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Mar 01, 2013


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Organic Chemistry

Meet the down-to-earth couple who united work and pleasure for the perfect farm wedding.
Story: Mary Beard
Photos: Tessa Norgaard

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THE BRIDE Lauren Loomis 27, Food Truck Owner/Operator
THE GROOM Robert Tucker 28, Food Truck Owner/Operator, Jazz Percussionist

THEIR STORY Lauren Loomis and Robert Tucker met at a jazz club in Chicago where they were both living and going to school at the time. Robert played a weekly gig there and Lauren, who worked across the street, would routinely stop in with her girlfriends. They became good friends, and after their first date to a Mexican restaurant, during which Robert had Lauren in stitches, they felt so naturally comfortable with each other that they knew they had found something special.

While vacationing in Australia together one February, Robert wrote Lauren a love letter every day for a week, each one accompanied by a chocolate rose. On the last day, Valentine’s Day, he recreated another one of their first dates by picking up her favorite Thai food and setting up a picnic on the beach. Lauren says she noticed that he was acting weird, and had a feeling that a proposal was coming. He told her to read his last letter and then turn around—she did, and saw, “Lulu, will you marry me?” written in the sand. Overcome with joy, she gave the obvious answer: “Yes!”

NATURALLY ELEGANT The couple choose to hold their ceremony and reception at Overlook Farm in Clarksville, MO, for its beautiful setting and the ability to serve fresh, locally grown food for their guests. With many guests making the trip from Chicago for the wedding, renting one of the inns on the farm was the perfect way to get everyone settled in. The couple (Lauren attests that Robert was very much involved in the planning and organizing) decided against using a specific color scheme, but rather took advantage of the natural beauty of the farm for the backdrop of their special day. The venue provided rustic touches like burlap table runners and mason jars, which perfectly accented the floral arrangements of herbs, kale, succulents and wheat.

ALL IN THE FAMILY The big day was made even more special by all of the aspects that were made or donated by friends and family. Lauren’s aunts created the floral arrangements as a gift to the couple, Robert’s mother baked more than 150 cupcakes from scratch for dessert (pumpkin with salted caramel frosting, chocolate mint and lemon drop) and Lauren’s aunt and uncle from Seattle brought heart-shaped leaves from their backyard to be scattered during the ceremony. Lauren’s cousin shot the wedding photos, and her aunt officiated the ceremony.

FOOD FOR THE SOUL Because Robert and Lauren own and operate a vegetarian food truck, Lulu’s Local Eatery, food played a major role in their wedding weekend. They parked the food truck outside of the rehearsal dinner so that everyone from out of town could experience the labor of love that they have built together. Since many of their friends and family have different dietary needs (vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free and food allergies), it was a priority to accommodate loved ones without limiting them to a meager spread of salad and mashed potatoes. The couple’s favorite meal is pizza and beer, so guests at the reception dined on special brickoven pizzas provided by Overlook, and washed it all down with some of Robert and Lauren’s favorite Schlafly beers.

BEAT OF THEIR OWN DRUM In choosing the music for the wedding, the couple downloaded a wedding DJ app for the iPhone that plugged right into the venue speakers. This enabled them to pick out all of their own music for both dinner and dancing. For their first dance, Robert and Lauren chose a classic, “Our Love is Here to Stay” by Ella Fitzgerald. Because the wedding fell on Lauren’s grandmother’s birthday, all of the guests serenaded her with another classic: “Happy Birthday.” To close out the evening, Robert enlisted his bandmates to perform with him for about an hour, bringing the house down.


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