BEEF Daily

10 Ways A Country Wedding Is Different Than Other Weddings


A country wedding is perfectly normal to ranchers, but can seem quite odd to outside spectators. Here are 10 ways a ranch wedding stands out among other weddings.

My sister Courtney married her sweetheart Riley last Friday. The wedding was picture-perfect, and as I watched these two exchange their I-dos, I knew I wouldn’t be able to resist sharing a few of the finer details from the special day on the blog.


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After the wedding, we received many comments from the reception staff and crew about the uniqueness of the wedding. Perhaps to an outsider looking in, a ranch wedding could appear quite different from a more urban wedding, but these events seem quite normal to me! After thinking things over a little bit, I decided to enumerate the ways that a cowboy wedding might differ from the norm. Here are 10 ways my sister’s wedding, and others I’ve attended, might have looked a little redneck from the outside looking in:

1. Starched jeans and cowboy hats were the most popular attire for the guys, and the bride and bridesmaids wore cowboy boots with their dresses.

2. The priest offered advice to the bride and groom on raising a “herd” of their own, and discussed how cattle roam in pairs and groups, just like the newlyweds are now a pair.

3. The wedding dance isn’t complete without the garter auction, with the money being collected in cowboy hats.

4. Beef has to be on the menu for the rehearsal supper and reception. Chicken just wouldn’t be acceptable for a rancher’s wedding.

5. Wedding mints are in the shape of cattle, but you can bet they still taste just as good as mints shaped like hearts and wedding bells.

6. The wedding toasts include wishing the couple a lifetime of happiness and lots of cattle. That’s because cattle and happiness are synonymous, right?

7. Although I wasn’t able to stand as matron of honor at my sister’s wedding, due to being 39 weeks pregnant, many of the guests asked if I was “ready to calve?” It seems like a perfectly appropriate question to me; but such a question, in other circles, would probably be received as an insult. 

8. My sister and her groom met on a 4-H trip to Washington, D.C. We joked that the “Hs” in 4-H stood for “head, heart, hands and health,” and not “husband,” but that works, too!

9. The couple received a heifer as a wedding present.

10. Forget the fancy china dishes! The other favorite presents the couple received included a painting of a steer and two cowhide rugs.

What are your favorite parts of a country wedding? Share your thoughts in the comments section below. And if you’d care to share your special day with BEEF Daily readers, send us your ranch wedding photos to me at Thanks for your participation.

The opinions of Amanda Radke are not necessarily those of or the Penton Farm Progress Group.


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Discuss this Blog Entry 7

susan gebhart (not verified)
on Jun 4, 2014

That was a fun read - made me smile. You ladies both look beautiful!

JRB (not verified)
on Jun 4, 2014

Great observations!! Ranch country weddings are special!!
Congratulations on the new arrival!!

K (not verified)
on Jun 4, 2014

Can I add #11? Community! When planning or attending a country wedding it revolves around the entire community, including multiple generations celebrating family and welcoming the beginning of a new family.

7BarHeart (not verified)
on Jun 4, 2014

My husband gave me a registered Angus bull instead of an engagement ring when he proposed. Twenty three years later, most of the herd goes back to that bull.

Emily Anderson (Hansen) :) (not verified)
on Jun 5, 2014

I so wish I could have been there to witness Courtney's special day! I bet everything was absolutely beautiful! Can't wait to see her photos :)

Shelby (not verified)
on Jun 5, 2014

I loved this! My own country wedding is coming up next weekend. I may think back to this story when my Dad and I are waltzing to Johnny Cash for our father daughter dance :)

on Oct 12, 2015


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What's BEEF Daily?

BEEF Daily Blog is produced by rancher Amanda Radke, one of the U.S. beef industry’s top social media “agvocates.”


Amanda Radke

Amanda Radke is a fifth generation rancher from Mitchell, S.D., who has dedicated her career to serving as a voice for the nation’s beef producers. A 2009 graduate of South Dakota State...

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