You’ll need to cozy up with the full gallery of this backyard beauty captured by Gina Cristine Photography, because steal-worthy details can be found in every nook and cranny. Just when you think you’ve seen them all, low and behold another can’t miss personal touch from this thoughtful couple will be waiting there ready to inspire. And we just happen to love that. It’s a love story that ends in the prettiest of outdoor fêtes and it’s all sitting pretty right here.

From the Bride… Our paths first crossed in high school during my senior year and Jim’s junior year. Jim and I were aware of each other but more so acquaintances than anything. Years down the road when college brought Jim to Odgen, Utah and a work opportunity had brought me to Charlottesville, VA, we both came home to celebrate the holiday season with our families. We ended up going to a mutual friend’s going away party and starting talking and never lost contact. Our love of travel is really what brought us together, we were both ready for an adventure and decided we would meet in Europe 5 months after our encounter at the going away party, this would be a true testament to our budding relationship. Despite not really knowing each other very well and building a relationship over the phone, we had an amazing two weeks traveling thru Europe. After the trip Jim ended up moving back to Chicago and I followed about 5 months later.

A few years later, Jim proposed at one of the highest points in our county and the wedding planning began! We knew we wanted a wedding to reflect both of our personalities, to make it as personal as possible and we wanted to reflect our adventurous relationship. Our dream was to also have an outdoor wedding but with living in the midwest you can never predict what the weather will be. The location of the wedding was very important to us as we wanted everything about our wedding to have meaning. Jim’s parents were kind enough to allow us to use their home/yard for the festivities. Jim’s first love is nature. His first project and where his love began was working in their yard in the summers he would return from college. He spent many years clearing unwanted trees and shrubs from the yard making it into the beautiful setting it is now.

Next on the list were the wedding invitations, we choose the tandem bike to reflect our playful spirits and adventurous ways. The colors and fabrics we choose were to compliment the natural setting along with creating a vibrant ambiance to celebrate our special day. From the welcome table, to the ceremony, to cocktail hour and following into dinner and dancing, we wanted to include personal touches all through out to reflect our personality. We included vintage hankies for tears of joy, our tree planting ceremony, my mom’s chandeliers hanging in the tree and a door used from my great-grandmother’s barn as a menu sign. We tried to incorporate old and new items that had meaning for us and bringing the two families together. Family and friends helped tremendously as the weather this year was blistering hot. We could have not pulled it off without their support!

Wedding Photography: Gina Cristine Photography / Wedding Venue: Groom’s Family’s Home in Barrington, Illinois  / Floral Design: TULIP / Wedding Catering: Moveable Feast Geneva / Music: Vance Kelly and the Backstreet Blues Band / Fabric: Amy Butler / Cake Toppers: Cotton Bird Designs / Photo Props: PropMama / Burlap Banners: funky shiQue / Paper Poms: PomLove / Wedding Dress: Sonara by Watters / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: J.Crew / Bridesmaids’ Hairpiece: Project U / Groom’s Suit + Groomsmen’s Attire: J.Crew / Wooden Cuff Links: Melissa Stumbo Designs / Groom + Groomsmen’s Ties: MeAndMatilda / Ring Pillow: Giggle Room / Dog’s Bowtie: SillyBuddy

J.Crew and Watters are members of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here.