A Rustic Romance

As students at Kansas State University, Monica Lair and Matt Junghans had a natural connection when they first met through mutual friends. Both had grown up as farm kids, and although they started dating at the end of their college careers, jobs in different cities initially drove them apart.

“We just kind of went our separate ways, but we never could quite get each other out of our heads,” Monica says.

The couple later crossed paths in the summer of 2012 at Table Rock Lake and rekindled their romance for three more years before Matt proposed at Manhattan Hill on Aug. 29 of last year.

“He had been acting fishy for awhile, so I kind of had a feeling it was happening,” Monica says. She happily said yes.

The two both agreed they wanted to get married near Table Rock Lake, and Big Cedar Lodge’s Top of the Rock in Branson served as the perfect venue with its breathtaking views and woodsy elements.



“We knew it would have a rustic feel, which is great because Matt is an outdoorsman,” Monica says. “I have much more modern taste, so I knew we were going to try to blend the two in some manner.”




The bride turned to a number of family friends to help bring her dream wedding to life, including Dan Meiners of Studio Dan Meiners for the floral elements and Bernard Shondell of Bernard’s Bakehaus for her decadent cake.


“It was like having family with you the whole day, taking care of you,” Monica says. “I wouldn’t have had it any other way.”

At the reception, mounds of monochromatic white flowers lined the center of each table and draped down to the floor. Acrylic Louis Ghost chairs brought a touch of glamour to the occasion, and antlers were incorporated in the design at the request of the groom.



“From the save-the-dates all the way through, he was represented in everything we did,” Monica says.


Although Monica hired a traditional wedding planner to help sort out every detail, it was her brother, Damian Lair, who served as her right-hand man through the yearlong planning process.

“It was very special, because my brother was so greatly involved in everything,” Monica says. “I would come up with weird things I wanted, and he made it a cohesive thought. It felt like something out of a fairy tale.”