Similar to the foundation for marriage, everything on a farm grows from the root up and then blossoms into something beautiful, just like this farm fête by Angela Renee Photography. Speaking of blossoms, I cannot stop crushing over the happy bridal bouquet by ArtQuest Ltd. and love the original guest book idea that this couple came up with. It’s a very good sign when it’s too hard to pick which photo’s to feature because there are just too many good ones. So be sure to head to the full gallery for all.

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From the Bride… Our wedding took place in Lake Forest, Illinois, at a farm built in 1917. Nestled in the heart of Chicago’s north shore, I knew Elawa Farm was the perfect location to say “I do” to my best friend. Stephen and I wanted our wedding to represent who we are: fun, classy, laid-back and simple. With a rustic chic theme in mind, mason jars, burlap table runners and family heirlooms turned our dream into a reality. Almost all of our decorations were antiques borrowed from my mother’s house. Instead of having a traditional guestbook, I came up with the idea to have a timeline of pictures of Stephen and me. Guests were asked to write a note near the date of when they first met the bride or groom. For example, Stephen’s aunt wrote a sweet note next to the year he was born. To save money on flowers, we opted for mason jars, candles and small rocks as our centerpieces. I wanted to do something different from the traditional ring bearer pillow, so my talented brother made a personalized ring holder out of a thick slice of wood.

Most people would agree that having a July outdoor wedding in Chicago is risky, if not down right idiotic. We decided to take that chance and hope Mother Nature would be on our side. Little did we know it was going to be the second hottest July in Chicago history. But on the day of our wedding, the 100 degree heat wave broke and we were able to celebrate in comfortable 80 degree weather.

Everything about our wedding was better than we could have imagined. The whole day was filled with so much love, laughter and happiness that there was no room for tears. Even as I walked down the aisle, I couldn’t keep my excitement inside as I waved and squealed to all of our beaming guests. Being able to celebrate our love and commitment with our closest friends and family is something Stephen and I will cherish forever. It was the most special day of our lives, and all Stephen and I could talk about the next day was how much fun we had. We are thrilled to start this journey together and feel so grateful for all of life’s amazing blessings.

Wedding Photography: Angela Renee Photography / Wedding Venue: Elawa Farm in Lake Forest, Illinois / Floral Design: ArtQuest Ltd. / Decor: The Bride’s Mother’s Antiques / Catering: Froggy’s Catering / Wedding Invitations: Minted / DJ: Chris Colton of Elite DJ Music / Wedding Dress: Marisa via Anna’s Bridal