Time-Tested Love

 In Culture, Feature

Two best friends tie the knot in a comfortable, yet elegant farm wedding.


The Bride
Vanessica Jawahir
26, PhD student in cell and molecular biology, UMSL

The Groom
Brian Scolaro
29, manager, Vanesston, Inc.

THEIR STORY Vanessica Jawahir and Brian Scolaro met on Vanessica’s first night at college at Missouri State University in Springfield, MO. They had mutual friends and quickly became close. Over the next three years, they grew closer and closer. Neither can recall the exact moment they realized they were in love, but the strong friendship they’d built was the perfect jumping-off point for a serious relationship.

One Saturday morning, Vanessica was in her pajamas playing a video game called “Eternal Sonata,” without a clue that Brian was about to pop the eternal question. The ring he had ordered was delivered earlier than expected, and he couldn’t stop stealing away moments to peek at it. Afraid she’d accidentally stumble upon him and ruin the surprise, he decided he couldn’t wait any longer. So all elaborate plans were forgotten and the occasion was a simple one—on the couch, with no more fanfare than a question and an answer.

HOME AWAY FROM HOME The location for the wedding ceremony and reception actually began as a joke. Vanessica’s family owns farm land in the small town of Spickard in northern Missouri, with a picturesque lodge her father and brother built for hunting trips. The joke quickly became a real possibility when they realized how perfect the setting really would be—not to mention that no one else would ever have a wedding there, so it would remain uniquely theirs. Vanessica wanted to steer clear of a “country bumpkin” farm wedding and keep things straightforward, yet elegant. With the help of wedding planner Kristin Weis, she managed just that. Even though the wedding day was cold and windy,guests stayed toasty-warm inside a majestic tent with flowing white drapery, set up next to the lodge. The transparent roof of the tent provided a perfect star-lit canopy for the evening.

SIMPLY SEASONAL The de?cor for the wedding, provided by Exclusive Events, had a sophisticated theme. For the cocktail hour on the lawn outside the lodge, bright accents of poppy and melon were incorporated into the linens and flowers, as a different take on traditional fall colors. In the reception tent after the ceremony, every table held tall vases of slender branches surrounded by green succulents. The bridal party’s bouquets, created by Kents Floral in Columbia, MO, were a bright combination of yellow, red and blue flowers, accented with succulents and other surprising textures. The menu, flawlessly prepared by Olive Catering, had a seasonal simplicity to it, as well. Guests chose from pan-seared scallops with saffron rice, peppers, green olives and almonds; artichoke hummus with cumin-scented pita; and warm naan bread with saute?ed beef, feta and roasted red pepper aioli.

TAKE YOUR PICK To accommodate all guests, the couple wanted to offer both cocktails and non-alcoholic drinks at the cocktail hour and reception. Guests could choose from premixed lemonades, sweetly dressed up in mason jars, or signature cocktails created by the couple. Brian’s choice drink was a delicious Knob Creek Old Fashioned, inspired by his love of whiskey, and Vanessica concocted a tasty Louisburg Apple Cidertini, which perfectly paired with the crisp fall air.

LIT WITH LOVE Mood lighting for the ceremony and reception came courtesy of Vanessica’s mother, Lynda. An avid flea marketer and yardsaler, Lynda gathered a collection of antique candlesticks and chandeliers. She revamped some of them, repaired and added to others, and painted them all white. The effect of the chandeliers hanging from the tree under which Vanessica and Brian made their vows was breathtaking. The reception was romantically lit by 18 more of the chandeliers hung from the apex of the tent, which provided the perfect backdrop for the newlyweds’ first dance to one of their favorite songs, The Beatles’ “Here, There and Everywhere.”









Photo credit: Brandi Tanksley Photography

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