LUTHER, OKLAHOMA -- They were new neighbors.
It hadn't been too long since Jaye Payton and her husband had moved to Oklahoma from northern California right across the road from Shawna Stults place.
"We bought an old farm across from them," says Payton.
They stared walking together and, on a fine morning like this one, Shawna gave voice to an idea.
Payton continues, "She kept telling me we needed to build a wedding venue as we were already out building custom homes."
Stults adds, "It's just always been a dream of mine."
That first suggestion went over like a breeze through the trees, easily dismissed.
Jaye says, "It just went right over my head until it got real when a friend asked us to be coordinators at a wedding."
The Paytons had been builders and they all needed something to do in retirement so it was Jaye who walked over through the tall grass to Shawna's way of thinking.
About a year later Eleven Oaks Ranch had open doors.
"That's not very long," remarks a first time Ranch visitor.
"No," replies Jaye. "We're movers and shakers."
"And here we are," says Shawna.
They planned it to look kind of like a lodge in the woods.
Jaye and Shawna made sure the brides room was plenty big enough for every contingency.
"The dresses hang here. The bride sits over there," points Jaye. "She has her own bathroom."
They even put in a secret staircase to insure grand entrances but no escape routes.
Shawna jokes, "We tell the groom there's no exit door."
A couple of years back you couldn't see the road from this spot on the property.
Now their vision is complete.
The cross timbers are cut back and, with wedding season upon us, that idea born on a walk down a country road has turned into a place special made for a memorable walk down the aisle.
Eleven Oaks Ranch already has a busy summer planned.
To see more pictures of the venue or make reservations go to http://www.elevenoaksranch.com