Rustic Elegance: The Leonard-Rucker Wedding

By Anna Cooper

Photography By Fox Weddings

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On November 19th, 2017, Port Royal State Park witnessed a very special proposal happen. Wedding bells rang nearly a year later on November 10, 2018, in Paris, Tennessee. Emily Marie Leonard, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Timothy (Lisa) Leonard of Paris, Tennessee, and Matthew Earl Rucker, son of Mr. and Mrs. Michael (Beverly) Rucker of Clarksville, Tennessee, joined in holy matrimony at Dunagan Farms in Paris.

Before the big day, when the Leonard family joined the Ruckers, two wedding showers were held. The sister of the bride, Rachel Biggers, and close family friend, Keicha McClain held the first shower. Located at Emily’s parents’ home in Paris, Tennessee, the color scheme was pink, gold, and white florals. Beverly Rucker, the mother of the groom, held the second wedding shower. It was located at God’s Grace Church in Campbellsville, Kentucky, and had a purple, silver, and white floral theme. The Leonard-Rucker rehearsal Dinner took place at Dunagan Farms and was catered by Mockingbird Catering with a menu consisted of marinated T-bone steaks, macaroni-and-cheese, green beans, loaded baked potatoes, rolls, and a chef salad with homemade dressing. New York cheesecake with cherry compote was the dessert.

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On the big day, there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. The temperature outside was a cool 37 degrees. The rustic wedding was set in the fields of Dunagan Farms and Doctor Reverend Jenna Goggins presided. Bridesmaids were Jo Lynn Tyner, Brittany Grasty, and Lindsey Seymour. Each wore long, wine-colored dresses. The junior bridesmaid was the bride's niece Kaelyn Smith. She wore a petal pink colored long dress. All dresses were by Bill Levkoff from Wedding Belles in Clarksville, Tennessee. The matrons of honor were Rachel Biggers and Ashley Smith, older sisters of the bride. Every member of the bridal party, including the mother of the bride, also had white fur shawls to stave off the cold. Groomsmen were Josh Biggers, the bride’s brother-in-law, Brian Tanner, Dillon Nottingham, and Eric Rittenberry. The best man was Evan Camp. All of the groomsmen wore charcoal-gray Michael Kors suits rented from Wedding Belles. The flower girl was Kate Sexton and, her younger brother, Max Sexton was the ring bearer. The two walked hand and hand down the aisle after Emily and Matthew’s wedding.

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A very special addition to the wedding party was the bride’s English bulldog, Brody. Emily wanted to make sure her very best friend could be apart of her big day and included Brody as a groomsman. Her niece and junior bridesmaid Kaelyn walked Brody up the aisle for the ceremony.  

On the day of the wedding, Emily had the traditional good luck charms. Her “Something Old” was an emerald ring she has had since before she started college. Her “Something New” was the bridal jewelry she got for the big day. “Something Borrowed” was a diamond tennis bracelet from her Aunt Leanne. The “Something Blue” was a blue bow on her specially designed garter. Emily’s dress was a gorgeous Maggie Sottero gown; ivory in color with lace, an illusion back, and 20 buttons. The veil was also an ivory and lace Maggie Sottero and also included beading. Both were from Wedding Belles. Jennifer Lenzen of Paris did Emily’s hair and make-up. The groom wore a charcoal-gray Michael Kors suit with a wine-colored Windsor knotted tie rented from Wedding Belles.

During the ceremony, Emily’s mom and dad, Lisa and Tim Leonard, both walked her down the aisle. The three were a vision as they made their way toward Matthew. With a parting hug from her mother, Emily married Matthew under the gorgeous wooden arbor that stood as their altar. Decorations consisted of a driftwood arbor with ivory colored draping, greenery, including wine and petal pink flowers. Many of the decorations were made by the father of the groom, Michael Rucker. Flowers were provided by Paris Florist of Paris, TN.

Emily stuck to her roots when it came to deciding where she should look to get everything she needed to make her wedding a dream come true. She used local businesses to furnish her needs. Mockingbird Catering of Paris, Tennessee provided a menu of smoked turkey breast with cranberry chutney, green beans, and twice baked potatoes. Rolls and chef salads with homemade dressing were also served to the wedding guests. The guests at the wedding also partook in a popcorn bar during the reception. Miss Lucille’s Marketplace in Clarksville, where Emily works, provided the delicious popcorn.

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The wedding cake was three tiers—the top and bottom layers being a traditional wedding cake style—the middle tier being red velvet. Decorations on the cake consisted of a cream cheese icing with flowers cascading down the sides. The “Mr. and Mrs. Rucker” cake topper was made by the Father of the Groom, Michael Rucker, and the cake itself was made by Ginger Baby Cakery in McKenzie, Tennessee. The Groom’s Cake was composed of an assortment of flavored cupcakes in the shape of a guitar. This cake was designed and baked by Cheyenne O’Daniel of Paris.

During the reception, Greg Tucker of Paris was the DJ. He played Miracle by “Shinedown” for the couples first dance. The father-daughter dance was to the Guns N Roses song “Sweet Child O’ Mine” while “Simple Man” by Shinedown was played for the mother-son dance. The photography was provided by Fox Weddings in Martin. Invitations were provided by Zazzle and rentals by Dunagan Farms and Mockingbird Catering.

The new couple happily honeymooned in Oahu, Hawaii. Matthew is an Industrial Equipment Technician at Toyota Material Handling Midsouth in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Emily is currently in her last semester as a social-work student at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee. She is a sales associate at Miss Lucille’s Marketplace also in Clarksville. (Let’s GO Peay!)

Mr. and Mrs. Rucker are extremely excited to continue together this journey we call life. They plan on continuing to live in Clarksville, Tennessee. We want to offer our sincerest congratulations to the couple.