This Couple Married On Their 17-Acre Property in Lancaster

Some mornings, Amanda Burden stands in her kitchen, feet bare, coffee in hand, and looks out the window. In her mind’s eye, she sees her husband on the afternoon of their engagement, down on one knee at the edge of the lake. He trembles. In his clenched fist is a ring he designed himself.

Other mornings transport her back to her wedding day. She sees the attendants flanking a wooden arch heavy with fall leaves and grasses, guests attentive in their seats on handmade benches facing that same lake. And she remembers what it felt like to take a moment before she walked toward them, arm in arm with her dad, watching her love story unfold from the vantage of her own home.

Amanda and Larry Ferguson IV (he goes by Chip) bought their 17-acre property in Lancaster, 40 minutes from downtown Dallas, before they were married. She recalls feeling unsettled by her then boyfriend’s decision to move forward on the investment before she had a ring on her finger. But the ink was hardly dry on the closing documents before Chip, a backcountry bush pilot, surprised Amanda with his proposal.

The twentysomethings are one of those success stories that keep the hope that powers Internet dating sites alive. The two met on eHarmony in 2010, and quickly realized they were a fit. They wed on November 9, 2013.

Though she had never wed before, Amanda is no stranger to wedding planning. For the last five years, she’s worked closely with Debby Jewesson at Branching Out Events, and she’s seen every combination of vintage-chic-rustic-boho-modern imaginable—all lovely, of course, but “I didn’t want any taglines,” she says. “I wanted something really and truly different.”

Drawing on the concept of arrows—inspired by the cut of her engagement diamond—and eschewing Pinterest in favor of books of wholesale products accessible to her through her work, Amanda assembled a collection of ideas rooted in her love of nature and the colors and patterns of the American Southwest. And though the design was meant to be very casual, it was extreme in texture and detail: cakes and paper goods carried Native American elements; arrowheads affixed to thumbtacks held place cards to a tree; air plants, succulents, antlers, and quartz joined florals in containers of silver, turquoise, and wood; and candles were orange instead of the more common white. The result was a vibrant late-afternoon ceremony and dinner party that perfectly suited the location and the couple.

After saying “I do” and dancing for hours under the stars, the bride and groom departed under a sparkler sendoff, which really just meant they walked up to their house—already safe and sound at home.

The couple bought their 17-acre property in Lancaster, 40 minutes from downtown Dallas, before they were married.


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