About the Couple: Having dated since high school, Rachal was thrilled when Ben popped the question. Wanting to keep their day simple, with just a few of their closest friends and family, they decided the perfect spot to tie the knot was in Ben's parent's backyard in northern Louisiana.
Rachal knew she wanted a pear shape diamond, so she picked out her dream setting and then Ben found the perfect diamond to fit it.
Rachal's favorite color is purple and she knew she wanted it to be at the heart of her color scheme. She chose to go with a bouquet of orchids because it was just the right shade of purple. Here, her photographer, Michael of M.N. Jordan Photography, captured her bouquet on her mother-in-law's beautiful chair which just happen to fit into the color scheme perfectly.
Instead of doing corsages, Rachal had her mom, Ben's mom and her Matron of Honor carry small bouquets of orchids which matched her bouquet.
Rachal loves lavender and wanted it to be a key flower/scent of her big day. After her best friend Misty did her hair, Rachal put a few sprigs of lavender in her simple up-do.
Rachal, her mom and her sister were not expecting to find "the dress" when they went looking at David's Bridal. Rachal didn't want a traditional puffy dress but preferred something more simple and appropriate for her backyard wedding. She loved the look of this dress and knew it was the one.
The only flaw with the dress was a broach that Rachal was not fond of. To hide it and give her the splash of color that that she wanted, she took the sash from her matron of honor's dress and tied it around her waist. It was the perfect solution and exactly what she wanted.
Rachal and Ben's guests were greeted with the fresh scent of a beautiful lavender bundle. Rachal found an online store that had bundles of lavender she could use throughout her ceremony.
Since Rachal and Ben really wanted a small, simple wedding, Ben's parents backyard was the perfect spot. To keep with the outdoor theme Rachal rented dark wood folding chairs and placed iron candle holders at the end of every other row.
Rachal and Ben love the sound of an acoustic guitar so that is what they chose for their ceremony music. A friend of the couple played a pretty tune while guests were seated and Rachal walked down the aisle. After the ceremony was over, the couple walked out to theme song from the movie Juno, All I Want Is You.
Rachal and Ben were married under a beautiful wooden arbor that Ben and his dad made out of extra wood in their barn. To complete the look, Rachal and her mom covered the handcrafted arbor with vines for rustic flair.
Rachal and Ben lucked out with perfect weather for their backyard wedding. They had about 85 guests which made it a very intimate wedding.
Being from Louisiana it was only appropriate that Rachal and Ben had a Cajun inspired dinner prepared by Rachal's aunt. The biggest hit of the night was shrimp boil, the couple's favorite dish.
Since the reception was centered around the family's backyard pool Rachal decided to toss the extra orchids in for a splash of color.
Rachal isn't a huge fan of cake but she wanted to have one for tradition's sake. Rachal gave her cake designer free reign and loved the simple creation.
Ben loves cake so Rachal made sure that he got a delicious groom's cake of his very own. Ben's sister made the cake and decorated the table it sat on with a few of Ben's favorite things like such as his hunting gear.
Continuing the lavender theme, Rachal found an online florist who sold dried pouches of lavender. Not only could guests keep them as a favor but it also made for an out-of-the-ordinary send off.
As Rachal and Ben ran through the dried lavender they were greeted with the lovely scent which also kept their drive-away car smelling delightful for days.
Rings: Scott and Kathy Sills, Flair Jewelers, West Monroe, LA, 318-323-2046
Photographer: Michael Jordan, MN Jordan Photography, mnjordan.com
Cake: Sabrena Reardon, Brookshires, Monroe, LA, 318-361-9991
Flowers: Phyllis Gordon, Brookshires, Monroe, LA, 318-361-9991
Food/Catering: Rachal's Aunt, Brenda Rocconi, Brookshires, Monroe, LA, 318-361-9991
Music: Family Friend, Brock Hummel
Table Centerpieces: Dedra Hilburn, Outdoor Designs LLC, West Monroe, LA, 318-388-1111 Suit: Gap, www.gap.com
Dress: David's Bridal, www.davidsbridal.com
Hair: Rachal's closest friend, Misty Pohl
Dried Lavender: Penn Cove Ranch, www.penncoveranch.com