By Kathleen Swift
By all accounts, Nicki and Levi’s wedding was a day of fun. Held at the Civil War Ranch Arena in Carthage, Missouri, the couple geared everything about their wedding as a celebration of love.
Levi and Nicki went to high school together, but didn’t start dating until several years after they graduated. They reconnected on Facebook, and for their first date they went to the Maple Leaf Festival and then out for pizza at Cave Gang Pizza, a tradition they continue each year.
When Levi decided to propose, he wanted to surprise Nicki.
“After two months of dating, I knew she was the one, so two years later, I bought a ring without talking to her,” said Levi. “I wanted to do something unique. I planned an evening at a local paint-your-own-sign place where we could have a date night and had them make a graphic that said ‘Will you marry me?’ painted on the back of our painting. I had planned a speech to make at the end of the night, but Nicki caught on. She kept asking what was on the back of our painting as we were trying to get a photo with it. I knew I had to punt, so I dropped to one knee and asked her to marry me. I gave her the three-stone ring, one stone for the past, one for the present and one for the future. She loved it.”
The couple wanted to have a wedding venue that was close to home so family and friends could join them in celebrating their marriage.
“We loved the look and the natural setting of the Civil War Ranch, and they offered so many packages that let us plan a whole day of fun. We even had Chris Westwood [the co-owner of Civil War Ranch] decorate for us. It was all beautiful, and she made it so easy on us,” said Nicki.
“We planned things for family and friends to do after the ceremony,” said Nicki. “There is a big pond at the Civil War Ranch, and we bought the package so people could fish after the ceremony. We finished the evening with a big 10-minute fireworks display that went off behind the pond. It was so neat for the reflections of the fireworks to hit the water. We had a bonfire and barbecue-style food. It was so much fun.”
The day of their wedding, September 28, the couple were married outside under the pergola. It was a happy time, and when Levi saw Nicki at their first look, he turned around and said, “You are so beautiful!”
Another special part of the wedding included a memory of Levi’s dad, who passed when LevI was younger. Nicki recalled, “I had a boutonniere made for him and a corsage for his mother that had a picture of Levi and his dad in a small frame hanging from the flowers. It was really sentimental.”
Using their colors of navy, copper, gray and ivory, the couple decorated the tables and venue with engagement pictures in copper frames and gray candle holders, all sitting on top of logs that sat on top of ivory lines. The couple had a small two-tiered cake and served 250 cupcakes in fall flavors to their guests as they danced the night away.
Nicki and Levi had a wedding full of fun with family and friends, and created memories they will never forget. They have embarked on a life together learning to build a love that will last forever.
Venue for Wedding and Reception: Civil War Ranch Arena
Florist: Dusty Redden
Photographer: Dumond Photography
Music: Scott Westwood with Civil War Ranch Arena
Dress: Sara Lorees Bridal; alterations by Adornables
Veil: Lovies Recycled Weddings
Catering: Abbiatti’s Back Door Catering
Cake: Piece of Cake
Hair and Makeup: 110 Salon
Grooms and Groomsmen attire: Mens Warehouse
Bridesmaid Attire: David’s Bridal