Amanda and Kyle were married in the backyard of family friends on September 28. “The fact that it was at a home made it that much more special,” Amanda said. “The location had a ‘ranch style’ feel, which went along with the theme for our wedding too.” She wore a Marilyn Monroe-inspired mermaid wedding gown by Oleg Cassini, accessorized with ALDO wedges, while bridesmaids wore long blush dresses. The moment Amanda walked down the aisle was like no other. “If my Dad wasn’t holding me up, I probably would have fallen down,” she said. “Seeing my handsome soon-to-be husband standing there waiting for me took my breath away and brought me to tears.” The outdoor reception was decorated with floral arrangements made by the bride’s mother and bridesmaids. Each place setting was a vintage glass plate. “I loved how no plate was the same but all were beautiful,” Amanda said. Guests found their seats via a french door seating arrangement and took Instagram pictures as long as they hashtagged #muirwedding2013. “All the chalkboard signs were made by my aunt, who is an art teacher,” she said. How unique! The three-tiered cake featured a layer resembling birch wood with a carving of “K + A” in it, and a candy bar doubled as favors.
Megan and Christopher were married on the bride’s farm near Starved Rock State Park, Ill. “We looked at a few different places, but when we were finally ready to make a decision, I knew I wanted to get married where I grew up, where we fell in love and where Christopher proposed,” Megan said. “It now means even more to us.” The bride wore a one-shoulder Lazaro ruffled wedding gown, accessorized with her hair down in loose curls. “The genuine shock and excitement when Christopher saw me for the first time that day literally took his breath away,” she said. “It was more amazing than I ever dreamed.” The ceremony took place under a big oak tree decorated with ribbons and paper lanterns. Guest sat in wooden pews and kept cool with umbrellas while the couple exchanged handwritten vows. As they recessed down the aisle, a flute ensemble played as confetti was thrown. Cocktails were served in mason jars, vintage couches served as comfy seats, and lanterns lit the entire backyard. The tented reception featured a family photo display, table numbers wrapped in twine, and the cake atop a tree stump!
Julia and Blair were married exactly 3 months (and 1 day) after their engagement. “We said, ‘I do’ just a few miles from the high school where we met, where our mothers taught and became friends, and where our officiant introduced us during a theatre production,” Julia said. Keeping with the “nostalgic, geeky, rainbow-explosion exuberance of the day,” she wore a lime green dress and carried a bouquet of tissue paper flowers. “If white isn’t your best color, and you love showing off your legs, why not do something unexpected?” she said. Following the backyard ceremony, guests were surprised to hear Julia read an old love letter from Blair during toasts. “I loved sharing this memory with our nearest and dearest,” Julia said. Centerpieces were decoupaged wine bottles and mason jars with paper pinwheels, and the dessert display featured a cake topped with My Little Pony toppers, lollipops, cake pops, and more.
Ashley and Gavin were married in her grandparent’s backyard with some of their closest family and friends on September 28. Signage hung from trees behind them as they said their vows: “My mother told me to pick the very best one and you are it,” “This is where our story begins . . . ,” “I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine,” ” I made a wish and you came true,” and “All because two people fell in love.” As they stood their being announced husband and wife, you couldn’t help but notice the bride’s beauty in her capped-sleeve illusion lace wedding gown and birdcage veil. Bridesmaids wore an array of different blush dresses while groomsmen wore gray tuxedos. Bouquets and boutonnieres included lots of succulents, peonies, and craspedia balls. Reception tables were decorated with vintage china and tea cups as well as heirloom objects atop books. The dessert display was too sweet — cupcakes, brownies, cookies, and more!
1. What was the one thing about your venue that made you know it was the one?
We decided on our venue the weekend we became engaged. Dave asked me where I would like to get married, and I told him I despised cookie-cutter banquet halls and the restrictions that are so often laced into contractual agreements and would love to find a private property where we could design our own venue from scratch. He suggested getting married in his parents’ backyard, and to our surprise, his parents agreed to it! It was where we met for our first date seven years ago. Our venue was incredibly special to us; we knew it was the one because it was the only one we even considered!
2. Which three details from your wedding were your favorites?
1. Our flowers were definitely one of my favorite details. While planning our wedding, I went from knowing absolutely nothing about flowers to learning more about flower variations, seasons, and hardiness than I ever would have imagined. While we wanted our guests to feel at ease at our reception, I did not want our garden wedding to look like a garden party. I realized that our flowers would set the tone for the evening, and I wanted them to be whimsical and romantic. They were stunning.
2. Another favorite detail was our yay flags. While I’m certainly not the first person to think of this idea, as someone who exclaims the word “yay” on a daily basis, I knew these flags would be perfect for us. My parents and I invested several hours and sacrificed several fingers to the hot glue gun while hand-crafting 150 flags with hand-tied bells for our guests. Before we walked back down the aisle as a married couple, we both couldn’t help but laugh when we turned around to the sound of dozens of tiny bells while little flags flapped in the air.
3. I also loved my bridal flats. After realizing that high-heels were not an option for our garden wedding, I spent several months looking for the perfect flats or wedges. I am so happy that I decided to purchase ballet flats because I was on my feet all night conversing with guests, and I was unbelievably comfortable!
3. Give us the one moment in your wedding day you can’t stop thinking about.
The one moment I cannot stop thinking about is our first look. I knew I would be nervous on our wedding day, but I was far more emotional than I could have ever imagined. I am so happy that Dave and I were able to see each other (and shed a few tears together) before walking down the aisle. It was such an incredible, intimate moment. Seeing each other calmed my nerves so I could soak in the beautiful words spoken at our ceremony.