I am about as smitten as one can be with this gorgeous Monticello affair by Mark Romine Photography.  And let me tell you, that’s pretty darn smitten.  From the breathtaking location (Hello, Allerton Park!) to the stunning jewel-toned bouquets by English Hedgerow (ADORE) to some seriously sweet bridesmaid frocks, I am lovin’ every minute of this traditional soiree.  Believe you me, this charming fête will leave you swooning through the weekend.  Join me in the gallery for even more!

Click here to see the entire gallery of images!

From the Bride… In the weeks leading up to my engagement to Jared, I already had wedding planning on my mind and began noticing and seeking out beautiful potential venues online.  I mentioned in passing to my mom that my ideal setting would be a Southern plantation with a picturesque mansion and grounds.  This would be simple enough if I hadn’t also always planned on getting married near my hometown in Central, Illinois.  My mom, already aware that Jared was planning on proposing soon, was a few steps ahead of me and had done some local research.  She pointed out that Allerton Park, only an hour away from my childhood hometown, had exactly the combination of beautiful formal gardens and a Georgian style mansion that I envisioned.  After browsing through a few pictures online, we concluded that Allerton was the perfect compromise of Central, Illinois and an elegant mansion wedding.  Luckily for me, the planning officially began a few days later when Jared proposed!

Because Jared and I both live in Chicago, my mom became our local wedding coordinator.  We both had the same vision for a wedding: classic, elegant and traditional.  We wanted to showcase the beauty of the gardens and mansion so we chose a palette of rich jewel tones with gold accents.  Given the elaborate gardens and traditional décor in the mansion, we were able to keep our added details simple.  The only place where I deviated from traditional was with my dress.  Thankfully, my Matron of Honor convinced me that if there is a day to wear a fluffy, feathery dress, it’s your wedding day.  After the reception was over and everyone had headed to bed in the mansion, Jared and I snuck downstairs to look around and there were little petals here and there as a memory of the night.

It was very important to us to acknowledge our families, especially my father who passed away three years ago.  My mom bought gold picture frames whenever she came across them and we used them to display pictures of our parents and grandparents on their wedding days.  I also wore my dad’s wedding band throughout the day.  I associate rainbows with my dad because on the day of his visitation, there was a beautiful rainbow, a rarity for Illinois in November.  To incorporate this into the ceremony, during the unity candle lighting, the musicians played “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and my aunt, my father’s sister, also, read an Irish Wedding Blessing, “For Every Storm, A Rainbow.”  One of the most special moments of the reception was when Jared and I danced our first dance to one of my dad’s favorite songs, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole.  Jared and I took dancing lessons from Phillipa Tabachow of JiveRoc in the weeks leading up to the wedding.  We had a blast both practicing and surprising our guests with a choreographed dance.  After the first dance ended, we stayed on the dance floor the rest of the night surrounded by our friends and family.

Wedding Photography: Mark Romine Photography / Wedding Venue + Catering: Allerton Park / Flowers: English Hedgerow / Wedding Dress: Lazaro via Bella Bianca / Bride’s Shoes: Kate Spade via Nordstrom / Bride’s Jewelry: Sorrelli / Bride’s Purse: Vintage Judith Leiber

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