A Laid-Back Vintage-Inspired, Backyard Wedding at a Private Home in Columbia, Missouri

Lauren Okruch (24 and a graphic designer) and Carter Arey (24 and a student) met through mutual friends and after months of close friendship, decided to give a relationship a shot. One February evening after a big snowstorm, Carter decided to propose. “We weren't able to get out for work or anything, but later in the day we started having a bit of cabin fever, says Lauren. “Carter told me to get ready; we were going to dinner and a movie downtown. He got his SUV ready to face the weather and picked me up. We went to our favorite theater, Ragtag Cinema, and then had dinner at Addison's — the home of our favorite pork nachos. On our walk back to the car, Carter started saying really sweet things, not totally out of the ordinary, and knelt down right there in the snow. People in a nearby restaurant started banging on the windows and invited us in for champagne. We then headed to Carter's parents house, where our friends and family were waiting to celebrate.”For their wedding, the couple planned a fun, backyard affair at Carter’s family home. “We couldn’t see ourselves indoors and what’s better than keeping it in the family?” says Lauren. The day was designed around a laid-back summer vibe. The couple chose a peach, gold and blush color palette to add a subtle pop of color to the expansive backyard setting, with lush bunches of homegrown blooms (Lauren and her mother had been cultivating them for years) like garden roses, astilbes, Queen Anne’s lace, anemones and poppies introducing a whimsical and romantic note to the decor. Floral teacups, antique books and delicate lace doilies were incorporated into the centerpieces for a vintage-inspired touch and votive candles in mercury glass holders felt romantic and glam, casting a warm, ambient glow over the tables as the sun began to set. As a nod to their Missouri roots and the wedding’s casual vibe, Lauren and Carter served up a Southern-inspired menu with barbecue from Grill-A-Brothers and a selection of mouthwatering pies and tarts from Peggy Jean’s Pie.