Vintage I Do – A Destination Wedding at the Lake of the Ozarks

Stories / November 27, 2013
Lake of the Ozark wedding

Anastasia Roark Foster and Chris Foster at their pre-wedding photo shoot.

Anastasia Roark and Christopher Foster live on the West Coast with the Pacific Ocean as their backdrop, but it’s what she calls the “Central Coast,” the Lake of the Ozarks, where they were married this past summer in a fun-filled destination wedding and weekend.

Born and raised in Jefferson City, the actress/model/television host has been spending summers working and playing there since she was in high school.  Her parents, Carol and Don, still live here. Her husband, a real estate developer with projects all over the Midwest, hails from Osage Beach. His father, Don, a dentist served as a city alderman and was instrumental in the growth of the area’s condo developments.

The couple, who first met in college, started dating in June of 2012, and almost a year later held their themed wedding at her husband’s parent’s home at the Lake. The entire weekend included events at the area’s long time hot spots.

“We wanted to celebrate the glory days of the Lake in the 50s, 60s and 70s, the real post-card moments from its colorful history,” Roark Foster said. “Having a theme made it so fun not just for Chris and I but for our guests.”

Over the years she had collected actual post cards from the 1950s and 60s and she duplicated them for the design of her wedding invitations and thank you cards. All of their invited guests were also encouraged to dress in Yacht Party Chic for the wedding.

“Yacht rock is a trend in music in Los Angeles where we live,” she said. “Cover bands playing Kenny Loggins, Steely Dan and Captain & Tennille music dress in captain’s hats, white pants and ascots. We sent hilarious photos of these bands to our guests and asked them to give it their best shot.”

“The outfits our guests came up with were fabulous and they really had a blast planning their ensembles. It made them feel like they were really participating in our wedding rather than just witnessing it from afar,” she said.

The couple eschewed a wedding party, too, and many other elements of traditional weddings.

Lake of the Ozark wedding

Anastasia and Chris enjoy their reception.

“We didn’t want to ask our friends to buy special dresses or perform duties. We really just wanted them to come and enjoy themselves,” she said.

In lieu of a rehearsal dinner on that Friday night, they took their 40 out-of-town guests to an arcade on the Bagnell Damn Strip.

“We cemented lifelong friendships during summers at the Lake and we couldn’t have made a better choice to be married there,” Roark Foster said.

“During our first date, Chris and I went to an arcade at the Lake and he won a toy, glow-in-the-dark mood ring for me. I wore that ring all summer that year,” she said. “Eventually he took it from my dresser and pocketed it to the top of Yosemite Falls where he proposed. It was so romantic.”

She replaced the toy ring with a real sparkler designed by a jeweler in Los Angeles, but they wanted to honor that moment during their weekend.

“We held a skeeball contest and all of our guests headed to the games and then flooded the prize counter to pick out their trophies,” said Roark Foster.

The next day, the rain, which had been falling most of the week, continued but let up late afternoon.

“Our neighbor was out with his leaf blower, blowing the lawn dry before our 200 guests arrived,” she said. “Many came by water and we had 40, 50 and 60-foot boats rafted off of our dock and our neighbor’s, too. It was quite a sight.”

After a cocktail hour, the wedding commenced just before sunset. A group of children, including her three nephews and nieces and Chris’ best friend’s two boys, escorted them to the altar. With her hair long and flowing, Roark Foster wore a cotton eyelet strapless wedding gown with Empire waist featuring crocheted lace details that framed the bust line and hem. Annamarie von Firley of reVamp in Los Angeles reconstructed the dress. Roark Foster and Von Firley, the daughter of Joan Firley of Jefferson City, attended West Elementary and Jefferson City High School together and reconnected recently.

One of their mutual best friends, Dr. Roy Doerhoff, married the couple standing under an arbor on a small platform on the point of the Foster’s front yard overlooking the main channel of the lake.

“His remarks were sentimental and hilarious and that definitely sent the tone for the wedding,” she said.

After the ceremony, guests milled in the backyard, where jewels hung from some of the tree limbs and round tables with white tablecloths were set up. For her centerpieces, Roark turned to local decorator Diane Welek who arranged them the morning of the wedding. Live magnolia branches, moss and other greens were interlaced with the crystal and silver elements.

“I wanted the décor to be casual yet elegant,” Roark Foster said. “I once read that you can’t compete with Mother Nature when decorating, so I didn’t try. I wanted our centerpieces and table settings to compliment our surroundings and sparkle a bit.”

“Every piece used in the multi-level arrangements was either my mother’s, my grandmother’s, my mother-in-law, Nickie’s, or mine with only one rented piece in the wedding.”

Cherry red served as an accent color to match the color of the 1967 Ford Mustang convertible that her parents, in addition to “writing several checks for the wedding” gave to the couple as a wedding gift.

“That was such a great surprise, a true family heirloom being passed on,” she said. “It was my mother’s first brand new car and I drove it in high school for a time. We plan to take it to California soon where it can get the royal treatment and be used all year.”

The car served as a special prop during their pre-wedding photo shoot in the Lake of the Ozarks State Park.  Photos were also taken of the couple in Foster’s red and white Donzi “Sweet 16” foot speedboat.

“We used to get around the Lake in it at night after the channel stops churning like a wash tub. It was so much easier to park, too than his big speedboat,” she added.

During the reception, food stations with sushi, beef tenderloin and gourmet mac-n-cheese with bacon, asparagus tips and diced ham were a hit, and guests danced to the DJ Trenwreck, who played plenty of “yacht rock” music. The grand finale of the reception, guests helped set off 120 biodegradable Chinese lanterns over the main channel; the Osage arm stretches 92 miles.

Then the bride and groom along with 100 of their friends headed via boats to The Topsider nightclub, a longtime mainstay in Osage Beach, for what she described as the perfect way to end a true Lake wedding.

“In the end our wedding really reflected who we are and we couldn’t be more thrilled with how everything turned out,” she said “Our parents and friends were heroes in putting on such a grand event and we’re excited to be set off into married life in such fine fashion.”

“We cemented lifelong friendships during summers at the Lake and we couldn’t have made a better choice to be married there,” Roark Foster said.

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Alvin Leifeste

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