Meant to be! Pioneer Woman star Ree Drummond and husband Ladd Drummond have been married for over two decades and share four gorgeous children — Alex, Paige, Bryce and Todd — plus a foster son named Jamar. You would never guess these two were actually a very unlikely pair who first crossed paths in a smokey bar.

Ree, 52, met Ladd, 51, during a night out with her girlfriends. She was temporarily back in her hometown of Bartlesville, Oklahoma, after finishing college in Los Angeles, California. She was planning on relocating to Chicago, Illinois, to attend law school, but fate took its course. 

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Instgram/ReeDrummond

“Ladd was standing across the bar wearing a pair of Wrangler jeans and cowboy boots, sipping on bottled beer,” her blog reads about the first time they locked eyes. “He had blue-green eyes and salt-and-pepper hair — but it was the cowboy’s hands that made him impossible for Ree to ignore.”

They had an instant spark, and the cookbook author was fully expecting a call from the rancher the following day. However, it took him four months to contact her for a date. Although she was a self-proclaimed city girl and he was a “Marlboro Man-esque character,” something about their romance just worked. 

The pair got married in September 1996. “During our reception, my brother, Mike, got up on stage and belted out ‘Elvira,'” Ree recalled about their big day. “Then, Arizona State, Ladd’s alma mater, beat Nebraska—the two-time defending national football champions at the time. Ladd and his college friends were in the men’s locker room almost the whole reception to watch the game. They were so excited!”

They were still newlyweds when they began expanding their family. “We decided to take the ‘let nature take its course’ approach to family planning once we tied the knot,” Ree quipped. Nine and a half months later, their oldest child, daughter Alex, was born. Paige came along in 1999 followed by Bryce in 2002 and Todd in 2004. In 2019, the family welcomed Jamar, whom Ree calls her “bonus son,” into their lives. 

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Instagram/ReeDrummond

“Fostering a kid was never something Ladd and I pursued or felt called to do, but Jamar’s circumstances presented themselves to us in a way we couldn’t ignore,” Ree said on her blog. “So, long story short, all six foot five inches of him showed up at our house one afternoon, bag in hand, ready to move in.”

Ree is an extremely successful Food Network personality, cookbook author and entrepreneur. In addition, she and her husband own a handful of businesses in downtown Pawhuska, Oklahoma, including a boarding house, pizzeria and ice cream shop. However, Ladd’s family business has actually been booming for four generations. The Drummond family is the 23rd largest landowner in the United States and bring in a lot of money for their hard work. 

Ladd has an estimated net worth of $200 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth, thanks to his role as a co-owner of the Drummond Land and Cattle Co. along with his brother Tim. Their oldest sibling, Todd, was killed in a car accident when he was just 18. 

So, what’s the secret to Ree and Ladd’s longtime marriage? “Ladd and I always wind up together on the couch in the evenings, no matter how busy we’ve been throughout the day. We both have a soft spot for old Westerns, any of The Godfather movies and ’80s flicks,” Ree explained on her blog. “We’re on the same page with snacks, too. Queso for us and popcorn for the kids!”

These two are certainly in it for the long haul!