Mackenzie Lee & Ricky Hernandez

Going the distance was worth it for this perfect pair.

By Rose Marthis

Jan 2018

Mackenzie Lee & Ricky Hernandez Photo by Elise Abigail PhotoMackenzie and Ricky’s wedding day was filled with romantic florals and personal details, like this 1969 Ford Ranger truck that is part of their history as a couple and one of Ricky’s favorite things.

For long-distance lovebirds Mackenzie Lee and Ricky Hernandez, Ponca, Arkansas was the halfway point between her home in Springfield and his home in Russellville, Arkansas. Ponca holds a pretty special place in their hearts: It’s where their first date was and where Ricky proposed to Mackenzie. 

After meeting through a friend in August 2014 at a lunch at Metropolitan Farmer, the two hit it off and started dating shortly after. Their first official date was a sunrise hike at Hawksbill Crag. They both woke up at 2 a.m., drove to Ponca to meet and then soaked in the view while getting to know each other. “It’s the most memorable first [date] I have ever been on,” Mackenzie says. “We both love being outside and hiking, so it was the perfect date for us.” 

On August 1, 2015, Ricky planned another hike. Mackenzie had no idea how special this hike was going to be. They drove back to Ponca for another sunrise hike at Hawksbill Crag, but this time Ricky got down on one knee and proposed. “It was such a memorable moment for me because that hike is so special to us,” Mackenzie says. “He couldn’t have done a better job planning the whole proposal weekend.” 

After 10 months of planning, the two tied the knot at their dreamy, casual wedding in Hartville. Watercolors and florals everywhere set the tone for the low-key event, and the couple spent the weekend with their favorite people. Now the couple lives in Springfield where Mackenzie is the executive director at Safe and Sober, and Ricky is a shop manager at Yarbrough Industries.

Photo by Elise Abigail PhotoMackenzie and Ricky have had a 1969 Ford Ranger truck since 2015. Ricky drove it to the wedding and parked it right next to the reception venue. It was the perfect prop to use for photos and a special piece of the couple’s history—and at the end of the reception, the couple drove away in it.
Photo by Elise Abigail PhotoMackenzie calls her flower crown a splurge item, but says she knew she didn’t want a veil. This crown is the only floral item she preserved from her wedding, and it’s now framed in a shadow box in her and Ricky’s home.
Photo by Elise Abigail PhotoMackenzie and her bridesmaids stayed at the venue the night before and had a crazy morning setting up everything for the wedding. She loved being able to slow down and get ready with everyone together, she says.
Photo by Elise Abigail PhotoTheir first look was one of the couple’s favorite moments of the day and provided a chance for them to breathe and relax before guests arrived.
Photo by Elise Abigail PhotoCharity Bennitt with He Loves Me Flowers pushed her creativity to create bouquets for Mackenzie. Mackenzie gave her a budget and a color scheme, and Charity did the rest, she says.
Photo by Elise Abigail PhotoThe only guidance Ricky had for picking out the rings was that Mackenzie likes rose gold. He chose the bands on his own and Mackenzie says they’re “better than what I would have picked out on my own.”
Photo by Elise Abigail PhotoThe couple found Ricky’s tie at Dillard’s one day, and Mackenzie encouraged Ricky to get it because she knew it would be a perfect match to her blush dress.
Photo by Elise Abigail PhotoMackenzie designed the watercolor floral invitations herself.
Photo by Elise Abigail PhotoMackenzie and her bridesmaids made the watercolor floral napkins to tie in the theme to the centerpieces.
Photo by Elise Abigail PhotoMackenzie took her invitation to Stacey’s Sweets and asked for her chocolate and cookies-and-cream—flavored cake to mimic the watercolor floral design. The sugar cookies were a huge hit, Mackenzie says, and people still talk about them when they remember the wedding.
Photo by Elise Abigail PhotoMackenzie says this walk down the aisle was the first time their marriage felt real.
Photo by Elise Abigail PhotoGuests were given little bells and rang them for Mackenzie and Ricky’s send-off. Mackenzie liked this idea more than the traditional seeds or bubbles.