Arkansas ranch wedding

Leanne, 30 & Ramey, 27

Hector, AR

Wedding Date: September 2, 2011

Number of Guests: 40

Wedding Ceremony Location: W & J Ranch, Hector, AR

Wedding Reception Location: W & J Ranch, Hector, AR

hanging mason jar candleholder

rustic outdoor wedding ceremony at dusk

mason jar flower arrangement

Why did you have an intimate wedding?

Since this was both of our second weddings, we wanted our wedding to be unique, special, and intimate with only our closest family and friends there. The location was special because it was on my family’s farm, and my dad built the arch that we were married on. We wanted it to be casual and intimate. We wrote our own vows and tried to make the ceremony itself as personal as we could so that it didn’t feel like any other wedding, especially the ones we had in the past.


candles in hanging mason jars lining the wedding aisle

candle in hanging mason jar

bride and groom portrait

bride and groom sitting on ranch house steps

What are some of the challenges that you faced planning an intimate wedding?

It was hard to keep it small and intimate.  We wanted it to feel special & feel like a “wedding”, and we wanted it to be small & unique to us, but it was hard to do all of that & keep the cost down and the wedding itself still small.


bride and groom first look

groom wearing lily boutonniere

mixed flower wedding bouquet

black and white wedding portrait

wedding portrait at sunset

Was it difficult to pare down the guest list?

YES!  At first we were going to send invitations to family & close friends only, but the closer it got the harder it was because people were finding out about the date & assumed they were invited. We wanted everyone there, but I was very insecure because it was my 2nd wedding, so I felt more comfortable just having those people that were closest to us there. We decided at the last minute not to send invitations, and whoever heard about it & wanted to come could come and we would just go along with whatever worked out.


outdoor wedding ceremony at sunset

bride and groom at sunset

family wedding portrait at sunset

Did you have any ‘issues’ with the small guest list from friends and family? If so, how did you address them?

We didn’t have any issues that we knew about. I hoped that anyone that really wanted to be there knew that we would love for them to be there, but I think most everyone understood that it was mainly just our families that would be there.


bride walking with flower girls

groom waiting for his bride

What were the highlights of the ceremony?

I have 3 highlights: 1. My brother married us, and he made the ceremony very personal and special. We laughed and cried throughout the ceremony.  2. One of the main highlights for me was hearing Ramey read his vows. It was the first time I had heard them, and I was blown away. It was one of the sweetest, best moments of my life.  3. Having Melissa there to capture that day for us in pictures was amazing. Having those memories taken by such an amazing photographer & close friend was definitely a highlight & a dream come true for me!

outdoor ranch wedding ceremony

outdoor Arkansas wedding ceremony at dusk

bride and groom in outdoor wedding ceremony

bride and groom at wooden outdoor wedding altar

outdoor Arkansas wedding ceremony


What were the highlights of the reception?

We had a very small reception. The highlight to me was just having it be like a big, casual family gathering. It was perfect. No worries, just visiting with our families.

bride and groom embracing

bride and groom laughing

What was the best thing about having an intimate wedding?

The best part was that I didn’t worry about anything. If my girls didn’t stand up there with us the whole time, if I laughed or cried too much, if anything wasn’t exactly perfect – it didn’t matter! It was just our family & closest friends, so they loved those things about our wedding. I just loved it being so personal and casual.


flower girls in red dresses

smiling bride and groom

bride and groom portrait

bride and groom with flower girls

bride and groom portrait at sunset

What advice do you have for couples who are considering an intimate wedding?

It will all work out! I worried about hurting people’s feelings, or not doing everything just right in the beginning, but you have to remember that this is an intimate wedding that is all about you. Not what you should do, not what it should look like, but what you want & what is special & important to you!

bride and groom first look


Photography: Melissa McCrotty Photography

Dress: David’s Bridal

Flowers: Nick Schembra from Ann & Mike’s

Cake: Diane Stanek