Fact: there’s nothing more romantic than vowing your life and your love with a backyard wedding. Especially when that spot happens to be your family’s 142-year-old farm house complete with wide, open views and Midwest charm. And while it wouldn’t be a farm wedding without a hog roast and a little rain, it was the unplanned moments that added up to perfection. See more from Shannon Leigh Anderson here!

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Seasons
Spring
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Casual

From The Bride…The front porch of my family’s 142 year old Illinois farm house served as the backdrop to the wedding that exceeded my dreams! I wore an Allure Couture dress as my Dad walked me out the front door of my childhood home to my groom, Jacob Calaway and 350 of our dearest friends and family waiting patiently in a soggy yard. It had rained for 2 days straight before the wedding. After all, what’s a wedding without rain and a farm without mud! Despite the rain, the whole day was perfect. At the moment when we said our vows the clouds parted and the sun shined down on us through the elm trees. I was given a strand of pearls from my parents. My husband’s father, Nathan Calaway married us using his Grandfather’s bible. My youngest brother, William, walked down the aisle with a ring bearer pillow made from a quilt my great grandmother had made.

So, needless to say family is a huge part of our lives! We wanted to incorporate family into every aspect of our wedding. I have a big family. Ok, it’s huge. I have six brothers, three sister and a total of 49 first cousins from both sides of my family and we’re all close! My aunt Katrina Messmore was my wedding planner and she did a fantastic job of keeping things organized and keeping me calm. Oh, and she also made our wedding cake! I had other aunts who made pies and cheesecakes for the dessert table. A cousin made the fun, groom’s cake that had waves, little Fondant people who looked like Jacob and I and a surf board. Along with my cousins, sisters and sisters-in-law and friends, we made all of the decorations for the big day. The men pitched in too by doing the dirty work like landscaping, painting and even building a dance floor. Everything had a family touch to it! Everyone did such an amazing job of helping capture the farm with a “touch of whimsy” style I had pictured for my special day.

After the ceremony and pictures, taken by the wonderful Shannon Leigh Anderson, we walked to the back yard to the reception tent. Dinner was especially delicious and served buffet style. Catering was provided by The Pantry in Tuscola, IL and Dutch Valley Meats in Chesterville, IL, who, by the way, roasted a whole hog! When it came time for the the toast, my sister, Alyssa, who was my Matron of Honor stood up and sang “Stand By Your Man” instead of giving a traditional speech. It was awesome! I had a surprise planned for Jacob for our first dance. My dad and I had written a song a few years ago that The Band Perry had recorded and made a number 1 hit, called “All Your Life.” I had recorded (unbeknownst to Jacob) my own acoustic version of our song and it made a perfect, sweet moment come true as we danced to it! “All Your Life” has been “our song” from day one because I sang it for him on the beach the day we met.

At the end of the day on May 4, 2013 the hem of my dress was six inches deep in mud and I was married to the man of my dreams! It was truly a perfect day. 

Photography: Shannon Leigh Anderson | Cupcakes: Lindsey Capperune | Catering: Dutch Valley Meats, Inc. | Catering: The Pantry | Hair & Makeup: Melanie Shelley Of Trim | DJ: Toby Tucker - WDZQ | Reception Tent: Champaign County Tent