A Wedding Story


A week after meeting at a Pampered Chef party, Tara Gutshall and Jazz Rucker went on a double date and closed down Addison’s at 1:17 a.m.
“As we walked back to our cars, Jazz sang me the Rucker family song, and I was smitten,” Tara says.
That was on Nov. 2, 2012. Tara and Jazz were a couple from that night on, and on Jan. 31, 2014, they drove to Kansas City, despite a winter weather ad
visory for snow and ice.
“Several times we considered turning around; there was no way we should have driven,” Tara says. “We arrived at the Plaza around 10 and nearly had the place to ourselves.”
For dinner, they went to McCormick & Schmick’s. The waitress spilled an entire drink on Jazz, and Tara was certain he was not going to propose. But after dinner, Jazz paused on the mosaic steps outside the restaurant, got down on one knee and proposed in the snowfall.

Tara and Jazz were wed on Sunday, July 13, 2014, at First Presbyterian Church of Columbia. The Rev. Rusty Savage, Tara’s childhood pastor from Platte City, officiated.
Tara wore a satin and tulle mermaid-fit gown by Cristiano Lucci. The gown featured slim cap sleeves, a soft sweetheart neckline and asymmetrical pleating on the bodice and waist. The flared skirt had folds of satin up top; a tulle skirt emerged below the folds. Beaded illusion fabric with delicate, ornate silver embroidery formed a dramatic back.
Tara wore an ivory fingertip-length veil trimmed in satin, and accessorized with Swarovski crystal drop earrings. She carried a hand-tied bouquet of orange roses, green hydrangeas, hot pink roses, green hypericum berries and privet.
Tara’s bridesmaids wore ocean-blue silk taffeta pleated wrap dresses by Angelina Faccenda. They carried hand-tied bouquets of purple moon series carnations, orange roses, green hydrangeas and hot pink roses.
Jazz and his groomsmen wore classic black tuxedos with white shirts and black ties. Jazz wore a purple mini carnation boutonniere with green hydrangea blooms and berries; the groomsmen wore purple moon series carnations with green berries.








The ceremony was a traditional wedding celebration that symbolized the start of Jazz and Tara’s Christ-centered union. Since Jazz is a musician and music educator, the music also received thoughtful consideration; selections included “Hornpipe” from Handel’s “Water Music” for the bride’s processional, René Clausen’s “O, My Luve’s Like a Red, Red Rose” for the unity candle and Richard Smallwood’s “Total Praise” for the recessional. All of the music, except the processional, was performed by a 30-person choir, led by two of Jazz’s friends, and the final song, “Ob la di, Ob la da” was edited by a friend to be a playful rendition of the couple’s story.

After the ceremony, the celebration moved to the Kimball Ballroom in Lela Raney Wood Hall on the Stephens College campus.
White tablecloths and chair covers paired with light-gold chair ties created a bright, airy atmosphere. Vibrant flowers in pink, orange and purple added a touch of fun.

The five-tiered round wedding cake covered in smooth white frosting featured folds of frosting, reminiscent of the bridal gown, flowing down the front of the cake in a side-to-side cascade. Fresh pink, orange and green flowers also accented each tier.
Throughout the reception, Tara says there was a sense of celebrating more than just a wedding. “We were celebrating the start of our marriage, our forever,” she says.
The day after the wedding, Jazz and Tara headed to San José del Cabo, Mexico, for their honeymoon — which Jazz planned all on his own.
“I did not know where we were going until we were checking in at the airport kiosk,” Tara says. “My only request was that it be somewhere warm. I completely trusted him, and it was exciting not to know.
“You don’t have many surprises like that in life,” she adds.
Today, Jazz and Tara make their home in Columbia, where Tara, the daughter of Doug and Teresa Gutshall of Platte City, is a second-grade teacher at Mary Paxton Keeley Elementary School and Jazz, the son of Barry and Vera Rucker of Moberly, is the vocal arts director at Battle High School.


Nolte’s Bridal, Overland Park, Kan.

Nolte’s Bridal, Overland Park, Kan.

Men’s Wearhouse

A.D.K. Designs

Erica Dochterman-Durnil with BeautiControl

Love Tree Studios

Baysinger Films, Lawrence, Kan.

Kent’s Floral Gallery

Audra Sergel


Edith Hall Cakes, Hallsville

Bed Bath & Beyond; Macy’s