How Did ‘The Pioneer Woman’ Ree Drummond Meet Her Husband Ladd?

The Pioneer Woman star Ree Drummond loves to talk about and cook for her husband Ladd. The couple has been married for almost 25 years and they share four children together – Alex, Paige, Bryce, and Todd.

They also have a foster child named Jamar, who Ree calls her “bonus son.” The couple has built a nice life for themselves and their family on their Oklahoma ranch over the years. But according to Ree, Ladd is the last person she expected to marry.

The Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond
‘The Pioneer Woman’ Ree Drummond with her family | Monica Schipper/Getty Images for The Pioneer Woman Magazine

Ree Drummond nicknamed her husband ‘The Marlboro Man’

When Ree writes about Ladd on her blog, she refers to her husband as “The Marlboro Man.” According to Mashed, the nickname started after one of Ree’s good friends called him that during a baby shower.

The original Marlboro Man was a fictitious character that was part of Marlboro cigarettes ad campaigns from the 1960s to the 1990s. The handsome character was a strong and rugged cowboy who was overflowing with confidence. Apparently, the name fit Ladd perfectly.

Years later, when Ree started her The Pioneer Woman blog, she didn’t want to use her husband’s real name. So, she decided to use that nickname instead.

Ladd is definitely all cowboy. He grew up in a family of ranchers, and he spends his days working the family land. He made it clear just how much of an Oklahoma boy he was when he wore a tuxedo and cowboy boots to their wedding.

The ‘Pioneer Woman’ met in a smoky bar in Oklahoma

Ree is from Bartlesville, Oklahoma, but the self-proclaimed city girl took off for Los Angeles as soon as she got into college. After she finished her undergraduate work, Ree’s plan was to move to Chicago and go to law school. But when she went home to Oklahoma for a temporary visit at Christmas, fate stepped in.

“Ladd was standing across the bar wearing a pair of Wrangler jeans and cowboy boots, sipping on bottled beer,” according to Ree’s blog. “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.”

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She thought he would call the next day, but it ended up taking Ladd four months to ask Ree out. Despite the delay, the duo really hit it off on their first date. And just two weeks later, Ladd told Ree he loved her for the very first time.

Ladd and Ree Drummond expanded their family right away

Ladd and Ree tied the knot in September 1996, and she says they decided to “let nature take its course.” Nine-and-a-half months later, the couple welcomed their first child, a daughter named Alex. The following year, their daughter Paige came along.

Bryce arrived in 2002 and Todd followed in 2004. But Ladd and Ree weren’t done growing their family just yet. Fifteen years later — in 2019 — the Drummonds added their “bonus son” Jamar to their family.

“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.”

‘The Pioneer Woman’ Ree Drummond reveals her secret to a happy marriage

According to Ree, she never expected to marry a cowboy. Even though she was from Oklahoma, Ree had a much different upbringing compared to Ladd. She says that when she told her friends about her engagement, they were shocked.

“I was literally THE last person anyone ever pictured moving to the country,” she said. “When I announced my engagement to a cowboy, my childhood friends couldn’t believe it.”

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Even though her life isn’t what she expected, Ree says that she and Ladd are very happy and still very much in love. Her secret to a happy marriage is that they “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. “We’re on the same page with snacks, too. Queso for us and popcorn for the kids!”

The Pioneer Woman airs Saturday mornings on The Food Network.