When Megan Morris and Tim Stack were thinking of reception activities for their laidback nuptials at Dogwood Canyon Nature Park in the Ozarks, they came up with one you don’t typically see at a wedding: fishing.
It was extra special as Megan is no stranger to throwing a line into the same stream—it’s actually where she caught the first fish of her life with her father and brother when she was younger. The lush area also provided everything the couple wished for in a venue: a relaxed, outdoor evening where they could make great memories. “We love how Dogwood highlights the natural beauty of the Ozarks,” Megan adds.
The pair, who live not too far away in Missouri, hosted 250 friends and family for a June celebration at the park, complete with nods to summer camp—school buses transported guests to the venue—a local musician playing country music, bicycles to explore the property, bourbon thyme cocktails, and a ceremony by a waterfall. The bride got ready in her grandfather’s vintage Airstream. Even Mother Nature cooperated to make the day feel unique. “A perfectly timed summer thunderstorm rolled in just after dinner was finished, forcing all the guests to gather together under the tin roof for the speeches,” Megan says.
Read on for all the details of the couple’s relaxed, camp-inspired Ozarks wedding, planned by Wildly Collective.
The couple’s save-the-date design hinted at the rural venue in the Ozarks with a watercolor map by Emma Hops.
Megan and Tim are all about family, so it was natural for Tim to propose after the couple completed a charity walk for Cystic Fibrosis in honor of his niece. The yellow gold ring features an emerald-cut diamond set laterally.
The leaves on the invitation suite were a nod to the verdant surroundings of the park venue and the campsite accommodations. In fact, Megan also picked a gown based on the leaf pattern on the fabric.
Megan knew the classic silhouette would be her gown when she saw the leaves on the bodice. “We first started looking at more boho dresses but I didn’t quite feel like a bride in them,” Megan admits. “This one fit perfectly with our venue.”
Megan also loved that her gown was designed by a local mother-daughter duo at Ultimate Bride in Chicago. She continued to play on the leaf motif of the day by adding a pair of leaf-shaped earrings.
The couple did a first look on a covered bridge. Despite the casual surroundings, Tim also opted for a more formal look. He wore a classic navy suit with a white shirt, tie, and cognac leather shoes.
Tim may have looked traditionally handsome on the wedding day in his suit, but it wasn’t quite the same when the couple first met three years prior—they were introduced at a Halloween party. “Tim was dressed as Joe Dirt and really went all out, grew the sideburns and everything,” Megan recalls. “He said, 'it’s really unfortunate we had to meet like this.’”
The couple included bridesmaid and groomsmen into the day but the real stars of the wedding party were the 14 children attendants. The flower girls wore tulle skirts and flower crowns while the ring bearers donned miniature versions of the groomsmen’s suits.
“Surprisingly, all 14 kids made it down the aisle, while maybe not in the totally correct order,” Megan says.
The ceremony took place in front of the park’s Thunder Falls. They let the waterfall be the backdrop, simply framed with crocks full of Queen Anne’s Lace. Vintage rugs lined the aisle to draw guests’ eyes toward the couple.
The bride waited in her grandfather’s vintage Airstream before meeting her father, Johnny Morris, to walk down the aisle. Before the ceremony, she added a veil to look as well as a bouquet of white peonies. An acoustic guitarist, Brian Bulger, provided the tunes.
Both Megan and Tim wrote their own vows, which included stories about how they met, fell in love, and all the quirky qualities they admire about one another.
After the ceremony, guests had the option to ride bikes to the cocktail hour and reception area. Upon arrival, they were greeted with drinks and cozy lounge spaces along the stream. Musician Clay Self, a local legend, played country music.
The couple included a polaroid camera and scrapbook as a photo booth, allowing guests to take pictures and leave a fun message in a guest book for the newlyweds.
It’s not a wedding without...fishing. The couple included this sweet activity as part of the fun and games of cocktail hour. The kids really got into it!
There was no shortage of great drinks either. A former washbasin held bottles of beer while a wooden bar, decked out with the couple’s initials, served the signature cocktail: a blend of bourbon and thyme.
The reception used strategically placed décor to elevate the park’s picnic area. Bistro lights and chairs added an air of sophistication to farmhouse style tables. Elegant white blooms and greenery popped from glass bud vases, while linen napkins, ceramic plates, and silver flatware made the day feel more like a secret dinner party in the forest than a picnic in a park.
Each place setting included a custom menu by Wildly Collective and a sprig of fresh rosemary.
During dinner, guests dined on quite the menu: a goat cheese salad with Marcona almonds, herbed shrimp, grilled tenderloin filet with bearnaise sauce, garlic mashed potatoes, and crispy brussels sprouts.
The children’s table included simple place settings that still felt special as well as cozy cushions on the bench-style seating.
“We loved the advice we got to step back during the reception and soak in all of the love and joy from the day,” Megan says. “It just goes by way too fast.”
The couple’s first dance was to Leon Bridges’ “Beyond.”
Clay Self performed Trace Adkins’ “Just Fishin’” for the father-daughter dance which quickly evolved into a family affair. The father of the bride invited the bride’s mother, groom, and groom’s parents to all join in the dance.
Why have one cake when you can have three? The couple opted for a trio of wedding cakes, with some topped with berries and others with peonies (or both).
During the cake cutting, Tim threatened a smear of a small fingertip full of icing.
What’s a day at camp if you can’t include some sparklers? So they did: Megan and Tim exited with smiles to a sea of sparklers to wrap-up a beautiful night at camp.
Venue Dogwood Canyon Nature Park
Planner Wildly Collective
Officiant Phillip Wright
Bridal Gown Ultimate Bride
Hair Vivo Salon
Makeup Makeup by Tabitha
Floral Design The Thicket
Invitations Emma Hops
Paper Goods Wildly Collective
Guest Book Tuktuk Press
Music Brian Bulger; Clay Self; The Patrick Lentz Band
Catering Big Cedar Lodge; Peking House
Cake Amy Cakes Bakery
Rentals Branson Party Rentals; The Vintage Rental Company
Transportation Big Cedar Lodge
Accommodations Camp Long Creek at Big Cedar Lodge
Videography The Montoya Collective