding here and here. We have more good new to pass along! Having a wedding between May 21, 2011 and April 20, 2012? […]

  6. avatar Heather Forsythe reply

    Love the details… the veil, the flowers, the cake, but OMG… that groom??? L – O – V – E him!!!

  7. avatar Monthly Round-Up :: February 2011 « Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] (More here.) My pick was EASY: hands-down the dress blues from Tara + Chris’ wedding (here + here). Katharine says her choice was easy, too — the too-cute ring bearers from Shannon + […]

Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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A planner herself (Mercy Design), it’s no surprise Tara’s wedding to her handsome Army beau was styled to perfection. The couple wed on a ranch in California and commissioned Braedon Flynn to photograph their rustic barn nuptials. The bride looked ethereal in a Romona Keveza gown and lace veil (we love Etsy treasures!), while her ‘maids rocked a more playful look in matching Anthropologie frocks. The girls carried cheery bouquets from Kim Curtis of Toast Events, and the gents looked dashing in their dress blues.

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. Oh my, this is a very crazy story, really. Chris and I met at a tiny high school in Bermuda Dunes, California, and fell head over high school heels for each other. Away at college we broke up, since we both had some growing up to do. I started dating a guy who Chris came to call “Sensible Shoes.” During our eight-and-a-half years apart, Chris and I separately traveled the world and lived out our dreams. Chris followed in his family’s tradition of joining the US Army. My boyfriend at the time (“Sensible Shoes”) had bought a ring and asked my parents for my their blessing, but I just couldn’t marry him. I went to counseling, prayed and prayed, and walked away before I ever got to the altar. At this time, Chris was in Iraq, a half a world away, when we began emailing daily. Things took a rapid turn from there, and the moment we saw each other and admitted our love, it was obvious we would get married. When we kissed that day, he told me he had loved me all his life.
Describe the proposal. Chris got down on one knee in front of a stunning Clyfford still painting in the modern wing of the national gallery in Washington, D.C. It was the perfect place: Chris was from the D.C. area, and it is where we would begin our new life together, and I have always loved art. He proposed with his late grandmother’s ring, some 66 years after it was first put on her finger.
Three words that describe the day are: Whimsy, love and barn.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: The barns! I loved the barns. I spent MONTHS helping to restore that first barn. It was VERY special. I also adored the ring bearers and flower girls – seven in all, all my nieces and nephews – adorable!
What was Southern about your wedding? The ceremony and reception both were held at separate barns, at separate ranches. It was very rustic! Guests played bocce ball and tossed horseshoes at the reception, and horses were running outside during the ceremony. We served everything “family style,” and had salmon, steak and crispy fried onions.

Written with love by Katharine
  1. avatar Kristin Nicole reply


  2. avatar Maggie Eisenstat {I Do Love It} reply

    The bridesmaids look so stinkin’ cute! Love the style!

  3. avatar Tweets that mention Details: Tara + Chris, Part I « Southern Weddings Magazine — reply

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Ashley Dains and Southern Weddings , Emily Ayer. Emily Ayer said: Who can resist this wedding's dress blues?! See also: her veil, the flowers, the photography by @BraedonFlynn… […]

  4. avatar Lisa reply

    Oh my gosh, the story of how they got together is so beautiful!! Congratulations to the bride and groom, on your marriage and your gorgeous wedding! :)

  5. avatar Shauna reply

    Love this. beautiful ceremony!!

  6. avatar Shauna reply

    Love this Ceremony. It is gorgeous!!

  7. avatar California Ranch {Southern Weddings} « reply

    […] California ranch wedding originally blogged at Southern Weddings! […]

  8. avatar Emily reply

    I love the barn. Is this a place available for weddings? I’m looking for something exactly like this.

    • avatar Emily reply

      Hi Emily! Unfortunately, I don’t believe the barn is available to the general public for weddings. Tara worked there for many years, and I believe they let her use it for her wedding as a special favor. Sorry about that!

  9. avatar My Southern Wedding :: Sierra « Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] credit from left to right and top to bottom: Braedon Flynn, Clary Photo, Jill Thomas, Vue Photography, Spindle Photography, Leila Peterson via Wedding Chicks, […]

  10. avatar Best of 2011 :: Accessories « Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] lace-edge veil (photo by Braedon Flynn; originally seen here) and a pair of sparkly copper heels (photo by Brion Hopkins; originally seen here). Save […]

  11. avatar Best of 2011 :: Menswear « Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] groom in military garb is always sharp (photo by Braedon Flynn; originally seen here). We love Nate’s more casual khaki suit and striped tie combo, too (photo by Brooke Images; […]

Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

Reply to: